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.

Law firm appeals to Montana Supreme Court over vaccination discrimination law

By: - March 4, 2022

A private law firm with offices in Sidney and Billings is taking its request that a preliminary injunction be granted against House Bill 702 to the Montana Supreme Court after a Richland County District Court denied the motion. Plaintiffs the Netzer Law Office and Donald Netzer, 70 at the time the case was filed in […]

Judge hears case that forces medical providers to choose between state, federal law

By: - March 3, 2022

Nurses, doctors and healthcare centers found themselves at the center of a controversy in federal court on Thursday in a hearing about medical providers being ground between state and federal law. On one hand, the federal government requires any healthcare provider who accepts CMS payments, which includes Medicare and Medicaid, to comply with COVID-19 vaccination […]

University of Montana students protest professor who used ‘n’ word

By: - March 3, 2022

At a protest Thursday calling for the firing or resignation of a University of Montana professor who used racist slurs in private communications, students grilled President Seth Bodnar directly about the inaction from Main Hall after speeches and chants. “Hey, hey! Ho, ho! Clayton Looney’s got to go!” Bodnar told the crowd of roughly 100 […]

Montana AG to SCOTUS: ‘Unresolved question will only grow in importance’

By: - March 2, 2022

The Montana Attorney General’s Office reiterated its argument in a legal filing Wednesday that the U.S. Supreme Court should take up the legal question of whether Montana Supreme Court justices violated the state Legislature’s due process rights when they declined to recuse themselves from a case concerning lawmakers’ ability to subpoena judicial documents. In a […]

University of Montana professor called on to resign by students

By: - March 2, 2022

Pressure is mounting on a University of Montana professor to resign his position in the College of Business after he made racist remarks and used the “n” word in private communications. A protest calling on Poe Family Distinguished Faculty Fellow Clayton Looney to resign is planned for Thursday following a vote — twice this month […]

Montana health department changes chief counsel qualifications, recruits D.C. lawyer

By: - February 28, 2022

When the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services dropped the requirement that its chief legal counsel be a member of the state bar, it opened the door for the Gianforte administration to hire a conservative heavyweight from Washington, D.C., to lead the legal division of the state’s largest agency. Paula Stannard has a […]

Proposed changes to educator licensing in Montana draw fire

By: - February 24, 2022

Education leaders in Montana pushed back Thursday against some of the changes the Office of Public Instruction has proposed to teacher licensing requirements and asked the Board of Public Education not to sacrifice quality for quantity. “We do not want today’s decisions to create future conditions where Montana’s students are taught by poorly prepared teachers […]

Missoula negotiates $4.13M settlement with Carlyle

By: - February 23, 2022

The City of Missoula and The Carlyle Group have negotiated a $4.13 million settlement on the final bill owed to the private equity firm following eight years of litigation stemming from the city’s eminent domain takeover of the water utility, according to the City of Missoula. “It settles all of the litigation that’s pending,” Mayor […]

Parents suing University of Montana after ‘excessive’ asbestos found in childcare facilities

By: - February 22, 2022

A group of parents and a grandparent whose toddlers attended childcare facilities at the University of Montana have alleged UM was negligent when it delayed alerting them to a possible asbestos exposure in late 2018 in a building where their children played and deprived them of making informed decisions about how to keep their children […]

Big Sky Doc Film Fest kicks off 2022

By: - February 18, 2022

The Big Sky Documentary Film Festival kicks off in Missoula this weekend with roughly 150 documentaries on the schedule, 200 filmmakers expected, and a shorts lineup considered its strongest in 19 years. “We thought that filmmakers might lag this year, especially with the virus coming at us so hard, but gosh, we’re one of the […]

OPI discusses special ed., teacher licensing process with larger school districts

By: - February 17, 2022

A meeting AA superintendents held this month with Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen served to alleviate at least some concerns the district leaders had raised in a December letter that said they expressed “no confidence” in Arntzen’s leadership. Rob Watson, superintendent for Missoula County Public Schools, said Thursday the AA superintendents had a couple […]

FWP: Poachers to pay $50K after investigation into 48 illegally taken game animals

By: - February 16, 2022

Four poachers have been ordered to pay $50,000 in restitution and temporarily lost hunting privileges following an investigation that showed evidence of 48 illegally taken game animals, according to a news release Wednesday from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. FWP said the four men also are sentenced to six months of suspended jail time. “The […]