Author

Keila Szpaller

Keila Szpaller

Keila Szpaller is deputy editor of the Daily Montanan and covers education. In Montana since 1998, she loves hiking in Glacier National Park, wandering the grounds of the Archie Bray and sitting on her front porch with friends. Before joining States Newsroom Montana, she served as city editor of the Missoulian, the largest news outlet in western Montana. She worked there from 2006 to 2020. As a Missoulian reporter, she was named a co-fellow by the Education Writers Association to report on a series about economic mobility; grantee of the Society of Environmental Journalists for a project on conservation from the U.S. to Africa; and Kiplinger Fellow in Digital Media and Public Affairs Journalism. She previously worked at the Great Falls Tribune and Missoula Independent, and she earned her master’s in journalism from the University of Montana. She lives in Missoula with her husband, Brock, who is also her favorite chef, and her pup, Henry, who is her favorite adventure companion. She believes she deserves to wear the T-shirt with this saying: “World’s most mediocre runner.”

Neumann, ‘prolific’ fundraiser, public lands advocate, seeks Dem nomination

By: - May 26, 2022

Cora Neumann argues access to public lands — an issue central to her campaign — directly affects families’ health, their well-being and their pocketbooks. “My family relied on wild game. We didn’t have a lot of money,” Neumann said. Neumann, a nonprofit executive and health care expert who lives in Bozeman, notes she helped organize […]

Native American graduation rates up at Northern, campus earned $3.4M federal award

By: - May 25, 2022

Montana State University-Northern is pushing up Native American student retention and graduation rates, according to a report last week to the Board of Regents. “Our work exemplifies the value of departments and divisions working together for a common shared goal, and that being American Indian student achievement,” said Margarett Campbell, director of American Indian Education, […]

Tranel touts record of delivering for Montanans while running for Congress as a ‘fighter’

By: - May 23, 2022

When Monica Tranel was fighting NorthWestern Energy as a staff attorney for the Montana Consumer Counsel, she said the monopoly utility “essentially did a data dump on me.” “I was the only person against NorthWestern’s bevy of lawyers and support staff,” Tranel said. “And I read the documents. It took me forever, but I went […]

Board of Regents approves ‘Gianforte Hall’ at Montana State University

By: - May 20, 2022

Gianforte Hall will be the name of a new computing building at Montana State University in Bozeman with approval this week by the Board of Regents and a $50 million gift from the Gianforte Family Foundation to MSU. “We want to one more time thank the Gianforte Family Foundation for the generosity of this gift […]

Arson suspect held on $1M bond for 2021 Flathead Lake area fires

By: - May 17, 2022

Craig Allen McCrea of Ronan has been charged with felony arson and is being held on $1 million bond for starting fires with a torch that led to three blazes last summer, including one that destroyed more than a dozen homes near Flathead Lake, according to the Lake County Attorney’s Office and Sheriff’s Office. An […]

Montana health department applies for federal money for children’s meals

By: - May 13, 2022

In a change of course, the Department of Public Health and Human Services announced Friday it submitted a plan to receive federal dollars for food for children for the school year, making Montana eligible for summer funding as well, the latter amount earlier estimated at $36.6 million. “This program has been a valuable resource for […]

Four Montana organizations to receive nearly $10M from EPA for cleanup

By: - May 12, 2022

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday that four Montana organizations will receive nearly $10 million in revolving loan funds to clean up brownfields, or sites where reuse is complicated by pollution. “With this funding, four impactful organizations will advance the progress they’ve already made cleaning up and redeveloping polluted sites across the State of […]

Montana child care providers, families, demonstrate for equity, better pay

By: - May 9, 2022

BriAnne Moline is a child care provider, and even though her Wild Wonders Early Learning Program is rated a four STAR operation, she competes with fast food restaurants for staff. She counts three employees and has expanded her business despite red tape, but Moline said she still turns away more than four families a week […]

‘Parent rights’ candidates lose school board races, union ‘aggressive’ in wins

By: - May 9, 2022

Jim Riley’s phone rang around 6 a.m. the day after most of the school board candidates he’d supported lost their bids to be public school trustees. Riley, co-founder of an organization “seeking to ensure a constitutional future,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen was on the phone. She apologized for the early call, he […]

Drugs, missing people, fugitives and chew toys: K-9 units make huge impact in Montana

By: - May 8, 2022

KALISPELL — Audie chews on a rubber toy for fun, and he arrests bad guys for work. As Flathead County Sheriff’s Office K-9 handler and Deputy Sheriff Patrick McGauley puts it, the 4.5-year-old Belgian Malinois is a “force multiplier.” Playing with a KONG, a popular pinecone-shaped dog toy, is the pup’s reward for sniffing out […]

Schweyen lawsuit against University of Montana to proceed

By: - May 5, 2022

A discrimination lawsuit filed by former University of Montana head basketball Coach Shannon Schweyen will proceed in court, and the case does not require arbitration, as UM argued, according to a Thursday order from a U.S. District Court judge in Missoula. In a complaint filed in November, Schweyen alleged the Missoula flagship discriminated against her […]

Voters reject levy for Bitterroot Valley Community College

By: - May 4, 2022

Voters rejected a levy Tuesday that would have paid to operate the Bitterroot Valley Community College, with 7,425 opposing it and 5,237 supporting it, according to results from the Ravalli County Elections Office. That’s 58.6 percent against it, and 41.4 percent for it. Turnout was 41.89 percent, higher than usual, according to Carianna Newton with […]