Montana Public Radio


House for sale.

Missoula’s residential real estate market remains red-hot with home sales up more than 20% from last year. A mid-year report released by local realtors Friday shows historic lows in available housing.

Since the pandemic began, there’s been a steady back and forth in the criminal justice system about the health and safety of inmates.

Advocates fear that detention could become a death sentence if inmates contract COVID-19. Law enforcement officials say they have to weigh mass releases against public safety.

When a federal judge released Josie Sanchez Miller from federal custody late last month, it wasn’t because she finished her prison sentence.


Nine million dollars in federal grants coming into Montana is aimed at bolstering mental health services for students and their families. The grant announcement Monday comes as schools are beginning to understand how the coronavirus pandemic is impacting students’ mental health.

Montana Capitol.
Shaylee Rager / UM Legislative News Service

Republican lawmakers met Thursday to discuss changing the 2021 Legislature’s rules for operating amid the coronavirus pandemic. Democrats boycotted the meeting, saying it was illegitimate, and threatened legal action.

Schools and universities with current and past COVID-19 Activity, 2020 - 2021 school year. N=58.
Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services

State health officials Wednesday published information about COVID-19 cases and outbreaks in individual public grade schools and universities. The report shows that 68 of the state’s roughly 147,000 public school students have tested positive for COVID-19, along with another 96 cases in Montana's colleges and universities.

Relief For Montana Meat Packers, Nonprofits Expanded

Sep 11, 2020

Montana’s governor Thursday said he will direct more coronavirus aid to nonprofits and meat packing businesses in the state.

Governor Steve Bullock’s office announced it would add more than $32 million in coronavirus relief funds to the Social Services Nonprofit Grant Program and Montana Meat Processing Infrastructure Grant Program.

While the state has redistributed some of its grant money from other programs because of lack of demand, Bullock said this week that applications from meat processors flowed in.

A coronavirus testing swab in a test tube.

Some public school districts and public health officials in Montana say medical privacy laws are preventing them from working together when a positive COVID-19 case is found in a school. On Thursday, Gov. Steve Bullock’s office released new guidance on the issue.

Telemedicine And Montana’s Digital Divide

Sep 10, 2020

When COVID-19 safety protocols shifted whole sectors of the healthcare industry from in person visits to a telehealth model, Arjun and Hannah Verma watched their parents, a pulmonologist and a cardiologist, fret about some of their elderly patients who were unprepared for the switch. The elder Vermas were concerned that their patients who didn’t own camera enabled devices or know how to use video conferencing platforms would be forced to forgo critical care.

School hallway.

School districts across Montana have been in session for a few weeks now and there have already been confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in schools. But county health departments and school districts are taking varied approaches in how they are disclosing those cases to students, parents, staff and the broader public. MTPR's Aaron Bolton talks with YPR's Nicky Ouellet about his reporting on this.

Two weeks after roughly 40,000 people attended the Northwest Montana State Fair and Rodeo in Kalispell, health officials are saying the event did not lead to a COVID-19 outbreak in the county.