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'Capitol Talk:' Will Bullock Run? Bills Address Child Sex Abuse, Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women

This week at the Capitol: There's new momentum this legislative session to end Montana's statue of limitations in child sex abuse cases; Gov. Bullock remains vague about his political aspirations; the U.S. Supreme Court leaves Montana's campaign contribution limits in place; direct care workers may get a raise; and rallies to focus attention on missing and murdered Indigenous women coincide with possible legislative action. Learn more now on Capitol Talk with Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Holly Michels.

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Richest Hill Episode 00: Series Preview

Butte Montana is famous. It was at one time the biggest city between Chicago and San Francisco. It’s in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, and sits at the headwaters of the mighty Columbia River, which flows all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Butte boomed and thrived for almost a century because of one thing: copper. Butte’s massive copper deposit was key to America’s success. The “Richest Hill on Earth” literally electrified the nation, and made the brass in bullets that won World Wars I and II. But in the 1980s, the last of the big mines shut down. Now, most of the riches are gone, and Butte is struggling.

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Arts & Music

Patagonia

'Path Of The Puma' With Jim Williams

"I, for one, choose a world in which I am not always at the top of the food chain. It's good, sometimes, to near a summit only to be turned back by a world that is bigger than your ambition." -- Jim Williams

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People browsing at a medical marijuana dispensary.
Stock Photo Courtesy Drug Policy Alliance

Federal legislation introduced this week by Montana Democratic Senator Jon Tester and Alaska Republican Dan Sullivan would require the Veterans Administration to study medicinal cannabis as an alternative treatment for veterans.

The "VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act" Directs the VA to begin clinical trials to test the effects of medical marijuana as a treatment for chronic pain and symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress.

This week at the Capitol: There's new momentum this legislative session to end Montana's statue of limitations in child sex abuse cases; Gov. Bullock remains vague about his political aspirations; the U.S. Supreme Court leaves Montana's campaign contribution limits in place; direct care workers may get a raise; and rallies to focus attention on missing and murdered Indigenous women coincide with possible legislative action. Learn more now on Capitol Talk with Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Holly Michels.

Five To Follow: Week Of Jan. 21 At The Montana Legislature

15 hours ago
Colstrip power plant.
John Adams / Montana Free Press

HELENA — Youth suicide, honoring an officer, coal plants, switchblades, and plastic straws: lawmakers have a lot to discuss during Week 3 of the legislative session. Here are a handful of topics to follow.

Bills Would Bolster Suicide Prevention Programs In Montana Schools

15 hours ago
Rep. Mary Ann Dunwell (D) - HD84
Montana Legislature

HELENA — Two new bills in the Montana Legislature aim to address suicide prevention for Montana’s youth.

Rep. Mary Ann Dunwell, D-Helena, is sponsoring House Bills 186 and 187, which would offer $2.5 million in grants to schools for mental health screening and suicide prevention training. Dunwell said the request for state funding might bring some resistance from lawmakers, but the programs are necessary to continue to prevent suicide.

Signs from the Jan. 18, 2019 March For Life event at the state Capitol call for and end to abortion.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

Anti-abortion activists marched on the Montana State Capitol Friday afternoon. They joined crowds all across the country in the March For Life, protesting the Roe vs Wade decision, the landmark 1973 U.S. Supreme Court case establishing women's legal right to an abortion.

A crowd of around 100 stretched out on the state Capitol steps, praying for the end of abortion in the United States.

Josh Burnham

A third annual Women’s March is happening Saturday in cities across the country. But events scheduled in Missoula and Kalispell are steering clear of the national march’s agenda.

Lauren Small Rodriguez is one of the organizers of an entirely Native-led vigil for missing and murdered indigenous women taking place Saturday in Missoula.

Bill Would Boost Montana Need-Based College Financial Aid

Jan 17, 2019
The University of Montana.
Josh Burnham / MTPR

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — Proposed legislation to boost financial aid for Montana college students from low-income families has attracted support. 

American Airlines plane.
Stock photo (PD)

Passenger traffic at Missoula International Airport last year set an all-time record. The airport handled over 848,000 passengers. That’s a 10 percent increase over 2017.

Since 2000 the airport has seen an 85 percent increase in passenger traffic.

Taxes To Again Dominate Budget Talks At The Montana Legislature

Jan 17, 2019
Rep. Nancy Ballance, R-Hamilton, sits in the House of Representatives on Jan. 10, 2019. Ballance is the chair of the House Appropriations Committee.
Shaylee Rager / UM Legislative News Service

HELENA — Taxes are shaping up to be one of the big debates of the 2019 Montana Legislature.

The budget estimates from the governor’s office and the Legislative Fiscal Division are roughly the same -- about $10 billion over two years to fund a variety of state agencies and programs. The budget includes everything from education to the state’s share of Medicaid expansion.

An image detailing the bathtub of weak snow layers around Dickey Creek in the Flathead Range on Jan. 15, 2019.
flatheadavalanche.org

The Flathead Avalanche Center has issued an avalanche watch through Saturday for several mountain ranges in Northwest Montana.

The backcountry avalanche watch issued Thursday morning warns of high avalanche danger Friday and Saturday in the Swan, Whitefish and Flathead Ranges and Glacier National Park.

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