Montana Public Radio

Edward O'Brien


Edward O'Brien is Montana Public Radio's Associate News Director.

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Missoula has updated its Emergency Winter Shelter Plan for the homeless with a new temporary location to house 150 people. 

Like everything else this year, COVID-19 has complicated the city’s winter plans to bring people in from the cold.

Flavored vape products on display at an Oct. 30, 2019 state district court hearing in Hamilton over Montana's temporary vape ban.
Edward O'Brien / Montana Public Radio

Missoula could become the state’s first city to ban the sale of all flavored tobacco products. City officials will take up the idea Wednesday morning. 

Two-and-a-half months ago the Montana health department, facing pushback from state lawmakers, withdrew a proposal to enact a permanent statewide ban on the sale and marketing of flavored e-cigarettes. The proposal in Missoula outlines an even broader local ban.

Montana voters this election will decide whether the state constitution requires some updating. 

Constitutional Revisions 46 and 47 revise constitutional language dealing with signature collection efforts for ballot initiatives.

Cannabis in jars. Stock photo.

Opponents of two ballot initiatives to legalize recreational marijuana sales to adults 21 and up in Montana are mounting a last-minute legal challenge to block the measures being voted on.

A gloved hand swabs a person's are, prepping it for a shot.

Flu season is just around the corner. That's worrisome to Montana health care officials, particularly in the middle of the global COVID-19 pandemic. They say Montanans need to be proactive to avoid contracting the flu.

People browsing at a medical marijuana dispensary.
Stock Photo Courtesy Drug Policy Alliance

Voters next month will decide if Montana should become the latest state to legalize the use and sale of recreational marijuana. A pair of measures to open the state’s cannabis market to adults 21 and older appear on ballots.

Proponents say legalizing pot would not only advance personal liberty, but also turbo-charge the state’s economy. Critics, however, say the risks far outweigh the potential benefits.

The Antelope fire, burning about two miles north of Harrison remains at 2,000 acres with 30 percent containment. Three helicopters, 65 firefighters and one dozer are keeping the blaze from growing.

The fire is exhibiting moderate behavior and burning through sagebrush, grassland and Juniper. 

Firefighters are tackling a new wildfire that’s burning through sage and juniper in southwestern Montana. The Antelope Fire, burning about two miles north of Harrison in southwestern Montana, grew to almost 2,000 acres by midday Wednesday.

House for sale.

Missoula’s residential real estate market remains red-hot with home sales up more than 20% from last year. A mid-year report released by local realtors Friday shows historic lows in available housing.

Satellite image shows smoke from fires on the west coast blanketing the northwest U.S. Sept. 15, 2020.
NASA Worldview

The deadly wildfires scorching the west coast have produced smoke that has reached the east coast and Europe. The smoke started seeping into Montana last weekend. 

Health care professionals say it’s taking a toll on our bodies and our minds. MTPR's Edward O'Brien reports.