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. 

Mudman Burgers restaurants owned by Potter's Field Ministries closed down following allegations against the ministry and its leaders Mike and Pam Rozell.
Aaron Bolton / Montana Public Radio

The state department of labor denied an appeal by a former Whitefish Christian ministry challenging an order to pay more than $100,000 in back wages and penalties. The state rejected Potter’s Field Ministries’ argument that former workers had donated unpaid time as an “act of god.”

State health officials are dropping lawsuits against five Flathead County businesses. Under former Gov. Steve Bullock the state alleged the bars, restaurants and convenience stores flouted state COVID-19 directives. The reversal comes at the direction of Gov. Greg Gianforte.

(PD)

President Joe Biden’s administration will open up the federal health insurance market next month. The special sign-up window is aimed at those who lost employer-provided health coverage throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

A self-described white nationalist content creator living in Libby has been fined nearly $10 million for hundreds of illegal robo-calls. The Federal Communications Commission announced the fine earlier this month.

A syringe in a COVID-19 vaccine bottle.
iStock

The monumental challenge of distributing COVID-19 vaccines has been complicated by uncertain and limited supply, but the biggest challenge for one rural county on the Rocky Mountain Front is starting over with an entirely new health department.

Senator Jon Tester.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Montana’s Democratic U.S. Sen. Jon Tester will take over as chair of the Senate’s Veterans' Affairs Committee Wednesday, according to a Tuesday announcement from his office.

An informational sign at the entrance of the National Bison Range near Moiese, MT.
Josh Burnham

The U.S. Interior Department Friday signed an order that will start the transfer of the National Bison Range to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.

A stack of logs.
(PD)

291,000 acres of private timberlands in northwest Montana have a new owner. Washington state-based Green Diamond closed the deal with Southern Pine Plantations this week.

Labels on the back of CSKT servers name the locations of four cellular towers on that are broadcasting high-speed internet over roughly 1,300 square miles on the Flathead Indian Reservation.
Aaron Bolton / Montana Public Radio

The build-out of wireless broadband networks in Indian Country may get a boost from a new $1 billion tribal broadband fund. The federal fund was set up by the latest COVID relief bill late last year.

An image of someone receiving a vaccination pulled from the CDC site on 01.12.21.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Montana’s frontline health care workers are receiving their second doses of COVID-19 vaccines, guaranteeing fewer will become infected with the virus. But hospitals are not changing quarantine policies for vaccinated workers exposed to COVID-19, meaning staffing capacity will likely continue to be an issue in hospitals across the state.

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