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.

First Montana class of inmates in the Last Mile program celebrate graduation

By: - October 2, 2023

DEER LODGE – Jason Hoomalu’s father Rory and sister Aalayah attended Montana State Prison’s first coding school graduation, but someone important was missing. Hoomalu’s mother had died earlier this month of a sudden stroke. His father said the ceremony was a bittersweet moment, as she should have been there to see it. Hoomalu was part […]

Nurses at St. Peter’s Health allege union-busting tactics; hospital defends

By: - September 29, 2023

Registered nurses at St. Peter’s Health clinics in Helena are alleging union-busting by hospital executives in advance of their vote on whether to unionize — but the hospital said the accusation is typical “misinformation” to gain support for labor. The controversy stems in part from the hospital’s hire of a labor consultant — estimated to […]

Cascade County Elections Officer refutes claims from school district

By: - September 27, 2023

Cascade County Elections Officer Sandra Merchant refuted claims of poor communication and other alleged shortcomings by her office made by Great Falls Public Schools District in a letter sent to County Commissioners requesting they take over election administration. Merchant told the Daily Montanan in an email Wednesday that having elections managed by the commission would […]

Great Falls Public Schools wants elections to be handled by county commission’s office

By: - September 26, 2023

Great Falls Public Schools is asking election duties be transferred to county commissioners, citing a “complete lack of cooperation” with the current Elections Office under new Clerk and Recorder Sandra Merchant. The letter describes a “breakdown in communication” between the Merchant and the district during their trustee election earlier this year, as well as more […]

Montana to apply for federal money for children’s meals for summer 2024

By: - September 21, 2023

Montana’s health department director said last week the state is applying in January for the next round of federal money that helps pay for meals for children in the summer. Educators and others in the state who work with schools and raise money to feed hungry kids said this week they hope the state follows […]

Montana 2024 Republican U.S. Senate candidate Tim Sheehy. (Courtesy Tim Sheehy campaign)

Senate candidate Tim Sheehy falsely states more bears than people in Montana

By: - September 19, 2023

Montana has more cows than people, but more bears? Not exactly. Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Tim Sheehy said in a recent interview with Breitbart News there were more bears than people in Montana, which estimates don’t support, and by a long shot. “This is a state where there’s not a lot of people. There’s […]

State moves toward one vendor to provide temporary assistance services in Montana

By: - September 18, 2023

The state health department will be awarding one contract for the state’s cash assistance and employment training program, with current businesses engaged in this work across the state likely becoming subcontractors. The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services told two interim committees last week that it plans to move to a single vendor […]

Heart Butte Superintendent placed on administrative leave

By: - September 15, 2023

HEART BUTTE —Heart Butte School District Superintendent Mike Tatsey was placed on administrative leave as a procedural requirement following a school board vote to conduct a financial audit earlier this week. Board member Edith Horn-Wagner said the board voted unanimously, with the board chairperson absent from the meeting, to conduct a forensic audit of the […]

Montana is struggling to retain new teachers; experts cite waning education graduates

By: - September 12, 2023

Montana is struggling to keep new teachers in the classroom. More than half of newly licensed teachers in Montana leave the state or the profession within the first three years on the job and 86% of education graduates decide to leave the state or don’t pursue teaching. “​​That’s a stunning number,” said Sen. Dan Salomon, […]

Rising number of housing voucher recipients can’t find places to live in Montana

By: - September 7, 2023

Nearly a quarter of Montanans who use housing vouchers weren’t able to use them this year through June, according to data from Montana Housing, under the Department of Commerce — up from nearly 19% in 2021. “There’s nothing more disheartening for my team, and certainly for the family that’s waited for that voucher, than to […]

Broadband Commission may shift gears to get service to people in rural Montana

By: - September 7, 2023

Will broadband businesses get to determine the areas they’ll reach with federal dollars? Or will the state prevent cherry picking and dictate where they go? The Montana Broadband Advisory Commission is currently debating this question, and at a meeting Wednesday, telecommunications companies voiced their desire to be more in control. A new $629 million pool […]

Montana abortion clinics challenge law regulating their facilities

By: - September 1, 2023

Montana abortion providers are suing the state over legislation that implements infrastructure restrictions on clinics and license requirements, alleging the law is unconstitutional. House Bill 937, sponsored by Rep. Lola Sheldon-Gallowy, R-Great Falls, requires the state license and inspect abortion providers, their facilities and employees. Gov. Greg Gianforte, a Republican, signed the bill into law […]