Montana Public Radio

Lincoln County

A woman smiling as she removes her COVID mask.
iStock

Federal health officials say people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can go about life mask-free, though some places still require them. Some local health officials say the change could motivate unvaccinated people to get the shot.

A closeup satellite image shows a thick layer of wildfire smoke covering Idaho and Montana, September 4, 2017.
NOAA

Three Montana counties: Lewis & Clark, Ravalli and Lincoln, rank nationally among the 25 counties most polluted by short-term or year-round particle air pollution. That’s according to a new American Lung Association report that says wildfires are the main culprit

Ranch For Kids' main facility in Rexford, MT.
Aaron Bolton / Montana Public Radio

The Lincoln County Attorney has declined to press criminal charges against an alternative youth home state health officials say physically, verbally and psychologically abused children.

The Montana Division of Criminal Investigation investigated Ranch for Kids after state health officials removed 27 children from its facility near Eureka in 2019. State health officials say they substantiated several allegations of physical, verbal and psychological abuse.

Active COVID-19 Cases in Montana by County, July 17, 2020.
Montana Department of Public Health And Human Services

For the third day in a row, Montana has added more than 100 new lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19. That brings the state’s total number of active infections to more than 1,300. Rural counties in the northwest corner of the state are seeing large spikes in cases.

Map showing the proposed Lost Trail Conservation Area
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Federal officials are proposing 100,000 acres of conservation easements in Northwest Montana to maintain public access on recently sold private timber lands.

The town of Libby.
courtesy

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took another step this week toward transferring oversight of the Libby Asbestos Superfund Site to the state. EPA released the first of two plans outlining how the state will mitigate the spread of any remaining contamination in Libby and Troy.

White-tailed deer.
(PD)

A second deer in Libby is suspected of carrying Chronic Wasting Disease.

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks announced Friday that it was notified of a sample collected from a white-tailed buck and sent to a lab to be tested.

State unemployment rates, March 2019, seasonally adjusted
Bureau of Labor Statistics

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana's unemployment rate inched down to 3.7 percent in March, a tenth of a percent below the national rate.

State labor officials said in a statement Friday the data suggests tight labor markets are keeping job growth down. There was a small gain of 326 total jobs last month and no change in payroll employment.

State Agency Looks To More Logging, Improved Forest Health

Mar 8, 2019

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana's forestry agency is working with federal, local and private organizations to increase logging on national forests to improve forest health and decrease the risk of disease and catastrophic fires.

State lawmakers are supporting a $2.2 million request from the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation to hire people to help implement the Good Neighbor Authority program.

The Libby eagle sits above downtown Libby, Montana.
Nicky Ouellet

In about a year, the Environmental Protection Agency will leave Libby, where it’s worked for the last two decades to clean up asbestos contamination, a lethal byproduct leftover from W.R. Grace’s vermiculite mine. But locals in Lincoln County say the EPA packing up doesn’t necessarily mean cleanup work is done.

Pages