Dan Boyce

Capitol Bureau Chief

Dan Boyce provides radio and online reports daily from the State Capitol. A native Montanan, Dan was raised in Lewistown and graduated from the University of Montana with a broadcast journalism degree in December, 2008. He took the position of MTPR Capitol Bureau Chief after more than two years working as a reporter with KBZK-TV in Bozeman. Dan has won local, regional, and national awards for both his radio and television reporting. His work has appeared nationally on the NPR programs All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Weekend Edition as well as on CNN and The CBS Evening News. Dan has also taken part in journalism fellowships in both Germany and Pakistan.

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Public Defenders
11:49 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Raises and increased staff not enough to stop case overload for public defenders

The state’s Chief Public Defender says workloads for public defense attorneys have improved due to financial help from the Montana Legislature. However, Bill Hooks said his office still needs more help.

The 2013 Legislature gave the public defender’s office *$1.2 million in new money for employee raises, which Hooks said has been very helpful.

"We were able to bring our attorney salaries more in line with what our colleagues were getting in other courts throughout the state,” Hooks said. “So I think that was a significant improvement and we're very appreciative of that.”

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Helena
4:42 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Helena adding more "all-inclusive" playground equipment to city parks

Alicia Pichette watches the construction of some "all-inclusive" playground equipment in Helena's Jaycee Park. Pichette started a fund to install such equipment after the death of her disabled daughter, Blythe.
Credit Dan Boyce

Parks in Helena are starting to see new additions to playground equipment, as the city tries to make more enjoyable for kids with disabilities.

Capitol Reporter Dan Boyce looks into this all-inclusive play equipment.

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American Tradition Partnership
2:39 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Judge fines “dark money” group more than $260,000

American Tradition Partnership, one of the primary “dark money” groups operating in Montana the past few elections, has been fined more than $260,000 for illegal campaign activity. This even as the group may be quietly dissolving.

“Here, we have what appears to be a deliberate attempt to evade Montana’s campaign and reporting requirements,” District Judge Jeffrey Sherlock wrote in his Monday ruling.

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Helena
2:13 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Didn’t you know? It’s Turkey Tuesday!

One of Jamie O'Malley's turkeys at the Exploration Works "Turkey Tuesday" event.
Dan Boyce

In a feathery showcase of America’s most-celebrated Thanksgiving dish, A Helena education center brought in some live turkeys today. Dubbed “Turkey Tuesday”, the occasion allowed some local kids to see three of the iconic birds in real life, in all their waddley gobbley glory.

“I think that connections really been lost with a lot of kids,” said Exploration Works Education Director Jamie O’Malley. “It’s nice to know where your food comes from.”

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Election 2014
6:26 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

More candidates announcing House bids well ahead of filing day

Helena real estate investor Drew Turiano says he will be running for Montana's U.S. House seat as a Republican. He lost a four-way Republican primary for Sec. of State in 2012.
Dan Boyce

The already-crowded field of candidates vying for Montana’s U.S. House seat continues to grow.

Current Republican Representative Steve Daines announced earlier this month he will be running for the Senate seat being vacated by Democratic Senator Max Baucus in 2014.

Helena Real Estate Investor Drew Turiano says he’s running for the House seat as a Republican. It’s his second time running for office in Montana after coming in last in a four-way Republican Primary for Secretary of State in 2012. He hopes that loss has helped with name recognition for this race.

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Butte
5:35 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Butte open container ban heads to final vote

Credit flickr/Tracy Elizabeth

Butte’s Council of Commissioners is preparing to take a final vote on an ordinance to curb the community’s stance on open containers of alcohol in public.

Right now, the city has no open container law.

The ordinance before the council would make it illegal to have an open alcoholic drink in public between the hours of 2 AM and 8 AM.

Capitol Reporter Dan Boyce tells us commissioners and the community are split on the issue.

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Election 2014
5:45 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Missoula writer, Blackfeet member joining US House race

U.S. House Candidate Melinda Gopher

A Missoula writer and member of the Blackfeet Tribe has announced her run for Montana’s lone U.S. House seat as a Democrat.

Melinda Gopher ran for the seat in 2010, coming in third in the Democratic Primary. She is running a campaign focused on bucking the Democratic establishment.

“We have a power elite that has abused the Indian vote for a long time in the state, and that power elite has been led by Senator Baucus,” Gopher said.

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Affordable Care Act
4:11 pm
Sat November 16, 2013

Insurance companies, commissioner examining options following ObamaCare announcement

About 5,000 health insurance plans from PacificSource set to be cancelled are eligible for one more year if the company decides to extend them.
Credit Dan Boyce

Montana Insurance companies are looking over their options after President Obama’s Thursday announcement regarding the Affordable Care Act. The President said some insurance plans about to be cancelled for not following the new healthcare law will be allowed to continue for one more year.

Montana’s Insurance commissioner said the announcement throws years of planning for ObamaCare into a tailspin.

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Housing Prices
5:40 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Montana sees increase in median home prices

Real estate broker Alan Bock shows off a $375,000 home near Helena, which is about $175,000 more than the counties median price.
Credit Dan Boyce

Data released Thursday from the U.S. Census Bureau shows Montana’s median home value moved up 5 percent in the two years after the Great Recession.

The statistics were gathered in the states nine most populous counties in the years 2010-2012 and were compared to the same figures from the recession years of 2007-2009. They show the state’s median price for owner-occupied households bumped up to $183,600 from $174,900 during the recession.

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Deer Culling
5:37 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Helena asks state for permission to cull 70 'urban deer' in 2014

Credit flickr/jseattle

The City of Helena is asking for permission to trap and kill 70 deer next year that live in the city limits.

The state wildlife commission approves such requests.

Capitol Reporter Dan Boyce tells us Helena has been working for years to lower the population of these so-called urban deer.

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