Montana Public Radio

John Engen

Cindy Smith of Holiday Inn Missoula; Bob-Be Sparks of Holiday Inn Missoula; Helena Mayor Wilmot Collins; Missoula Mayor John Engen; Erica Bouris and Jen Barile, both of IRC, discuss immigration on July 11, 2018 in Missoula.
Maxine Speier

Immigrant populations in Missoula are contributing hundreds of millions of dollars to the local economy each year. At a panel held in Missoula today the mayors of both Missoula and Helena talked about the economic benefits of welcoming refugees and immigrants.

House for sale.
(PD)

More homes were sold in Missoula last year than any other year on record. That’s according to a new report released today by the Missoula Organization of Realtors.

The latest housing report illustrates just how hot Missoula’s housing market is. In short, it’s white hot. Buyers snapped up over 1,500 homes; 151 more than in 2016.

Mountain Water Company, Missoula, MT.
Cheri Trusler

The city of Missoula has taken ownership of the water utility that serves its residents after a three-year court battle. 

The city bought Mountain Water Company for $84 million and paid another $6.8 million to developers who had a claim against the company. A separate bundle of transition costs, the bulk of which are attorneys’ fees, amounts to $7.5 million.

Mountain Water Company, Missoula, MT.
Cheri Trusler

A judge has ordered the former owner of Mountain Water Company to recalculate the attorney's fees it is seeking after losing a condemnation case and being forced to sell the water company to the City of Missoula.

Missoula Mayor John Engen:

"It reduces the overall cost of the city acquiring the system. We’re talking millions of dollars, yeah."

Missoula Mayor John Engen, Interim UM President Sheila Stearns, Missoula County Commissioner Jean Curtiss, and Missoulian Editor Kathy Best at a City Club meeting in Missoula March 13, 2017
Edward O'Brien

Missoula Mayor John Engen says District Judge Karen Townsend has again ruled in favor of the city in its effort to acquire the local municipal water company.

Engen says Townsend ruled the entities that fought the city’s use of eminent domain to acquire Mountain Water Company were overcharging for legal services and fees:

Young people who’ve experienced homelessness in Montana feel like they often fall through the cracks of programs designed to help kids fleeing abusive homes or needing a place to stay. Stock photo.
(PD)

Western Montana’s major suicide prevention collaborative re-launched under a new name today.

Project Tomorrow Montana is the successor of the Western Montana Suicide Prevention Initiative which was founded in 2014. It operates under the auspices of United Way. The group of nonprofits, businesses, educational and public-sector leaders wanted to reduce Montana’s high suicide rate.

Two years later, it’s still high — double the national average — and shows little sign of subsiding.

Mountain Water Company.
Cherie Trusler

Missoula Mayor John Engen received an important email a little after 5 o’clock  Tuesday afternoon. It was from Harry Schneider.

"When we win, Harry always says the same thing in all caps: ‘BINGO’. So I open the thing up and it was a ‘BINGO’."

The Wah Yan College Kowloon Boys’ Choir sings during Out to Lunch in Missoula, July 13, 2016.
Mike Albans

"One of the choir members we [hosted] had said that they would never, ever allow anyone to say anything against the United States of America after coming to this."

That’s Karen Somerset, talking about the International Choral Festival, a four-day celebration of singing and culture that happens in Missoula every three years. This is Festival week and Karen and her husband, Ray, are hosting people from Poland.

The Montana Supreme Court hears arguments April, 22 2016 over the eminent domain case involving Mountain Water Company in Missoula.
Bree Zender

Montana’s Supreme Court today heard arguments in a case that will determine the future of Missoula’s water utility. The City of Missoula first tried to take ownership of Mountain Water Company by condemnation in the 1980s. Its current attempt that the court is now considering started in 2013.

Two of the estimated 800-plus who turned out for a March 1, 2016 rally in Missoula in support of refugee resettlement.
Josh Burnham

The national debate over Syrian refugee resettlement in the U.S. has struck a nerve in Montana. It’s been playing out over the past month as rallies both for and against the potential resettlement of refugees in the state have been trading off locations and attempting to out voice one another.

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