Government & Politics

Feds OK a mix-and-match approach to COVID vaccine boosters

BY: - October 20, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given a green light to Americans who want to receive a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by a different company than the one that produced the initial shot they received. The announcement Wednesday on allowing “mix-and-match” shots from different manufacturers will give more flexibility to state […]

AG to appeal injunction on abortion restrictions to Supreme Court

BY: - October 20, 2021

The state of Montana intends to appeal a preliminary injunction barring implementation of three bills restricting abortion passed in the last legislative session, according to a notice of appeal filed with the state Supreme Court by Attorney General Austin Knudsen on Tuesday. Briefs arguing the merits of the injunction won’t be due for several weeks […]

National parks nominee pledges to ramp up workforce, improve staff morale

BY: - October 20, 2021

President Joe Biden’s choice to lead the National Park Service told a U.S. Senate panel Tuesday he would work to rebuild the agency’s workforce, which has shrunk even as park attendance hits new records. Charles F. Sams III, of Oregon, would be the first enrolled tribal member to lead the National Park Service. He is […]

Colstrip operator and state settle coal ash remediation dispute

BY: - October 19, 2021

The state of Montana has reached a settlement with Talen Energy in the ongoing dispute over cleanup of toxic coal ash outside the retired Colstrip 1 and 2 units, the Department of Environmental Quality announced Tuesday, moving forward a plan favored by the state to fully excavate the ash ponds while giving Talen the opportunity […]

She survived a brutal confirmation fight, now Stone-Manning must work with those who vilified her

BY: - October 19, 2021

Before she inspired partisan theatrics in the U.S. Senate as the Bureau of Land Management nominee, Tracy Stone-Manning built a reputation in Montana — her home for more than 30 years — as a consensus-builder. Stone-Manning stood out as an expert at bridging divides between conservationists and loggers, miners and recreational land users, in a […]

UM announces interim leadership at Blewett School of Law

BY: - October 19, 2021

The University of Montana provost announced Tuesday the interim leadership at the Alexander Blewett III School of Law will be a trio of professors: Monte Mills, Sara Rinfret and Cathay Y.N. Smith will serve as acting deans as of Oct. 25. “I’m grateful to Professors Mills, Rinfret, and Smith for stepping forward at this critical […]

After 3 years, franchise fees case moves ahead in Billings

BY: - October 19, 2021

A legal dispute that involves nearly every resident in Montana’s largest city made its most significant move forward on Tuesday in Yellowstone County District Court. The case centers on whether the City of Billings could charge a “franchise fee” for its water and waste water services, a practice that it employed for nearly a quarter […]

Audit: Montana milk regulations do not reflect market trends, could hurt dairy farmers

BY: - October 18, 2021

How Montana regulates milk production in its already declining dairy industry is outdated and does not reflect the current demand for milk, which may be costing dairy producers money, a new legislative audit found. “The disparity between the current quota system and recent production decreases the value of owning quota and negatively affects producers,” the […]

Dying patients with rare diseases struggle to get experimental therapies

BY: - October 18, 2021

At 15, Autumn Fuernisen is dying. She was diagnosed at age 11 with a rare degenerative brain disorder that has no known cure or way to slow it down: juvenile-onset Huntington’s disease. “There’s lots of things that she used to be able to do just fine,” said her mom, Londen Tabor, who lives with her […]

Billings public safety levy of $7.1M would add police, but could further burden public defenders

BY: - October 16, 2021

In November, Billings residents will get to vote on a $7.1 million public safety levy that city officials say is necessary to address the increasing trends in violent crimes, overcrowded jails, a stressed municipal court system and case backlog. If passed, it would allocate around $1 million to hire an additional full-time municipal judge, two […]

Billings mayor emphasizes city’s diversity as Montana opens doors to more immigrants

BY: - October 16, 2021

The opening words, “Asato ma sad gamaya” didn’t exactly roll off Billings Mayor Bill Cole’s tongue, but they were said sincerely as he opened an otherwise normal city council meeting in the state’s largest city. However, it may have been the first time a city meeting began with a traditional Hindu prayer, recited in Sanskrit. […]

North Coast Hiawatha restoration could benefit Montana to tune of $40M, study says

BY: - October 15, 2021

The potential restoration of Amtrak service to the North Coast Hiawatha Line connecting Chicago to Portland and Seattle through southern Montana could generate the seven states along the line more than $270 million a year once fully actualized, according to a high-level analysis by the Rail Passengers Association. Montana could stand to accrue more than […]