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.

Commissioner of Labor and Industry resigns, faces DUI, other charges

By: - July 11, 2023

Laurie Esau resigned Monday as Commissioner of Labor and Industry after being jailed in Missoula for roughly 30 minutes the previous night for drunk driving, according to the Governor’s Office and reporting from Lee Enterprises. Esau was cited for driving while under the influence, obstructing a peace officer and failing to report an accident “by […]

Flathead Lake at historic low, but anomalies could be ‘new normal’

By: - July 6, 2023

The water on Flathead Lake has declined so much, it’s at the lowest recorded level in 23 years, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Business owners are calling for dam operators to help. Shaun Padina said he has lost at least a couple of boat rental bookings because people who wanted to motor up to […]

Yellowstone National Park identifies cause of death of woman found dead in vehicle in May

By: - July 5, 2023

A woman found dead in May near Old Faithful died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to a news release Wednesday from Yellowstone National Park. She was identified as Catheryn Danyelle Griffin, 38, of Seffner, Florida, according to the news release. It said the Teton County Coroner’s Officer determined the manner of death to be […]

Montana to receive $629M for broadband, updated plan to be presented July 12

By: - June 29, 2023

Montana will receive nearly $629 million to expand broadband access as part of the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and the latest action plan will be presented July 12 to the state Communications Advisory Commission. In a news release this week, Gov. Greg Gianforte said the money will expand access to “unserved and underserved […]

Miles City, other customers, push back against proposed rate hike by MDU

By: - June 26, 2023

Electricity customers in eastern Montana said this month they’re tired of seeing executives with Montana-Dakota Utilities line their pockets with money they pay for power, and they protested a 19.2% rate increase request on residential payers — and questioned a proposed 9% settlement. “I consider this the fight of our lives in eastern Montana,” said […]

Montana domestic violence fatality report shows substances prevalent, motor vehicles as weapons

By: - June 21, 2023

More Montana women murdered intimate partners this decade than in the previous one, and more perpetrators are using a car as a weapon. Those are a couple of the trends identified in the 2023 report on domestic violence fatalities from the Montana Department of Justice. In the 2019-2021 period, the report identified 30 violent interactions […]

‘The American Buffalo’ by Ken Burns welcomed in Montana, will premiere Oct. 16, 17

By: - June 19, 2023

“The American Buffalo,” the most recent series by renowned historian and documentarian Ken Burns, will premiere this fall on PBS with footage and experts from Montana — and it recently earned a warm welcome from a Montana audience. Earlier this month in Missoula, Burns and his collaborators, producer Julie Dunfey and writer Dayton Duncan, plus […]

No veto override for assisted living bill despite bipartisan support

By: - June 16, 2023

A bill to help more people access assisted living didn’t clear a hurdle to become law, although 91 lawmakers voted to override its veto. “We came so close, and that just means that we’re onto something really good,” said Sen. Becky Beard, R-Elliston, who sponsored the bill. Last month, Gov. Greg Gianforte vetoed Senate Bill […]

New allegation: Public defender, attorney rented out house that wasn’t hers to OPD client

By: - June 15, 2023

A lawyer in the Missoula Office of the Public Defender who is being sued for fraud over allegations she filed illegal construction liens against a house is facing additional allegations — including that she took “unauthorized possession” of the house and rented it out to at least one of her own OPD clients. Scotti Ramberg, […]

Montana coalition sues over House Bill 562, alleges at least six constitutional violations

By: - June 14, 2023

House Bill 562 is unconstitutionally “outsourcing public education” and diverting public school tax dollars to private schools — and it should be stopped. That’s according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday by a coalition of parents, teachers, property taxpayers and voters. In the court filing and request for temporary injunction, the plaintiffs are asking a Lewis […]

Flathead National Forest supervisor to leave post

By: - June 13, 2023

Flathead National Forest Supervisor Kurt Steele will leave his post to work at the regional U.S. Forest Service office in Missoula. The Forest Service’s Dan Hottle said the agency is still determining the timing of the transition and whether it will appoint an interim supervisor for the Flathead or leave the position unfilled while it […]

Even though UM students supported fee, university and higher ed system stop funding

By: - June 12, 2023

MontPIRG, a nonpartisan political organization that’s dedicated to civic engagement and registers students to vote, is out an estimated $50,000 at the University of Montana despite significant support from students to renew its fee. Leaders of the organization, the Montana Public Interest Research Group, allege political pressure from the Office of the Commissioner of Higher […]