MTPR

Edward O'Brien

News

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

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iStock

Updated with additional events, 05/24/19, at 5 p.m.

Memorial Day 2019 is Monday and there’s no shortage of Montana events planned to mark the occasion.

Highway Patrol Trooper Wade Palmer and his wife Lindsey at the University of Utah hospital.
Courtesy University of Utah Health

Missoula paused Wednesday afternoon to welcome home a Montana Highway Patrol Trooper critically wounded this spring in the line of duty.

Wade and Lindsey Palmer’s flight from the University of Utah hospital landed in Missoula midday Wednesday. Roughly 100 people lined West Broadway Street in front of Saint Patrick Hospital to honor the Palmer's return to western Montana and cheer on his motorcade escort.

Women hold  pro-choice signs during a rally in Missoula, May 21, 2019.
Edward O'Brien / Montana Public Radio

Montanans in Missoula, Billings and Kalispell today joined nationwide protests against abortion bans in southern states.

At the Missoula County Courthouse speakers expressed outrage over legislation in Alabama, Georgia, Ohio and Missouri to a crowd of about 200 people.

A regular and large-size emergency shelter for wildland firefighters
NIFC.gov

The most recent effort to develop a better fire shelter for wildland firefighters produced nothing new, but don’t tell U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Fire Safety Specialist Ted Mason the five-year research project was a bust.

"Absolutely not," Mason said. "I’m looking at it like we’ve proved that we did a really good job in 2002 when we created the shelter we’re currently using."

Wildland Firefighters working on fire line on the West Fork Fish Creek Fire in 2015.
Inciweb

Here’s a riddle: When is a wildland firefighter not technically a firefighter? Answer: When he or she works for the federal government.

That’s because the feds designate them as "forestry technicians." That irks many firefighters who put it all on the line as a changing climate means wildfire seasons are now longer and fires burn bigger and hotter.

U.S. Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen vows the agency will meet with mountain biking groups who want to regain access to two wilderness study areas in the Bitterroot National Forest.
(PD)

U.S. Sen. Steve Daines continues to pressure the U.S. Forest Service to reconsider proposed mountain bike closures in two Montana wilderness sudy areas.

U.S. Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen vows the agency will meet with mountain biking groups who want to regain access to two wilderness study areas in the Bitterroot National Forest.

A lab at Socoti Montana, a Missoula hemp processing business.
Erika Peterman / Socoti Montana

An Oregon company has acquired a Missoula-based biotech firm to help meet ballooning consumer demand for CBD and other hemp products.

Since passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp is legal to grow again. Its various byproducts are big business, amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars annually.

A flood warning is in effect for parts of west Missoula.
National Weather Service Missoula

A flood watch predicted late last week for a portion of Missoula was upgraded to a warning Monday.

Health officials have now confirmed 92 whooping cough cases in the Missoula area.
iStock.

Health officials have now confirmed 92 whooping cough cases in the Missoula area.

"This is definitely the biggest outbreak that I have seen in my decade plus of working in public health," says Cindy Farr, Missoula City-County Health Department Infectious Disease Office supervisor.

Dan and Gina Lee Gossett with Oliver perched on top.
Courtesy Dax Photography, www.daxphotography.com

Mother’s Day will be a quiet, but exceptionally poignant celebration this year for one Bitterroot Valley family.

“We are going to go to our little French bakery in town and get chocolate croissants and coffee and kind of just be together,” says Gina Lee Gossett.

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