Keila Szpaller

Keila Szpaller

Keila Szpaller is deputy editor of the Daily Montanan and covers education. Before joining States Newsroom Montana, she served as city editor of the Missoulian, the largest news outlet in western Montana.

People opposing Senate Bill 99 and anti-abortion bills at the Montana Legislature rallied inside the Capitol on April 7, 2023.

Judge blocks bill to stop transgender youth from gender-affirming care

By: - September 27, 2023

Youth who are transgender are free to continue receiving gender-affirming medical care in Montana. Wednesday, a Missoula County District Court judge granted plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary injunction against Senate Bill 99, which made it illegal for young people who are transgender to receive gender-affirming care. Although Judge Jason Marks said his findings are “not […]

Montana State sets all-time record, University of Montana sees headcount jumps

By: - September 25, 2023

Montana’s largest public universities notched records this fall — Montana State University with an all-time enrollment high and University of Montana with the largest jump in headcount since 2009. In the shadow of inflation and other pressures on household budgets, both institutions also are touting gains they are making with students when it comes to […]

Updated: Yellowstone extends comment period for bison management plan after high volume of comments

By: - September 21, 2023

Given the volume of comments, Yellowstone National Park has extended the public comment period for its draft Bison Management Environmental Impact Statement until Oct. 10. “We’ve received nearly 2,000 comments so far,” a park spokesperson said Thursday in an email. “At the end of the 60-day public comment period, we’ll analyze and consider all of […]

Leaking wastewater near Holland Lake? DEQ requests U.S. Forest Service test

By: - September 19, 2023

The wastewater system serving Holland Lake Lodge and a nearby campground may be leaking more than it should and polluting water on U.S. Forest Service land — but required test results may not be available until November. Holland Lake Lodge operates a resort in the Flathead National Forest with a special use permit from the […]

Judge to rule next week on preliminary injunction in gender affirming care lawsuit

By: - September 18, 2023

Two high school boys walk into a doctor’s office seeking prescriptions for testosterone. Phoebe Cross is a transgender boy wanting to effectively treat gender dysphoria, and Billy is a teen who wants to play football and heard testosterone might make him taller. Senate Bill 99 treats those people differently, said Malita Picasso, a lawyer with […]

University of Montana working on vaccine for fentanyl, heroin overdose

By: - September 17, 2023

A vaccine to prevent overdosing on fentanyl and one for heroin are in the works at the University of Montana and partner institutions. Human trials are expected to start in early 2024 for both vaccines, according to UM. UM researcher Jay Evans, who leads a campus center working on the vaccines and co-founded university corporate […]

Beaverhead County, other counties, allege steep tax increases by state illegal

By: - September 16, 2023

The State of Montana will be taking too much money from property taxpayers — despite a legal obligation to collect less.  That’s the argument being made by Beaverhead County and other Montana counties following recent and substantial increases in property tax appraisals and anticipated tax bills. The counties are making the argument in light of […]

Pinocci arrested, released, on misdemeanor; disputes validity of court warrant

By: - September 12, 2023

Randy Pinocci, a Public Service Commissioner, said he is fighting a July 5 disorderly conduct ticket from a tenant dispute and said his recent arrest at a home improvement store was the result of a miscommunication with the court. But Pinocci, a Republican elected to the PSC in 2018, also said Cascade County Justice Court […]

Judge finds ‘school choice’ act likely unconstitutional, grants partial preliminary injunction

By: - September 6, 2023

A Lewis and Clark District Court judge partially granted Wednesday a request to stop a “school choice” act that authorized the creation of charter schools separate from the existing public school system until a final decision on the merits. However, Judge Christopher Abbott also said a “school choice commission” that’s working on those charter schools […]

UPDATED: Misconduct allegations against AG rare; hearing to be scheduled

By: - September 6, 2023

Attorney General Austin Knudsen is facing 41 counts of professional misconduct with a special counsel alleging he defied and repeatedly sought to undermine the Montana Supreme Court, contrary to his ethical obligations as a lawyer and to the detriment of justice. “Knudsen and lawyers under his supervision routinely and frequently undermined public confidence in the […]

Rosendale more popular than Sheehy, per recent report

By: - September 5, 2023

Montanans like U.S. Rep. Matt Rosendale for the U.S. Senate on the GOP ticket over newcomer and establishment pick Tim Sheehy in 2024, according to an update from the Montana State News Bureau citing an August poll. Rosendale hasn’t announced yet, but the conservative hardliner has been expected to do so. The States News Bureau […]

Two GOP candidates, one Dem, running for Superintendent of Public Instruction

By: - September 5, 2023

Two Republicans and one Democrat so far plan to campaign for Montana’s Superintendent of Public Instruction position in the 2024 election. Republican Superintendent Elsie Arntzen, who is contemplating a run for Congress, will complete her second term as the head of the Office of Public Instruction next year. Montana law prohibits candidates from seeking re-election […]