Montana Public Radio

Kay Erickson

Kay Erickson has been working in broadcasting in Billings for more than 20 years. She spent well over a decade as news assignment editor at KTVQ-TV before joining the staff at YPR. She is a graduate of Northern Illinois University, with a degree in broadcast journalism. Shortly after graduation she worked in Great Falls where she was one of the first female sports anchor and reporter in Montana.

Kay is also a writer for Yellowstone Valley Woman’s Magazine.

The first of the month is when many low income families have access to monthly benefits for supplemental food programs. People grocery shopping with these monthly benefits are navigating more than empty shelves.

Sunday was not church as usual for many congregations in Billings. Yellowstone County’ Health Officer closed their doors to gatherings of more than 10 of their member until at least April 10. The churches are increasingly turning to social media to stay connected with their congregations.

Doctors are now cleared to check in with patients over the phone as part of the effort to minimize the number of people in health care facilities. Private health insurance companies and Medicaid are relaxing telemedicine requirements during the coronavirus pandemic.

Spring in Montana is getting warmer and lasting longer according to new research from a non-profit group of independent scientists. One of their meteorologist explains what the changing spring means for life in Montana.

The Sunday evening announcement that schools would be canceled this Mar. 16 sent many parents into crisis mode to find childcare.

But thanks to quick planning by the incident command team at the Billings Clinic, essential healthcare works and first responders in Billings have a free and secure place to take their kids. The plan to use the Billings Public Library came together in a matter of hours.

Montana is reporting no in-state cases of the novel coronavirus. But as concerns over COVID-19 have claimed a slew of college basketball tournaments Thursday, including one in Billings next week.

As more novel coronavirus cases are detected around the country, many large events like South By Southwest in Austin, Texas are being cancelled. 

Coronavirus blood test

There are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Montana, but experts expect that will change. If and when it does, Missoula County health officials say they’re ready.

The Missoula City-County Health Department is preparing for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, the same way communities prepare for wildfire or flood emergencies.

The Billings Gazette announced it's eliminating the jobs of Editor Darrell Ehrlick and Editorial Page Editor Pat Bellinghausen on Feb. 2nd. 

Since 2002 Billings health care providers and emergency responders have been teaching lifesaving cardio pulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, to the general public and for free. They're doing it again on Feb. 29.