Author

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.

New housing model allows Missoulian to grow roots in neighborhood she loves

By: - August 8, 2023

Cassandra Rabe lives in a home she believes will be affordable in Missoula for 100 years. Or longer. “This is going to be a low-income safe haven really as long as the building stands,” Rabe said. She lives in a neighborhood she loves, one by the train tracks with an industrial feel, a Chinese restaurant […]

New affordable housing model preserves home for native Missoulian

By: - August 7, 2023

Reid Reimers grew up in Missoula, and his 92-year-old grandma still lives in the Garden City. His father was part of the first class of students at a school that became Sentinel High. Reimers, 41, has roots here. Now, after having moved umpteen times in the same town in just a few years and having […]

New housing model in Montana turns tenants into shareholders

By: - August 6, 2023

Collin Bangs got a phone call when the historic property on Wolf Avenue in Missoula went up for sale. His daughter, Melissa Bangs, lives next door. She’d seen other apartment complexes sell, new owners hike up rents, and longtime residents displaced. Collin Bangs, a developer in Missoula who has long worked in affordable housing, said […]

Complaints, backlash, with national Realtors’ involvement in Missoula campaign

By: - August 5, 2023

The National Association of Realtors’ activity in a mayor’s race in Montana, including spending “unprecedented” cash, is prompting complaints and blowback about the group’s influence in local democracy. The association’s political activity nationally has historically elicited wins for its chosen candidates, according to its own political reports. However, in Missoula, its support of Realtor and […]

Fort Belknap water settlement to bring $1.3 billion for critical infrastructure

By: - August 3, 2023

The Fort Belknap Indian Community said its recently approved water settlement will provide $1.3 billion for critical infrastructure, including an irrigation project on the Milk River and another project to pipe clean water to people who live on the south end of the reservation. “After more than 30 years of negotiations with the federal government […]

Public Service Commission president: ‘Exorbitant rates’ ahead if Montana fails to plan for energy

By: - August 2, 2023

Montana is still feeling the effects of energy deregulation — the “worst policy decision in the history of the state” — and it’s at risk of falling behind regional planning efforts when it comes to power. That’s part of an update Montana Public Service Commission President Jim Brown gave this week to the legislative Energy […]

Miles City police investigate destruction of rainbow flag at church as possible hate crime

By: - August 1, 2023

The Miles City Police Department is investigating the vandalism of a rainbow flag at the United Christian Church as a possible hate crime, Capt. Dan Baker said Tuesday. “We have two or three leads that we’re following,” Baker said. “We take it very seriously. We’ll investigate it to its fullest.” Monday, he said law enforcement […]

Montana PSC staff recommend MDU rate increase

By: - July 31, 2023

The Montana Public Service Commission should approve a rate for Montana-Dakota Utilities that translates to a 9.1% increase for residential customers, or $96.09 more a year, according to a PSC staff recommendation released last week. The recommendation, not yet scheduled as an action item for the PSC as of Monday, came on the heels of […]

Mayors of Montana towns continue protest of MDU rate request

By: - July 20, 2023

Mayor Rolane Christofferson of Terry was getting ready Thursday to write a letter to the Public Service Commission protesting a proposed rate increase by Montana-Dakota Utilities. As requested, the higher electric rate would increase bills for the average residential customer by 19.2%, according to the PSC. “I’ll certainly address the fact that we are an […]

Superintendent Arntzen pleads guilty to ‘bump with bumper’

By: - July 18, 2023

Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen pleaded guilty to a traffic violation this week for “following too closely” in an error she described in Helena Municipal Court as a “bump with the bumper.” Arntzen paid the court $100, a $65 fine plus surcharges, because she “did not give enough space to stop,” according to the […]

Daines: China’s continued spying on U.S. ‘outrageous’

By: - July 14, 2023

U.S. Sen. Steve Daines introduced a bill this week to identify any institution helping China spy on Americans or working with its military or intelligence as a restricted trade partner. The Montana Republican also slammed the Biden administration for its response to the “Chinese spy balloon fiasco” he said is among incidents that have “embarrassed” […]

Tester: Investigate China’s ‘brazen’ use of U.S. technology in spy balloon

By: - July 13, 2023

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester wants to know why the Chinese balloon that flew over Montana earlier this year was using American technology to spy on U.S. citizens — an act he described as “brazen.” In a letter this week, the Montana Democrat asked the Biden administration to investigate how China acquired the technology and to […]