In The News

01.20.21

Daines: New law prevents health insurance price-rigging

Health insurers no longer will be immune from federal antitrust laws that prohibit collusion and price-rigging under a bill that President Donald Trump signed into law last week. U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Montana, was among a bipartisan group of lawmakers who backed the legislation, known as the Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act. It removes a 75-year-old exemption for health insurance carriers in federal antitrust laws that apply to nearly all other sectors of the economy. Supporters say … Continue Reading


01.19.21

Tester, Daines, Rosendale all plan to attend President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration

The U.S. Capitol and the surrounding area is on high alert after the riot that took place just over a week ago. Ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on Wednesday, Montana legislators are planning on attending the ceremony in person, despite changes. Senator Jon Tester's (D-MT) office confirmed Monday night that the senator is planning on attending the inauguration in person. Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) plans on attending and said it's a long standing tradition. "I will be attendi… Continue Reading


01.19.21

Montana delegates react to possible canceling of Keystone XL pipeline

MISSOULA, Mont. - President-elect Joe Biden may be planning to put an end to the Keystone XL pipeline on his first day in office through an executive order. The proposed pipeline, which would run through eastern Montana, has been met with several obstacles despite support from the Trump administration. Senator Steve Daines is speaking out against any decision to put an end to the pipeline saying it would be detrimental to Montana's job growth. In a statement Monday, Daines said he urges Biden… Continue Reading


01.18.21

MSUB commemorates MLK Day in virtual ceremony

BILLINGS - Montana State University Billings commemorated the 35th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday in a virtual ceremony Monday. Dr. King was a minister and activist who eventually became the face of the civil rights movement. He led the Montgomery bus boycotts, which ultimately led to a U.S. Supreme Court decision to outlaw segregation. King advocated for non-violent protests, and is famously remembered for his 'I Have a Dream' speech he delivered in 1963 in front of the … Continue Reading


01.18.21

Montanans give swift response to Biden plan canceling Keystone XL

Word that President-elect Joe Biden might cancel the Keystone XL pipeline permit this week evoked quick a response from Montanans who have fought for years over the Canadian tar sands project. Biden's cancellation of the permit first appeared on a transaction briefing note for Wednesday, Inauguration Day, initially reported by CBC News. The possibility set off a whirl of responses, including in Montana where Native Americans and environmentalists have resisted the pipeline since it was first pr… Continue Reading


01.16.21

Central Montana water project gets boost from Congress

About 6,000 rural Montanans are one step closer to having high-quality well water available to their homes and businesses. Congress has authorized the Clean Water for Rural Communities Act, although the approval came four years later than originally assumed. This gives the Central Montana Regional Water Authority formal consent to seek federal funding to develop its rural water system. The system will service residents in and near nine communities west and south of the Big Snowy Mountains. "We… Continue Reading


01.16.21

Central Montana water project gets boost from Congress

About 6,000 rural Montanans are one step closer to having high-quality well water available to their homes and businesses. Congress has authorized the Clean Water for Rural Communities Act, although the approval came four years later than originally assumed. This gives the Central Montana Regional Water Authority formal consent to seek federal funding to develop its rural water system. The system will service residents in and near nine communities west and south of the Big Snowy Mountains. "We… Continue Reading


01.15.21

Bison range officially transferred to CSKT

Red Sleep Mountain began its official return to the Flathead Indian Reservation on Friday as Interior Secretary David Bernhardt formerly signed papers transferring the National Bison Range to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. "The CSKT have strong and deep historical, geographic and cultural ties to the land and the bison, and their environmental professionals have been leaders in natural resources and wildlife management for many decades," Interior Assistant Secretary Tara Katuk Swe… Continue Reading


01.15.21

Judge orders IHS to release report on doctor's sexual assaults

A federal magistrate judge has ordered the Indian Health Service to release the report it commissioned on how the agency failed to protect Indigenous children from Stanley Patrick Weber, the doctor who sexually abused boys on the reservations in Montana and South Dakota for decades. The report includes interviews with South Dakotans and might identify the people and practices responsible for the Pine Ridge IHS failing to properly respond to reports of Weber's behavior. The Journal and other me… Continue Reading


01.14.21

Daines: Second round of Paycheck Protection Program funds now available

U.S. SENATE - U.S. Senator Steve Daines announced that beginning this week, Montana small businesses heavily impacted by the pandemic are able to apply for the second round of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. "This PPP funding is critical for Montana small businesses who have been hit hard due to the pandemic," Daines said."This funding will help keep Montana small businesses open and their workers employed. I'm glad I was able to helpsecure it." Beginning today, some of Montana's ha… Continue Reading


01.14.21

Daines: 2nd Round of PPP Funds Now Available

Many Montana businesses are still struggling from the financial impacts of the COVID-19 shutdowns from last Spring, and many are still suffering under restrictions that remain in place. Now that another COVID-19 relief package was signed into law by President Trump, another round of Paycheck Protection Program funds are now available. DAINES: This PPP funding is critical for Montana small businesses who have been hit hard due to the pandemic. This funding will help keep Montana small business… Continue Reading


01.13.21

Montana to receive $71M+ for COVID testing, vaccine distribution

U.S. SENATE - U.S. Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines announced that Montana will receive more than $71 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to combat COVID-19 through large-scale testing and vaccination efforts. The year-end bipartisan COVID-19 relief and stimulus package allocates $61,517,133 for COVID-19 testing and provides $9,657,321 for vaccine distribution. Tester said, "With the news this week that Montana has passed the grim milestone of more than 1,000 COVI… Continue Reading


01.13.21

Fish and Wildlife Service proposes ESA rule changes meant to speed timber projects

Federal officials on Monday proposed revisions to consultation rules under the Endangered Species Act that could streamline the process for approving timber projects on critical habitat. If enacted, the revisions would allow the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service to circumvent consultation with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials over land management plans when new species are listed as threatened. Land management plans are broad documents that guide agency decisions on pub… Continue Reading


01.13.21

$250,000 grant to continue addressing grizzly-human conflicts

MONTANA - U.S. Senator Steve Daines announced the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service renewed a $250,000 grant to help reduce grizzly bear and human conflicts in Montana. "This funding is critical to help reduce grizzly-human conflicts in Montana as we continue working to delist the grizzly bear and return management to the state," Daines said. The USFWS grant to the Montana Wildlife Services will include: Additional support through the Wildlife Services contract to address bear and human conflict.… Continue Reading


01.13.21

UM starts on-campus COVID-19 vaccinations

Dr. Kenneth Chatriad took a break from his work to wipe down the 12 smooth, light blue plastic chairs spaced out in a Curry Health Center hallway. Chatriad, the center's pharmacy manager, walked through his newly constructed immunization center. Though it was hard to tell under his mask and face shield, he was probably smiling. "It is an exciting day today, finally," Chatriad said as he brought his attention back to new faces coming down the corridor. They were frontline healthcare workers, inc… Continue Reading


01.09.21

Lost Trail easement near Marion finalized

Another large swath of timberland in Northwest Montana will remain open to the public in perpetuity after groups finalized the purchase of the Lost Trail Conservation Easement. The 7,256-acre parcel near Marion will complement an existing network of public lands stretching across Flathead, Lake, Lincoln and Sanders counties. Situated within the recently proposed 100,000-acre U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Lost Trail Conservation Area, the prized single block of land also shares nearly 7 miles… Continue Reading


01.08.21

Health Officials Urge Patience about Covid-19 Vaccinations

Ravalli County and Missoula County Public Health Departments have been overwhelmed with phone calls about COVID-19 vaccination schedules. And both departments are asking the public to quit calling. Instead, Ravalli County Public Health Director Tiffany Webber said that in Ravalli County, the staff has started an online appointment and waiting list for those who are requesting appointments. The Ravalli County vaccinations have started for the healthcare workers and first responders, but there is… Continue Reading


01.08.21

CARES Act funding depleted; state and local governments awaiting guidance on new federal COVID funds

HELENA - The COVID-19 pandemic response has been a costly endeavor at all levels of government. Lewis and Clark Public Health (LCPH) alone has already spent more than $1 million responding to the public health crisis. To put that into perspective, LCPH spent a total of $781,689 during their entire 2019 fiscal year. "That's primarily because we've had to hire so many extra people to help do this work," Lewis and Clark County Health Officer Drenda Niemann. "We've had to hire 70 contact tracers f… Continue Reading


01.07.21

Montana music venues, theaters see 'glimmer of light' in relief bill

The COVID relief bill passed by Congress in late December includes $15 billion that could aid eligible independent music venues and movie theaters in Montana that have been shuttered since March. The passage was like "finally getting a sigh of relief," said Sean Lynch, the owner of the Pub Station concert venue in Billings. He helped the push for the Save Our Stages Act through the National Independent Venue Association, a group formed at the beginning of the pandemic. Its members estimated th… Continue Reading


01.05.21

Sen. Daines announces grant for grizzly bear management

U.S. Senator Steve Daines announced Tuesday the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) renewed a $250,000 grant to help reduce grizzly bear and human conflicts in Montana. "This funding is critical to help reduce grizzly-human conflicts in Montana as we continue working to delist the grizzly bear and return management to the state," Daines said. The USFWS grant to the Montana Wildlife Services will include: • Additional support through the Wildlife Services contract to address bear and h… Continue Reading

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