Over half of states have rolled back public health powers in pandemic

BY: and - September 18, 2021

Republican legislators in more than half of U.S. states, spurred on by voters angry about lockdowns and mask mandates, are taking away the powers state and local officials use to protect the public against infectious diseases. A KHN review of hundreds of pieces of legislation found that, in all 50 states, legislators have proposed bills […]

FDA panel backs COVID-19 booster shots only for elderly and high-risk Americans

BY: - September 17, 2021

WASHINGTON — A federal health advisory panel wrestled Friday with whether to widely authorize a booster dose of Pfizer’s two-shot COVID-19 vaccine for most Americans, ultimately recommending that a third dose be offered only to older or higher-risk individuals. The Biden administration had hoped that states could begin rolling out a wide national booster shot […]

Deb Haaland signs the Confederated Salish and Kootenai-Montana Compact

BY: - September 17, 2021

Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland signed the Confederated Salish and Kootenai-Montana Compact on Friday, formally executing the Montana Water Rights Protection Act enacted by Congress on Dec. 21, 2020, the U.S. Department of Interior announced in a news release Friday. “Together, these actions pave the way to improving the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes’ […]

Missoula couple sues Albertsons after knife slashing

BY: - September 17, 2021

Missoula couple Dylan and Joselin Turner are taking Albertsons and Tremper Shopping Center to court after an unprovoked man wearing a grocery store vest slashed Dylan Turner’s arm in the parking lot and put him out of work, according to a complaint filed Friday in Missoula County District Court. The man, Shane Roy Davis, on […]

Slicing up Montana into two congressional districts sees 231 different options

BY: - September 17, 2021

Montanans are already sparring over one map with new congressional districts, but there are 231 maps in all. The discussion took place during Friday’s Montana Districting and Apportionment Commission meeting, the first since Wednesday’s highly anticipated map proposal deadline, which saw more than 200 submissions, although just 20-30 unique maps. One map — public map […]

Montana AG, others, urge Biden administration to give up on vaccine requirements

BY: - September 17, 2021

WASHINGTON — More than 20 Republican state attorneys general are threatening to sue the Biden administration over its mandate that large employers require their employees to either be vaccinated against the coronavirus vaccine or undergo weekly testing. In a Thursday letter, the 24 AGs pushed the administration to remove the requirement that would affect nearly 80 […]

State DOC reports higher vaccination rates than state among incarcerated persons

BY: - September 16, 2021

The Montana Department of Corrections reported higher vaccination rates among incarcerated people than the statewide average and said since early August, 19 staff and 14 incarcerated people at the Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge tested positive for COVID-19 as the state inside and outside of correctional facilities struggles with rising infections driven by the […]

Gov. Gianforte, MT congressional delegation react to Afghan refugees coming to Missoula

BY: - September 16, 2021

Gov. Greg Gianforte said on Thursday he plans to welcome fully-vetted Missoula-bound Afghan refugees fleeing the humanitarian crisis stemming from the end of the war in Afghanistan. “Montana welcomes our fully-vetted Afghan allies who worked alongside us, have left their homes in the face of the Taliban’s reemerging, merciless terror, and seek freedom and safety,” […]

Missoula breaks two more COVID-19 records Thursday

BY: - September 16, 2021

As hospitals in the county continue to be pushed to their limits, Missoula announced it surpassed two COVID-19 records on Thursday when it reported 46 active hospitalizations and a seven-day average for new daily cases among 100,000 people of 86. The previous high for active hospitalizations was 43, set on Nov. 7, 2020, and the […]

Yellowstone National Park: Woman suffers significant thermal burns in park

BY: - September 16, 2021

At Old Faithful early Thursday morning, park rangers provided initial care to a 19-year-old woman from Rhode Island with second- and third-degree burns to 5 percent of her body, the park said in a news release. The park said she was later life-flighted to Idaho and her condition was not available to the park. The […]

Glacier sees drop in Going-to-the-Sun traffic with ticketed entry

BY: - September 16, 2021

After implementing a new ticketed entry system this year, Glacier National Park saw a 12 percent decrease in vehicles on Going-to-the-Sun Road from Memorial Day weekend through the end of August compared to 2019, according to a news release Thursday from the park. Generally, Glacier National Park reported 2,354,475 visitors through August, a busy year […]

Putting on pandemic pounds: State obesity rates hit all-time highs

BY: - September 16, 2021

WASHINGTON — The number of states with high obesity among residents has nearly doubled since 2018, according to new data Wednesday from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In Montana, 28.5 percent of adults self-reported as being obese, according to the CDC data. There were 16 states that had obesity rates among adult residents of […]