Aaron Bolton

Aaron is Montana Public Radio's Flathead reporter.

A Flathead County land use consulting company is suing the City of Whitefish, saying it violated Montana open meeting laws when it crafted its recently implemented affordable housing policy.

Nurses across the Kalispell Regional Healthcare (KRH) system overwhelmingly voted to unionize last week. The newly formed union will represent more than 500 nurses working in KRH facilities.

After about a year of organizing, about 65 percent of Kalispell Regional Healthcare nurses voted in favor of unionizing on Thursday and Friday.

  

The Blackfeet Nation is getting some help toward its goals of reforming agriculture on the reservation to make healthy, local food more accessible. Barriers include complicated land management regulations and a lack of processing facilities.

A small wildfire that was discovered Monday on the Flathead Reservation is now being called 80 percent contained. Responders say the blaze was sparked by lightning either Sunday or Monday.

The wildfire burned just two and a half miles northwest of Arlee. The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Division of Fire and local firefighters were able to contain 20 percent of the blaze shortly after responding Monday evening.

More than 500 nurses working for Kalispell Regional Healthcare will vote this week on whether to unionize. The vote will bring disagreement over staffing ratios to a head.

Park rangers rescued three people Monday evening after their car crashed down a 40-foot embankment along Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park. The driver reportedly swerved away from a truck that stopped to view a bear.

Local photographer Philip Granrud was on his way to a trailhead when he arrived at the scene around 5 p.m.

A new Montana Free Press series is shedding a light on how policies of the past and present intersect with wildfire response. Amanda Eggert, a former wildland firefighter and freelance journalist, is writing the three-part series Living With Fire. Montana Public Radio’s Aaron Bolton spoke with her about the series.

Whitefish needs 1,000 new housing units by next year to keep up with demand. That’s according to a 2016 housing needs assessment that found that about 65 percent of workers commute to the small ski town. 

The U.S. Forest Service approved a special use permit Tuesday for one of two controversial trail running races scheduled in the Flathead Valley later this year. Critics are disappointed, but not surprised. 

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a Montana case—whether the state can exclude religious schools from a tax credit program that gives scholarships to parents for private school tuition payments.