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.

Survey: Youth depression high, cigarette smoking low

By: - September 13, 2021

Roughly 30 percent to 50 percent of high school students in most Montana counties felt so hopeless, they didn’t do normal activities for at least a couple of weeks in the 12 months prior to a spring survey, according to results of the questionnaire. “We’ve not seen data this high before,” said Susan Court, with […]

Faculty, student leaders call for mask, vaccine requirements

By: - September 13, 2021

One University of Montana student senator talked about being on oxygen in the hospital for four days before the vaccine was available, and another student talked about losing multiple family members to COVID-19, recalled Noah Durnell, student body leader at UM. A call for heightened safety measures across Montana University System campuses is growing as […]

Cremation rates up, Montana rates beat national average

By: - September 9, 2021

More and more people in the United States are choosing to be cremated, and Montanans are making the choice way more frequently than the national average, according to Montana State University Extension. In 2020, 79 percent of people who died in Montana were cremated, compared to 56 percent of people who died in the country […]

Montana DOC works to bring Pell program to inmates

By: - September 2, 2021

Once people leave a Montana prison, Cynthia Wolken, deputy director for the Department of Corrections, doesn’t want to see them again. “Every person who comes to us should have the opportunities and the skills to never come back to us,” Wolken said. So it’s helpful if people who were inmates can get jobs, and good […]

Glacier ends pilot ticketed system this weekend

By: - September 1, 2021

In just a few days, you can get onto Glacier National Park’s famous Going-to-the-Sun Road without a ticket. This year, Glacier started a ticketed entry pilot program to cut down on traffic jams on the Going-to-the-Sun Road, and the pilot ends this Labor Day weekend. The park’s shuttle program ends for the season at the […]

Montana AG Knudsen signs onto lawsuit challenging federal stance on transgender athletes

By: - September 1, 2021

The Montana Attorney General signed onto a lawsuit alleging a misinterpretation of Title IX by the U.S. Department of Education and identifying the state’s “Save Women’s Sports Act” — which bans transgender women athletes from K-16 women’s athletics — as facing a threat of inappropriate enforcement by the federal agency. In the case filed Monday […]

University of Montana kicks off fall semester in person

By: - August 30, 2021

On the first day of the fall 2021 semester at the University of Montana, people greeted each other with hugs on the Oval, students soaked up the sun on the green grass, and the campus appeared to tiptoe toward normalcy. Coronavirus infections are swinging upward in Montana, and concerns about the pandemic and contagious delta […]

Housing prices continue climbing in urban, rural Montana

By: - August 30, 2021

The sale of a $500,000 home in Billings used to be a rarity. Not anymore. Bob Leach, a Billings realtor and broker in the business 43 years, recently did a price survey of the properties that have sold in his area in the last five years. He found 50 percent fewer properties for sale under […]

PSC proposes debt collection, plus interest

By: - August 24, 2021

If you don’t pay your fees, the Montana Public Service Commission may send you to collections. Earlier this year, legislative auditors told the regulatory agency to shore up its financial controls to avoid unchecked travel, underreported revenue and expenses, and uncollected debt. At a Legislative Audit Committee hearing in June, PSC Chair James Brown said […]

Montana food pantries still busy; clients seek food, company

By: - August 23, 2021

When clients show up at Pantry Partners Food Bank in Stevensville, it’s not just for produce or canned goods. “We have a lot of seniors,” said Janet Weber, a volunteer for the Pantry Partners. “It’s been really hard on them, not just from a food need but just emotionally. We’ve noticed they stand and talk […]

Montana economist: ‘The economy is running very warm, if not hot’

By: - August 23, 2021

The unemployment rate dropped 0.1 percent to 3.6 percent in one month, and economist Patrick Barkey said Montana is “dabbling with full employment.” “There’s lots of cash in the economy, everything from personal income gains, savings that people accumulated over the pandemic, strong demand for labor, (and) wages going up for entry-level jobs,” said Barkey, […]

Title IX complaint amended, 18 more women contacted plaintiffs, lawyers

By: - August 19, 2021

Another 18 women with similar allegations have contacted the four plaintiffs or lawyers involved in filing a Title IX gender discrimination and harassment lawsuit against the University of Montana and Montana University System, according to an amended complaint filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Missoula. The amended complaint requests a class certification for female […]