Kayla Desroches

Kayla Desroches reports for Yellowstone Public Radio in Billings. She was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, and stayed in the city for college, where she hosted a radio show that featured serialized dramas like the Shadow and Suspense. In her pathway to full employment, she interned at WNYC in New York City and KTOO in Juneau, Alaska. She then spent a few years on the island of Kodiak, Alaska, where she transitioned from reporter to news director before moving to Montana.

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Schools in Belgrade, Montana were put under a shelter-in-place order today while law enforcement investigated a video threatening violence toward students.

Belgrade High School remained under the order until 4 p.m.  A precautionary shelter-in-place order for Belgrade Middle School and Saddle Peak and Heck Quaw elementary schools was lifted at 3:30 p.m. and students were released at normal times.

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The NPR Student Podcast Challenge inspired thousands of students across the country to submit, and one student at Clancy Elementary School in central Montana inspired his teacher to take the challenge a step further.

Seventh-grader Jack Johnson’s entry focuses on prejudice and discrimination in Montana and mentions one incident in particular.

Maddie Alpert / Yellowstone Public Radio

NPR’s recent Student Podcast Challenge received entries from 25,000 students across the country. That includes a group of fifth graders from Crow Agency in southeast Montana.

NPR announced its student podcast finalists earlier this month, and while the Crow Agency students didn’t win, NPR host Rachel Martin gave their submission a nod in a segment about standout entries.

Kayla Desroches / Yellowstone Public Radio

The Montana Department of Justice unveiled a new crime lab in Billings earlier this year to address a larger number bodies requiring investigation and a large amount of land left without a nearby forensic team.

Yellowstone Public Radio News toured the facility. It includes a morgue and a chemical analysis lab where scientists examine the content of drugs that law enforcement seizes.

Riders at the Miles City Bucking Horse Sale, photo by Jacob Futhey
Jacob Futhey

 Every year, the cowboy spirit comes alive in eastern Montana at the Miles City Bucking Horse Sale. Thousands of people don their best boots and hats to attend the four-day event.   

On a muddy, overcast Sunday, bronc riders and horse breeders corral mares with names like Spider Woman and Lunatic Lucy into gated chutes.

There, they’ll wait for their riders to mount.

Montanans in Missoula, Billings and Kalispell today joined nationwide protests against abortion bans in southern states.

At the Missoula County Courthouse speakers expressed outrage over legislation in Alabama, Georgia, Ohio and Missouri to a crowd of about 200 people.

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Homes in Pryor were without water on the Crow Reservation Thursday.

Power to the pumphouse that pressurizes water in Pryor was shut off yesterday. Cedric Black Eagle with the Crow Tribe Water Resources Department says that was due to unpaid bills.

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Montana could be caught in the spillover effects when China levies higher tariffs on U.S. products.

It’s another step in the ongoing trade war between China and the United States.

Last year, tariffs nearly knocked out Montana’s wheat exports to China.

The market has been less than stellar since, according to farmers in the state, which includes Lyle Benjamin, President of Montana Grain Growers Association.

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The city of Billings voted to revitalize a citizen-driven environmental group Monday night.

At a regular meeting, the City Council approved the Billings Commission on Energy and Conservation 10 - 1.

Several people spoke in favor during public comments, including Eric Schmidt, a member of the Yellowstone Valley Citizens Council Sustainability Committee, which is an affiliate of the non-profit advocacy group Northern Plains Resource Council.

Kayla Desroches / Yellowstone Public Radio

Research shows that farmers experience rates of especially high anxiety compared to other jobs. What’s more, farmers in rural areas like Montana often have limited access to mental health resources.

In late April, Montana farmer Michelle Erickson-Jones posted a video to Twitter.

In the video, on a windy day against a green field and overcast sky, Erickson-Jones talks about uncertainty around trade, dropping wheat prices, and her issues finding a therapist.

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