Nicole Girten

Nicole Girten

Nicole Girten is a reporter for the Daily Montanan. She previously worked at the Great Falls Tribune as a government watchdog reporter. She holds a degree from Florida State University and a Master of Science from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

Montana’s statewide results trickle as digital privacy amendment seems certain

By: , and - November 8, 2022

The first real blast of winter hit Montana on Monday and into Election Day and while it didn’t appear to dampen voters’ spirits, results seemed to match the slower place as less than 15% of votes were tallied by 11 p.m. About the only race that seemed to be definitive was a little covered constitutional […]

Montana SOS: About 57% of absentee ballots are in, snow may impact in-person vote

By: - November 7, 2022

About 57 percent of absentee ballots had been received as of Sunday evening by the Secretary of State’s Office, according to a spokesperson. Monday, Communications Director Richie Melby said at the same time during the 2018 midterm elections, 71 percent of absentee ballots had been received. “It’s not necessarily an apples-to-apples comparison due to the […]

Small food producers want more clarity from Montana Local Food Choice Act

By: - November 5, 2022

Some small food producers in Montana are upset with what they see as a lack of clarity in the Montana Local Food Choice Act. Passed in the last legislative session as Senate Bill 199, the law exempts certain homemade food producers from requirements put on industrial food producers like licensing, permitting, labeling and inspection. Pamela […]

Women’s groups sue state of Montana over alleged discrimination in insurance law 

By: - November 3, 2022

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with comments from the Commissioner of Securities and Insurance. Women’s organizations were among plaintiffs suing the State of Montana over a law that permits setting insurance rates based on sex or marital status that passed during the 2021 legislative session.  Plaintiffs claim in a lawsuit filed Wednesday that […]

Montana nurse, mom, says LR-131 makes ‘a horrible situation so much more traumatic’

By: - November 2, 2022

Katie Samson remembers the last moment she had with her son, Cooper, as the nurse turned to take his frail body wrapped in a knitted white blanket out of the room. Cooper died just short of 17 weeks gestation. “I just remember her turning her back to walk away, and I said, ‘Oh, wait, just […]

Ronning, Buchanan discuss MMIW crisis during Western Native Voice debate

By: - October 28, 2022

Democrat Penny Ronning and Independent Gary Buchanan both agree law enforcement need more coordination in tackling the missing and murdered Indigenous women crisis and that Indigenous Peoples Day should replace Columbus Day. The Congressional candidates vying for votes in Montana’s second district discussed issues from access to healthcare to criminal justice Thursday in Billings during […]

LR-131 passage could cause ‘exodus’ of healthcare workers in Montana

By: - October 27, 2022

Montana could lose healthcare professionals to other states if a ballot measure passes to require them to provide medical care for infants born at any stage of development — or potentially face criminal charges — medical leaders said Thursday. Legislative Referendum-131, also called the “Born-Alive Infant Protection Act,” would impose criminal penalties, up to 20 […]

‘Safe and Secure:’ Elections Workgroup gives update following system examination

By: - October 26, 2022

Montana’s elections practices were found to be “safe and secure” following an examination from a workgroup made up of representatives from organizations and stakeholders across the state. “Both our election administrators and the many volunteers that execute this system are to be commended for their efforts in operating the system that is well put together,” […]

From workforce development to robots? ARPA money moves from training workers to automation

By: - October 22, 2022

Warren Smeltzer said he oversees the training of about 500 to 600 people a year. He received funding through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Workforce Training Grant funds, but last month lawmakers decided to reallocate that money to business automation. Smeltzer is the Training Director at the Helena branch of the Laborers’ International Union […]

Gov. Gianforte praises Housing Task Force’s recommendations, calls for starter homes

By: - October 19, 2022

Gov. Greg Gianforte called for more access to starter homes, like duplexes, townhomes and condos, as he commended the work of the Housing Task Force he assembled, which recently completed its final recommendations. “By doing so, a teacher or a police officer can better afford to live where they work,” Gianforte said at a Task […]

Health care providers tell Secretary of State to correct voter pamphlets over LR-131 inaccuracies

By: - October 17, 2022

Attorneys representing Montana health care providers said in a letter to the Secretary of State’s Office the 2022 Voter Information Pamphlet contained false information on a ballot measure that would penalize doctors for not performing treatments on “born-alive” infants. The attorneys and doctors are asking Montana Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen to correct the information […]

Lawyers, judges push Gustafson, GOP backs Brown, in justice race analysts deem more partisan

By: - October 16, 2022

Former Republican Gov. of Montana Marc Racicot had no memory of endorsing a judicial candidate before the Supreme Court race between Justice Ingrid Gustafson, who is running to retain her seat, and GOP-endorsed President of the Public Service Commission James Brown. “I ruminated about it for a long time and my conscience could not be […]