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Walsh says he was being treated for PTSD when he plagiarized paper

Walsh says he was being treated for PTSD when he plagiarized paper

HELENA — The New York Times reported Wednesday that Montana’s newest senator, Democrat John Walsh, plagiarized large portions of his final paper submitted for his 2007 master’s degree at the U.S. Army War College.

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'Woodwork effect' of Obamacare adds 6,000 people to Medicaid in Montana

'Woodwork effect' of Obamacare adds 6,000 people to Medicaid in Montana

HELENA — Montana is one of two dozen states that hasn’t expanded Medicaid as part of the federal health care overhaul — but it’s still added a higher-than-expected number of folks to this program that pays medical bills for the poor.

July 20, 2014 12:15 amLoading…
Whatever happened to CHIP expansion? It succeeded – but is really the Medicaid expansion

Whatever happened to CHIP expansion? It succeeded – but is really the Medicaid expansion

HELENA — While the debate rages over whether Montana should expand Medicaid to cover low-income adults, a dramatic expansion of Medicaid and a related government health plan has already happened — to cover children.

July 20, 2014 12:00 am Related Loading…
NWE CEO says dam purchase a good deal: We are not 'crooks’

NWE CEO says dam purchase a good deal: We are not 'crooks’

HELENA — NorthWestern Energy CEO Bob Rowe told state regulators Thursday that the company’s $870 million purchase of a dozen hydroelectric dams is a solid plan to rebuild the utility and benefit customers, and that suggestions that the company will unduly profit are wrong.

July 18, 2014 9:20 amLoading…
Financial disclosure: Daines worth millions; Walsh, a lot less

Financial disclosure: Daines worth millions; Walsh, a lot less

HELENA — U.S. Senate candidate Steve Daines, by far, is the wealthiest member of Montana’s congressional delegation — and, according to financial-disclosure reports, has personal wealth more than 125 times that of his Democratic opponent, Sen. John Walsh.

July 16, 2014 6:30 pm Related Loading…
Auditor’s office: Net increase of 30,000 Montanans with health insurance

Auditor’s office: Net increase of 30,000 Montanans with health insurance

HELENA — Since the launch of the federal government’s online health insurance “marketplace” in Montana last October, a net 30,000 Montanans have gained new health coverage, the state auditor’s office said Tuesday. 

July 15, 2014 7:21 pmLoading…
Consumer witness: NW dam purchase a bad deal for consumers, unless altered

Consumer witness: NW dam purchase a bad deal for consumers, unless altered

HELENA — The lead witness for a Montana consumer-advocate office said Tuesday that if regulators approve NorthWestern Energy’s $900 million purchase of a dozen hydroelectric dams without changes, it will mean guaranteed profits for the company and much higher costs for ratepayers.

July 15, 2014 1:45 pm Photos

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Remington confirms it will replace millions of triggers

Remington confirms it will replace millions of triggers

HELENA — The Remington Arms Co. has confirmed it will offer to replace trigger mechanisms on millions of Model 700 bolt-action hunting rifles, as part of a class-action lawsuit settlement reported earlier this week.

July 11, 2014 9:22 pmLoading…

Legislative panel advances report on federal-land management

HELENA — A legislative panel Thursday voted to advance a report on how to encourage more state involvement in management of federal lands in Montana — but not before changing it to say transferring those lands to the state should be considered a “last resort.”

July 10, 2014 7:06 pmLoading…
Blue Cross execs actually got a lot more pay in 2013 than earlier reported

Blue Cross execs actually got a lot more pay in 2013 than earlier reported

HELENA — Top executives at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana did not take a pay cut last year, as reported erroneously by the Gazette State Bureau in May — but, rather, received quite a bit more in total compensation.

July 09, 2014 6:30 pmLoading…

Legislative fed-land study sparks accusations of 'hidden agenda' of transferring lands to state

HELENA — A study of federal land management problems in Montana roiled a legislative panel Wednesday, as some members said the report has a “hidden agenda” of transferring ownership of federal lands to the state.

July 09, 2014 4:53 pmLoading…
NorthWestern, Consumer Counsel present contrasting views of $900M dam purchase

NorthWestern, Consumer Counsel present contrasting views of $900M dam purchase

HELENA – Montana’s tarnished utility-deregulation law wove its way through the fabric of Tuesday’s hearing on NorthWestern Energy’s proposal to buy a dozen hydroelectric dams, with a company lawyer calling the plan a chance to “put the failed experiment of utility deregulation behind us.”

July 08, 2014 11:20 am Photos

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Remington to settle class-action lawsuits over rifle’s trigger mechanism; recall in the works?

Remington to settle class-action lawsuits over rifle’s trigger mechanism; recall in the works?

HELENA — The Remington Arms Co. has reached a nationwide settlement of claims that most of its Model 700 bolt-action hunting rifles have a defective trigger mechanism — a settlement likely to include the recall of millions of the popular firearm.

July 07, 2014 5:15 pm Photos

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Barber in his office with documents

Barber in his office with documents

Richard Barber, shown in 2013 in his office filled with documents about Remington Arms Co. Barber said a federal court agreement with the gun maker and plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit accomplishes what he wanted to accomplish. “I guess it’s safe to say, it’s better late than never.”

July 07, 2014 5:05 pm

Disclosure of utility executive salaries back before PSC, as part of Missoula water battle

HELENA — In its fight to take over the private water utility serving Missoula, the city is pushing for public disclosure of what the utility pays some of its top executives, saying it’s an excessive cost Missoula water users shouldn’t have to pay.

June 29, 2014 12:15 amLoading…

Committee moves ahead on bills to revise, possibly limit Parole Board powers

HELENA — A legislative panel studying the state parole board voted Friday to draft at least two bills revising or limiting the board’s powers — and some members want to look at even further restrictions and changes.

June 27, 2014 9:27 pmLoading…

Legislative panel backs off plan for FBI investigation, seeks in-depth study of Shelby prison

HELENA — A legislative panel Friday undid its earlier decision to ask the FBI to investigate the privately operated prison at Shelby, but still voted to support a study and full-scale audit of the prison that holds 550 state inmates.

June 27, 2014 6:24 pmLoading…
Daines levels new charge against Walsh’s Guard leadership; Guard, Walsh dispute facts

Daines levels new charge against Walsh’s Guard leadership; Guard, Walsh dispute facts

HELENA — Republican U.S. Senate candidate Steve Daines is running a new TV ad accusing Democratic Sen. John Walsh of condoning sex discrimination while heading the Montana National Guard — a charge Walsh and current Guard officials say is untrue.

June 25, 2014 5:37 pm Video Loading…
No evidence data was stolen when state computers were hacked

No evidence data was stolen when state computers were hacked

HELENA — State officials Tuesday said they’re notifying 1.3 million people whose personal data were in a state Department of Public Health and Human Service computer hacked by unknown assailants a year ago.

June 24, 2014 12:15 pmLoading…
Montana Senate leader asks judge to dismiss illegal contribution complaint

Montana Senate leader asks judge to dismiss illegal contribution complaint

HELENA — Charges that state Senate Majority Leader Art Wittich broke campaign-reporting laws were filed improperly and should be dismissed, an attorney for Wittich told a state judge Monday.

June 23, 2014 2:55 pmLoading…
NorthWestern electric rates are among highest in the region

NorthWestern electric rates are among highest in the region

HELENA — When NorthWestern Energy’s homeowner customers get their electric bills next month, they’ll pay 10.34 cents per kilowatt hour — still nearly the highest rate of any major electric utility in the region.

June 22, 2014 12:15 am Related Loading…
Yellowstone Valley Co-op has high prices, but no increase for nearly four years

Yellowstone Valley Co-op has high prices, but no increase for nearly four years

HELENA — Yellowstone Valley Electric Cooperative, the state’s second-largest electric cooperative, charges relatively high power prices for its customers – but hasn’t had to raise them since 2011, its general manager said.

June 22, 2014 12:00 am Photos

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Walsh, Tester, Daines oppose further military involvement in Iraq

Walsh, Tester, Daines oppose further military involvement in Iraq

HELENA — The three members of Montana’s congressional delegation say they’re opposed to sending any additional U.S. troops or advisers into Iraq to help quell a Sunni Muslim-led insurgency.

June 19, 2014 6:07 pmLoading…
Schweitzer ignites media firestorm over comments on 'gaydar,' Sen. Feinstein

Schweitzer ignites media firestorm over comments on 'gaydar,' Sen. Feinstein

HELENA — Former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer set off a media and social media firestorm Wednesday night, as a magazine reported his comments about his “gaydar” going off over recently ousted U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and equating U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein with a prostitute.

June 19, 2014 1:20 pmLoading…
Medicaid expansion initiative drive falls short; won’t be on November ballot

Medicaid expansion initiative drive falls short; won’t be on November ballot

HELENA — An initiative to expand Medicaid coverage to 70,000 low-income Montanans won’t be on the November ballot this year, as supporters Thursday said don’t have enough signatures to qualify Initiative 170 for the ballot.

June 19, 2014 8:04 amLoading…

Medicaid expansion initiative drive falls short; won’t be on November ballot

HELENA – An initiative to expand Medicaid coverage to 70,000 low-income Montanans won’t be decided by voters this year, as supporters said today they don’t have enough signatures to qualify it for the November ballot.

June 19, 2014 7:47 am
PSC approves temporary electric rate increase for NorthWestern customers

PSC approves temporary electric rate increase for NorthWestern customers

HELENA — The state Public Service Commission Tuesday voted 4-1 to approve a $32 million annual, temporary rate increase for NorthWestern Energy’s electric customers in Montana starting next month.

June 17, 2014 11:51 amLoading…
Barry Beach says he's had it with Montana courts; may look to federal justice system

Barry Beach says he's had it with Montana courts; may look to federal justice system

HELENA — Convicted murderer Barry Beach, whose latest attempt to commute his 100-year sentence was rejected yet again by the state Parole Board last week, said Monday he may give up on Montana’s justice system and go to federal court to pursue his quest for release.

June 16, 2014 4:16 pm Photos

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Zinke, Lewis stake out talking points in first debate – but few shots at each other

BUTTE — Republican Ryan Zinke, at the first debate in the fall race for Montana’s sole U.S. House seat, pitched himself Saturday as a reasonable conservative who believes the American economy can return to greatness by developing its natural resources.

June 14, 2014 10:07 pmLoading…

Here’s a look at other major initiatives

HELENA — With the June 20 deadline to submit signatures fast approaching, only a group backing an initiative by Charter Communications to reverse a Montana Supreme Court decision and lower its property taxes is confident it will qualify for the November ballot.

June 13, 2014 6:07 pmLoading…

Will Medicaid expansion initiative make the ballot?

HELENA – The voter initiative to expand Medicaid in Montana is close to having enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot, but a lead organizer said Friday it will come down to the final deadline next week.

June 13, 2014 5:58 pm Related Loading…
Bullock reduces loan costs for $29M in city water, wastewater projects

Bullock reduces loan costs for $29M in city water, wastewater projects

HELENA — Gov. Steve Bullock said Friday he’s lowering interest rates and other charges for state loans that fund city wastewater and drinking-water projects in Montana, saving local governments $29 million over the next 20 years.

June 13, 2014 2:57 pmLoading…
Libertarian to be at 1st U.S. Senate debate, drawing split reaction from Daines, Walsh

Libertarian to be at 1st U.S. Senate debate, drawing split reaction from Daines, Walsh

HELENA — Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate Roger Roots will be on the stage Saturday in the race’s first general-election debate — and the campaign of Republican Steve Daines is none too happy about it.

June 12, 2014 6:12 pmLoading…
Walsh disappointed with Obama's handling of prisoner release

Walsh disappointed with Obama's handling of prisoner release

HELENA — U.S. Sen. John Walsh, the only Iraq War combat veteran in the U.S. Senate, said Wednesday he is “deeply disappointed” that President Barack Obama didn’t properly notify Congress about the circumstances of the release of prisoner-of-war Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

June 11, 2014 5:45 pm Photos

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PPL Montana part of spinoff into new company – what now for Colstrip?

PPL Montana part of spinoff into new company – what now for Colstrip?

HELENA — PPL Montana, the state’s largest private power generator, is being spun off to a new company that will own independent power projects around the country, its parent firm announced Tuesday.

June 10, 2014 8:15 amLoading…
VA audit finds a 48-day average wait for new Montana patients

VA audit finds a 48-day average wait for new Montana patients

HELENA — Military veterans in Montana wait an average of 48 days for their first primary-care visit in the Veterans Affairs health system, longer than VA systems in most neighboring states, the VA reported Monday.

June 09, 2014 1:29 pm Related Loading…

Despite rocky political landscape, state Democrats eye gains at the Legislature

BUTTE — Conventional wisdom says 2014 looks like a rough political year for Democrats in Montana, but party stalwarts see a bright spot beckoning: Their chances for making gains this election at the state Legislature, particularly the state Senate.

June 07, 2014 9:11 pmLoading…
Montana Democrats, looking at uphill climb this year, vow to make a fight out of it

Montana Democrats, looking at uphill climb this year, vow to make a fight out of it

BUTTE — Congressional candidate John Lewis had some frank words for fellow Montana Democrats at this weekend’s party convention, saying they have a steep hill to climb if they hope to succeed in November elections.

June 07, 2014 9:00 pmLoading…

Dems argue over including 'climate change' in party platform language

BUTTE — While the Obama administration is churning out rules to limit greenhouse gases that cause climate change, some Montana Democrats Friday resisted adding the words “climate change” to additional parts of their party platform.

June 06, 2014 7:38 pm
Nancy Keenan back in Montana, working on campaigns

Nancy Keenan back in Montana, working on campaigns

BUTTE — Former state superintendent of public instruction Nancy Keenan spent 13 years away from Montana, working the political world in Washington, D.C. — but now she’s right back where she started.

June 06, 2014 7:33 pmLoading…
In GOP legislative primaries, moderates and conservatives battle to a draw

In GOP legislative primaries, moderates and conservatives battle to a draw

HELENA — In legislative primary elections Tuesday, the battle between conservative and moderate wings of the Montana Republican Party pretty much ended in a draw — although, in most cases, incumbents survived.

June 04, 2014 5:00 pm Related Loading…
Johnson stakes out lead in race for PSC District 5

Johnson stakes out lead in race for PSC District 5

HELENA — Former Montana Secretary of State Brad Johnson led late Tuesday night in the three-way Republican primary for northwestern Montana’s Public Service Commission District 5, winning with just under 50 percent of the vote.

June 03, 2014 10:30 pm Related Loading…
Daines, Walsh advance in race for U.S. Senate

Daines, Walsh advance in race for U.S. Senate

HELENA — U.S. Rep. Steve Daines, R- Mont., and Sen. John Walsh, D-Mont., cruised to easy victories in their respective primary elections Tuesday, setting up a fall showdown between the two incumbents for a U.S. Senate seat held by Democrats for a century.

June 03, 2014 8:45 pm Photos

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Daines blasts new CO2 emissions rules; Dems say climate change must be addressed

HELENA — Rep. Steve Daines, R-Mont., teed off Monday on the Obama administration’s new draft rules to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, calling them “just another step in this administration’s war on coal.”

June 02, 2014 5:21 pmLoading…
Montanans react to Obama EPA’s draft rules to reduce CO2 emissions

Montanans react to Obama EPA’s draft rules to reduce CO2 emissions

HELENA — The Obama administration’s new draft rules to reduce carbon emissions evoked strong, divergent reactions Monday in Montana, with coal industry supporters condemning the proposed rules and others calling them a good first step toward addressing climate change and global warming.

June 02, 2014 11:38 am Related Loading…

GOP House race tops primary contests

HELENA — Montana voters will choose the winners in state and local primary elections Tuesday in races including a tough intraparty Republican battle for the nomination for the U.S. House.

June 01, 2014 1:00 am Related Loading…

State’s largest union tells members to consider voting for certain Republicans in GOP primaries

HELENA — The state’s largest labor union, MEA-MFT, usually endorses Democrats — but in Tuesday’s primary election, it’s advising its 18,000 members to consider voting for a slew of centrist Republicans in hotly contested GOP legislative primaries.

May 30, 2014 9:47 pmLoading…
Ad Watch: New Daines, Adams ads attack Walsh on Homeland Security audit

Ad Watch: New Daines, Adams ads attack Walsh on Homeland Security audit

Editor’s note: “Ad Watch” is an ongoing series that examines and fact checks current TV campaign ads in Montana. Today, it looks at a pair of ads from Montana’s U.S. Senate race, from candidates Steve Daines, a Republican and Dirk Adams, a Democrat – both of which criticize Democratic Sen. J…

May 30, 2014 4:54 pm Video Loading…

Massive state health dept data bases hacked

HELENA — Hackers got into a state health department computer that contains huge amounts of personal data on public clients and state employees, state officials said Thursday, but there’s no indication yet that any information was stolen.

May 29, 2014 9:45 pm

Montana health department computer containing personal info hacked

HELENA — Hackers got into a state health department computer that contains huge amounts of personal data on public clients and state employees, state officials said Thursday, but there’s no indication yet that any information was stolen.

May 29, 2014 4:00 pmLoading…

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