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 Public Service Commission votes to increase NorthWestern Energy rates

By: - October 25, 2023

Montanans are about to pay more to heat their homes going into winter.  Montana’s Public Service Commission voted unanimously Wednesday on a settlement with NorthWestern Energy which will result in a roughly 8% increase in residential energy rates compared to what they’re currently paying. This agreement will mean a 28% increase in residential energy rates […]

St. Peter’s Health clinic nurses vote to join Montana Nurses Association

By: - October 18, 2023

Clinic nurses at St. Peter’s Health voted 45-14 on Tuesday to join the existing Local #13 Montana Nurses Association union. The vote followed controversy at the hospital after internal emails showed leadership provided details of nurses’ personal lives, from children to personality types, to a labor consultant described by MNA as a “union buster” whose […]

Former state auditor and previous federal magistrate running in Chief Justice race

By: - October 17, 2023

Both former state auditor John Morrison and former federal magistrate Jeremiah Lynch filed to run for Montana Supreme Court Chief Justice seat, according to the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices website.

State licenses PragerU for classrooms, watchdog weary of ‘extremist’ content

By: - October 15, 2023

Montana Office of Public Instruction licensed PragerU, known for videos misrepresenting history and pushing false right-wing narratives, to provide educational content to schools in the state, should school boards adopt them. OPI said the superintendent approves book dealers, not content, but one extremism watchdog in the state said the videos push rhetoric from fringe groups […]

Federal court blocks Montana drag ban

By: - October 13, 2023

Drag artists in Montana can perform without worry for now.  A federal judge ordered Montana’s drag ban bill be temporarily enjoined on Friday, according to court filings. Judge Brian Morris said in his conclusion House Bill 359, which banned drag performances on public property in view of minors, targeted protected speech and expression. “No evidence […]

PSC Commissioner Randy Pinocci arrested, charged with felony witness tampering

By: - October 13, 2023

Public Service Commissioner Randy Pinocci was arrested on two felony charges of witness tampering in Cascade County on Friday. His lawyer said he denies the charges. Pinocci was previously arrested in September after failing to appear in court for a disputed disorderly conduct charge. Pinocci allegedly got in a physical altercation with the brother of […]

ARPA broadband access near Bridger may not happen after area double-contracted

By: - October 11, 2023

Montanans outside Bridger will have to wait and see if they’ll get broadband. In May, the state contracted two tele-communications companies to service the Bridger area outside Billings with funds from the American Rescue Plan Act, but two contracts aren’t allowed under the federal guidelines. In an effort to course correct, the state had to […]

‘We’re not going anywhere:’ Planned Parenthood continues services after shots fired in Helena

By: - October 9, 2023

A pink sign reads “These doors stay open” outside a Planned Parenthood Clinic in Helena Monday, which saw  a wave of community and patient support, after a man fired two rounds from a shotgun at the facility last week. “Planned Parenthood is here for the long haul, we’re not going anywhere,” said Planned Parenthood of Montana […]

Great Falls City Commission votes to appoint anti-library levy applicant to library board

By: - October 6, 2023

The Great Falls City Commission voted 3-2 to appoint an anti-library levy applicant to the Great Falls Public Library board, following spurious community discussion and debate on Tuesday. The board recommended two candidates for the openings after going back and conducting interviews for all 11 applicants upon the commission’s request. But the commission decided to […]

St. Peter’s Health consultant documented nurses’ home life, incentives and union sentiment

By: - October 4, 2023

A leaked internal document at St. Peter’s Health listed intimate details of nurses’ home lives, incentives at work, notes about disciplinary records, personality types and likeliness to join a union, according to a redacted copy obtained by the Daily Montanan on Wednesday. Union consultants hired by the hospital prior to a nurses’ vote on whether […]

St. Peter’s Health fires union consultant following internal leak of nurses’ personal information

By: - October 3, 2023

St. Peter’s Health ended its contract with union consultant Niles Commer after nurses discovered a document created by a consultant containing their personal information, and it felt to them like a “low blow.” The hospital described the document as having “sensitive information” about nurses. CEO Wade Johnson apologized in an email obtained by the Daily […]

State sues Missoula County over school equalization levy, residents protest tax increase

By: - October 2, 2023

The State of Montana says it won’t be able to properly fund public education if Missoula County won’t collect enough money in property taxes. In a complaint filed Monday in Missoula County District Court, the state said Missoula County told the Department of Revenue it would be levying fewer school mills than the state believes […]