Montana News

Extreme athletes
2:26 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

So, just how far can a "freak" be pushed, anyway?

Brent Ruby
Credit Edward O'Brien

(Update{12/12/13}:  Last week's winter storm in the Northeast kept the Weather Channel busy and this episode of "Freaks of Nature" was preempted for live coverage.  It now airs this Sunday -12/15/13-  at 8:00 p-m, MST.)

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Frozen Game
11:29 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Bitter cold is chilling ticket sales for Griz playoff game

While our bitter cold spell is delaying today's scheduled opening of Missoula's Snowbowl ski area, tomorrow's big FCS playoff football game between the University of Montana Grizzlies and Coastal Carolina Chanticleers will go on as scheduled.

The temperature at kickoff could be below zero, with an even more frigid wind chill.

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Big Mountain Ski Patrol
10:22 am
Fri December 6, 2013

For this job you have to be able to handle explosives, provide first aid, and ski too

ALERT Helicopter from Kalispell Regional Medical Center comes to meet with ski patrol during training at Whitefish Mountain Resort.
Credit Katrin Frye

It’s not quite the ski patroller Olympics I was hoping for; skiing backwards, jumping through hoops, blindfolded…

In fact, when I showed up to the Whitefish Mountain Resort patrollers are inside, practicing specific stretches shown to them by a local physical therapist.

President of the Big Mountain Ski Patrol Incorporated Ryan Friel was, however, wearing ski boots.

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Civil War myths
2:25 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

Noted historian debunks Civil War myths

Historian James Oakes

One of the leading historians of 19th century America is in Missoula to speak at the University of Montana. James Oakes teaches history at the City University of New York, and has written several award-winning books on the Civil War and slavery.

In this feature interview, Oakes talks with News Director Sally Mauk about the debate over whether the Civil War was fought over preserving the Union - or over slavery. Oakes says it most definitely was fought to end slavery.

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Bakken Spinoffs
6:35 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Oil Boom continues to strain infrastructure of Eastern Montana communities

Sidney Mayor Bret Smelser stands out on the sidewalk of Central Avenue, which has seen a dramatic increase in truck traffic the last few years.
Dan Boyce

(Note: This is the first of a six-part series on "Bakken Spinoffs" airing Thursdays through January 9th on "Montana Evening Edition.")

Sidney’s Mayor, Bret Smelser, stood at the corner of his community’s busiest street, Central Avenue. A steady stream of traffic, punctuated with big rigs, leaves thick white exhaust hanging in the frigid air. Smelser nodded to one truck.

“One of our city crew, collecting twice as much garbage as we did two years ago,” he said.

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MT Healthcare Foundation
2:35 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

Healthcare foundation board will decide how to spend $40 million from BCBS-MT sale

Montana Healthcare Foundation Interim Trustee E. Edwin Eck

Attorney General Tim Fox’s office said Tuesday a group of candidates have been nominated for the board of a new healthcare foundation created following the sale of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana to an out-of-state company.

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Mountain Pine Beetle
2:32 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

Brrrk Beetles! Has the cold snap finally defeated the Mountain Pine Beetle?

Tough little suckers
Credit SFU Public Affairs and Media Relations, Flickr

A University of Montana professor of forest entomology and pathology says this prolonged and uncomfortable deep freeze probably won't be enough to kill Mountain Pine Beetles.

The rice grain-sized beetles are a native species that mass-attack trees. U-M College of Forestry and Conservation's Dr. Diana Six says hundreds or thousands of the insects can swarm a single tree, leaving it defenseless and essentially doomed.
      

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Sagebrush Rebellion Redux
2:22 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

Sagebrush rebels rise again

University of Montana forestry professor Martin Nie

The movement to get the federal government to turn over its land to state and local governments is resurfacing in the American West. Led by a Utah-based group called the "American Lands Council", supporters argue there is a legal and historical basis for this turnover.
    The movement resembles the so-called Sagebrush Rebellion of the late 70s. In this feature interview, News Director Sally Mauk talks with University of Montana forestry professor and natural resource policy expert Martin Nie about both the old and new Sagebrush rebels.

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Organic Farming
8:28 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Why Montana's organic farmers are converging on the Flathead

Credit flickr/mckaysavage

Cultivating organic seeds and genetically modified crops are among the topics farmers are meeting to discuss in the Flathead next week. The annual Montana Organic Association Conference is being held in the Flathead for the first time.

Judy Osowitz of Terrapin Farm in has been farming in rural Whitefish for 36-years.

“I’ve seen a lot of changes, I’ve seen a lot more demand for organic, I’ve seen a lot more supply of organic- which is a good thing, to have both, it’s wonderful,” Osowitz said.

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University Insurance
5:25 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

How Obamacare is compromising state university student health insurance plans

Helena College non-traditional student Susan Wensel gets her health insurance through her husband's job. Only about 220 of the institution's 1800 students opt for the insurance plan offered by the school.
Credit Dan Boyce

Officials with the Montana University System said this week the Affordable Care Act is creating problems for the health insurance plan offered to students at the state’s public universities.

Those students need to have some kind of health insurance. For years, the university plan has offered a reasonably priced alternative for students not on their parents’ plan.

But that may be in jeopardy.

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