Gov. Greg Gianforte tests positive for COVID-19

BY: - April 5, 2021

Just days after receiving his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, Gov. Greg Gianforte tested positive for the virus and will be isolated for 10 days, according to a press release sent Monday by his office. The governor was experiencing mild symptoms on Sunday and was tested out of an “abundance of caution,” the release […]

Former Gov. Stephens has died

BY: - April 5, 2021

Former Gov. Stan Stephens died Saturday in Kalispell at the age of 91 following an extended illness, according to the Associated Press. Stephens, a Republican, served as governor from 1989 to 1993.“He was probably the most decent person you’d ever want to meet,” former state Sen. John Brendan told the AP; Brendan served as the […]

Montana campuses to get $38M for students with lower incomes

BY: - April 5, 2021

The last time the Montana Legislature directed money to college students who need it most, it set aside $2 million, and the private foundations matched the amount for a $4 million total over the 2021 biennium. This time, various proposals for need-based aid have come and gone for smaller amounts, but the most recent federal […]

Nuclear scientist argues for refurbishing, not replacing Minuteman III missiles

BY: - April 5, 2021

Frank von Hippel knows a thing or two about nuclear arms. More than two dozen trips to Moscow during the Cold War and a lifetime of research as a nuclear scientist at an Ivy League university means that when he talks about nuclear arms, people listen. He was credited with being instrumental in the efforts […]

Yellowstone’s cool thermal areas

BY: - April 5, 2021

Yes, some of Yellowstone’s thermal areas are cool—as in, no longer hot.  Cooling is part of the “life cycle” of a thermal area.  And, just as it’s important to keep track of where thermal areas warm up, it’s also important to keep track of where they are cooling down. We do not define the habitat of […]

Flagship pot bill rescued from the brink after GOP dissent

BY: - April 5, 2021

Mike Milburn, Gov. Greg Gianforte’s senior advisor, was on Thursday walking the Capitol halls past the legislative chambers — where the governor had just visited to gladhand and backslap with House Republicans — when Sen. Jason Ellsworth, R-Hamilton, appeared from a side door to the Senate floor to get his attention. Milburn leaned in to […]

Public education advocates praise funding bills, fear ‘school choice’ legislation

BY: - April 5, 2021

Last week, the House Education Committee stopped a bill opponents had deemed one of the most problematic this session for public K12 schools. House Bill 633 would have created a separate public charter school system — outside Title 20 of the Montana Constitution — but one funded by taxpayers. Four Republicans joined Democrats to oppose […]

The case for donating U.S. COVID vaccines overseas

BY: - April 5, 2021

A Senate committee grilled federal officials about the shortage of vaccines to protect Americans against a pandemic virus. Two months later, the U.S. public had lost interest in the virus, and millions of vaccines were sitting in warehouses — although poor countries still needed them. This happened during the 2009-10 swine flu pandemic. One official […]

Can vaccination and infection rates add up to reach herd immunity?

BY: - April 5, 2021

It’s been a long, dark winter of covid concerns, stoked by high post-holiday case counts and the American death tally exceeding 530,000 lives lost. But with three vaccines — Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson — now authorized for emergency use in the United States, there seems to be hope that the pandemic’s end may […]

The mystery of the Ringing Rocks

BY: - April 4, 2021

PIPESTONE – Thanksgiving and Butte were in the rearview mirror. There was no snow on the last Sunday of last November, but it was beginning to feel a bit like Christmas. After a bumpy 4½ -mile drive up from the Pipestone Exit of Interstate 90, it seemed only natural for a nimble girl and her […]

Voting rights advocates warn: Don’t become like Tennessee

BY: - April 3, 2021

As Republican-led legislatures continue a systematic push to pass laws they say are aimed at ratcheting up election security, voting rights advocates in Tennessee worry the entire nation could soon look a lot like the Volunteer State where voter turnout and voter registration figures are among the lowest in the country. The policy debate over […]

Biden administration mum on gray wolves endangered species listing

BY: - April 3, 2021

A controversial decision in the last months of the Trump administration to remove gray wolves from the endangered species list led to a massive overhunt in Wisconsin this year that Ojibwe tribal representatives said disrespected their wishes. But there’s no indication yet that the Biden administration will attempt to roll back that move, despite an order the […]