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 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 /

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.

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.


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.