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 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 […]

It rained!

By: and - August 18, 2021

You might have seen your own breath outside Wednesday morning and even – if you were lucky – gotten rained on in Montana this week. A recent storm dropped 1.75 inches of rain in Eureka, 1.5 inches on the Thorne Fire near Thompson Falls, and 9/10ths of an inch in Helena, according to the National […]

MSU, UM, call for indoor masks as fall semester kicks off

By: - August 18, 2021

Wear your face masks indoors on campus. That’s the message this week from Montana State University President Waded Cruzado and University of Montana President Seth Bodnar to students, faculty and staff. Both presidents cited the highly transmissible delta variant as one reason for their requests and also urged people to get COVID-19 vaccinations. “As we […]

CenturyLink to PSC: Reject complaint from Wibaux County Commissioners

By: - August 17, 2021

CenturyLink Communications said it isn’t at fault for the communication problems Wibaux customers have reported with cell phones and broadband, and it pointed a finger at other providers, according to a filing this week with the Montana Public Service Commission.  At a meeting in June, phone customers who live in the Wibaux area told the […]

Faculty leaders to Regents: We want mask mandate

By: - August 16, 2021

With COVID-19 rates rising again just as students return to college, faculty leaders with the Montana University System asked the Board of Regents on Monday to reinstate a mask mandate for indoor spaces – but the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education is not in support of a systemwide requirement. “Faculty from campuses in […]

Steep construction increases hit Montana University System

By: - August 16, 2021

The steep hike in construction costs has hit Montana State University in Bozeman to the tune of $18.2 million, a roughly 30 percent increase on a $60 million project to rebuild its Student Wellness Center. However, the student fee will remain the same, $58 a semester, due to a lower interest rate on the bond, […]

One current, three former University of Montana employees allege ‘good ol’ boys club’

By: - August 4, 2021

Describing a “good ol’ boys” mentality, four female plaintiffs — one current and three former employees of the University of Montana — allege the flagship created a “discriminatory and hostile educational environment,” and that UM President Seth Bodnar allowed a “retaliatory culture” against women, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in […]

Montanans welcome rain, but fire season continues

By: - August 2, 2021

If you danced in the rain in Montana this week, you weren’t alone. This weekend, the Boulder 2700 fire burned people out of their homes on the east side of Flathead Lake, and smoke has choked communities across Montana. Fire season isn’t over by a long shot, but this weekend, the rain fell, it tamped […]

Montana Code School relaunches, open to rural, remote learners

By: - August 2, 2021

Stephanie Back used to work for the U.S. Forest Service, but after being furloughed “quite a bit,” she hopped to a job with a health insurance company, and she learned that she liked data – a lot. This summer, Back, who has a couple of bachelor’s degrees from the University of Montana, is part of […]

DEQ issues air quality alert for 12 counties; smoke to worsen Tuesday

By: - July 26, 2021

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality issued Monday an air quality alert for 12 counties, and if you’re looking for clean air in the state, you’ll likely have to wait. “Unfortunately, there’s nothing in the forecast that’s indicating we’re going to get a big breath of fresh air,” said Kevin Stone of the DEQ. In […]