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Articles from the April 23, 2023 edition

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  • Health Officials Urge Caution Around Sick Animals

    News Release, Montana DPHHS|Updated Apr 25, 2023

    State health officials are asking the public to be cautious and take steps to prevent exposure to highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) this spring by avoiding contact with sick or deceased poultry or wild birds. "Despite detecting HPAI in birds and mammals, the risk to human health is currently low," said Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) influenza epidemiologist Devon Cozart. "However, in order to keep it that way, we are encouraging people to be...

  • Op-Ed: The Legislature Must Address Montana Pension Debt

    Rep. Terry Moore and Sen. Tom McGillvray|Updated Apr 25, 2023

    You may believe that Montana is debt free following actions by the legislature earlier this year to pay off state debt. It is great that we passed legislation to pay off over $100 million of state bonded debt, but there is another debt obligation rarely discussed but costing us dearly. Unfortunately, Montana has accumulated over $4.8 billion in pension debt over the past twenty years (in 2003 our pensions were fully funded with no debt). This debt is equivalent to over $4,300...

  • Make way for ducklings: World Migratory Bird Day festivities to take place at Spring Meadow State Park on May 6

    News Release, Montana FWP|Updated Apr 25, 2023

    HELENA, Mont. – April 24, 2023 - This year's celebration of World Migratory Bird Day will take place at Spring Meadow State Park from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on May 6. "Thanks to our partners at Montana WILD – Fish, Wildlife and Parks, we are excited to bring the event to a more accessible location so that more families can partake in the festivities," said Denise Pengeroth, wildlife biologist and organizer of the event. Highlighted activities this year include: • Live Raptor Show...

  • Tension Builds in Transgender Policy Debate in Montana

    Keely Larson, KFF Health News-UM Legislative News Service|Updated Apr 25, 2023

    On April 13, Democratic Rep. Zooey Zephyr was sitting in the basement of Montana's Capitol building reflecting on her time as one of the state's first two openly transgender legislators. She wondered whether she needed to display more anger over anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, or whether she should focus on promoting more of what she called "transgender joy." "The thing that keeps me up at night is, am I doing a good job for my community?" Zephyr said. Five days later, the anger...

  • Legislative Briefs - Week 16

    Caven Wade, UM Legislative News Service|Updated Apr 25, 2023

    Committee Tables Bill for One-Time Stabilization for Struggling Nursing Homes Lawmakers have tabled a bill that would have given a one-time emergency stabilization payment of $5 million from the state general fund to the Department of Public Health and Human Services for nursing homes. Rep. Jennifer Carlson, R-Manhattan, sponsored House Bill 891, which would have given emergency relief money to nursing homes that have stayed open and are 60 miles away from another nursing...

  • Fifth-Grade Teacher: New Obscenity Legislation Misconstrues What's Happening in Montana Schools, Could Still Make Teachers Vulnerable to Criminal Charges

    Caven Wade, UM Legislative News Service|Updated Apr 25, 2023

    Kellen Alger has been teaching in Montana for 13 years. He taught for seven years in Cut Bank, teaching middle schoolers, and the last five years, he's been teaching fifth graders at Jefferson Elementary School in Helena. Alger grew up in a family of teachers, with both of his parents teaching throughout his early life. He said the last thing he wanted to do was become a teacher, but when college came around the profession sucked him in. "It was just like: 'This is what I want...