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.

PSC makes corrections, nuclear reactors are pricey, and NorthWestern files withdrawal

By: - September 23, 2021

NorthWestern Energy formally withdrew Thursday its application for regulators to approve the planned $250 million Laurel Generating Station and Beartooth Battery storage contract “effectively immediately.” The monopoly utility announced Wednesday it planned to bypass the approval process by the Montana Public Service Commission in order to accelerate construction of the gas-fired facility in Laurel and […]

Montana flagships both break records for research funding

By: - September 22, 2021

Both of Montana’s flagship campuses announced this month record breaking research activity for the 2021 fiscal year, $138 million in awards in Missoula and $193 million in Bozeman. “UM is quickly emerging as a regional research leader,” said Scott Whittenburg, University of Montana vice president for research and creative scholarship and dean of the Graduate […]

NorthWestern to skip PSC approval for $250M Laurel plant

By: - September 21, 2021

In a bid to fast-track construction of a $250 million gas-fired plant in Laurel and avoid higher labor costs, NorthWestern Energy said Tuesday it intends to withdraw its request for approval by the Montana Public Service Commission. Instead, the monopoly utility will move forward with plans to build the Laurel Generating Station without review by […]

Missoula couple sues Albertsons after knife slashing

By: - September 17, 2021

Missoula couple Dylan and Joselin Turner are taking Albertsons and Tremper Shopping Center to court after an unprovoked man wearing a grocery store vest slashed Dylan Turner’s arm in the parking lot and put him out of work, according to a complaint filed Friday in Missoula County District Court. The man, Shane Roy Davis, on […]

Montana 10 pushes up retention at University of Montana

By: - September 15, 2021

A pilot program to boost retention for students with lower incomes at the University of Montana has moved the dial so far – even surpassing all freshman retention – that the Montana Board of Regents wants its expansion to be a top priority. “Nothing warms the heart of a regent like a program that has […]

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 […]