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.

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 […]

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 […]