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. 

Hospital monitor.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

Montana’s rural critical access hospitals are struggling as COVID-19 patients fill beds and strain staffing resources. Larger hospitals are at times unable to take patients.

A partial view of hands pushing a wheelchair with an elderly person sitting in it.
Stock photo (PD)

Families of four former Whitefish Care And Rehabilitation residents filed a lawsuit in county court Tuesday alleging that negligence in implementing COVID-19 protocols at the facility led to their family members' deaths.

Missoula's Hellgate High School
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

Melissa Romano, the Democrat running for to lead Montana’s K-12 public school system criticized the current school superintendent's handling of hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal coronavirus relief funds. 

Melissa Romano and Republican incumbent Elsie Artnzen disagree over whether or not the state should have followed a now defunct federal rule that led to potentially $800,000 that was meant for public schools instead going to private and home schools across Montana.

A man on the street wearing a mask and holding a phone.

The Flathead County Board of Health Thursday refrained from imposing any new health restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19.

The board was due to vote on a measure that would limit all social gatherings to no more than 25 people regardless of the ability to social distance and reduced capacity at bars, restaurants and churches to 25 percent. These restrictions would have only been in effect if case numbers exceed 375 per week. 

Election sign reading 'polling place' on a door at a Missoula polling place.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

The Blackfeet Nation announced  Wednesday that it settled with Pondera County officials after the county allegedly refused to open a satellite voting office on the reservation.

Health care worker holding a clipboard.

As COVID-19 cases across the state surge, the number of available hospital beds for COVID and other patients is quickly becoming a concern. But a shortage of health care workers to staff and watch over patients in those beds is already a problem in some areas of the state.

Empty school classroom

Well over a month into the school year, some public school districts are making decisions about whether they should move toward more in-person education, while those that are dealing with outbreaks are temporarily shutting their doors. Montana Public Radio’s Aaron Bolton is here to talk about how districts are making these decisions.

Whitefish Middle School sign on a door.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

Just days after a decision to move toward more in-person classes, Whitefish Public Schools announced Monday it will stay in a hybrid model and move its middle school to all remote classes.

The change follows 16 new COVID-19 cases in the district.


The work of a food pantry organization on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation has ballooned in recent months amid rising COVID-19 cases and the economic downturn. The group has given out more than 50,000 pounds of food in a month. 

A young girl in front of a computer for an online class.

Spectrum customers across the state woke up this Wednesday morning with no internet access. Schools teaching remotely during the pandemic reported issues with their students’ ability to sign into online classes.