Montana Public Radio

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. 

The St. Mary entrance to Glacier National Park, which borders the Blackfeet Nation, remained closed during the summer of 2020 as Blackfeet officials implemented strict measures in an effort to keep COVID-19 off the reservation.
Aaron Bolton / MTPR

The Blackfeet Indian Reservation is opening up for the tourism season as droves of visitors head to Glacier National Park. The reservation was closed to tourists for more than a year, and that’s a big deal because many residents rely on tourist spending. Local residents are more than ready to start greeting visitors again. 

A staffer at a Flathead County vaccine clinic fills a syringe with a COVID-19 vaccine in early 2021.
Aaron Bolton / Montana Public Radio

Flathead County health officials say they will shut down a mass COVID-19 vaccination site at the county fairgrounds next week, but vaccines will still be available.

Tourists at the Apgar Visitor Center in Glacier National Park.
GlacierNPS (PD)

It is one of the busiest springs on record for Glacier National Park: Through May, nearly 300,000 people visited the park. And, for the first time this year, a ticketed entry system is limiting how many visitors can head up the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

Montana Public Radio’s Aaron Bolton spoke with park Deputy Superintendent Pete Webster about expectations, crowds and running the park amid the pandemic.

Montana education officials surveyed students and teachers this spring about their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. The findings aren’t representative of Montana’s student and teacher populations, but state school officials say they provide insight into the last school year.

Rexford Bench boat launch on Lake Kookanusa in NW Montana.
Kootenai National Forest

Three U.S. officials from an international transboundary regulatory group will learn more about the upstream Canadian coal mine pollution flowing into Northwest Montana next week. The group’s fact-finding mission to the U.S. side of Lake Koocanusa will focus on learning more about the high levels of selenium flowing from British Columbia coal mines.

A PCR testing machine at the University of Montana Genomics Core lab in Missoula, Montana.
Aaron Bolton

As health officials continue to roll out COVID-19 vaccines, making sure those vaccines remain effective against new variants of the virus is an important part of controlling the pandemic. Montana’s state health department and universities are working to stay on top of the virus evolution.

Senator Jon Tester (D) - Montana
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Democratic Sen. Jon Tester Wednesday asked the U.S. State Department to put pressure on an international commission and the Canadian government to stem pollution flowing into northwest Montana from British Columbia coal mines. 

Fentanyl tablets stamped to look like legitimate prescriptions.
Missoula Police Department

Missoula Police say they are investigating an undisclosed number of drug overdoses associated with pills containing fentanyl, a dangerous synthetic opioid. 

Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen
Courtesy

Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen issued an opinion May 27 claiming public schools are prohibited by state and federal law from teaching certain aspects of critical race theory, which says systemic racism is ingrained in American life and law. Some say the opinion is largely symbolic, as other leaders in Republican-controlled states condemn critical race theory.

Pygmy whitefish.
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks

A rare native fish species has been discovered for the first time in two northwest Montana lakes. The discovery is part of state fish and wildlife biologists’ efforts to understand more about the pygmy whitefish.

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