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.

Updated: Regents direct Commissioner to pursue HB102 legal challenge

By: - May 19, 2021

After hearing an “unprecedented” amount of public comment, the Montana Board of Regents voted Wednesday to ask the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education to go to court over House Bill 102. The Board of Regents approved the resolution on a unanimous voice vote. A lawsuit will ask the courts to decide if the […]

Glacier announces Artist-in-Residence artists for 2021

By: - May 18, 2021

Glacier National Park’s 2021 Artist-in-Residence program will host Brad Einstein, Kyle Niemer, and Imma Barrera, Glacier said Tuesday in a news release: Brad Einstein and Kyle Niemer (June 1 – June 29) Brad Einstein and Kyle Niemer are self-described “natural comedians.” Their work melds stunning visuals, unexpected humor, and the odd person in an animal costume […]

Lawsuit demanding partial refund of fees for MSU students moves toward class-action

By: - May 18, 2021

Anthony Cordero couldn’t go to the library last year at Montana State University in Bozeman, and he had to take his courses online. But Cordero, enrolled at MSU last spring, wasn’t offered a partial refund for the tuition and fees he paid when the flagship shut down in-person classes and activities after the pandemic hit. […]

Montana Board of Regents to consider lawsuit over HB102, guns on campus bill

By: - May 17, 2021

The Montana Board of Regents will meet Wednesday to take up a resolution to direct the Commissioner of Higher Education to file a lawsuit over House Bill 102, which allows guns on campus and seeks to limit the Board’s authority to oversee the Montana University System. The resolution under consideration would direct “the Commissioner of […]

Snow plow crew nears Logan Pass

By: - May 14, 2021

A snow plow crew inching up the Going-to-the-Sun Road on Thursday was just a couple of miles away from Logan Pass, according to Glacier National Park. Gina Kerzman, Glacier public affairs officer, said this week she anticipates the road will be fully open by July 1, but it could be earlier. It depends on plowing […]

Mayor candidate said he’s under investigation for ‘sexual assault,’ being ‘sexual predator’

By: - May 14, 2021

Jacob Elder, who filed to run for mayor of Missoula, said this month he is under investigation for “sexual assault” and a claim he is a “sexual predator,” and the inquiry could conclude as soon as this week. In a brief phone call last week, Elder said the claims were baseless. Elder is a student […]

Members of public push back against guns on campus in Montana

By: - May 12, 2021

Lindy Kolb, who has worked as a resident advisor at Montana State University, said she has faced belligerent students she is documenting for conduct violations. Kolb said she was deeply concerned about a draft board policy to implement a law that allows guns on campus, and she said it’s inevitable that a person will be […]

OPI: Data systems to go from ‘clunky’ to helping customers

By: - May 11, 2021

A “clunky” way of managing data is getting a $13.5 million shot in the arm at the Office of Public Instruction. Last week, an estimated 30 participants including roughly 10 superintendents listened to an overview from OPI’s Michael Sweeney on a data modernization project the state agency said is sorely needed for its own staff, […]

Guns on campus policy drafted, public comment session scheduled Wednesday

By: - May 10, 2021

Provide bulletproof vests and headgear for all students, faculty and staff — and have the Montana Legislature pick up the tab. Request an armed police presence in classrooms, especially large lecture halls. Unseal building windows so university employees who don’t want to shoot can jump out. That’s some of the reaction so far to House […]

Education tax credit balloons; max is high compared to other credits

By: - May 9, 2021

A significantly more girthy tax credit for education will be in the mix in Montana courtesy of the 2021 Legislature and likely Gov. Greg Gianforte. Some 16 other tax credits will be wiped off the books, according to a fiscal review. Sen. Greg Hertz, R-Polson, said Montana has had far too many tax credits, and […]

Four Colstrip utilities sue NorthWestern, Talen

By: - May 7, 2021

NorthWestern Energy believes a unanimous vote among owners is needed in order to close Colstrip, according to a lawsuit filed May 4. But four other utilities that are plaintiffs in the lawsuit argue the parties can close one of the electric generation units in Colstrip — or both of them — with 55 percent of […]

Minority report: GOP conspired with Governor’s Office to ‘hack’ judiciary records

By: - May 3, 2021

Misty Ann Giles, head of the Montana Department of Administration, was in “constant communication with the Governor’s Office” about a legislative subpoena before it was issued — the subpoena quickly quashed by the Montana Supreme Court — and the acting director of the DOA was eager to produce records “with no privacy review,” according to […]