Edward O'Brien

Edward O'Brien is Montana Public Radio's Associate News Director.

An activist in Havre is bringing long-simmering criticism about Hutterites to the surface there.

Montana’s senior U.S. Senator Jon Tester met with constituents at a town hall event Friday in Missoula. About 150 people packed into one of the meeting rooms in Missoula’s Holiday Inn Parkside Friday to interact with Tester.

The town hall was an open door event with no invite needed. It was his second in person town hall of the year and his ninth since President Trump took office.

The federal government is awarding Montana $34 millon of PILT funding this year. That’s a 15-percent drop from last year’s record-high allocation.

PILT stands for 'Payment in Lieu of Taxes.' These are payments awarded to counties with federal lands that aren’t taxable by local governments.

Montana Attorney General and candidate for governor Tim Fox is touring the southern U.S. Border this week. He describes it an eye-opening experience. 

  

State Auditor Matt Rosendale is running for Montana's open U.S. House seat - the third time he has sought to become a member of the state's congressional delegation.

Republican Rep. Greg Gianforte kicked off his campaign with a YouTube video that opens with scenes of Montana’s sweeping backcountry vistas, small towns and ranching lifestyle.

Consider it the unofficial start of the summer wildfire season in the Bitterroot Valley. Fire danger on the Bitterroot National Forest was raised up a notch Wednesday, going from “Low” to “Moderate."

Moderate fire dangers means a fire can start from most accidental causes. Fires started under these conditions in open, dry grasslands can quickly take off, while timber fires spread more slowly and are easier to control.

It’s going to take fire — and a lot of it — to fight wildfire in the Missoula Valley, where it is and always has been part of the landscape. Experts say it’s also going to take more prescribed burning, new levels of government agency coordination and new layers of government regulation to make a difference.

Montana Democrats insist the Democratic National Committee is unfairly preventing Gov. Steve Bullock from participating in the party’s first national primary debates later this month. The DNC, however, shows no signs of budging.

One Montana politician may be getting ready to jump into campaign season. Another has hit a potential major snag in securing a spot on the national stage.

KTVH reports that Gianforte filed campaign fundraising papers with Montana's Office of Political Practices Thursday afternoon, making his campaign for the governor's office a near certainty.

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