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.”

Sidney law firm sues over vaccination prohibition

By: - October 6, 2021

Asserting Montanans’ constitutional right to “a clean and healthful environment,” the Netzer Law Office is suing Attorney General Austin Knudsen and Commissioner of Labor and Industry Laurie Esau over House Bill 702, which prohibits discrimination based on vaccination status. “Netzer Law has a duty to provide a clean and healthy environment to its employees, potential […]

UPDATED: Law students say, ‘Pack it out, Paul’

By: - October 5, 2021

Everett Johns stood on the steps of Main Hall on Tuesday at the University of Montana and called on President Seth Bodnar to ask for the resignations of Alexander Blewett III School of Law Dean Paul Kirgis and Associate Dean of Students Sally Weaver. “At best, they are incompetent leaders, and at worst, they have […]

Prominent lawyer, former faculty, had raised leadership questions at law school

By: - October 4, 2021

A prominent Montana lawyer and former longtime faculty member at the Alexander Blewett III School of Law at the University of Montana had raised concerns about its leadership in 2019 in a pointed six-page letter declining an offer to stay on board. Maylinn Smith, then co-director of the Margery Hunter Brown Indian Law Clinic, told […]

Intervenors: NorthWestern should reimburse costs for Laurel docket

By: - October 3, 2021

NorthWestern Energy backed out of its request for regulatory approval of a new $250 million gas-fired plant in Laurel only after other parties had spent considerable time and money evaluating the project, according to documents filed with the Montana Public Service Commission. Therefore, the utility monopoly should reimburse taxpayers and intervenors for those costs, argued […]

UM law school students demand change, plan walk-out

By: - October 1, 2021

Describing administrators as having failed students and faculty, a letter from concerned students of the Alexander Blewett III School of Law at the University of Montana is asking the law school leadership to stop threatening them and start providing support, such as accurate information about reporting sexual misconduct. “I’m not afraid to say that I […]

UM counts record number of graduate students, MSU hits high with incoming class

By: - September 29, 2021

Montana State University reported this fall its largest incoming class in its 128-year history, and the University of Montana is heralding an all-time high in graduate students — and its first year-to-year uptick in overall enrollment in a decade. In Bozeman, MSU counted 3,871 new first-time students, including undergraduates, graduate students and Gallatin College MSU […]

No signatures to be gathered for nuclear safety petition – yet

By: - September 28, 2021

A lead activist who wants to challenge the Montana’s Legislature’s decision to free nuclear power generation in the state from restrictions said the Secretary of State did not provide petitioners enough time to gather signatures. The group challenging the Republican-supported law is considering suing Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen, who is also a Republican, over […]

Student: UM Title IX supportive, but no-contact order denied by Commissioner’s Office

By: - September 28, 2021

Alicia Arant is director of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Title IX at the University of Montana. Some female law students from the Alexander Blewett III School of Law interviewed by the Daily Montanan about their experiences trying to report sexual assault, harassment and other complaints to administrators said Arant was responsive and tried […]

UM students: Title IX investigation ‘biggest waste of … time,’ ‘bulls—‘

By: - September 28, 2021

Female law students and alumna of the University of Montana Alexander Blewett III School of Law are calling into question a report from an outside firm that investigated a series of allegations related to the law school, including that two of its top leaders discouraged students from reporting sexual assaults. One student is appealing the […]

UM law students: Dean, associate dean discouraged reports of sexual misconduct

By: - September 27, 2021

Three women from the University of Montana Alexander Blewett III School of Law say the dean and associate dean of students deterred them from taking allegations of sexual harassment and assault to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Title IX, which handles sexual misconduct on campus. A fourth female law student told the Daily Montanan […]

PSC makes corrections, nuclear reactors are pricey, and NorthWestern files withdrawal

By: - September 23, 2021

NorthWestern Energy formally withdrew Thursday its application for regulators to approve the planned $250 million Laurel Generating Station and Beartooth Battery storage contract “effectively immediately.” The monopoly utility announced Wednesday it planned to bypass the approval process by the Montana Public Service Commission in order to accelerate construction of the gas-fired facility in Laurel and […]

Montana flagships both break records for research funding

By: - September 22, 2021

Both of Montana’s flagship campuses announced this month record breaking research activity for the 2021 fiscal year, $138 million in awards in Missoula and $193 million in Bozeman. “UM is quickly emerging as a regional research leader,” said Scott Whittenburg, University of Montana vice president for research and creative scholarship and dean of the Graduate […]