Montana Public Radio

Freddy Monares

Freddy Monares is a reporter and Morning Edition host at Montana Public Radio. He previously worked for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, covered the 2017 Legislature for UM Legislative News Service and interned with the station as a student. He graduated from the University of Montana School of Journalism in 2017.

Montana death rates from alcohol, drugs, and suicide in Montana from 2000 to 2020.
American Communities Project /

Research into nearly 200,000 Montana death records from the last two decades has put hard numbers to anecdotes about suicides and drug- and alcohol-related deaths during the pandemic.

The report, by University of Montana School of Journalism Professor Lee Banville, is published on the American Communities Project’s website and shows that death rates significantly increased in 2020 in communities categorized as "Graying America," "Native American Lands" and "Working Class Country."

A vape device with flavor liquids.

A bill that would stop local governments in Montana from enacting bans on sales of flavored vaping products is making its way to Gov. Greg Gianforte’s desk.

The Legislature advanced the policy after Missoula's city council passed a local ban on the products because of health concerns.