Edward O'Brien

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

In May, the number of people enrolled in Medicaid expansion in Montana grew by 1,700. It’s the first time in over a year that enrollment numbers in the health coverage program for low income adults increased over the previous month.

Montana's health department is proposing a permanent ban on the sale of flavored vaping products in response to increasing youth e-cigarette use.

The Department of Public Health and Human Services will take public comments on the proposed ban during a virtual hearing on July 16th and by mail, fax and email.

There was minimal growth Monday on a wildfire burning near Clancy, south of Helena. Strong winds fanned the Lump Gulch fire Saturday afternoon which led to the mandatory evacuation of around 20 homes over the weekend.

Incident spokesman Duane Buchi says fire behavior was very quiet Monday.

Updated 3:45 p.m., June 14

The evacuation order for Sheep Mountain residents has been lifted, according to a Facebook post from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. The sheriff's office says those residents and others in the area of the Lump Gulch Fire in north Jefferson County near Sheep Mountain should remain prepared to evacuate.

*UPDATED 06/13 

The U.S. Agriculture Secretary visited Missoula Friday to announce a blueprint to prioritize work for the U.S Forest Service.

Supporters say it will modernize the agency and cut unnecessary red tape. Opponents, however, counter it will undermine the nation’s laws aimed at protecting the environment.

A U.S. Department of Defense report says the National Guard’s suicide rate is higher than its active duty and Reserve counterparts. DoD says there are several suicide risk factors in the military, including a cultural stigma surrounding psychological health care.

The Montana Air National Guard is testing out one of 23 pilot programs in the nation aimed at getting care to soldiers in new ways. MTPR’s Edward O’Brien introduces us to a career Montana military officer who, during one of her life’s darkest chapters, reached out for help and was thrown a lifeline.

The federal government’s latest snowpack report is out, and heading into summer it’s a mixed bag for Montana.

Western Montana weather forecasters are keeping a close eye on the potential for some powerful storms between 7 p.m. and midnight Friday.

There is no evidence to substantiate widespread rumors that outside agitators are planning to stir up trouble in Missoula, according to the city’s police chief and its mayor.

Montana families needing a little extra help right with nutrition and food services should not hesitate to apply for the Women, Infants and Children, or WIC, program.

That message from state health department officials, like Jamie Palagi who says the COVID-19 pandemic continues to economically stress many young families.

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