Edward O'Brien

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

The Montana Supreme Court today ruled that a Missoula ordinance that would have expanded background checks to private gun sales violates state law. The opinion overturns a lower court’s ruling, and sides with Attorney General Tim Fox's position. 

The Montana Democratic Party will soon start searching for a new executive director. Monica Lindeen will step down from her post as executive director of the Montana Democratic Party by year’s end.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock’s order to temporarily halt the sale of flavored e-cigarettes will not go into effect next week after all. On Friday, a state district judge blocked the administration’s move until a hearing later this month.

Montana vape shop retailers last week vowed to challenge Bullock’s order to temporarily halt the sale of flavored e-cigs. They made good on that promise in a Thursday court filing, and State District Judge Jennifer Lint of Hamilton has backed them up, at least for now.

It’s fall and that means it’s prescribed fire season in Montana. Wildland managers are now intentionally setting fires to reduce forest fuel buildup or to restore native vegetation.

Two prescribed wildfire operations just north of Missoula produced dense smoke that degraded air quality to unhealthy levels Wednesday night into Thursday morning. As weather forecasters predicted though, a cold front pushed into the region Thursday afternoon, increasing winds which helped dissipate the smoke.

Superintendent, Journalists React To Helena Bomb Scare Confusion

Class resumed Wednesday at a Helena elementary school that was evacuated after a bomb scare Tuesday. No bomb detonated and no one was injured.

MTPR's Edward O’Brien reports on the aftermath of the unusual day for both the school and Montana journalists.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock will not share the debate stage with the twelve remaining Democratic presidential candidates Tuesday night in Westerville, Ohio.

With three and a half months to go until the Iowa caucuses, a handful of Hawkeye State Democratic party stalwarts Tuesday cheered him on to stay the course.

Montana still officially celebrates October 14 as Columbus Day, but a handful of cities here have replaced it with Indigenous Peoples Day.

Some local leaders refuse to recognize a day that they say glorifies colonization and mistreatment of Native Americans. Missoula is one of those cities.

The University of Montana has exceeded the $400 million goal of the most ambitious fundraising campaign in its history. The seven-year initiative known as "Campaign Montana – Think Big. Be Bold" quietly launched over six years ago. By the time the campaign publicly launched a year ago, donors had already pledged $325 million.

Gov. Steve Bullock’s order to temporarily ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes was heralded this week by state health officials. Montanans who rely on e-cig sales, however, say Bullock’s move will devastate their livelihoods, and they plan to sue.

Less than a year ago, industrial hemp was essentially an outlaw crop. Today it’s transformed into the wellspring of an emerging billion-dollar industry. The cannabis extract cannabidiol is a hemp byproduct, better known as CBD. Demand for CBD-infused products such as bath salts, balms and body bars is through the roof.

MTPR's Edward O’Brien recently visited a Montana hemp processing facility that’s transforming the tough, fibrous plant into liquid gold.

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