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“Yellowstone” TV series will move filming and production to Montana

MISSOULA — The popular “Yellowstone” series featuring Kevin Costner announced Friday it plans to move its production to the Missoula Valley and surrounding locations later this month. The series was formerly shot in Utah and will be filmed solely in Montana for the first time in its history, according to Friday’s announcement. The production secured Read More…

Montana State celebrates new $50 million dormitory

Despite clouds of uncertainty hanging over higher education from the coronavirus pandemic, Montana State University took an optimistic step Tuesday by celebrating the completion of its new $50 million freshman student dormitory, Hyalite Hall.   President Waded Cruzado and other officials, all wearing face masks and sitting at a distance, gathered outside the new six-story, Read More…

First Judicial Dist. judge James Reynolds to retire in October

HELENA — First Judicial Dist. judge James Reynolds has announced he will retire on October 2, 2020. A release from the Montana Supreme Court says Chief Justice Mike McGrath has notified the Judicial Nomination Commission. The commission is now accepting application for Reynolds’ replacement. The first Judicial District over sees Lewis and Clark and Broadwater Read More…

Montana Governor Has Resisted Calls To Cut Back On State Spending During COVID-19

This story is part of an NPR nationwide analysis of states’ revenue and budgets during the pandemic. Montana’s finances are somewhat stable despite the economic hit the state has taken during the coronavirus pandemic. That’s the word from the state’s budget office. “This is essentially a manageable situation, which is pretty remarkable in the face of a Read More…

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Blue Cross Blue Shield of MT donates to The Rebound Montana Relief Fund

HELENA — Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana announced a $100,000 donation to the Montana Community Foundation. The money will benefit The Rebound Montana Relief Fund. The fund is a partnership between the Montana Television Network, AMB West Philanthropies and Montana Community Foundation. The fund will grant directly to nonprofit intermediary organizations such as community foundations and Read More…

Former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf arrested on domestic battery charge

Former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf has been arrested for misdemeanor domestic battery in Palm Springs, California. TMZ Sports first reported it. Leaf was taken into custody on Friday afternoon. Details of the incident itself are not clear. All that’s currently known, according to the information available on the Riverdale County Sheriff’s Department’s website, is that Leaf was Read More…

State receives more than 9,600 COVID-19 relief grant applications

More than 9,600 COVID-19 relief grant applications have been submitted to the State of Montana since applications opened last Thursday. Last week, Governor Bullock announced $123 million in CARES Act funding for nine new grant programs that are designed to address key COVID-19 issues Montanans are facing. As of the beginning of the business day May 13, the Montana Read More…

Jeff Bridges stars in Montana COVID-19 PSA

MISSOULA, Mont. — If it’s not enough that our state leaders and doctors are asking you to keep social distancing and wearing masks as Montana businesses reopen, they now have some celebrity manpower behind the cause. “The Dude” himself, Jeff Bridges, stars in a new public service announcement campaign launched by the Montana Hospital Association. Bridges Read More…

Yellowstone to open Wyoming entrances Monday; Montana entrances remain closed

Visitors will be able to enter Yellowstone National Park from Wyoming beginning Monday, but the entrances on the Montana side of the border will remain closed until at least June 1. Yellowstone Superintendent Cam Sholly announced the park’s phased reopening plan Wednesday on a conference call with Grand Teton National Park Superintendent Gopaul Noojibail and Read More…

Whitefish graduate part of vaccine research

Myndi Holbrook is among the scientists working on the front lines for research regarding COVID-19 and those seeking a vaccine for the virus. Holbrook, who graduated from Whitefish High School in 2015 and earned a microbiology degree from Montana State University, is a post-baccalaureate fellow at Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton. “It’s a very unique Read More…

Montana’s tourist industry braces for rough summer

Montana, and Bozeman especially, is a tourist magnet. People flock here for a variety of reasons: the wide-open spaces, our proximity to the first national park, the world-class skiing, the small-town feel. But with COVID-19 shutdowns and quarantines still in effect, businesses that depend on nonresident travelers are feeling the pressure. “June, July, August, September, Read More…

Melstone students back in class

Phase One of reopening in Montana allowed students to return to schools. In Musselshell County, Melstone Public Schools reopened on Thursday. The board voted on April 28 to give kindergarten through eighth-grade students an option to return. Melstone operates on a four-day week and has eight days left starting on Monday. “Just to give the Read More…

Secretary of State: Montana business registrations drop by 11,000 from last year

MISSOULA, Mont. — Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton noted that 11,000 fewer businesses renewed their state registrations by April 15 this year in comparison to last year. The statistic was highlighted in Stapleton’s Montana Business Forecast on Sunday. “The economic, social, and health-related disruptions from the coronavirus are historic,” Stapleton wrote in the emailed forecast. Read More…

Additional unemployment insurance benefits available in Montana

HELENA — The Montana Department of Labor & Industry has announced residents can now access an additional 13 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits due to the expanded passage of the recent stimulus package of the CARES Act. Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation provides 13 weeks of additional benefits to individuals who have exhausted their regular unemployment insurance Read More…

Montana State University making plans to reopen in the fall

Montana State University is planning to reopen the Bozeman campus to students this fall and is working on ways to protect students, faculty and employees from the threat of coronavirus. MSU President Waded Cruzado said in a statement Thursday that MSU wants to keep people safe while offering “a high-quality, on-campus educational experience.” “Thankfully, as Read More…

Airlines cancel flights and routes, leaving Missoula airport with challenging future

Commercial air service into Missoula International Airport has fallen to a trickle over the past month, and airport officials are bracing for a challenging future as airlines respond to the economic headwinds. Fewer than 125,000 passengers are passing through airport security nationally on a daily basis, leaving commercial air travel just 5% of what it Read More…

Woman Arrested After Moms Stage ‘Playdate Protest’ Over Idaho Stay At Home Order

One of the advocates of a movement urging Idahoans to disobey the governor’s stay at home order has been arrested at a protest in Meridian. Forty-year-old Sara Brady, who’s affiliated with the anti-vaccine groups Idahoans for Vaccine Freedom Health Freedom Idaho, was arrested at Kleiner Park in Meridian Tuesday afternoon. As a video posted to Read More…

Banks See High Demand for Loans and Refinancing

Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic began closing businesses and lowering interest rates, banks in the Flathead Valley are reporting high numbers of phone calls, loan applications and mortgage refinances. Banks have seen a lot of activity through the Small Business Administration’s $349 billion federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which authorizes forgivable loans to small businesses Read More…

Wuhan abruptly increased its coronavirus death toll to 50% higher than previously reported

The central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the novel coronavirus first appeared late last year, revised its death toll sharply higher on Friday. Local authorities changed the previous figure of 2,579 to 3,869, China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency reported. The change, 1,290 additional deaths, is an increase of almost exactly 50%. Officials also added another 325 Read More…

With few students on campus, UM places 63 employees on temporary furlough

MISSOULA — The University of Montana on Monday placed 63 employees on temporary furlough, saying the financial strain brought on by the coronavirus pandemic necessitated the decision. The university reached out to the individuals on Monday and issued a campus-wide memo later in the day announcing the decision. The workers will remain on furlough through Read More…