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Montana news, with updates on politics and elections, wildfires and air quality, heath care, wildlife, public lands and more, from Montana Public Radio.

Montana Public Radio


    • Dec 3, 2021 LATEST EPISODE
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    Latest episodes from Montana Public Radio News

    December wildfires leave destruction and trauma in their wake

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 3, 2021 3:55

    High winds, months of drought and record temperatures fueled wildfires in central Montana this week that burned thousands of acres. Dozens of homes, grain elevators and bridges have been lost. MTPR's Shaylee Ragar talked to some of those impacted by the fires.

    Gianforte appoints new Gallatin County judge

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 2, 2021 0:56

    The appointment follows a new law passed during the 2021 legislative session that eliminates the judicial nomination commission and allows the governor to appoint judges to vacancies.

    Montana wildfire update for December 01, 2021

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 2, 2021 1:38

    Fires pushed by high temperatures and strong, gusty winds burned several structures Wednesday and forced evacuations near Great Falls, Browning and Denton, which remains under threat.

    Montana wildfire update for December 01, 2021

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 1, 2021 1:38

    Fires pushed by high temperatures and strong, gusty winds burned several structures Wednesday and forced evacuations near Great Falls, Browning and Denton, which remains under threat.

    Montana tech industry has more jobs than people who can work them

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 1, 2021 0:57

    Montana's high tech industry is booming. But experts worry that growth will slow if businesses can't find the skilled employees they need.

    Advocacy group sues over rule expanding hunting and fishing on national wildlife refuges

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 1, 2021 1:06

    The lawsuit filed by the Center for Biological Diversity says the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service didn't properly assess the impact of a rule opening 2.3 million acres in the National Wildlife Refuge system to hunting and fishing.

    The Omicron variant hasn't been detected in Montana, state health department says

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 1, 2021 1:04

    The Montana state health department says all positive COVID-19 samples are being monitored and so far there's no sign the new Omicron coronavirus variant is circulating in the state.

    Late season fires hinder work on prescribed burns

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 1, 2021 1:14

    For the second time in as many months, a Montana national forest is warning of elevated fire danger. Human-caused fires this week in the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest are diverting firefighting resources usually reserved for fire prevention work this time of year.

    What the international climate summit could mean for Montana

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 30, 2021 7:51

    The meeting of world leaders at the COP26 international climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, thousands of miles away from Montana, may have big implications for Montana.

    Logan Health will require employees to be vaccinated

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 30, 2021 1:30

    A hospital network in northwest Montana is among the many health care systems in the state that will follow a federal rule requiring staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Hospitals that don't comply could lose federal funding.

    Colder, snowier weather is right around the corner, forecasters say

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 30, 2021 1:07

    Montana is on track to close out November with record-setting warmth, but seasonal conditions are right around the corner, forecasters say.

    Preliminary data show a 2.5% increase in public school enrollment in 2021

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 24, 2021 1:29

    Pandemic-related declines in public school enrollment are showing signs of reversing. Preliminary data released Tuesday by state education officials show public schools saw a 2.5 percent enrollment increase this fall over last.

    More details released on dispute between Attorney General and St. Peter's Health

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 24, 2021 1:25

    The Montana State News Bureau first reported in October that St. Peter's Health said three public officials harassed and threatened its providers when doctors declined a COVID-19 patient's request for a treatment not authorized for use against COVID-19.

    West Yellowstone ski festival canceled due to lack of snow

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 23, 2021 1:09

    An annual West Yellowstone ski festival has been canceled for the first time in the event's three decade history due to a lack of snow

    COVID-19 booster shots are now available to all adults

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 23, 2021 1:16

    Following the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's endorsement of COVID-19 booster shots for all fully vaccinated adults, state health officials say Montanans wanting a booster should have no trouble finding one.

    Rosendale votes no on Build Back Better 'boondoggle'

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 20, 2021 1:28

    A roughly $2 trillion social spending and climate plan passed out of the U.S House Friday, without the support of Montana's lone congressman. The measure narrowly passed out of the U.S. House Friday morning on a near party-line vote of 220 to 213.

    Conservation easement will preserve access, logging on 30,000 acres of forestland near Libby

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 19, 2021 1:05

    The Trust for Public Land says the working-forest conservation easement will allow for sustainable timber production, public access and recreation while ensuring protection of water quality and critical habitat.

    State cannabis regulators roll-back rules on CBD and worker requirements

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 19, 2021 1:27

    Montana's marijuana regulators are eliminating two widely criticized proposals tied to the state's January rollout of legal cannabis sales.

    Former coach sues University of Montana over gender discrimination

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 18, 2021 0:57

    Shannon Schweyen claims she was fired from the position based on her gender. Court documents in Missoula federal court allege that UM's athletic director Kent Haslam evaluated Schweyen more harshly than her male counterparts.

    OPI releases statewide student assessment info. The results aren't great

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 18, 2021 0:52

    Less than half of Montana high school juniors and students in third through eighth grade met subject proficiency standards last school year, according to new statewide assessment results.

    Montana's cannabis industry is scrambling to finalize details before recreational sales begin

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 16, 2021 4:31

    Recreational cannabis sales begin in less than two months in half of Montana's counties. Regulators and retailers alike are scrambling to finalize last minute details before that January 1st deadline.

    Winds could reach 110 mph in Montana this week

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 16, 2021 0:51

    The National Weather Service is warning Montanans of damaging winds across the state through Tuesday night with gusts of up to 110 miles an hour possible.

    Chronic wasting disease has been detected in a deer in southeast Montana

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 13, 2021 0:57

    State wildlife officials say chronic wasting disease was detected in a deer within the city limits of Baker in southeastern Montana. CWD is a fatal neurological disease that infects members of the deer family.

    After an amendment, Montana adopts final congressional map

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 13, 2021 1:03

    A final congressional map outlining the state's two U.S. House districts was submitted to the Montana secretary of state's office Friday. Montana's redistricting commission reversed course on an earlier amendment.

    Montana cannabis regulators must reevaluate rules, state lawmakers say

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 11, 2021 1:08

    Ahead of Montana's upcoming first legal recreational marijuana sales, lawmakers this week told state regulators to reconsider several potential rules.

    Montana districting commission adopts final congressional map

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 10, 2021 1:35

    After one amendment, state officials Tuesday adopted a final map that divides Montana into two congressional districts.The map creates east-west districts with Lewis and Clark County in the east. It splits Pondera County in north central Montana.

    9 things you need to know about COVID vaccines for kids

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 10, 2021 8:08


    Kids aged 5-11 can now get vaccinated against COVID-19. Dr. Lauren Wilson, a pediatrician at Community Medical Center in Missoula answers some common questions about the vaccine.


    Monoclonal antibody clinic opens in Missoula

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 9, 2021 0:51

    A second state-sponsored monoclonal antibody treatment clinic is opening in western Montana.

    Montana tourism industries awarded $2.9 million in federal grants

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 9, 2021 1:13

    The federal government Monday awarded the state a nearly $3 million grant for marketing, infrastructure, workforce development and other projects.

    Superintendent Arntzen wants to allow parents to 'opt out' of school board rules

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 6, 2021 4:15

    Arntzen told MTPR that her potential rule would seek exemptions for school policies to allow parents to make "responsible choices." She says the rule is needed because the "one-size-fits-all" model doesn't work for all kids in school.

    Biden rule requires vaccinations for staff at federally funded health care facilities

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 6, 2021 1:30

    Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services Director Adam Meier Friday called the Biden Administration's new COVID vaccine mandate for health care facilities “unfortunate,” arguing that it will exacerbate Montana's current health care worker shortage.

    Western Montana health departments begin rolling-out vaccines for children

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 5, 2021 0:45

    The health departments of Missoula, Flathead, Lewis and Clark counties and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal health department say they will start offering vaccines to children 5-11 years-old next week.

    11 states sue over Biden's vaccine and testing requirements

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 5, 2021 1:00

    The attorneys general of 11 states, including Montana, have filed a lawsuit challenging a vaccine mandate for employers issued by President Joe Biden's administration.

    Commission chooses single map for Montana's new congressional districts

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 5, 2021 2:02

    The commission will take public comment on the map, known as CP-12, ahead of its next meeting in less than a week. The map could be tweaked, but must be finalized and submitted by Nov. 14.

    Rep. Rosendale named as a defendant in NRA campaign finance lawsuit

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 4, 2021 1:08

    Montana's U.S. Rep. Matt Rosendale is named as a defendant in a lawsuit that accuses the National Rifle Association of using shell companies to illegally give up to $35 million to Republican candidates.

    Attorney General plans lawsuit over labor department vaccine & testing requirements

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 4, 2021 1:40

    People who work at a company with more than 100 employees will be required to either get vaccinated against COVID-19 or get tested weekly by Jan. 4. The U.S. Department of Labor announced the timeline for the mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy Thursday. Montana's Attorney General plans to sue over the rule.

    A fourth Democrat enters the race for Montana's new congressional seat

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 4, 2021 1:03

    Tom Winter, a former state representative from Missoula, announced his run for the U.S. House on Wednesday, saying populism and progressivism can win.

    Unofficial reports show incumbent mayors winning their races

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 3, 2021 1:01

    Unofficial county election results show incumbent mayors in Missoula, Helena, Kalispell and Great Falls held leads against their challengers.

    Pfizer vaccines for children headed to Montana; VA will offer booster shot clinics

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 3, 2021 2:01

    Thousands of doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for 5- to 11-year-olds are being distributed to state-enrolled providers across Montana. The Montana Veteran Affairs health care system is offering Johnson & Johnson and Moderna COVID-19 booster vaccinations starting Nov. 4.

    Without a state-led vaccine campaign, experts worry fewer 5- to 11-year-olds will get a COVID shot

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 3, 2021 5:27

    Kids 5 to 11 years-old are now eligible for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine after federal regulators gave the final green light Tuesday. But public health and medical experts worry not enough kids in Montana will get the shot in the absence of a state-led campaign aimed at parents who are on the fence.

    US drops bid to end protections for threatened Canada lynx

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 1, 2021 0:42

    U.S. wildlife officials have agreed to drop their attempt to strip Canada lynx of federal protections, under a court settlement approved Monday by a judge in Montana.

    COVID was the third leading cause of death in Montana last year

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 1, 2021 1:00

    Provisional data show that 1,258 Montanans died in 2020 due to COVID-19. So far in 2021, there have been more than 1,100 deaths due to the virus.

    After another deadlock, Montana's districting commission seeks more public comment

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 1, 2021 1:01

    Montana's redistricting commission has again kicked the can down the road on picking a final congressional map that splits the state into two federal districts.

    Montana joins lawsuit over federal vaccine mandates, nurses join suit against state vaccine bans

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 29, 2021 1:22

    Montana has joined a lawsuit with nine other states suing the U.S. government over President Biden's vaccine mandate for federal contract workers. Meanwhile, the Montana Nurses Association has filed to join a lawsuit against a state law that bans most employers from requiring vaccinations.

    Montana's districting commission will meet Saturday to pick the state's new congressional map

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 29, 2021 0:59

    The most contentious debate between commissioners and the public has come down to whether the two districts should be politically competitive and how to define compactness.

    Bears love pumpkins. Don't tempt them

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 29, 2021 0:27

    Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is advising residents to bring pumpkins in at night in areas of Missoula with frequent bear activity.

    Special counsel requests information in hospital complaint

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 29, 2021 0:47

    The Legislature's special counsel has given Montana's attorney general a Nov. 5 deadline to turn over information related to his office's investigation into a complaint over the way a COVID-19 patient was being treated at the hospital in Helena.

    New state voting laws are in effect. Make sure you're ready before election day

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 29, 2021 4:30

    The Montana Legislature this year made several changes to the way people can vote, from same-day registration to ID requirements. The biggest takeaway: Don't wait until election day to register or get answers to your questions.

    Montana Health officials confirm this year's first flu case

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 29, 2021 1:21

    Health officials were testing for influenza last flu season, but detected none.

    Most of Montana's ‘back-to-work bonuses' go unused, money reallocated

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 28, 2021 2:03

    Montana's program designed to encourage people to reenter the workforce during the pandemic is expected to spend about a third of the money set aside for it. State lawmakers Wednesday agreed on recommendations for how to spend the leftover $10 million.

    Deer season is off to a good start in northwestern Montana

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 27, 2021 0:56

    Big game hunters in northwest Montana were highly successful this past weekend, which kicked off the general rifle season for deer and elk.

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