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.

Rapid testing comes to Capitol

By: - January 28, 2021

Sen. Jason Ellsworth said Thursday as early as next week, lawmakers and staff will be able to take advantage of rapid COVID-19 tests at the Capitol. He anticipated the tests would be available twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays. However, he said people who are experiencing symptoms will still need to get a PCR […]

Guns bill heads back to committee

By: - January 27, 2021

A bill to expand permitless carry of guns in Montana will return from the Senate floor to the Judiciary Committee. The bill earlier passed the House, and Tuesday, it passed the Senate Judiciary Committee. However, a confusing executive session in committee left Democrats irritated at the product and process, and at least one Republican pledging to […]

GOP lawmakers advance guns bill to Senate floor

By: - January 26, 2021

With much criticism from Democrats about a muddled process, a bill to expand the places where people can carry guns without a permit is headed to the floor of the Montana Senate. Sen. Bryce Bennett, a Missoula Democrat, said so many different groups thought House Bill 102 shouldn’t apply to them and wanted exemptions, from […]

Guns on campus bill moving quickly

By: - January 24, 2021

Debbie Clevenger didn’t have strong feelings about guns on campus until a freshman with a sawed off shotgun murdered her son, James, in a dorm at Montana State University in 1990. “He was shot up so bad,” Clevenger said last week in a phone call. The gunman used double-aught buckshot, she said. “Those are tiny, and they […]

Montana lawmaker: Bill could cost MSU, UM $4.5M each

By: - January 20, 2021

A bill that would allow guns on campus could cost Montana State University and the University of Montana at least $4.5 million each – every year – said Sen. Diane Sands, a Missoula Democrat. “These are expensive costs when we have a university system that also struggles to be adequately supported in our state budget,” […]

Sen. Webber: ‘Inequities are glaring’

By: - January 18, 2021

Susan Webber taught Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech in her American government class at Blackfeet Community College. “I always go back to his speech,” said Webber, a state senator from Browning. “And that was one of the great speeches of all time. It not only spoke to the African American community, […]

House leader shuts down gunshot story

By: - January 13, 2021

Rep. Jim Keane got shut down Wednesday during a hearing on a gun bill in the Montana House when he tried to talk about getting shot in 1957 while getting a Christmas tree. “You ever suffered a gunshot wound, representative?” Keane asked Rep. Seth Berglee, sponsor of House Bill 102. Berglee, who served in the […]

Montana tribal campuses to put historic donations to housing, transportation, more

By: - January 13, 2021

Tribal college presidents say MacKenzie Scott's historic donation will allow them to plan for the future and address immediate needs, such as housing, transportation and internet connectivity. Salish Kootenai College, Chief Dull Knife College, and the Blackfeet Community College all received gifts.

Pandemic pinches enrollment throughout Montana University System

By: - January 12, 2021

When the pandemic hit the Treasure State in March, Montana campuses started preparing for the worst. Montana State University in Bozeman budgeted for a $12.3 million drop in tuition revenue from a high of $145.1 million the previous fiscal year, or an 8 percent slide, according to data from the Montana Office of the Commissioner […]

Glacier Park sees record October, spike in November

By: - January 11, 2021

Everybody wants to be first in line to make a reservation for the historic Granite Park Chalet or Sperry Chalet inside Glacier National Park. That was one observation Monday from Kevin Warrington, chalet coordinator, the day the backcountry lodges opened for reservations for the 2021 season. “So it’s not unusual for there to be thousands […]

Bill to broaden places firearms can be carried advances

By: - January 11, 2021

A bill that aims to broaden the places people can legally carry firearms — and strike down the Montana Board of Regents’ authority to regulate guns on college campuses — advanced Monday on party lines. The House Judiciary Committed voted 12-7 to move House Bill 102 forward. The bill is proposed by Rep. Seth Berglee, […]

Gianforte’s budget to boost new teacher pay

By: - January 9, 2021

Teachers in Montana run roughly in the middle of the pack when it comes to average salaries across the country, according to education officials here. But new teachers? In the Treasure State, rookies take home the smallest paychecks of those in all other states. Thursday, education officials who represent schools and educators said Gov. Greg […]