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.

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.

Wikipedia Commons

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.

Wikipedia Commons

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.

Billings, Montana
Ali Eminov / Flickr

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.

WildEarth Guardians / Flickr

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality has determined that a portion of the Rosebud Mine in Colstrip, Montana, has reached its pre-development condition

Around 1000 acres of Rosebud Mine, Area E, have been re-soiled, reseeded, and reclaimed. 

That’s according to Chris Yde with Montana DEQ.

“It will basically be used for livestock grazing and wildlife habitat,” said Yde. “But now that we have released jurisdiction on it, it can go back to the post-mine landowners and then it will be up to the post-mine landowners to determine what it’s used for.”

Kayla Desroches / YPR

Community organizers of the missing and murdered indigenous women and girls movement in Billings are trying to shift the focus to include men and boys.

Kayla Desroches / Yellowstone Public Radio

Montana and federal agencies will host a training in June to brief law enforcement and the public on how to approach missing persons cases.

Media coverage in recent years has contributed to heightened attention on the number of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls in Montana and the perceived failure of law enforcement to respond.

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