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Montana News

Statewide news from Montana Public Radio. Montana politics, Legislature and elections; healthcare; wildfire; public lands; and more.

Sorry, Not Sorry; Senate Race Grows; Green Party Mystery

15 hours ago

A Billings legislator's apology rings hollow. A new TV ad in the governor's race looks familiar. The U.S. Senate race has two more candidates. Census officials aren't happy about a Republican mailer. And the mystery deepens over who's sponsoring a 3rd party ballot petition.

Listen now on Campaign Beat.

Vaccine stock photo.
(PD)

The state health department’s most recent flu update describes the virus as "widespread" across Montana. More than 900 new flu cases were tallied last week.

Influenza activity continued to increase during the seventh week of Montana’s flu season.

A group of city, state and tribal representatives met this week in Bozeman to share ideas about how to address climate change in Montana. A guest speaker at the conference said Rocky Mountain states are going to see catastrophic changes on our current path.

The Billings Gazette announced it's eliminating the jobs of Editor Darrell Ehrlick and Editorial Page Editor Pat Bellinghausen on Feb. 2nd. 

Among other upgrades, Yellowstone Park plans to replace 64 trailers that were built between 1960 and 1983. The park says those trailers, that annually house up to 100 employees, are extremely substandard.
Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park has unveiled a major initiative to upgrade employee housing, which park officials say is long overdue.

About half of Yellowstone National Park’s 800 employees live in park housing. Park spokeswoman Morgan Warthin describes the quality of that housing as, “Fair to poor.”

A climber in Lost Horse Canyon in the Bitterroot National Forest.
Courtesy Damien Powledge

The Bitterroot National Forest banned the creation of new, bolted rock climbing routes earlier this month, forcing climbers and conservationists to contemplate the future of the sport in the area.

In so-called “sport climbing,” climbers clip ropes into small bolts fixed in the rock to keep from falling too far should they slip off as they ascend.

A political newcomer from Stevensville filed for Montana’s U.S. Senate seat Tuesday, triggering a two-way Republican primary with incumbent Steve Daines.

Herford cattle.
USDA

A Wyoming rancher was awarded nearly $340,000 last month after disputing wildlife managers’ initial offer to pay for several livestock killed by grizzlies and wolves. 

While the large payout is unusual, Montana ranchers say it’s calling attention to funding issues for livestock losses on this side of the border.

A piece of war memorabilia spurred an investigation at Montana State University today. Montana State University Police cordoned off a campus parking lot after a defused explosive was discovered in a student’s car.

NorthWestern Energy building in Butte, Montana.
Nora Saks / Montana Public Radio

State utility regulators have agreed with NorthWestern Energy’s request to block details on its new coal supply contract from becoming public — at least for the moment. This comes as Montana’s biggest utility moves to buy a larger share of the coal-fired power plant in Colstrip. 

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