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Archive for year: 2021

Bill Limiting Stimulus Grants Passes Through The House

A proposal in the Montana Legislature to reduce some federal stimulus grants to local governments with stricter COVID-19 regulations than the state passed the House last week on a vote of 83 to 40. An amendment to remove the measure from House Bill 632 reducing funds to some local governments failed. It’s expected there will be clarifica...

Pictograph Cave State Park Reopens

Pictograph Cave State Park southeast of Billings will reopen Wednesday, April 14, 2021, two months after it was closed by a rockfall that blocked the access road and several trails. Since the January rockfall, Montana State Parks employees and contractors have worked to clear the road and trails and access the threat of future rockfalls from t...

Wolf Trapping Season And Requirements Expanded

Governor Greg Gianforte has signed bills allowing snares to be used for the trapping of wolves and lengthening Montana’s trapping seasons. Senate Bill 224 adds snares to the list of legal traps for wolves where previously only foothold traps were allowed. House Bill 225 extends wolf trapping seasons by two weeks earlier and two weeks later. Fi...

First 2021 Case Of Hantavirus Reported

Governor Greg Gianforte signed a law February 18th that expands where people can carry a concealed weapon. The Montana University System is looking to neighboring states and public input as it prepares to allow them on campuses statewide June 1st. The previous policy had been to ban firearms except for those carried by law enforcement while pr...

Park City County Health Officer Provides Coronavirus Update

Montana reported another 42 COVID-19 cases, but no new COVID-19 deaths in an update Sunday to the state case mapping and information website.  Active cases are at 1,100 statewide. Hospitals in the state are reporting 48 active COVID-19 hospitalizations. COVID-19 has caused the deaths of 1,523 Montanans. Park City-County Health officer Dr. Laur...

Cape Air Replacing Fleet Of Airplanes

Cape Air which services seven flights from Billings to rural Eastern Montana is adding a new model of commuter airplane to replace the airline’s aging fleet of Cessnas. The short-haul Tecnam P2012 airplane is meant for the type of quick commuter flights Cape Air offers. The Essential Air Service routes are designed to connect rural commu...

Zoo Montana Director Remembers Time Spent With Jack Hanna

President Joe Biden’s executive order on firearms including a new report on gun trafficking and serial numbers for kit guns drew quick response from Montana’s congressional delegation Thursday. Republicans Matt Rosendale and Steve Daines blasted the president’s gun regulations while Democrat Jon Tester said he preferred Congress take up issue....

New MSU-Billings Chancellor Shares Plan To Vaccinate Campus

The new firearm carry law signed by Governor Greg Gianforte February 18th will go into effect on Montana’s campuses June 1st, leaving the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education to collect public input draft a policy and present its findings to the Board of Regents during next month’s meeting. It also limits the power of the Board of Re...

U.S. VA McDonough Speaks About Montana Vaccinations For Veterans

Spokane-utility Avista Corporation is eying 300 megawatts of wind-power from Montana over the next seven years as it determines where its future energy will come from. The part owner of the Colstrip Power Plant has a 222-megawatt share evenly divided between Units 3 and 4 and faces a 2025 deadline to stop delivering coal power to its Washingto...

Senate Bill 379 Passes Through Senate

Senate Bill 379 won final Senate approval Thursday. It shields NorthWestern Energy from financial losses should the Colstrip Power Plant’s coal-fired generator shut down. The bill has been transmitted to the House where it will get another committee hearing next week before heading to the floor. Four of the power plant’s utility owners f...