Montana Public Radio

Edward O'Brien

News

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

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U.S. Drought Monitor map of Montana as of May 18, 2021 at 6 a.m. MDT
Adam Hartman, NOAA/NWS/NCEP/CPC / U.S. Drought Monitor

Montana fire officials are grateful for this weekend’s cool, and in some cases, wet weather, but they say much more of it is needed to mitigate the state’s deepening drought crisis.

University of Montana police in Missoula are investigating the report of a sexual assault that occurred in the University Villages housing area on May 20 around 10 p.m.

Real ID vs. standard driver's license
mtrealid.gov

Montanans face waits of nearly two months to get appointments to renew their driver's licenses or to title and register their vehicles. 

The state agency in charge of those and other transactions says it’s working to improve its customer service.

Tourists at the Apgar Visitor Center in Glacier National Park.
GlacierNPS (PD)

America’s employers added just 266,000 jobs last month. That’s sharply lower than in March and a sign that some businesses are struggling to find enough workers as the economic recovery strengthens. It’s a problem for Montana’s hospitality industry, which expects tourists to return in droves this summer.

The weeping wall on Glacier Park's Going-to-the-Sun Road.
David Restivo, NPS (PD)

The first entry reservation tickets for Glacier National Park’s Going-to-the-Sun Road will be available the morning of April 29.

Montana Drought Monitor map for April 13, 2021 shows around 60% of Montana facing drought conditions.
Deborah Bathke / National Drought Mitigation Center

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte’s office Monday released this year’s state Water and Supply and Drought Outlook report. Over 60 percent of Montana is facing drought conditions.

A closeup satellite image shows a thick layer of wildfire smoke covering Idaho and Montana, September 4, 2017.
NOAA

Three Montana counties: Lewis & Clark, Ravalli and Lincoln, rank nationally among the 25 counties most polluted by short-term or year-round particle air pollution. That’s according to a new American Lung Association report that says wildfires are the main culprit

Primm Meadows in the Blackfoot Valley on the Lolo National Forest.
Josh Burnham

State and volunteer fire crews are planning a series of prescribed burns in the Blackfoot Valley this spring to reduce the risk of more severe wildfires.

A Montanan is reportedly expected to be President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the Bureau of Land Management. Several news outlets, including E&E News and the Associated Press, report the administration’s decision to nominate Missoula’s Tracy Stone-Manning to the post.

John Smith, Leo Smith and Jolen Brink 4 days after Leo was discharged from the NICU in early May 2020. Leo weighed just over 4 lbs.
Courtesy Nick Cote

Last April, John Smith and Jolene Brink were a young Missoula couple navigating a high-risk birth in the opening days of an international pandemic. Their lives have significantly changed since then. Now the two are left pondering family life in a post-pandemic world.

Leo Marlay Smith had his first birthday late last month, celebrating with grandparents over FaceTime. It's said that a first birthday party is less for the baby and more for the recognition of significant milestones: survival, growth and change. 

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