Montana

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An Idaho law banning transgender girls and women from competing in women’s sports is being duplicated in Montana.

twitter.com/govgianforte

The U.S. saw its highest number of COVID-19 deaths this week. Meanwhile, in Montana, the newly elected governor is planning to rescind its statewide mask order.

 

In Fast-Moving Pandemic, Health Officials Try To Change Minds At Warp Speed

Dec 29, 2020
St. Luke’s Health System

Nine months into the pandemic that has killed more than 320,000 people in the U.S., Kim Larson is still trying to convince others in her northern Montana county that COVID-19 is dangerous.

Office of Sen. Jon Tester

Democrats once again lost ground in much of the rural West. That includes Montana, where Republicans swept the election for the first time in at least two decades. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., will soon be the lone progressive holding federal office in the state. He's also the only working farmer in the U.S. Senate and author of a new book, Grounded: A Senator's Lessons On Winning Back Rural America. He spoke about lessons learned from November's election with reporter Nate Hegyi of the Mountain West News Bureau.

gianforte.house.gov

Montana has long prided itself as a purple state, handing wins to both Democrats and Republicans over the past few decades. 

But on Tuesday night, conservatives won every key race in the state, nabbing a hotly contested U.S. Senate seat, Montana's lone congressional seat, and the governorship.

This story was powered by America Amplified, a public radio initiative.


Frank Fahland has been slowly building his dream house near Libby, Mont., for the past 15 years. 

"It's an Amish log home with a beautiful stain on it and the best back deck you've ever seen in your whole life," he says, overlooking pine-forested foothills and an open meadow.

Ever since the pandemic ramped up in mid-March, Fahland, 61, has been spending most days up here – away from people. Like hundreds of other folks in Libby, he's vulnerable to complications from COVID-19 because his lungs are scarred from breathing in asbestos-laced dust from a nearby mine for decades. He struggles to climb a small hill near his house before reaching for an inhaler. 

Jacob W. Frank / NPS

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Tourism to Yellowstone and Glacier national parks is humming along this summer despite the pandemic, but it appears that out-of-staters are bringing more than just their money with them.

 

Nate Hegyi / Mountain West News Bureau

This story was powered by America Amplified, a public radio initiative.

For Dr. Lori Drumm, the trouble began after she cancelled a rodeo in rural Deer Lodge, Mont.

Nate Hegyi / Mountain West News Bureau

This is part of a collaboration between the Mountain West News Bureau and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation looking at how U.S.-Canada border towns are fairing during the pandemic. Read the second part here.

The U.S.-Canada border crossing north of Eureka, Mont., is quiet these days. No buses or vans packed with mountain bikes and vacationing families. Just a single logging truck. 

"No traffic hardly at all," says David Clarke, owner of the First & Last Chance Bar and Duty Free Store.

Colby K. Neal / BLM

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Lots of wildfire smoke in the summer can lead to more flu outbreaks in the winter, according to a recent study published in the peer-reviewed journal Environment International

Brett Davis / Flickr

This story was powered by America Amplified, a public radio initiative.

A surge of out-of-staters are fleeing major cities and purchasing homes in Montana, Wyoming and other parts of the Mountain West, according to real estate agents.

 

"These out-of-state buyers are just coming in droves," said D.J. Smith, president of the Missoula Organization of Realtors. 

Logan Weaver / Unsplash

This story was powered by America Amplified, a public radio initiative.

If you want a hearty breakfast in the small town of Thompson Falls, Montana, Minnie's Montana Cafe has you covered.

 

Brandy Burke / U.S. Air National Guard

This story was powered by America Amplified, a public radio initiative.

Shelby, Mont. is home to a lot of wheat and barley fields, a decent high school football team, and an Amtrak train that passes through town twice a day. It's a place where almost everyone knows everyone. 

"The people here are fantastic," says William Kiefer, CEO of the only hospital in the county that offers 24/7 emergency medical services. "There's a huge sense of community."

So when people began getting sick and even dying from COVID-19, it hit hard. 

lady griz, university of montana, women basketball
The House That Rob Built

 


Beginning in 1978, in the wake of Title IX, the notion of young women competing in college basketball at a high level was barely a blip on anyone’s radar. That was when Robin Selvig at the University of Montana took the women’s basketball team and made it his life’s work. 

Updated 9:40 a.m. MST 3/10/2020
 
Former presidential candidate Steve Bullock is officially running for a Montana Senate seat, making the Mountain West region a big player in Democrats’ push to flip the U.S. Senate.

drought, field, agriculture
Molly Messick / Boise State Public Radio

California is king of U.S. agriculture. But on a per capita basis, no state brings in more farm revenue than Idaho.


The grizzly bear is one of North America’s few remaining large predators. With a diminished range, grizzlies are again spreading across the West. But in the valleys where once they were king, grizzlies are finding the landscape they’d known for eons utterly changed by this millennia’s most dominant animal: humans.


Matt Guilhem / Boise State Public Radio

A one-of-a-kind house sits on what was once a barren promontory in Idaho’s Hagerman Valley. In the mid-1950s, landscape painter Archie Teater and his wife commissioned arguably the world’s most famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, to design a studio for them. 


A federal watchdog group is looking into U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s family land deal with an oil executive. But Zinke is calling the controversy fake news.

VCU CNS / Flickr

An exchange between the boss of Idaho’s Hecla Mining Company and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is ringing alarm bells in some circles.

The brief interaction between Hecla Mining CEO Phillips Baker Jr. and Interior Secretary Zinke happened in October.

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