State and Montana State Prison employees agree to reconvene in Sept. as negotiations continue and possibility of strike looms

BY: - August 30, 2021

Contract negotiations between the Montana State Prison and the state are ongoing as of Monday afternoon, with both parties agreeing to meet in mid-to-late September, according to the Montana Federation of Public Employees. The two groups met Thursday for the first time since the employee union voted 60-0 to engage in concerted activity, bringing the […]

Housing prices continue climbing in urban, rural Montana

BY: - August 30, 2021

The sale of a $500,000 home in Billings used to be a rarity. Not anymore. Bob Leach, a Billings realtor and broker in the business 43 years, recently did a price survey of the properties that have sold in his area in the last five years. He found 50 percent fewer properties for sale under […]

The ups and downs of being a volcano

BY: - August 24, 2021

The ground surface at Yellowstone goes up and down.  Since 2015, the caldera has been going down at a rate of about 2 to 3 centimeters—about 1 inch—per year, but during 2004 –2010 the caldera uplifted at a similar rate. What causes these ups and downs? Well…it’s complicated. Interpreting ground deformation at Yellowstone and other volcanoes might […]

Montana food pantries still busy; clients seek food, company

BY: - August 23, 2021

When clients show up at Pantry Partners Food Bank in Stevensville, it’s not just for produce or canned goods. “We have a lot of seniors,” said Janet Weber, a volunteer for the Pantry Partners. “It’s been really hard on them, not just from a food need but just emotionally. We’ve noticed they stand and talk […]

Democrats seek support services for survivors of Native American boarding schools

BY: - August 23, 2021

WASHINGTON — Democratic lawmakers are pushing federal agencies to provide support for survivors of and communities affected by American Indian boarding school policies, the decades-long practice of forcibly sending Native American children to faraway boarding schools that rejected their tribal cultures. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Sharice Davids (D-Kansas) sent a request this month […]

Have vaccine will travel: Montana COVID entrepreneur helps state get vaccinated

BY: - August 22, 2021

VIRGINIA CITY, Mont. — While many businesses in this southwestern Montana “ghost town” reel in tourists with its mining and Wild West vigilante past, one businessman arrived offering a modern product, COVID-19 vaccines. Kyle Austin, a traveling pharmacist, set up his mobile clinic in Virginia City on a recent Saturday, the latest stop on his […]

Nice boreholes: The hidden heroes of Yellowstone’s science

BY: - August 17, 2021

When it comes to data, Yellowstone is a geophysicist’s dream. There is continuous activity from earthquakes, geysers, and of course, the volcano itself. A keen eye may be able to spot one of the park’s numerous GPS or seismometer stations hard at work, but some of the park’s data collectors are buried deep within the […]

National Parks Service implements mask mandates for visitors in parks

BY: - August 16, 2021

The National Park Service on Monday reinstated a mask mandate for all visitors, workers and volunteers at NPS buildings and crowded outdoor areas, regardless of vaccination status. In May, the agency said it would require only unvaccinated people to wear masks. Recently, as the delta variant of the coronavirus has led to a spike in […]

Native historians compiling history of boarding schools

BY: - August 16, 2021

Since 2006, Denise Lajimodiere, an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa in North Dakota, has spent hours hunkered down in archives searching for records of Native American boarding schools.  “It is tedious,” she said. “It is dusty work.” And grueling and traumatic. The records are incomplete, but what researchers like Lajimodiere have […]

Research shows undocumented immigrants don’t commit more crime, they commit a lot less

BY: - August 13, 2021

It’s an article of faith in some corners of politics and the media: All those undocumented immigrants crossing the southern border are making crime much worse in the United States. But new research gives the lie to that assertion. And, some border officials say, continuing to promote it will only lead to another racist massacre […]

COVID aid commission approves $15 million affordable housing financing program

BY: - August 13, 2021

A state commission formed to guide the expenditure of federal COVID-19 aid has recommended approval of a $15 million affordable housing gap financing program, one of several housing and rental assistance initiatives that state officials have greenlit thanks to money from the American Rescue Plan Act and other pandemic assistance packages. The ARPA Economic Transformation […]

…Now about that volcano: Helping to find the ‘Yellowstone volcano’ in the park

BY: - August 9, 2021

There are numerous questions posed by curious visitors to Yellowstone National Park. Some are questions of orientation: “Where is Artemisia Geyser?” “How do I get to the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone?” Some questions relate to timing: “When will this geyser erupt?” “How often does Old Faithful go off?” “When will Yellowstone explode?” Other questions are […]