Author

Blair Miller

Blair Miller

Blair Miller is a reporter based in Helena who primarily covers government, climate and courts. He's been a journalist for more than 12 years, previously based in Denver, Albuquerque and mid-Missouri.

First major snow, freezing temps of season expected this week across much of Montana

By: - October 23, 2023

Most of Montana is likely to see its first major snowfall of the season this week and the first hard freezes of the season at lower elevations, according to Monday’s forecasts from National Weather Service offices across the state. Winter storm warnings and winter storm watches go into effect Tuesday from the Continental Divide eastward […]

FWP admits to constitutional violations, enters consent decree with wolf advocacy group

By: - October 20, 2023

The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks admitted to violating the state constitution by not handing over public documents to a wolf advocacy group and has agreed to a consent decree that aims to ensure it follows the constitution and public meetings laws moving forward. FWP and Wolves of the Rockies signed a consent […]

The Little Blackfoot River south of Elliston on July 8, 2023.

Officials say dry winter could mean deeper drought in northern Montana

By: - October 19, 2023

Most of Montana is headed into the winter months with better drought conditions than this time last year, but a forecasted El Niño through the core winter months will likely put the state on a path toward wetter spring months which could mean another year without much moisture in northwest Montana, climatological officials and meteorologists […]

Brad Johnson is a Republican candidate for Montana's U.S. Senate seat in 2024.

Brad Johnson announces Republican bid for Montana US Senate seat

By: - October 18, 2023

Brad Johnson, the former Public Service Commission chair and Montana secretary of state, announced Tuesday he is entering the Republican primary for Montana’s U.S. Senate seat held by Sen. Jon Tester. Johnson is the highest-profile candidate to enter the race on the Republican side since Bozeman businessman Tim Sheehy declared his candidacy, backed by the […]

Lawsuit alleges Montana DEQ approved wastewater project without public participation

By: - October 18, 2023

The owner and manager of a ranch near West Yellowstone and an environmental advocacy group sued the Montana Department of Environmental Quality on Friday, alleging the department approved a large wastewater project without any public process. The plaintiffs in the case – Upper Missouri Waterkeeper, the Diamond P Ranch, ranch owner Rex Portmann, and ranch […]

The Montana state Capitol in Helena on the opening day of the 2023 legislative session on Jan. 2, 2023.

Montana public records suit seeks communications over new law defining sex

By: - October 17, 2023

A nonprofit law firm filed suit Tuesday against Gov. Greg Gianforte and Department of Public Health and Human Services Director Charlie Brereton, asking a judge to force their offices to turn over public documents the firm requested but were denied over assertions of executive and attorney-client privilege. Upper Seven Law filed the lawsuit in Lewis […]

Montana’s governor, agency officials criticize Yellowstone’s draft bison plans

By: - October 16, 2023

In public comments submitted to Yellowstone National Park regarding its draft environmental impact statement for a bison management plan, the Gianforte administration sharply criticized the options presented and said it might reconsider the tolerance zones it previously agreed to that allow bison to roam in small areas outside the park. Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte, Fish, […]

Hardin man charged with threatening to kill FBI special agent

By: - October 13, 2023

A Hardin man pleaded not guilty this week to threatening to kill an FBI special agent and making threatening phone calls earlier this year, according to federal court records. Glenn Gale Ware, 45, made his initial appearance in federal court in Billings on Tuesday and was remanded to federal custody after he pleaded not guilty […]

The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks logo.

Montana FWP chief of operations on administrative leave

By: - October 13, 2023

Mike Volesky, the chief of operations for the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, was put on administrative leave this week after he was cited for hunting without permission in Lewis and Clark County, according to a department spokesperson. FWP Information Bureau Chief Peggy O’Neill confirmed Volesky was placed on administrative leave but said […]

Federal judge hears arguments on requests to block Montana’s TikTok ban

By: - October 12, 2023

A federal judge in Missoula peppered state attorneys representing Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen with questions Thursday morning about why the state believes banning TikTok in the state is necessary, at times hinting that he was hearing conflicting arguments as he considers whether to temporarily block the measure from becoming law. Knudsen’s attorneys and attorneys […]

Supreme Court asks counties to respond to group’s request to require 95 mills for education

By: - October 11, 2023

The Montana Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered all 56 counties in Montana to submit responses during the next month to a request from the Montana Quality Education Coalition that the court require each county to levy the full 95 state education equalization mills as some counties try to levy less from their residents because of […]

COPP dismissed Montana Democrats’ ethics complaint involving Juras’ Helena rental

By: - October 10, 2023

Montana’s commissioner of political practices dismissed an ethics complaint filed against Lt. Gov. Kristen Juras by the Montana Democratic Party over the home she is renting in Helena from the Montana Family Foundation. Commissioner of Political Practices Chris Gallus ruled in favor of Juras, saying that rental agreements and sworn affidavits show that she has […]