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U.S. charges Russian hackers with sweeping campaign of cyberattacks

A federal grand jury has charged six Russian nationals with a wide-ranging campaign of cyberattacks — including a highly destructive global malware rampage and a 2018 attack on the Winter Olympic Games — that reflects the scope and intensity of Russia’s digital aggression. As officers of Russia’s GRU military intelligence agency, the six defendants launched Read More…

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Montana university officials approve guidelines for fall reopening

Montana university officials approved guidelines for colleges and universities statewide to reopen campuses in the fall. These measures, known as Montana University System Healthy Fall 2020 Task force Guidelines, would be used as the framework for campuses to form their own individual safe back-to-school plans. A few of the key points listed in those guidelines Read More…

Congressmen Gianforte and Johnson call for Congress to strip ex-IHS doctor of his pension

Two members of Congress have written a letter to officials at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) demanding that former Indian Health Services pediatrician and convicted pedophile Stanley Patrick Weber be stripped of his pension. Congressmen Greg Gianforte, R-Montana, and Dusty Johnson, R-South Dakota, wrote Monday that by allowing Weber to continue Read More…

Unsolicited packages of seeds from China delivered to Montana mailboxes

MISSOULA, Mont. — Unordered packages containing unknown seeds are arriving in mailboxes across the country with return addresses in China. Montana officials started getting reports of the unsolicited packages this week. According to the Montana Department of Agriculture, it’s important that recipients of these unsolicited packages of seeds do not plant them. “Could they be harmless Read More…

State of Montana partnering with Montana State University to expand surveillance testing for COVID-19

HELENA- The State of Montana is partnering with Montana State University to expand surveillance testing for COVID-19 for critical front-line health care personnel, essential workers and other groups. Researchers with the Montana State University will begin surveillance testing next week and will have a capability to test 500 people per day according to a release Read More…

Montana prison warden resigns

Montana State Prison Warden Lynn Guyer submitted his letter of resignation last week after almost two years on the job and amid a public health crisis through which the state correctional system has been carefully treading. Montana Department of Corrections spokesperson Carolynn Bright on Wednesday confirmed Guyer had submitted his letter of resignation on July Read More…

Bullock issues mask requirement in Montana

MISSOULA, Mont. — Montana Gov. Steve Bullock has issued a directive requiring face coverings at indoor public spaces and at larger outdoor gatherings in counties where four or more people are known to be currently infected with COVID-19. Bullock says too many people continue to meet in large gatherings and too few are wearing masks. The Read More…

Montana entrepreneur who sparked controversy during Puerto Rico hurricane response wins $4M no-bid PPE contract

(CNN)Almost three years after a tiny Montana company ignited a firestorm of controversy when it signed a massive contract to repair Puerto Rico’s hurricane-battered electricity grid, the firm’s CEO has won another disaster relief deal: supplying the federal government with protective gear in the fight against the coronavirus. A new company co-led by Andy Techmanski, Read More…

DEM GOV CANDIDATE COONEY HIT WITH MAXIMUM PENALTY

As we reported back in May, Lieutenant Governor and Democrat gubernatorial candidate, Mike Cooney (D-MT) was busted for making campaign fundraising calls from his official office in the state capitol. Now, Cooney has been slapped with the “maximum penalty” by the state Commissioner of Political Practices. As the Associated Press reports: READ FULL STORY

ICE deportation threat could impact 150 UM students if school goes online-only

International students attending the University of Montana could be forced to leave the country this fall if the flagship institution is forced to revert to online only instruction due to COVID-19. The Trump administration this week said international students attending U.S schools who switch to online classes will be required to leave or risk violating Read More…

Senator Steve Daines meets with Billings health leaders after surge of COVID-19 cases in Yellowstone County

BILLINGS, Mont. – The number of active cases in Yellowstone County prompted Senator Steve Daines to host a virtual roundtable with county medical leaders. According to Mayor Bill Cole, Yellowstone County is the epicenter for coronavirus, with 16 out of the 45 new cases reported Sunday coming out of Yellowstone County. City health leaders met Read More…

Daines asking postal service inspector general for ‘full investigation’ after Billings vet’s remains go missing

BILLINGS — U.S. Sen. Steve Daines of Montana is calling on the U.S. Postal Service to review and correct policy after a Billings veteran’s remains were lost in the mail. Daines recently sent a letter to the USPS inspector general asking for an in-depth investigation into the matter, which took place during the COVID-19 pandemic. Billings Read More…

Wyoming unemployment rate falls, now third lowest in country

Wyoming’s unemployment rate fell to 8.8% in May, as the state began to recover from the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. The Equality State had the nation’s third lowest unemployment rate for the month, trailing only Nebraska and Utah, federal figures show. The national unemployment rate, meanwhile, stood at 13.3%. In April, Wyoming unemployment Read More…

In gov race, Gianforte outpaces Cooney almost 4-to-1 on campaign money

HELENA — As the 2020 general-election race for Montana governor gets under way, Republican candidate Greg Gianforte’s campaign has accumulated almost four times the money of his Democratic competitor, Mike Cooney – but that total includes $1.5 million of Gianforte’s own money. Gianforte reported Monday that his campaign has raised about $3.83 million through June Read More…

Justices won’t reexamine legal doctrine that shields law enforcement

The Supreme Court decided on Monday that they will not reexamine a doctrine that protects law enforcement and government officials from being sued over their actions while on the job. The doctrine, which the justices created nearly 50 years ago, gives “qualified immunity” for law enforcement officers, which protects them from frivolous lawsuits CNN reported. READ FULL STORY

USDA SECRETARY SONNY PERDUE IN MISSOULA TO SIGN STEWARDSHIP MEMO

The United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue was at the Forest Service Smokejumper Center on Friday to sign a stewardship memorandum that contained a blueprint to modernize the U.S. Forest Service. Perdue outlines aspects of the agreement officially signed on Friday. “It increases productivity,” said Secretary Perdue. “These are renewable resources. We are Read More…

New coronavirus spread isn’t the feared ‘second wave’ – it’s still the first, researchers say

The rise in coronavirus cases seen in about half a dozen states across the U.S. isn’t the feared “second wave” — it’s still the first, scientists and infectious disease specialists say. To be defined as a second wave the virus would need to retreat and reappear, or a new variant would have to emerge, said Ian Lipkin, a professor Read More…

Montana, North Dakota lawmakers to collaborate on radioactive oilfield waste problem

The debate over how to dispose of the Bakken’s radioactive oilfield waste has prompted a small group of lawmakers from North Dakota and Montana to start collaborating. The conversations come as Montana prepares to enact a formal rule capping the radiation level of oilfield waste disposed of at landfills in the state. Much of the Read More…

US shocks economists by adding 2.5 million jobs in May as unemployment declines to 13.3%

Economists were shocked on Friday as the Bureau of Labor Statistics said US employers added 2.5 million payrolls in May, defying expectations of 7.5 million jobs lost. The surprise increase came on the heels of the record 20.5 million jobs lost in April. The unemployment rate declined to 13.3%, bucking forecasts of a near-record 19% rate. April’s Read More…

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…