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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Montana Evening Edition
6:20 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Newscast 03-26-2014

Prosecutors argue a Kalispell woman accused of murdering her husband should not be allowed to withdraw her guilty plea on the eve of her sentencing. Capitol reporter Dan Boyce looks into the debate over the cost of Medicaid expansion. And in our feature interview, News Director Sally Mauk visits a University of Montana kitchen to learn more about the Farm to College Program.

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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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Commentary - March 26th, 2014
12:54 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Paying back the land: Public Lands Renewable Energy Development Act of 2013

As the second session of the 113th Congress develops, it is my great hope that Congress can leave its abysmal bill passage record in the past. In 2013, Congress signed just 58 bills into law, the lowest since bill tracking was initiated in the 1940’s. Much of the stalemate characterizing the last two congressional sessions has been blamed on bipartisan gridlock. It begs the question, why aren’t the widely supported bipartisan bills that are waiting in committee becoming law? Bills that are well rounded, effective, and supported by stakeholders are repeatedly dying in committee.

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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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Fiction
6:00 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Debut Novel Explores Transgender and Ethnic Issues

For Today I Am A Boy, by Kim Fu

Kim Fu talks about and reads from her debut novel, For Today I Am A Boy.

About the book:

Peter Huang and his sisters—elegant Adele, shrewd Helen, and Bonnie the bon vivant— grow up in a house of many secrets, then escape the confines of small-town Ontario and spread from Montreal to California to Berlin. Peter’s own journey is obstructed by playground bullies, masochistic lovers, Christian ex-gays, and the ever-present shadow of his Chinese father.

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Reflections West
7:00 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Bud Cheff, Jr. & Olivia Stiffler

3/25/14  &  3/26/14: This week on "Reflections West:" Bud Cheff, Jr. reflects on the enduring ties between two families, one white, one Indian, on the Flathead reservation.  He pairs his thoughts with a poem by Olivia Stiffler.

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Montana Evening Edition
6:15 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Newscast 03-25-2014

Police are investigating an apparent murder-suicide in Kalispell. Capitol reporter Dan Boyce updates us on the status of the boy behind the Helena bomb threats. Flathead reporter Katrin Frye looks at the importance of weather buoys on Flathead Lake. And in our feature interview, reporter Edward O'Brien talks with a Montana coal board member about the impacts of transporting coal by rail.

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Coal Impact Funds
1:43 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Can coal train impacts at rail crossings be mitigated?

Credit Montana State Parks

Coal export-related rail traffic in Montana is rising and not expected to subside anytime soon. Pacific Northwest-bound train traffic can have impacts on communities, leaving some wondering why more can't be done to mitigate those inconveniences.  In this interview with Edward O'Brien, Montana Coal Board member Tom Towe talks about the options available to Montana communities.
       The Billings attorney is well-versed on the issue as he created the Montana Coal Tax, Montana Coal Tax Trust Fund and Coal Impact Fund some 3 decades ago:

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