In The News


First COVID-19 vaccines arrive in Montana, several Great Falls providers awaiting shipments

Due to a system upgrade over the weekend with the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, no new cases of COVID-19 were reported on Monday. But that doesn't mean there weren't any new cases and daily totals impacted by the system upgrade will be reported in the following days according to DPHHS. "The upgrade required the system to be shut down all day, so no cases could be reported to the state for today's update," wrote DPHHS on its website. "Cases will be added in the coming … Continue Reading


Senate sends National Defense Authorization Act benefiting Malmstrom to President's desk

The U.S. Senate on Friday passed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021, which would support Montana's military installations, service members, veterans and military families. The bipartisan bill, supported by Montana's U.S. Sens. Jon Tester and Steve Daines, awaits President Donald Trump's signature. The annual defense bill includes provisions, such as a 3% pay raise to all service members, hazard pay and 180 days of medical care for National Guard and Reserve service mem… Continue Reading


Montana prepares for initial COVID-19 vaccinations

The first doses could arrive as early as next Tuesday, and will be prioritized for health care workers and assisted living facilities. When 9,750 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine arrive in Montana as early as next Tuesday, the delivery will mark the beginning of a complex distribution plan organized by public health officials, hospital administrations and commercial pharmacies. The goal of the initial round of distribution, state officials say, is to get the vaccine to as many frontline he… Continue Reading


Daines’ Accelerating Veterans Recovery Outdoors Act signed into law

President Donald Trump on Saturday signed into law a bipartisan bill that included legislation introduced by U.S. Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) that will make it easier for U.S. military veterans to use the outdoors as part of their medical treatment and therapy. "The outdoors is critical to our Montana way of life and can help Montana veterans who are recovering from trauma and injuries they experienced in combat," Sen. Daines said. "That's why I'm glad my bipartisan bill promoting recovery and tre… Continue Reading


‘Accelerating Veterans Recovery Outdoors Act’ Passed Into Law

As part of the recently passed Veterans COMPACT Act, the Accelerating Veterans Recovery Outdoors Act makes therapy via outdoor recreation more readily available to military veterans. A broad legislative effort to better serve military veterans was recently signed into law by the president. And within that legislation is a concerted plan to better veterans' access to therapeutic outdoor programs. The Veterans COMPACT Act creates new channels of communication between veterans and the VA, impleme… Continue Reading


Bill to promote outdoor therapies for veterans signed into law

A bill to promote the use of public lands and other outdoor spaces for medical treatment and therapy for veterans has been signed into law, opening the door to improved physical health and mental well-being for veterans who lacked access to outdoor recreation in the past. The "Accelerating Veterans Recovery Outdoors Act" was co-introduced into Congress by Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., and Sen. Catherine Cortez-Masto, D-Nevada, in May, 2019, and signed by President Trump on Dec. 5. It mandates th… Continue Reading


Bozeman's VA Clinic to be renamed after fallen Montana soldier

BOZEMAN - Bozeman's VA Clinic is well on its way to being renamed after Medal of Honor recipient, staff sergeant Travis Atkins. On Thursday, in a unanimous vote, the U.S. Senate passed a bill to rename the clinic after Atkins who was killed on the battlefield in Iraq after he tackled and fell on a suicide bomber to save the lives of his fellow soldiers. Atkins was born and raised in Montana and served in Afghanistan and Iraq. He was awarded the Medal of Honor after his death in a White House … Continue Reading


Bill to help veterans access the outdoors signed into law

Note: This story was corrected to change the date the bill was signed. A U.S. Senate bill signed into law Saturday stands to bring Montana's veterans and the outdoors closer together. Introduced by Montana Republican Sen. Steve Daines and Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, a Democrat, the bipartisan bill promotes outdoor veteran recovery programs and expands outdoor recreational opportunities for veterans on public lands. The bill passed as part of the Veterans COMPACT Act of 2020. The other… Continue Reading


Daines Praised by President Trump – Talks about COVID Vaccines

Recently re-elected Senator Steve Daines was on the Montana Morning News show on Wednesday to speak about several issues, primarily regarding the COVID 19 vaccines headed to Montana next week. Daines was at the Operation Warp Speed COVID response press conference at the White House on Tuesday, and was congratulated by President Trump for his November re-election. "I was at the White House, in fact I was just one of two senators invited to President Trump's vaccine summit," said Daines. "It's w… Continue Reading


Montana gets $126M to expand rural broadband service

Six internet providers are expected to extend broadband service to nearly 46,000 homes and businesses in rural Montana with nearly $126 million from the Federal Communications Commission. The FCC announced Monday it will grant $9.2 billion to internet providers from its Rural Development Opportunity Fund over the next 10 years, following an auction that FCC Chairman Ajit Pai called "the single largest step ever taken to bridge the digital divide." Big winners in the auction include Elon Musk's… Continue Reading


FCC Funds Montana Broadband Expansion

The Federal Communications Commission completed an auction that selected companies who will increase high-speed internet access to Montana and the rest of rural America. The companies include cable operators, electric cooperatives, telephone companies, satellite companies and fixed wireless providers. The work is expected to be mostly completed within six years of a 10-year contract. In Montana, Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines welcomed the news, which provides $125 Million to bring high-sp… Continue Reading


Minor League Baseball continues in Montana after new agreement

Minor league baseball in Montana will continue on, after a recent agreement between Major League Baseball and the Pioneer League became official. U.S. Sens. Jon Tester and Steve Daines both fought for the Pioneer League, which includes three teams in Montana, to stay affiliated in some way with the MLB. "Big Sky Country is professional baseball country, which is why I am pleased to announce that I successfully worked with MLB and our minor league teams to keep America's favorite pastime in Mon… Continue Reading


Montana Telecoms In Limbo Over National Policy To Replace Chinese Equipment

Rural internet providers across the country are waiting on the federal government to finish giving directions on what to do with recently banned Chinese equipment. The delay is adding uncertainty and costs to efforts to narrow Montana's digital divide. Craig Gates is the CEO of Triangle Telephone Cooperative, a small telecom company based in Havre, MT that provides service to about 20,000 customers in rural Central Montana. It's expensive to provide internet and cell coverage in areas where cus… Continue Reading


Post-Savanna's Act pilot program launched to improve law enforcement response to missing and murdered Indigenous people

Note: Information for this report came from the offices of U.S. Sens. Jon Tester and Steve Daines and the U.S. Attorney for the District of Montana A push to get more resources, information and investigation for murdered and missing Indigenous persons years in the making took a major step forward this week with the launching of a pilot program on the Flathead Indian Reservation. At a council meeting of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Indian Reservation - CSKT - the … Continue Reading


90 Montana providers registered to dispense COVID-19 vaccine

BILLINGS - As Montana gets ready for its first shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine, state health officials are also busy making sure disbursement is set up and ready to go across the state. Gov. Steve Bullock announced this week that Montana will get over 9,700 doses of the Pfizer vaccine. Officials at both Billings Clinic and St. Vincent Healthcare say they are ready to take them. Bullock says Montana's first allotment will focus on vaccinating the more than 40,000 health care workers in the st… Continue Reading


Daines outlines ingredients of second COVID stimulus package as Congress continues negotiations

BILLINGS- Funding for small businesses, unemployment, schools and local governments is about to run out nationwide as Congress continues to negotiate terms for a second round of COVID-19 stimulus relief funds. However, Montana Republican U.S. Sen. Steve Daines believes lawmakers are close to reaching an agreement if they can get past bipartisan disagreements for how money should be allocated. Daines spoke with MTN News Thursday afternoon from his Washington, D.C., office on a Zoom call. He dis… Continue Reading


Daines applauds deal making Montana minor league teams part of new MLB Partner League

U.S. Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT), who worked to save Montana's Minor League Baseball teams when Major League Baseball (MLB) announced it would cut ties with 42 minor league teams across the country, on Monday applauded an agreement by MLB and Montana's minor league teams that retains professional baseball in the state. "Professional baseball in Montana helps bring our communities together and drive our local economies," Sen. Daines said. "I'm very glad that after months of negotiations, MLB and Mo… Continue Reading


U.S. Senate passes Sen. Daines’ ALS bill

According to ALS News Today, about 14,000 people in the U.S. are suffering from ALS, or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, a disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, slowly crippling the patient. There is currently no known cause or cure and Social Security Disability Insurance requires a five-month waiting period for treatment. The U.S. Senate this week passed a bipartisan bill presented by Montana Sen. Steve Daines that "will allow Montanans with ALS to receive both Medicare … Continue Reading


Montana to receive 2nd round of COVID-19 antibody treatments

HELENA - The state of Montana is getting a second round delivery of Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approved COVID-19 antibody treatments. Regeneron's antibody therapeutic, casirivimab and imdevimab, is used to treat non-hospitalized or mildly to moderately symptomatic people over the age of 12-years in danger of advancing to hospitalization or severe symptoms. According to a release from the Office of Sen. Daines, Montana is receiving 150 vials of the Regeneron casirivimab and imdevimab coc… Continue Reading


MonDak senators unite to push legislation to help craft breweries

Sen. Steve Daines, R-Montana, and Sen. Jon Tester, D-Montana, as well as North Dakota Republican senators Kevin Cramer and John Hoeven have written to Senate Leadership to urge them to pass the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act before the end of the year, which would make permanent existing federal excise tax rates for beverage and alcohol producers. Montana and North Dakota both are among states that have seen a surge in the craft beer industry. It's not only creating new jobs an… Continue Reading

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