Author

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.

Lawmakers adopt revenue estimates, told to avoid ‘sugar high’

By: - November 17, 2022

Lawmakers were warned on Thursday: Don’t be tempted by the “sugar high.” That was how a temporary bump in revenue was described by economic experts who explained to lawmakers that the numbers seen on the report were more a factor of federal stimulus than change in the state’s steady economic fortunes. Legislators were advised Thursday […]

Montana Department of Corrections researching drones as possible solution to staffing shortage

By: - November 15, 2022

The state Department of Corrections is looking at drones as a potential solution at the Montana State Prison, which has experienced severe staffing shortages along with an overcapacity prison population. Tuesday, legislators and stakeholders heard a presentation on how Nevada is considering using drones as part of a $240 million program to make up for […]

Cascade County goes ‘bright red’ on election night

By: - November 13, 2022

The race for Clerk and Recorder in Cascade County is in possible recount territory — with Republican Sandra Merchant, a business woman from upstate New York, squeaking ahead of Democrat and 16-year veteran of the office Rina Moore by 20 votes. Republicans in Cascade County saw wins across the board this week, with every partisan […]

‘Absolutely insane’: Cascade County Election Official says cops called after skeptics escalate

By: - November 12, 2022

Law enforcement was called Friday after a group of election integrity skeptics in Cascade County escalated tactics, circling the county office and waiting for election officials and staff to come outside, according to County Clerk and Recorder Rina Moore. The last year already had been an “absolute nightmare” for her and her elections staff because […]

Montana Legislature will have a Republican supermajority and PSC will remain all GOP

By: and - November 9, 2022

One of the most fervent Montana supporters of election fraud and a longtime legislator was one of the few incumbents to lose on Election Day as power of the Treasure State Legislature remained firmly in Republican control — and GOP control increased, as widely anticipated. Rep. Brad Tschida, R-Missoula, had been a frequent and vocal […]

Attorney Brown concedes to incumbent Justice Gustafson in heated Montana Supreme Court race

By: - November 9, 2022

Attorney James Brown conceded the race for the second seat on the Montana Supreme Court to Incumbent Justice Ingrid Gustafson in a press release Wednesday morning. Gustafson, who first took the seat in 2017, raked in 54 percent of the vote with nearly 70 percent of precincts reporting. Public Service Commission President Brown brought in […]

Rosendale wins re-election to Congress in Eastern District race in Montana

By: - November 9, 2022

Incumbent Rep. Matt Rosendale was re-elected to serve in Congress in Montana’s new eastern district, with the Associated Press calling the election with nearly 70 percent of precincts reporting, according to the Montana Secretary of State’s Office. With 57 percent of the vote, Rosendale won over Democrat Penny Ronning, Independent Gary Buchanan and Libertarian Sam […]

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 […]