Montana Public Radio

Sofia Stuart-rasi

Sofia is a student reporter with MTPR.

Montanas are being asked to report Census data online or by phone even without receiving a specialized ID code to begin the process.
U.S. Census Bureau

On Tuesday, the Montana Department of Commerce announced the state is spending roughly $500,000 of federal coronavirus relief money to boost 2020 Census outreach.

Montanans self-response rate is just over 56%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That’s behind the national average. State officials said Montanan’s Census response is complicated in part by the rural nature of the state

Rear veiw of a fire engine.

A fire department in north Kalispell is dealing with a staffing shortage resulting in a temporary shutdown. Alocal firefighter union says staffing problems will result in slower response times in emergencies.

Fire station 62 located on Old Reserve Drive in Kalispell is closed from July 21 until July 25.

Railroad crossing.

The Billings Police Department received a grant Tuesday up to $50,000 from the Federal Railroad Administration to support reducing railroad trespassing deaths.

The Railroad Trespassing Enforcement Grant was also awarded to cities in six other states that have so-called trespass hot spots. According to the Federal Railroad Administration, these are geographic areas where law enforcement agencies have seen a high amount of railroad trespassing.

A man in a wheelchair is helped into an accesible vehicle.

Great Falls’ Paratransit, a transportation service for people with disabilities, recently shut down for two months. It was the only city of its size in Montana to take that step after the arrival of the novel coronavirus.

Now, Paratransit is now back up and running.

People rally at the Missoula courthouse on May 29, 2020 in response to the death of George Floyd, a black man killed by police in Minnesota.
Sofia Stuart-Rasi / Montana Public Radio

The death of a black man while in police custody in Minnesota sparked reaction with a gathering in Missoula Friday. Around 50 people stood in front of Missoula’s courthouse lawn this morning responding to the death of George Floyd.

Adam Baumann is the only scientist working inside the University of Montana's Flathead Lake Biological Station lab. He's wearing a mask due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Sofia Stuart-rasi / Montana Public Radio

May 4, the University system in Montana started to slightly relax restrictions on research and lab work. But labs across the state continue to grapple with how to keep their experiments on course.

This is another story in our series looking at the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic on science in Montana.