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.

Groups ask judge to halt Montana wolf trapping season over alleged threat to grizzlies

By: - September 25, 2023

Two conservation groups have asked a federal judge in Missoula to halt the upcoming wolf trapping season in parts of Montana over concerns that grizzly bears could be injured or killed by the traps in violation of the Endangered Species Act. The Missoula-based Flathead-Lolo-Bitterroot Task Force and western nonprofit WildEarth Guardians asked for a preliminary […]

The reconstructed bridge near Reed Point on July 24, 2023, which was the site of a Montana Rail Link train derailment and bridge collapse on June 27.

People advised to stop eating any fish from Yellowstone River near site of derailment

By: - September 25, 2023

Montana wildlife and environmental officials last week issued an advisory telling people not to consume any fish taken from the Yellowstone River for several miles up- and downstream of the site of the train derailment and chemical spill that happened in June near Reed Point. Additionally, officials said because trout species that live in the […]

Fort Belknap’s lending operations under scrutiny in federal courts outside Montana

By: - September 18, 2023

Questions from the Fort Belknap tribal council and new board about Island Mountain Development Group’s finances and whether any of its former practices could risk Fort Belknap’s sovereignty are also being asked by attorneys around the country who have alleged in court filings the tribe is exploiting lower-income people with its high-interest lending companies. Several […]

Ryan Busse, a former firearms executive from Kalispell, speaks at a July 10, 2023, rally urging the Gianforte administration to opt into a federal program to help feed hungry children.

Former firearms executive Ryan Busse announces Democratic Montana governor bid

By: - September 14, 2023

Ryan Busse, a former firearm company executive and author from Kalispell, announced Thursday his Democratic bid for Montana’s governor’s office. He launched his campaign with a 2 ½ minute video ad proclaiming himself as a ranch kid, hunter, fisherman, husband and father with Montana values while attacking Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte’s policies on property taxes, […]

Rent-a-tribe or sovereign immunity: Fort Belknap lawsuit exposes legal gray areas of payday lending

By: - September 13, 2023

Scroll to the bottom of the websites for Target Cash Now, Bright Lending and Cash Advance Now – the three lending companies Island Mountain Development Group currently runs – and one will find lengthy disclaimers noting the companies are wholly-owned by the Fort Belknap Indian Community and licensed under its Tribal Regulatory Authority. Each also […]

Fort Belknap company, council members sue ex-attorney over alleged financial conspiracy

By: - September 12, 2023

A longtime lawyer for a Fort Belknap Indian Community company that generates most of the reservation’s revenue faces accusations in a newly filed lawsuit that she was behind alleged financial mismanagement of the company that has caused deep divides, and potentially put hundreds of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars at risk in northern […]

Lawyers deny politics involved in ethics complaint against Montana attorney general

By: - September 8, 2023

The formal ethics complaint filed against Attorney General Austin Knudsen alleging he violated state rules of professional conduct is extraordinary in the number of allegations it contains, and because it has reached this stage in the process, attorneys with longtime involvement in such cases said this week – but they assured no political games were […]

Grizzly that killed woman near West Yellowstone euthanized after breaking into home

By: - September 7, 2023

The grizzly bear that killed a woman near West Yellowstone earlier this summer was killed over the weekend after it broke through the kitchen window of a house and took dog food from inside. The 10-year-old female grizzly was captured Saturday evening after it and its cub broke into the home near West Yellowstone that […]

The Montana Club building located at 24 West 6th Avenue in downtown Helena.

Helena’s Montana Club plans to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

By: - August 31, 2023

The president of the Original Montana Club Cooperative Association board said the co-op plans to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy imminently to try to avoid foreclosure and keep the historic club in downtown Helena running with a bar and restaurant into the future. Shareholders for the association voted unanimously last week to authorize the board […]

Gianforte, Jacobsen ask judge to dismiss challenge to veto of marijuana revenue bill

By: - August 30, 2023

Montana’s governor and secretary of state have asked a judge to dismiss a legal challenge to Gov. Greg Gianforte’s veto of Senate Bill 442, a broadly supported bill that would have put more of the state’s marijuana revenue toward county roads and conservation efforts across the state. Earlier this month, attorneys for Gianforte and Secretary […]

Most of the Held v. Montana plaintiffs and their attorneys pose outside the courtroom for photos halfway through the trial.

Impacts of Held vs. Montana decision already being seen in Montana

By: - August 16, 2023

The ramifications of a judge’s decision this week in the historic Held vs. Montana trial are already being seen in the Treasure State, and policymakers and lawyers say its impact can’t be overstated in Montana and beyond. Tuesday, just 24 hours after the Lewis and Clark District Court issued the order anticipated across the country […]

Arntzen, Downing exploring congressional runs if Rosendale tries for Senate

By: - August 14, 2023

Two of Montana’s top statewide elected Republicans said Monday they would explore running for the state’s 2nd Congressional District seat should current Rep. Matt Rosendale decide to run in the GOP primary for the U.S. Senate race, as has long been rumored. Elsie Arntzen, the superintendent of the Office of Public Instruction, filed a candidacy […]