Featured Articles in News

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…

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Stowaway survives flight from Africa to Europe in wheel well of cargo plane

A stowaway was found alive on Sunday in a wheel well in the nose of a cargo plane that flew 11 hours from Johannesburg, South Africa, to Amsterdam, in the Netherlands, Dutch police confirmed. The man, whose name was not released, was taken to a local hospital after authorities discovered him at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. The man is in stable condition 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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Harvard Prof Convicted of Lying About China Ties

A federal jury on Tuesday convicted a Harvard University professor of lying to the U.S. government about payments he received from a Chinese university. Charles Lieber, the former chairman of Harvard’s chemistry department, in 2011 agreed to establish a research lab at the Wuhan University of Technology in exchange for more than $1.5 million and Read More…

CDC drastically drops estimate of Omicron cases in US

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has drastically reduced its estimate of Omicron cases in the US, saying the variant accounted for about 59 percent of COVID-19 infections as of Christmas Day — a massive drop from the 73 percent previously reported. The CDC also significantly lowered its estimate for the week before Christmas, Read More…

Repeat DUI offender arrested after smashing snowman

A woman with four previous DUIs is once again accused of driving impaired, this time allegedly plowing through a ditch and smashing a snowman in front of multiple witnesses. Christine Lois Simmons, 73, was booked into the Flathead County Detention Center on Christmas Eve, charged with felony DUI. READ FULL STORY

Montana Millionaire winning tickets announced

If you bought ticket number 233771 or ticket number 100451 in the Montana Millionaire raffle, today is a good day – those were the two winning numbers, each worth one million dollars. The winning numbers were announced at Montana Lottery headquarters in Helena on Tuesday morning. The tickets were sold in Butte and Missoula. READ FULL STORY

Minimum wage in Montana: biggest increase in years

GREAT FALLS — Montana’s minimum wage will increase from $8.75 per hour to $9.20 per hour beginning on Saturday, January 1, 2022 – an increase of 45 cents per hour. Montana law requires that the minimum wage be adjusted annually based on changes in inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index all Urban Consumers (CPI-U) from Read More…

South Dakota kicks around ideas for high school football to consider ‘success factor’ in classification

Dec. 24—PIERRE — Discussion about reclassification is a constant in high school football, but the South Dakota High School Activities Association introduced possible tweaks to the process during a football advisory committee meeting in late November. Though it was only discussed and not put to a vote, SDHSAA executive director Dan Swartos presented findings to Read More…

University of Montana announces new Provost and Executive Vice President

MISSOULA, Mont. — After a nationwide search, the University of Montana announced they have hired Dr. Pardis Mahdavi to serve the university as the new Provost, Executive Vice President, no. 2 administrator, and academic officer. Mahdavi currently serves as Dean of Social Sciences at Arizona State University. In previous years, she has served as acting Dean Read More…

Rosebud Co. Sheriff & Deputy deliver check to organization making blankets for nursing home residents

FORSYTH, Mont. – A $500 check was delivered by Rosebud County Sheriff Fulton and Deputy Stradinger to an organization that makes blankets for nursing home residents. Crocheted With Love was surprised with the donation Saturday. “With Covid still restricting interactions, the residents just came up and picked out a blanket,” the Rosebud County Sheriff’s Office Read More…

Hospitals reconsider vaccine mandate amid staffing shortages

Major hospital systems across the country are quietly scrapping their vaccine mandates amid worker shortages and growing confusion as to whether such requirements on the national level are even legal. Two separate federal courts found in late November that President Joe Biden’s attempt to impose a nationwide vaccine requirement for healthcare workers likely exceeded the authority of Read More…