Montana Public Radio

Jess Sheldahl

Jess Sheldahl is a reporter and host for Morning Edition at Yellowstone Public Radio. She fell in love with public radio after becoming a DJ at the University of Montana’s college station KBGA. Since then, she’s worked at MTPR and graduated with a BA in Journalism from the University of Montana. Born and raised in Montana, Jess understands the importance of reporting on local news and issues that matter to the people who live here. She also enjoys a cold beer and a good book under the Big Sky.

Montanans are helping solve the problem of critical shortages of medical masks as coronavirus continues to spread. Sewing machines and 3D printers and lots of volunteers are making reusable masks to protect healthcare workers from the novel coronavirus.


With erratic temperatures and snow, this year winter was weird in Montana. One unique sport that brings together horseback riding and skiing faced significant challenges because of the quickly changing weather.


Billings City Council won’t be considering a Welcoming Diversity Ordinance LBGTQ community members have pushed for. A 7 to 4 vote on Feb. 24 means the ordinance will not be on the agenda in August.


Havre Public School’s computer system was infected with a ransomware virus in early February. It knocked out the district computers for about a week but the system is back online now. This is the 4th reported cyber attack on a Montana school district since 2016, according to tech company SecuLore Solutions. State officials say they don’t keep track of cyberattacks of this kind.

YPR New’s Jess Sheldahl spoke with Paul Dragu of the Havre Herald about how the district dealt with the hack.


A group of government agencies and Yellowstone county organizations have released a plan they say will cut back on drug-related crime and addiction in the region. 


As the largest school district in Montana faces an over $4 million budget deficit, some are asking how the budget became so unbalanced. School administrators say the proposed cuts to staff and operations likely won't fully fix the problem.


The largest school district in Montana plans to cut 40 full time positions to make up for an over $4 million budget deficit.

The largest school district in Montana plans to cut up to 40 full time employees to make up for a more than $4 million budget deficit.

Authorities have identified the bodies of four people who died in a small plane crash north of Billings over weekend.

A court in Wyoming sided with a group of newspapers last week, affirming the public’s right to know over individual privacy. The ruling will make records involving the dismissal of former University of Wyoming President Laurie Nichols public, unless UW appeals the decision.