Montana News

Equal pay
4:38 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Montana women wanting equal pay are better off working construction than finance

Montana Commissioner of Labor and Industry, Pam Bucy

Montana women earn 67 cents on the dollar of what men make, placing us 39th in the country when it comes to the gender pay gap. That fact prompted Governor Steve Bullock to form an Equal Pay for Equal Work task force, and to co-sponsor a summit on equal pay that kicks off tonight, and runs through tomorrow, at Montana State University in Bozeman.
    State Labor commissioner Pam Bucy is co-chair of the equal pay task force and a participant in tomorrow's summit.

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Yellowstone Bison
5:23 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

YNP, State taking first steps toward new Bison Management Plan

Credit lowjumpingfrog/flickr

National Park Service officials are announcing a partnership with the state of Montana to consider changes to managing bison in and around Yellowstone National Park.

Hundreds of bison wander into the state from the park’s northern boundary during many winters.

Livestock owners worry about the animals damaging property and spreading disease.

The Park Service and the state have been operating under their current Bison Management Plan since 2001.

The agencies think it may be time for an update.

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Trail Maintenance
2:15 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Lagging forest trail maintenance prompting "frenemies" to unite

Stemple Pass volunteer crew. Freix in blue tank, lower right
Shannon Freix

Over 50 diverse recreation and conservation groups say the Forest Service is facing a nation-wide trails crisis and they sent a letter to Congress this week asking for help.

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All Families Break In
1:35 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Only clinic to offer abortions in the Flathead may not reopen

A message on the All Families Healthcare website says "closed for the forseeable".
Credit www.allfamilieshealthcare.org

The only medical office offering abortions in the Flathead Valley may not reopen after extensive vandalism shut its doors earlier this month. The man arrested for the break in is the son of a founder of a local pro-life organization.

All Families Health Care offers primary care by Physicians Assistant Susan Cahill.

“I take care of children, and geriatrics as well, men – they don’t come in as much, and women, they come in more often either because of their reproductive years, menopause, etcetera,” Cahill said.

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Tech Commencement
7:11 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Backlash growing over upcoming Gianforte commencement at Montana Tech

Greg and Susan Gianfore

Backlash is growing at Montana Tech in Butte over the choice of the school’s commencement speakers this Spring.

Opponents say Right Now Technologies founders Greg and Susan Gianforte promote extreme religious viewpoints and discriminate against homosexuals. A small group of students and faculty are considering a boycott of the ceremony in mid-May.

Tech is standing by the choice, citing the Gianfortes’ business success and emphasis on getting young people involved with computer science.

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Climate and Forests
12:39 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Acres burned by wildfire expected to double this century

Forest service research scientist David Peterson

Montanans are getting accustomed to smoky summers, as our fire seasons have gotten longer and more intense in recent years. Get ready for things to get worse. A recent report on the effects of climate change on forest ecosystems says the number of acres burned by wildfire will at least double this century. The report is part of a National Climate Assessment presented to Congress and the President. Forest service research scientist David Peterson is one of the three editors of that report.

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Medicaid Expansion
6:47 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Legislative Fiscal Division refutes Gov.’s cost estimate for Medicaid Expansion

The summary included with the fiscal note on Medicaid expansion submitted by the Governor's Office of Budget and Program Planning.
Credit OBPP

Governor Steve Bullock announced his support Wednesday for a voter initiative to expand Medicaid, called the Healthy Montana Initiative.

Medicaid expansion is an optional piece of the Federal Affordable Care Act, and Republican majorities in the Montana Legislature decided not to approve it in 2013.

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Solar Power
5:54 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Solar power installations continue dropping in price, pay off in under ten years in MT

Solar Montana Owner Jackson Isbell stands in front of his installation at Helena's River Rock Residences.
Credit Dan Boyce

The price of solar panels continues to drop, making them a more reasonable option for households.

Montanans are taking notice; solar adoption rates have been rising in the last five years.

A solar project just switched on in January at Helena’s River Rock Residences, a low-income senior housing complex operated by the nonprofit Rocky Mountain Development Corporation.

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Farm to College
3:21 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

More Montana-grown food ending up on University of Montana plates

UM Dining Services executive chef Patrick Browne, Sally Mauk, UM executive sous-chef Michele Loftus
Jerry O'Malley

Since 2003, the University of Montana's dining services have bought six and a half million dollars worth of food - everything from lentils to beef - from Montana farmers and ranchers, under the Farm to College program. The program was created out of a partnership between students in the Environmental Studies program and UM's Dining Services, and has grown every year.
    News Director Sally Mauk visited one of the Dining Services kitchens - and a new on-campus garden - to learn more about the program, and UM's increasing commitment to buying,  and growing, local.

 

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Flathead Lake Biological Station
10:30 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Flathead Lake water and weather monitoring buoys in dry dock

One of two data gathering buoys the Flathead Lake Biological Station has been operating since August of 2011.
Credit Katrin Frye

Two large, yellow buoys with “Flathead Lake Biological Station” stenciled on the side now sit on the shore beside the lake they’ve been collecting data on since August of 2011. These weather buoys were also measuring water quality and temperature, among other things.

The buoys were taken in to calibrate the instruments and replace the batteries.

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