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. 

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The federal government has declined to intervene in a lawsuit about a Libby asbestos clinic. The lawsuit alleges that the clinic committed fraud by accessing federal funding for unnecessary health screenings and treatments.

Montana's state employees are still required to wear a mask when working with the public or coworkers. Gov. Greg Gianforte has continued the requirement for state workers following his repeal of the public-aimed statewide mask mandate last week.

Glacier National Park sign at the park's St. Mary entrance.
Glacier National Park (PD)

Glacier National Park is considering a visitor reservation system to handle park congestion amid the coronavirus pandemic. Park officials are also working with the bordering Blackfeet Nation to reopen eastern park entrances that have been closed since last summer.

An updated count of vaccine uptake in Montana's vulnerable settings shows about 70% of residents in long-term care and assisted-living facilities have opted to receive COVID-19 vaccines. Older Montanans have been especially hard-hit by the virus.

The University of Montana campus.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

Montana’s flagship universities released their spring 2021 enrollment numbers this week, with both  reporting fewer students than a year ago. MTPR's Aaron Bolton reports on how those schools are faring through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The view southeast over the McKillop Creek Road near Libby, Montana. The land is part of the private timber lands in northwest Montana belonging to Southern Pine Plantations.
Chris Boyer / Kestrelaerial.com

The owner of a large block of private timberland in northwest Montana says it’s likely done its last major land sale after a deal announced this week. Southern Pine Plantations sold 125,000 acres of timberland west of Kalispell.

Former Army Tank Mechanic Robert Boore, 77, gets his COVID-19 vaccine at the VA’s mass vaccination clinic in Kalispell February 3, 2021. The VA vaccinated 400 veterans 75 years old and up, as well as those with select underlying health conditions.
Aaron Bolton / Montana Public Radio

Four hundred veterans got COVID-19 vaccine doses last week in Kalispell. The Montana VA Health Care System is standing up temporary clinics to get shots to vets in rural areas. But amid the nationwide vaccine shortage, some vets are confused about the process and are looking outside of the VA to get a shot.

Flathead-area avalanche danger map for February 8. 2021.
Flathead Avalanche Center

The Flathead Avalanche Center announced Saturday that an avalanche in the Swan range killed one snowmobiler and partially buried three others.

High avalanche danger continues in the backcountry around western and central Montana.

SkiDale Timber Sale harvest area map, July 22, 2020.
Montana DNRC

Earlier this week, Gov. Greg Gianforte announced one of the first timber sales to go through a state-federal partnership this year. The amount of timber cut through the Good Neighbor Authority this year is expected to nearly double compared to 2020.

A Christian ministry based in Whitefish which operates the Mudman Burgers chain has agreed to pay former employees roughly $118,000 in back pay and penalties for those unpaid wages.

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