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  • July 15 UPDATE: Fire in Dalton - Bear Gulch Area

    Roger Dey, BVD|Updated Jul 17, 2024

    UPDATE: The fire buring in the Bear Gulch Area southwest of Lincoln had grown to an estimated 15-20 acres by midnight last night, July 14. According to Lincoln Fire Rescue , the fire is still actively burning. Firefighters are requesting that people stay off Herrin Lake and Dalton Mountain Roads if they don’t live in the area. People wanting to get a closer look at the fire by driving into the Bear Gulch area create a significant issues for firefighter and firefighting equipme...

  • Dalton Mountain Road Bridge closing for reconstruction July 8

    News Release, MDTY|Updated Jul 5, 2024

    Starting on July 8, the Montana Department of Transportation and Sletten Construction, in cooperation with Lewis and Clark County, will close the Dalton Mountain Road Bridge for demolition and reconstruction. During the closure, traffic will be detoured around the project site on Herrin Lake Road and Stemple Pass Road. The detour length is approximately 11 miles, bridge end to bridge end. Detour directions from the north side of the Dalton Mountain Road Bridge: Head north on D...

  • How gas prices have changed in Montana in the last week

    Stacker|Updated Jul 1, 2024

    Gas prices, up several cents per gallon on average over the last week, could rise even more next week as AAA anticipates a record number of travelers will hit the road. Over 60 million drivers may be on the roads during the travel period around Independence Day this year (June 29 to July 7), a 4.8% jump from last year, according to the association's latest travel forecast. AAA noted that this is the first time it has included two weekends in the holiday's travel period. That r...

  • Teacher retention, wages hot topics at meeting of state education officials

    Alex Sakariassen, Montana Free Press|Updated Jun 25, 2024

    Discussing likely areas for future policy improvement in Montana's K-12 school system at a meeting in the state Capitol Monday, officials with the Office of Public Instruction highlighted teacher retention as a continued challenge across the state, noting that Montana public schools lost 2,039 educators to attrition during the 2021-22 academic year. According to the presentation, given by OPI Chief Operating Officer Julie Murgel during a meeting of key lawmakers and education...

  • DOJ's OCP warns of jury duty scam

    News Release, Montana Department of Justice|Updated Jun 25, 2024

    HELENA – The Montana Department of Justice's Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) is receiving reports of fraudsters, posing as law enforcement, attempting to scam unsuspecting Montanans out of thousands of dollars by calling individuals claiming there is a warrant for their arrest because they missed jury duty. The scammers are directing individuals to go the bank, withdraw cash, and then deposit the funds into bitcoin machines or ATMs, such as Coinstar kiosks, and not to tell anyone what they are doing. The scammers also h...

  • Fire season forecast: Wetter than expected

    Amanda Eggert, Montana Free Press|Updated Jun 14, 2024

    Montanans can anticipate a generally normal fire season this summer, a regional fire weather forecaster reported at a Tuesday morning briefing in Bozeman. Dan Borsum, a Missoula-based forecaster with the Northern Rockies Coordinating Center, said springtime moisture has mitigated the impacts of a generally dismal winter snowpack in Montana. (Water supply forecasters noted in early January that half of their monitoring stations were reporting record-low accumulations due to an...

  • AG Knudsen and MHP provide safe driving tips ahead of 100 Deadliest Days of Summer

    Press Release, MTDOJ|Updated Jun 5, 2024

    HELENA – Attorney General Austin Knudsen and the Montana Highway Patrol (MHP) are reminding drivers to stay safe on the road ahead of the holiday weekend and unofficial start of summer. Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of the "100 Deadliest Days of Summer." State troopers will increase their presence on Montana roads and highways throughout the summer, cracking down on drunk and drugged drivers. MHP has already seen an increase in deaths and crashes compared to this t...

  • Growth Policy Update - Lewis and Clark County Community Engagement is in Full Swing

    News Release, Lewis and Clark county|Updated Jun 5, 2024

    Helena, MT – Lewis and Clark County is actively updating its County Growth Policy and is thrilled with the ongoing community engagement! Over the past few weeks, we've hosted six successful open house events and had numerous insightful conversations. Now, to gather more perspectives from across the County, we're launching an exciting new online interactive map and survey. Why is this Important? The Growth Policy is a crucial document that articulates the County's goals and v...

  • The GOP scrum for Montana's second House district

    Arren Kimbel-Sannit, Montana Free Press|Updated May 17, 2024

    The eastern congressional district candidate forum that the Yellowstone County Republicans hosted at their Lincoln Reagan Dinner in April was, by the standards of campaign-season political events, remarkable. But not because of emotional fireworks or raised voices or intra-party bickering. Those are all commonplace. What was remarkable, instead, was that in a sprawling Montana Republican Party with no shortage of internal divides, almost all of the eight Republicans vying for...

  • Growing number of Montanans report their quality of life is declining

    Amanda Eggert, Montana Free Press|Updated May 8, 2024

    Montanans are increasingly reporting that their quality of life is declining, according to a recent University of Montana poll. Sixty-two percent of Montanans contacted by pollsters say their quality of life has gotten worse over the past five years. That's a seven-point increase compared to 2022 when the Crown of the Continent and Greater Yellowstone Initiative last put that question to likely Montana voters. "It's quite clear that residents all over the state - even out on t...

  • Explosive growth, tourism weigh heavy on western Montana's aging roads 

    Katie Fairbanks, Montana Free Press|Updated May 8, 2024

    Growing populations and tourism in western Montana are straining aging roads, leaving state and local governments to fix problems or make improvements with limited funding, according to transportation officials. While development-driven infrastructure upgrades are nothing new, the Montana Department of Transportation is trying to keep afloat amid "explosive" growth around Missoula and Kalispell, said Joel Boucher, a state engineer for a nine-county district that includes...

  • Heritage Tourism Council recognizes National Historic Preservation Month

    Kathy Macefield, Historic Preservation Office Assistant|Updated May 8, 2024

    The City of Helena/Lewis and Clark County Heritage Tourism Council (HTC) is recognizing National Historic Preservation Month with proclamations and a historic photo display. The Board of County Commissioners are scheduled to issue a Proclamation at their regular 9 a.m. Tuesday meeting on May 14. The Proclamation for the Helena City Commission is scheduled for 6 p.m., Monday, May 20. Both public meetings are in the Commission Chamber, room 330, on the third floor of the City-Co...

  • Slim turnout for County Growth Policy open house

    Roger Dey, BVD|Updated Apr 30, 2024

    An open house at the Lincoln Library April 24, designed to gather the first round of information for updates to the Lewis and Clark County Comprehensive Growth Policy, saw only light turnout. About eight people showed up to the event facilitated by the planning and design firm SE Group, which is partnering with the county on the growth policy update. They provided input on ta variety of topics that will be taken into account as the county develops the policy updates The open...

  • Notice to Lincoln Solid Waste Customers

    Updated Apr 23, 2024

    Lincoln Solid Waste Customers: Beginning May 1, aluminum recycling will be moved from the Lincoln Senior Center to the Lincoln Transfer site. When bringing your aluminum to the site, please be sure to remove it from any trash bags or boxes. Plastic bags in the aluminum recycling bin soils the load. Paper recycling has been discontinued at this time. The recycling bins located at the Senior Center will be removed from the parking lot. Please call 406-447-8313 with any questions....

  • Door-to-Door County Health Survey Scheduled for late June, Volunteers Needed

    News Release, Lewis and Clark County Public health|Updated Apr 23, 2024

    HELENA, Montana – Lewis and Clark Public Health officials, in collaboration with PureView Health Center, St. Peter's Health, United Way of the Lewis and Clark Area, Rocky Mountain Development Council, and the Montana Department of Health and Human Services, are overseeing a first-of-its-kind community health survey in a multi-county area that spans Lewis and Clark, Jefferson, Powell, Broadwater, and Meagher counties. Scheduled for late June, the Community Assessment for Public...

  • Attorney General Knudsen files lawsuit against Biden's EV mandate

    News Release, Montana Dept. of Justice|Updated Apr 23, 2024

    HELENA – Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen, along with 24 other attorneys general, filed a lawsuit Thursday against the Biden Administration’s unlawful electric vehicle (EV) mandate that threatens the economy, puts jobs at risk, and undermines the reliability of the electric grid. This is the 42nd lawsuit Attorney General Knudsen has filed against the Biden administration. The new emissions rule, put in place by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), forces unattainable standards on passenger cars, light-duty tru...

  • Law Enforcement and Behavioral Health Professionals Expand Mobile Crisis Response

    News Release, Lewis and Clark County Public Health|Updated Apr 23, 2024

    Helena, MT - Lewis and Clark County Public Health (LCPH) is teaming up with St. Peter's Health and the Helena Police Department to enhance and expand behavioral health and crisis intervention services through the Mobile Crisis Response Team (MCRT) Community Coalition. "When someone in our community experiences a behavioral health crisis, be it mental illness or substance misuse, we have a team of first responders that can partner with law enforcement and help take the lead on...

  • Mill closures 'shock' industry, but officials say demand for wood remains

    Justin Franz, Montana Free Press|Updated Apr 23, 2024

    Five days a week, a short train rolls out of the rail yard in Whitefish with empty freight cars destined for the Flathead Valley's three surviving wood products mills in Columbia Falls and Evergreen. At one time, short trains like this could be found all over western Montana, serving mills in places like Libby, St. Regis, Darby and Pablo. But today, this is one of the few "local" freights left in the region. Since 1990, about three dozen mills have closed in western Montana,...

  • Lewis and Clark County begins planning for updates to Growth Policy

    Roger Dey, Blackfoot Valley Dispatch|Updated Apr 10, 2024

    About every 20 years, Lewis and Clark County tackles the thorny issue of drafting a new, updated policy to plan for anticipated changes as the result of population growth in the county. Later this month, Lewis and Clark County will host a series of open house meetings to gather information from residents on the direction the county should take in develping a new Comprehensive Growth Policy. Since the county adopted its current policy in 2004, the county has seen a population i...

  • Gianforte announces Montana National Guard deployment to Texas border

    Eric Dietrich, Montana Free Press|Updated Apr 7, 2024

    Gov. Greg Gianforte announced Tuesday that the state is deploying a small number of Montana National Guard troops to the nation's southern border, describing the action as an effort to help the state of Texas police cross-border drug trafficking in light of what he described as inaction by the federal government. According to the announcement, 10 Montana National Guardsmen have volunteered for active duty as part of Texas' Operation Lone Star. The Guardsmen are scheduled to...

  • How gas prices have changed in Montana in the last week

    Stacker|Updated Apr 7, 2024

    Gasoline prices are ending the week several cents higher on average than the week prior, according to AAA data. For now, prices have remained relatively stable given analysts' forecast that drone attacks on Russian oil and gas infrastructure might drive prices for oil higher. "Renewed Ukrainian attacks on Russia's oil infrastructure and increasing tension in the Middle East spiked oil prices recently," AAA spokesperson Andrew Gross said in a statement this week. "And with the...

  • Missoula-area wood industry closures mean ripple effects for workers, tax base, forest management

    Katie Fairbanks, Montana Free Press|Updated Apr 1, 2024

    The pending closures of Missoula County's two largest wood products employers, announced separately this month, will have effects beyond the local economy, limiting options for landowners and other mills throughout the region and making forest management projects more expensive, according to local and industry officials. "It's not just the facilities and jobs that are impacted at those facilities," said Todd Morgan, director of the University of Montana's Forest Industry...

  • Museum of the Rockies to host third annual Dinosaurs and MOR! festival

    News Release, MSU News Service|Updated Apr 1, 2024

    BOZEMAN – The Museum of the Rockies will host the third annual “Dinosaurs and MOR!” festival April 12-14, bringing together top paleontologists, dinosaur enthusiasts and a lineup of activities for all ages. Events include family-friendly programs, junior paleontologist passport stations and 18 presentations by scientists from around the globe. For more information and to purchase tickets to any of these events, visit museumoftherockies.org/dinos. “Dinosaurs and MOR!” f...

  • Work begins on Dalton Mountain Road Bridge Reconstruction project

    Melissa Shannon, Public Involvement Lead|Updated Apr 1, 2024

    LINCOLN, Mont.: This summer, the Montana Department of Transportation and Sletten Construction, in cooperation with Lewis and Clark County, will replace the Dalton Mountain Road Bridge over the Blackfoot River, located three miles west of Lincoln. Sletten Construction was awarded the contract to build the bridge for $3.9 million. Starting in early April, initial work will begin with crews trimming and removing trees. The traveling public should expect flaggers and short...

  • Hi Country highlights changes during Gianforte Ag Week Visit

    Roger Dey, Blackfoot Valley Dispatch|Updated Mar 28, 2024

    LINCOLN – Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte stopped by Hi Country Snack Foods Wednesday, March 20 as part of several Ag Week visits around the state highlighting Montana's 27,000 farms and ranches and related businesses. Hi Country has emerged as one of the states leading value-added agriculture businesses after transitioning to the use of Montana-grow beef for its products. In 2022, Montana Manufacturing Association and Montana Chamber of Commerce recognized Hi Country as the v...

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