MTPR

Kevin Trevellyan

Kevin is a UM Journalism graduate student and reporter for MTPR.

Tommy Martino, Kaiser Health News

On Monday, NPR’s Morning Edition aired a story about Plains resident Sov Valentine, who received a bill of more than half a million dollars for 14 weeks of dialysis at a Missoula clinic.

Thursday, Fresenius, the dialysis company that sent him the bill, said they would waive it.

The Beeskove Fire north of Missoula on the evening of July 24, 2019.
Lolo National Forest

Updated 5:45 p.m., July 25.

The two-day-old Beeskove Fire in the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area north of Missoula grew from less than an acre to roughly 35 acres overnight.

Several trails were closed today, including the main Rattlesnake Creek Trail, East Fork Rattlesnake Trail, Mineral Peak Trail, Rattlesnake Horse Trailhead and portions of the Sheep Mountain Trail.

Solar panels financed by a USDA grant on a farm Pennsylvania
USDA

The USDA has more than $400 million to spend supporting energy efficiency and green energy upgrades at farms and rural small businesses.

The Rural Energy for America Program offers grants, loans and loan guarantees for a range of projects, including installation of solar panels, anaerobic digesters and wind turbines.

A train hauls tanker cars full of oil.
iStock

Montana and North Dakota are petitioning the U.S. Department of Transportation to overturn a new Washington state law that could jeopardize rail shipments of crude oil from the Bakken region.

Susan Crystal is a deputy assistant secretary for the State Department.
U.S. State Department

A U.S. State Department official is in Missoula this week. The University of Montana has a sports exchange program with Peru. MTPR's Kevin Trevellyan talked about diplomacy in the age of President Trump with Susan Crystal, deputy assistant secretary for the State Department.

Montanans who buy individual health care plans through the federal government’s Healthcare.gov marketplace will pay less for it next year, at least partially due to a new state law.

State Auditor Matt Rosendale today announced that the three companies providing insurance under the Affordable Care Act exchange expect to cut average premiums on policies for individuals by 8 to 14% for 2020.

University of Montana economist Bryce Ward says that’s rare in a country where health care costs generally increase faster than inflation.

KEVIN TREVELLYAN / MONTANA PUBLIC RADIO

Rich Trumka, the president of the country’s largest union federation, the AFL-CIO, was in Montana for the state’s convention in Missoula last week. The federation represents many workers in Montana’s troubled coal industry. 

Trumka is a third-generation miner. The Pennsylvania native can’t accept that workers, like those in Colstrip, are getting squeezed out of their jobs.

Coal. File photo.
Flickr user oatsy40 (CC-BY-2)

The Trump administration today introduced a new EPA rule meant to preserve the U.S. coal industry, despite opposition from environmentalists.

Gone are Obama-era EPA targets that would have pushed states to cut carbon dioxide emissions by reducing dependence on coal in favor of natural gas and renewables.

The EPA’s new replacement rule instead allows states to determine how, or if, coal-fired plants should be upgraded to reduce emissions.

Environmental advocates argue the rule doesn’t reduce CO2 emissions enough.

St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula.
Courtesy St. Patrick Hospital

Providence Montana announced Wednesday it will break ground on a multimillion-dollar medical office building across from Missoula’s St. Patrick Hospital. Residents can expect to see construction crews in the vacant gravel lot at 600 W. Broadway this fall.

Water from the Clark Fork River floods onto Tower Street in Missoula, May 7, 2018.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

A slice of west Missoula will be under a flood watch from Tuesday morning until further notice.

Missoula temperatures are expected to hit the high 70s next week as the Clark Fork swells with snowmelt.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Jeff Kitsmiller says residents near Kehrwald Drive and the north end of Tower Street should prepare their homes in advance.

“I’m sure most of those people already have their sandbags ready. But if they don’t, right now and through the weekend is the time to get them set and try to redirect that water around their house," he says.

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