Featured Articles in Featured

Laurel man competes in History Channel show

LAUREL – It was an opportunity to try something wild and crazy. That’s what a Laurel blacksmith said about the History Channel show, “Forged In Fire: Gladiators of the Forge.” John Lockie’s passion and knowledge of blacksmith skills transferred over well to showing his talents in the timed competition. “It’s a hobby run amok,” said Read More…

All four citizen initiatives failed to make November’s ballot

Preliminary reports from the Montana Secretary of State’s office show voters won’t see any citizen-sponsored initiatives on the ballot this November. All four qualified measures failed to garner the signatures needed to make an appearance. The failed measure that received the most signatures would have capped property tax hikes at 2%, while another sought to Read More…

Austin Knudsen

Attorney General Knudsen sues Biden administration to stop unlawful firearm regulations

Attorney General Austin Knudsen and 16 other state attorneys general joined a lawsuit today against the Biden administration’s rules that threaten the long-held American tradition of private firearms assembly and put the livelihood of thousands of Americans at risk. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) rulemaking would regulate unfinished, non-functional firearm parts Read More…

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Facebook working on mysterious ‘authentic’ robot eyeball that could track where humans are looking

Facebook has patented a new technology for an “authentic” robot eye. The idea, granted in December, would let the social media company build a “high performing and realistic” eyeball that would be like an “animatronic device” to track humans’ eye movements. Tracking eye movements is used in digital ads to detect what people look at, as Read More…

Judge strikes down portion of Montana’s ‘clean campaign’ law

HELENA — A federal judge Tuesday struck down a portion of Montana’s “clean campaign act,” saying it’s an unconstitutional burden on free speech to require political committees to notify candidates about last-minute attack campaign material. U.S. District Judge Don Molloy of Missoula said the so-called “fair notice” requirement, which applies only to material distributed within Read More…

Western Montana firefighters prepare for return to Seattle Stairclimb

MISSOULA — Although there’s still some lingering uncertainty because of the latest pandemic surge, firefighters in Western Montana are preparing their teams for a return to Seattle to climb hundreds of stairs to help fight a critical disease. The Seattle Stairclimb, which has raised millions of dollars for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society has become a Northwest Read More…

MSU Extension offers free series about electric vehicle adoption in Montana

BOZEMAN — Montana State University Extension will present a free, three-part webinar series, “Electric Vehicle Adoption in Montana: Understanding Opportunities and Issues.” The series is intended to provide individuals, community leaders and planners with a better understanding of the impact of the use of electric vehicles in rural communities. The webinars will be held from 9 to Read More…

Montana Human Trafficking Up 871%

The Montana Department of Justice investigated 68 human trafficking cases in 2021, an increase of 871 percent from the seven cases reported in 2015, and the actual number of cases investigated in the state last year is likely higher, reports the Great Falls Tribune. While the amount of trafficking in Montana is on the rise, experts Read More…

As workers quit in droves, companies get creative to attract and retain employees

WASHINGTON — With workers quitting their jobs in record numbers across the United States, employers are getting creative with their offerings to attract and retain talent. Many are providing more money and benefits amid a nationwide labor shortage that has worsened supply chain shortages and hampered businesses, especially those that employ front-line workers. In Arizona, one Read More…

John Connolly, journalist who investigated Jeffrey Epstein, dead at 78

Hard-hitting investigative journalist and former NYPD detective John Connolly passed away on Saturday at 78. The cop-turned-scribe was known among media insiders for his unending Rolodex, and a unique ability to mix among Hollywood execs and stars, Wall Street rainmakers, pols, police and wiseguys alike. Connolly was a co-author with James Patterson of the 2017 book “Filthy Rich: The Read More…

Thieves in LA are looting freight trains filled with packages from UPS, FedEx and Amazon

CNN — Photos and videos showing piles of empty boxes littered alongside rail tracks in Los Angeles County, California have gone viral as shipping companies say they’ve seen a dramatic spike in railroad theft. Some of the boxes are packages from companies like UPS, Amazon and FedEx. Union Pacific, one of the country’s largest railroad companies, Read More…

Youngkin names Wyoming schools leader as Virginia’s next superintendent

Wyoming’s state superintendent of public instruction is resigning to become the head of Virginia’s public school system. The resignation of Wyoming State Superintendent Jillian Balow will be effective Sunday. Virginia Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin, who takes office Saturday, has named Balow to replace Rosa Atkins, who has been acting state superintendent since James Lane’s resignation in Read More…

Daines submits resolution for Religious Freedom Day

U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines introduced a Senate resolution designating today, Jan 16 as Religious Freedom Day. This resolution commemorates the 236th Anniversary of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, a landmark achievement that laid the foundations for the First Amendment.   “America stands as a beacon of hope and a symbol of religious Read More…

Gov. Gianforte, AG Knudsen encourage Montanans to join the fight to end human trafficking

HELENA – After proclaiming January as Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month in Montana, Governor Greg Gianforte today teamed up with Attorney General Austin Knudsen to encourage Montanans to join the fight to end human trafficking. “Generating an estimated $150 billion worldwide per year, human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery whereby traffickers, which Read More…

Council considers Big Mountain Road development

Whitefish City Council on Tuesday will consider a large-scale mixed-used development straddling Big Mountain Road. Developers behind the Mountain Gateway project are requesting a planned unit development and conditional zoning for the property. The council is meeting on Tuesday because of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday on Monday. The meeting begins at 7:10 Read More…

Kalispell Schools Struggle with Staffing Shortages, Continue In-Person Learning

On Tuesday, Jan. 11, Smith Valley School in Batavia announced staff shortages due to the rise in COVID-19 cases were forcing the school to close for the remainder of the week, the first pandemic-related school closure of the new year. Meanwhile, Kalispell Public Schools (KPS) Superintendent Micah Hill dispelled rumors circulating this week that administrators Read More…

Gov. Gianforte asks U.S. Supreme Court to intervene in judicial dispute

HELENA — Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte on Monday joined GOP legislators and Montana’s Republican attorney general, in asking the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene in their dispute with the Montana Supreme Court over whether that court is improperly “prejudging proposed legislation.” Gianforte, through his chief lawyer, Anita Milanovich, filed a “friend of the court” brief Read More…

County diversion program looks to expand after receiving national recognition

MISSOULA, Mont. – Being recognized as one of the country’s most innovative new programs, Missoula County’s Calibrate program received a $600,000 grant award from the federal Department of Justice. This prosecution-led diversion program differs from treatment courts in the area. Treatment courts are programs that take place after convictions, where participants of Calibrate are enrolled Read More…

Developer sues Whitefish over U.S. 93 hotel denial

A lawsuit has been filed against the City of Whitefish regarding the recent denial of a proposed hotel just off Highway 93 on the south end of town. Rimrock Companies, the Florida-based company that proposed the project, filed a lawsuit last month in Flathead County District Court claiming the city unlawfully denied the proposal. It’s Read More…

Statewide workers shortage, COVID concerns impacting school districts across Montana

BOZEMAN, Mont. – A staffing shortage of substitute teachers mixed with COVID concerns and full-time teachers calling out sick is affecting some of the biggest school districts in Montana. At the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year in September, human resource directors at some of the biggest school districts across the state from Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Read More…

Historic LA landmark taken over by homeless now in cleanup mode

Los Angeles lawmakers over the past few years have allowed the homeless to overtake a city-owned historic town square that has been a tourist destination for a century. When Sheriff Alex Villanueva discovered that famed Olvera Street was becoming a ghost town as merchants and restaurant owners fled the homeless encampment, he took it personally. Villanueva used to visit the city’s oldest Read More…

Gov. Gianforte to deliver water infrastructure funds to Dillon

MISSOULA, Mont. — Governor Gianforte will deliver infrastructure funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to the City of Dillon on Jan. 3. This will go to improving drinking water. In Septmeber, Gianforte authorized $1.9 million in competitive and minimum allocation grants to replace a waterline transmission and distribution system. The system previously had leaks Read More…

Whitefish Returns to Stadium Planning, Seeks to Address Classroom Crowding

After more than a year of the COVID-19 pandemic delaying progress on the new Whitefish High School (WHS) sports complex, the topic is back at the forefront for school administrators and trustees, but with some big potential changes on deck. The Whitefish School District (WSD) recently identified looming classroom capacity constraints at the current high Read More…

One-third of workers would take a pay cut to never dress for work again. Here’s how retailers are responding

This past fall, Lululemon’s design team noticed something unusual. Wall Street bros were flocking to the Brookfield Place store in the Financial District to buy the On the Move trousers, which look like chinos but are made from the same soft, stretchy, moisture-wicking material used in the brand’s activewear. That’s right: Finance execs were finally ditching their Read More…