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.”

DEQ issues air quality alert for 12 counties; smoke to worsen Tuesday

By: - July 26, 2021

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality issued Monday an air quality alert for 12 counties, and if you’re looking for clean air in the state, you’ll likely have to wait. “Unfortunately, there’s nothing in the forecast that’s indicating we’re going to get a big breath of fresh air,” said Kevin Stone of the DEQ. In […]

Missoula opens ‘transformational’ $38M library

By: - July 24, 2021

Roughly a decade ago, the Missoula Public Library Foundation’s Karl Olson made a passing remark to Honore Bray, the library director. At the time, it looked like the library’s plan to expand would not be possible in its existing building. “It just might be worth asking a few other organizations if they want to share […]

Attorney General intervenes in NorthWestern Energy application

By: - July 22, 2021

An uncommon party is intervening in NorthWestern Energy’s application to add power with the Laurel Generating Station and a couple of other contracts. In addition to the usual suspects, such as other companies working in the energy industry, conservation groups, and the Montana Consumer Counsel, the intervenors include the State of Montana through Attorney General […]

Teacher shortage ‘crisis’ escalates

By: - July 15, 2021

Montana is facing a worsening teacher shortage “crisis” even as education officials worry that a key support to students — mental health care through the Comprehensive School and Community Treatment program — remains in limbo. Beth Brenneman, with Disability Rights Montana, said parents of roughly 4,500 children who receive mental and behavioral health services in […]

UPDATED: Two dead, hostage safe in incident that ended outside Glacier National Park

By: - July 15, 2021

The suspect in a Great Falls homicide and kidnapping is dead and an investigation is underway after the suspect fled Cascade County following police’s response early Thursday to a domestic disturbance, according to law enforcement officers. A news release Thursday from the Great Falls Police Department noted the hostage was safe with law enforcement and […]

Student athletes can profit from their brands, but details still scant

By: - July 13, 2021

The door opened this month for student athletes at both of Montana’s flagship campuses to profit from their name, image and likeness, and with it a flood of questions. How much earning potential might students have? “The early ones have been anywhere from a $5 social media post to $6,000 per student athlete at the […]

Montana State volcanologist awarded $638K NSF grant

By: - July 10, 2021

Madison Myers, a Montana State University researcher who studies the Yellowstone volcanic system, has earned a 2021 CAREER grant of $638,000 from the National Science Foundation. “Yellowstone is unique because it doesn’t erupt very frequently, if at all,” said Myers, a volcanologist and assistant professor at MSU in Bozeman. MSU is part of the Yellowstone […]

Missoula College’s ASN nursing degree ranked No. 1 in Montana

By: - July 9, 2021

Missoula College’s associate of science degree in nursing has been ranked No. 1 in Montana, according to a news release from the University of Montana. “The faculty here is really awesome,” said program director Linda Barnes on Friday. “The people that are teaching these students, they all are really passionate about nursing. Many of them […]

The bison are back: Bison could appear in Glacier soon

By: - July 8, 2021

A herd of at least 75 or 85 bison may be released even within a year or so to land in the Chief Mountain area of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, with freedom to wander onto their native land, now Glacier National Park, according to the Buffalo Program of the Blackfeet Nation. “There’s no fences, no […]

Students in limbo with mental health support in schools

By: - July 5, 2021

Some parents of Montana students received a letter in the mail this month saying the mental health services their children receive in public schools were being suspended. Funding and services for students are on the line, and school officials are worried. To keep counseling going, they worry they’ll be left with holes in their budgets […]

NorthWestern power bills will tick up

By: - July 3, 2021

The next power bill residential customers will get from NorthWestern Energy will be up $2.28 on average with an interim adjustment the Montana Public Service Commission approved this week. The 2.54 percent bump took effect July 1 and represents an increase in energy market prices, the “base” power that NorthWestern pays, said spokesperson Jo Dee […]

NorthWestern ratepayers won’t get $9.1M rebate

By: - June 29, 2021

NorthWestern Energy’s residential customers aren’t going to get a $9.1 million rebate — despite an attempt by Montana Public Service Commissioner Tony O’Donnell to find a way to reimburse them “excess” payments in 2020. But the idea that the utility should return that money to ratepayers, $2.72 a month of an average $90.91 bill, was […]