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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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North Dakota OKs expanding Dakota Access Pipeline, setting up legal fight with Standing Rock

North Dakota regulators on Wednesday approved expanding the Dakota Access pipeline, despite concerns from environmentalists and Native Americans who said the plan makes an oil spill more likely. The 3-0 vote by the Public Service Commission clears one hurdle to double the pipeline’s capacity to 1.1 million barrels of crude oil per day, but the proposal needs additional permits and Read More…

More than $7 million in airport upgrades coming to Wyoming

WASHINGTON (RELEASE) – U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao announced Wednesday that the U.S. Department of Transportation will award $7.2 million in airport safety and infrastructure grants to 10 airports in Wyoming. This investment in Wyoming’s airports is part of a $520.5 million national investment in America’s airports that was announced today by Secretary Chao. Read More…

University of Montana economists tout Billings economy during stop

BILLINGS — Economists with the University of Montana touted Billings’ economic health during a Tuesday luncheon at the Northern Hotel. Patrick Barkey, the University of Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research director, said Billings has had good construction activity, a healthy real estate sector and financial institutions that are doing well. “Billings is the Read More…

Schreiner Drops Out Of Democratic Gubernatorial Race

House Minority Leader Casey Schreiner dropped out of the gubernatorial race Monday, leaving just two candidates running in the Montana Democratic primary race for governor. The four-term Great Falls state representative is suspending his campaign four months before Montana’s June 2 primary. In a statement, Schreiner said he doesn’t have the resources needed to run Read More…

US companies suspend China operations, restrict travel as coronavirus outbreak spreads

Disney, McDonald’s, Starbucks and other U.S. companies with significant footprints in China are suspending operations and instituting travel restrictions as they respond to the outbreak of the coronavirus. The virus has now taken the lives of at least 82 people in China and sickened 2,900 worldwide, including in the U.S. and Europe. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Read More…

Daines bill aims to reform Patriot Act

U.S. Senator Steve Daines, R-Montana, announced Thursday he will be introducing bipartisan legislation to protect the civil liberties and privacy of Montanans from government spying programs. Daines’ bipartisan bill reforms Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which the National Security Agency has used to create a secret mass surveillance program that swept up millions of Read More…

‘An earthquake’: The deal that changed Montana’s insurance market

Two decades ago, four Montana hospitals tried something new. They bankrolled a company to compete with the most powerful insurer in the state. The hospitals wanted to challenge what they described as Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana’s “dominating presence.” So they founded insurer New West Health Services in 1998 to cover hospital employees and Read More…

Democrat Neill drops from Montana governor’s race

Democrat Reilly Neill has withdrawn from the 2020 governor’s race, saying she will work instead through “the media to educate, inform and report on issues of climate change and human rights.”  The Livingston resident and former state representative posted her decision on her votereilly.com website Jan. 12. “At every event for Democratic candidates I’ve attended in the Read More…

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon Is Nation’s Most Popular

REPUBLICAN GOV. MARK Gordon, who took his seat as Wyoming’s 33rd governor in 2019, is the most popular governor in America, according to Morning Consult’s latest survey.   The global technology company releases a survey identifying the country’s most and least popular governors every three months, with the most recent survey taken from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31, 2019. Read More…

Bozeman airport brings first direct Nashville flights to Montana

BELGRADE, Mont. – Montanans are ready for takeoff to the country music capital Nashville, Tenn. for the state’s first direct flight to Music City, USA. Montana’s busiest airport, Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport, is getting ready for a new direct flight to Nashville through Allegiant Airlines. You can start booking flights now for nonstop service, with Read More…

Montana High School Association to add girls wrestling, boys powerlifting as sanctioned sports

BILLINGS — The Montana High School Association executive board passed proposals for the MSHA to add girls wrestling and boys powerlifting as sanctioned sports during the MHSA’s annual meeting on Monday in Billings. The sports will be offered to member schools beginning with the 2020-21 school year. It was announced in late November that the Read More…

Montana Marijuana Legalization Proposals Take First Steps Toward 2020 Ballot

A statewide campaign working to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana submitted two proposed 2020 ballot initiatives for state review Monday. According to the initiative backers, The first ballot proposal would legalize marijuana in Montana for adults. In a press release, backers say it would also establish a regulatory framework for pot cultivation and sales, including Read More…

Montana Court Reverses $35 Million Child Abuse Verdict Against Jehovah’s Witnesses

The Montana Supreme Court has reversed a $35 million judgment against Jehovah’s Witnesses for failing to report child sexual abuse. A lower court had found that the church illegally failed to report a child sexual abuser to authorities, which allowed him to continue sexually abusing another child. The unanimous decision from seven state Supreme Court justices found Read More…

Online higher education magazine names MSU one of top 10 public universities on the rise

College Gazette, an online higher education magazine, has recognized Montana State University on its list of the top 10 public universities on the rise across the nation.   To compile the list, College Gazette chose schools that have made measurable strides over the past 20 years in a variety of areas, including their programs, student Read More…

Montana sheriffs publish “Glamour Shots” calendar for charity

The Montana Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association is offering 2020 calendars featuring “glamour shots” of sheriffs from across the Treasure State to raise funds for charity. The Association said on Facebook calendars are $10 each and available by contacting local sheriff’s offices. Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin started the “Sheriff Glamour Shot Challenge” in September, Read More…

Helena teacher, husband of OPI candidate, sentenced on felony drug charge

A former Helena elementary school teacher has been given a three-year deferred sentence for felony drug possession, stemming from an August traffic stop where authorities found cocaine, LSD, methamphetamine and psilocybin mushrooms in his vehicle. Eric Lehman, who is married to Democratic state superintendent of public instruction candidate Melissa Romano, pleaded guilty to the charge Read More…