Montana Public Radio

Kevin Trevellyan

Kevin is a UM Journalism graduate student and reporter for Yellowstone Public Radio.

Montana’s Democratic candidate for governor today unveiled a plan he says will protect public lands and access to them.

Current Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney’s “Protect the Last Best Place” plan doesn’t include new proposals but instead reiterates support for existing state programs, laws and policies, like those related to stream access.

Montana lawmakers were briefed on a draft legislative study about water rights in the age of climate change.

Montana may continue to see years or decades long droughts amid rising annual average temperatures, according to the study presented to the legislative Water Policy Interim Committee on July 13.

Six more residents of a corrections facility in Billings have tested positive for COVID-19 amid a steep rise in cases in the county where it’s located.

Four new cases were discovered after all Alpha House pre-release center residents were tested July 9. Another two cases came from individuals who displayed symptoms before testing, making eight infected facility residents in total.

“So we have a better feel for where we really are. We hope," says David Armstrong, CEO of Alternatives, Inc., which runs Alpha House for the Montana Department of Corrections.

Linda Watson shuffling through Little Shell Tribe enrollment applications.
Kevin Trevellyan / Yellowstone Public Radio

Roughly six months ago, the federal government officially recognized the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians as a sovereign nation. It was national news then. But what does it mean now for the members and descendants of Little Shell? Nine students from the University of Montana School of Journalism spent a semester reporting on the impact of recognition on what has long been considered Montana’s “landless tribe.” This story is part of the student-produced series, Project Little Shell.

 

News broke on Fourth of July that a handful of Montana’s high-profile elected officials and political candidates were potentially exposed to COVID-19 during two of President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign events. This week, we learned where those events took place and who attended. YPR News’ Kevin Trevellyan spoke with Maritsa Georgiou of NBC Montana, who had the scoop.

Residents of a corrections facility in Billings remain quarantined amid two recently-discovered COVID-19 cases. Multiple residents say they're concerned the virus could spread further within the building following what they call insufficient care for their safety.

The positive cases were discovered Saturday and Monday at Alpha House pre-release center, where court-ordered offenders typically spend six months receiving counseling and seeking employment before reentering society.

 

Two residents of a corrections facility in Billings have tested positive for COVID-19.

The cases were discovered July 4  and 6 at Alpha House pre-release center, where offenders typically spend six months before reentering society.

David Armstrong is CEO of Alternatives Inc., which operates Alpha House for the Montana Department of Corrections.

“Both of these came out of residents who had symptomatology and were sent for testing. And the test results came back positive," Armstrong said. 

Armstrong says both individuals with COVID-19 are isolated.


It’s the start of the month, which means housing payments are due for many Montanans. Amid the economic fallout of the novel coronavirus pandemic, there doesn’t yet appear to be large spikes in evictions and foreclosures. But state officials are still having trouble distributing federal housing relief dollars to the people who need them.

 

U.S. Senator Jon Tester joined other congressional Democrats this week in rebuking the Trump administration's latest attempt to overturn the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare. 

The Senate resolution signed by Tester and 46 other Democratic and Independent senators is a direct repreminad of the U.S. Department of Justice’s request last week for the Supreme Court to overturn the Affordable Care Act, or ACA.

In a Facebook town hall meeting Tuesday, Tester said efforts to dismantle the ACA during the novel coronavirus pandemic are "irresponsible and cruel."

 

State finance officials are generally optimistic about Montana’s budget despite projected revenue impacts from the novel coronavirus-related economic slump.

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