Montana Public Radio

Edward O'Brien


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

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Gov. Steve Bullock is joined by Rep. Mary Caferro, a Democrat from Helena, and Rep. Ed Buttrey, a Republican from Great Falls, and other lawmakers for the signing of HB 658, May 9, 2019. The bill reauthorizes the state's Medicaid expansion program.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

The addition of work or “community engagement” requirements to Montana’s Medicaid expansion program has been delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

That announcement came Friday from the state health department.

2020-21 Influenza Season Activity, Week 47 ending Nov 21, 2020
U.S. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention

Despite Montana’s unchecked COVID-19 spread, as of Wednesday there’s not a single confirmed case of influenza in the state.


A new mental health crisis hotline is now available to Montanans struggling with the ongoing emotional impacts of the global pandemic.

The Montana Crisis Recovery Hotline funded by a $1.6 million federal grant program is open to all Montanans but specifically targeted at Native Americans, students, health care workers and residents of communities hit hardest by COVID-19.

Edward O'Brien/Montana Public Radio

Missoula has become Montana’s first city to pass an ordinance prohibiting the sale of flavored e-cigarette and vape products.

Glacier National Park sign.
Nicky Ouellet / Montana Public Radio

Over 125,000 visitors entered Glacier National Park in October. Park officials say that’s a 60 percent increase in visitation numbers over the same time last year. 

La Niña wintertime pattern.

Fall weather didn't last long in Montana. Cold temperature and snowfall records have been shattered region-wide over the past couple of weeks.

Missoula broke a 47-year-old record this month. According to the National Weather Service, almost 19 inches of snow fell between October 1 and November 11. That’s about five inches more than during the same time in 1973.

Vape device

Some members of the Missoula City Council have amended a proposal they say is designed to reduce youth exposure to tobacco and e-cigarette products

Missoula City Councilor Mirtha Becerra says under the amended proposal self-service displays of flavored tobacco products would be prohibited and flavored vaping products would be banned altogether.

Cannabis in jars. Stock photo.

Montana joined four other states Tuesday in legalizing marijuana for recreational use by adults.

Brian Kahn
courtesy Brian Kahn

Montana broadcasting legend Brian Kahn passed away of natural causes yesterday while on a hunting trip near Lewistown, according to several of his friends. For nearly a quarter century Kahn hosted Home Ground Radio, featuring intimate one-one-one conversations with newsmakers and everyday Americans.

People evacuating from Bridger Canyon, Sept. 5, 2020. The Bridger Foothills Fire threatened homes and forced evacuations near the fire, which started near the 'M trail' just northeast of Bozeman, MT.

State fire officials say last weekend’s record-shattering winter storm put a decisive end to Montana’s 2020 wildfire season. It will be remembered for many reasons, not the least of which is that it was the first one to take place during a global pandemic.

Mike DeGrosky describes Montana’s 2020 fire season as an oddball.