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.

Billings woman may pay $5M after pleading guilty to drug trafficking in Rocky Boy

By: - August 15, 2022

A Billings woman faces up to 40 years in prison and a $5 million fine after pleading guilty to two charges related to drug trafficking on Monday in U.S. District Court in Great Falls, according to a U.S. Department of Justice news release. Chantel Marie Azure, 33, was suspected of trafficking methamphetamine and fentanyl on […]

Montana SupCo: Voting on Supreme Court justices by district won’t appear on Nov. ballot

By: - August 12, 2022

Montanans will continue to elect Montana Supreme Court justices at large with a decision issued Friday — and one immediately criticized by Republican leaders. The state’s highest court in a 5-2 opinion affirmed the Butte-Silver Bow District Court’s decision to enjoin the Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen from placing HB 325 on the ballot in […]

Montana’s new election system on track to go live in January

By: - August 11, 2022

Tests for Montana’s new elections system, ElectMT, went smoothly during the primary election in June, and it will be ready to go live in January, according to Elections and Voter Services Manager Stuart Fuller. Fuller offered that assessment at a meeting Thursday in Helena, and the Commissioner of Political Practices said it’s good news for […]

Northwestern Energy makes ‘substantial’ rate increase request to PSC

By: - August 10, 2022

The largest utility company in Montana submitted a request to the state’s Public Service Commission for a “substantial” rate increase for residential electric and natural gas. If approved by the PSC, the average residential NorthWestern Energy customer would see a rate increase of $22.76 a month, or more than 25%, on their electric bill and […]

MSU Billings gives all clear after warning of potential shooter

By: - August 9, 2022

Montana State University-Billings issued an “all clear” after officials posted to social media Tuesday to warn students and staff of a potential gunman coming to campus. MSUB posted on Facebook on Tuesday afternoon at 12:30 to update that there was no suspicious activity reported on the Billings campus. MSUB Communications Director Maureen Braake said Tuesday […]

Democrats outline party priorities leading up to election season

By: - August 7, 2022

Montana Democrats hammered out the details of their party platform, outlining six core tenets candidates will be running on this November, spanning from affordable housing to access to protecting the state’s constitution. This meeting comes two weeks after Republicans met to discuss their party platform, which brought with it more in-fighting as opposed to the […]

Partisan divide over redistricting maps sparks debate, accusations of gerrymandering

By: - August 3, 2022

Proposed maps to divide Montana into legislative districts sparked a heated back and forth between commissioners across the aisle, with Democrats accusing Republicans of proposing an extreme, partisan and gerrymandered legislative district map. Commissioners on the Montana Districting and Apportionment Commission for both parties presented their submissions for consideration on how to divide the legislative […]

Fire near Flathead Lake continues to rage, remains 0 percent contained

By: - August 1, 2022

The Elmo Fire near Flathead Lake is still 0 percent contained and grew in size to more than 12,000 acres during the weekend, according to the incident report updated Monday morning, with weather conditions ripe for the fire to keep burning. The Elmo Fire, first sparked Friday afternoon with a cause that is still being […]

Where will they go? Housing encampment in Great Falls being evicted Monday

By: - July 30, 2022

GREAT FALLS — Susan Raining Bird, 48, soon won’t be able to call the parking lot of the First United Methodist Church here home. The church handed the unhoused people living there eviction notices on Monday, giving them one week’s notice to clear the property. “Unfortunately, the City of Great Falls has served First United […]

University of Montana counseling students pass national exam at rate of 100 percent

By: - July 25, 2022

University of Montana graduate school student Rachel Keo felt “pure relief” when she found out she had passed the National Counselor Exam earlier this year. She wasn’t alone. All of the 21 students in her graduating class who took the exam this spring passed, something that didn’t surprise Keo. “We were all pretty determined,” Keo […]

‘We are here, we will continue to be here:’ Drag Queen Story Hour in Helena moving forward

By: - July 21, 2022

Montana Pride is gearing up for a weekend filled with LGBTQ+ events including a Drag Queen Story Hour at the Montana Book Co. in Helena despite an online threat that’s under investigation. The threat was made on the social media platform Gab by one individual who identified themselves as an Oath Keeper, a far-right anti-government […]

Gianforte’s Housing Task Force holds first meeting

By: - July 20, 2022

Thirty year-old Mallory Phillips got choked up as she told Gov. Greg Gianforte’s newly assembled Housing Task Force about remembering a time Whitefish was populated with people of all economic backgrounds. “I’m hoping that whatever comes from this task force, that you all do not forget the very human element of the housing crisis,” said […]