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.”

Montana property tax initiative off to a slow start

By: - May 3, 2022

Proponents of Constitutional Initiative 121 are off to a slow start, with few signatures collected and little money raised. “The biggest factor for folks like us who do not have paid signature gatherers is the weather,” said Matthew Monforton, an officer with the Cap Montana Property Taxes committee, noting the cool month of April. “We […]

Poop on public lands a problem in Montana

By: - April 29, 2022

“Go before you go.” That’s the advice Glacier National Park’s Bradley Blickhan has for hikers heading up a trail. Translation? Go to the bathroom before you go on your adventure. “We have a staff of wilderness rangers, and part of their job is to take care of these structures,” Blickhan said. “But we’re finding it […]

Fairfield under water restrictions, communities prepping for fire season

By: - April 28, 2022

Fairfield may soon be filling the town pool — not for swimming but in case firefighters need to tackle a blaze in town. “We have to make sure we have water available for fire protection,” Mayor Loren Tacke said this week. “And one of the things we’re looking at doing is filling the swimming pool […]

Missoula judge dismisses discrimination complaint against local, national realtors

By: - April 27, 2022

In a rare ruling from the bench, a Missoula County District Court judge found Wednesday that a case a Clinton pastor filed against the National Association of Realtors and Missoula Organization of Realtors wasn’t “ripe” — a decision the plaintiff will appeal. After an hour of oral arguments, Judge Jason Marks said he would dismiss […]

Cybersecurity poses risk for Montana universities, also small businesses

By: - April 26, 2022

Montana’s flagship campuses pledged Tuesday to shore up their cybersecurity, but University of Montana President Seth Bodnar said similar threats to small businesses also can be devastating. Roughly 45 percent of cybersecurity attacks are against small businesses, and of those that face attacks, some 60 percent fold, Bodnar said. He and a Montana State University-Bozeman […]

Parents worried Montana to miss out on $36M, Missoula Food Bank sees busiest month in 40 years

By: - April 25, 2022

People worried about Montana losing out on $36.6 million in money for children this summer continue to advocate that the state submit a plan to secure the federal funds for food. “We’re definitely aware that it’s important to parents,” said Wren Greaney, advocacy coordinator with the Montana Food Bank Network. “We heard from previous rounds […]

Montana Legislature won’t hold special session with recent poll results

By: - April 20, 2022

A special session won’t be held as a result of the outcome of recent polling of the Montana Legislature. A tally by the Montana Secretary of State’s Office showed just 44 of 150 legislators voted to approve the special session by April 19, a total that did not meet the required threshold to call the […]

Missoula Organization of Realtors: Buyers paying cash, supply at “all time low”

By: - April 19, 2022

Last year, one in every five homes in Missoula sold for cash, and supply is at an all time low, according to the Missoula Organization of Realtors. Pressure continues to build in the housing market in communities across Montana, but few solutions — more homes — are coming on line in Missoula compared to the […]

Montana State University report sheds light on newcomers to Treasure State

By: - April 18, 2022

People moving into Montana seek the same things its residents appreciate — access to the outdoors, less congestion and a slower pace of life. In fact, 66 percent of newcomers to Montana rated a desirable natural environment as an important factor in their relocation, the most sought-after feature among a list of 22, according to […]

Montana Supreme Court hears arguments in case of federal officer who raped woman

By: - April 15, 2022

One exciting aspect of a Montana Supreme Court hearing is that justices are free to interrupt lawyers, said Annie Holland, a law student, in her introduction Friday to a case involving rape, scope of employment and the application of federal law in Montana. At the hearing of L.B. v. United States of America, the justices […]

University of Montana law school dean finalists discuss national ranking, Title IX and fly fishing

By: - April 13, 2022

Fly fishing, high national rankings, Title IX challenges and housing prices were among the topics three finalists for dean of the University of Montana Alexander Blewett III School of Law discussed in recent campus forums. The recorded forums, (available here) are part of the search committee’s review of candidates, who talked about challenges and opportunities at […]

Daily Montanan, Montana Federation of Public Employees, sue Board of Public Ed

By: - April 13, 2022

The Daily Montanan and Montana Federation of Public Employees are asking the Lewis and Clark County District Court to void a decision by the Board of Public Education, arguing it was made without proper public notice or the opportunity for public participation. In a lawsuit submitted Friday, the plaintiffs allege the Board of Public Education […]