MTPR

Aaron Bolton

Flathead Reporter

Aaron is Montana Public Radio's Flathead reporter. He joined us in 2019 from Alaska where he reported on commercial fisheries and rural issues. 

Cow moose. Stock photo.
(PD)

A moose in Montana has tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD) for the first time. The finding expands the area wildlife managers believed the disease to exist.

The moose was killed north of Troy, just a half of a mile outside of the Libby CWD management zone, which spans a 10-mile radius around Libby. Thirty white-tailed deer have tested positive for CWD within the management zone since the disease was discovered this spring.

Kalispell Regional Medical Center.
Courtesy Kalispell Regional Medical Center.

Kalispell Regional Healthcare (KRH) was fined $65,000 this summer for failing to comply with training requirements outlined in an agreement with federal authorities. The agreement followed a $24 million settlement in 2018 that ended a lawsuit claiming the hospital violated anti-kickback laws.

State health officials recently finalized new rules and regulations for private youth therapeutic programs in the state. The programs were mostly self-regulated until this year when state lawmakers gave the Montana health department oversight.

Grizzly bear. Stock photo.
iStock

Montana wildlife officials announced Tuesday that two grizzlies were recently killed in northwest Montana. A food-conditioned male grizzly bear was euthanized over the weekend and a female was killed by a hunter last week.

Truck carrying timber
Bell & Jeff (CC-BY-2.0)

The state and the U.S. Forest Service plan to ramp up a program on Montana’s national forests that uses timber sales with restoration components to fund non-commercial conservation work. The amount of timber currently being cut under the program could grow four times over the next year. The timber industry sees that as a much-needed boon.

Downtown Libby, MT.
libbymt.com

The Montana Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday about whether BNSF Railway can be held liable for exposing Libby residents to asbestos that was in shipments of vermiculite it transported before the local mine shut down in 1990.

The town of Libby.
courtesy

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took another step this week toward transferring oversight of the Libby Asbestos Superfund Site to the state. EPA released the first of two plans outlining how the state will mitigate the spread of any remaining contamination in Libby and Troy.

Beau Albright and his girlfriend Chloe Quiambao scan mountains near Libby for white-tailed deer and elk, Oct. 26, 2019.
Aaron Bolton / Montana Public Radio

Both deer and elk rifle hunting seasons opened across the state Saturday and hunters hiked into the woods at the crack of dawn in the hopes of coming out with some fresh meat to stock their freezers. That ritual was a little different this year for hunters in the Libby area, where chronic wasting disease (CWD) has been detected in white-tailed deer.

Two grizzly bear cubs killed by a train near Trego were discovered Oct. 15, 2019.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

Conservation groups announced Monday that they sent a letter to BNSF Railway threatening a lawsuit over grizzly bears killed along its train tracks. So far this year, a record eight grizzlies from the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem (NCDE) have been killed by trains.

Grizzly bears in the Lower 48 are protected as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. It’s illegal to kill them, even if it’s an accident.

A reporting app tested by Flathead High School allows students to report a tip, anonymously if they wish, about bullying, physical threats, weapons at school and even report another student expressing suicidal tendencies.
iStock

Kalispell Public Schools will soon adopt a new mobile app allowing students to anonymously report tips about threats to a school, bullying and mental health issues to administrators and law enforcement.

Dennis Bane is a school resource officer at Flathead High School and with some help from students, he began testing incident reporting apps for the school district last year.

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