Kevin Trevellyan

Kevin is a UM Journalism graduate student and reporter for MTPR.

Montana farmers planted 22,000 acres of hemp last year — the most of any U.S. state. Many are turning to the recently legalized option because trade wars continue to hurt profits on traditional crops like wheat and barley. But now many Montana hemp farmers allege they weren’t paid what they were promised. The result is a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the company they partnered with. 

Yesterday’s hot, windy red flag weather spurred the McClusky Fire east of Butte to nearly triple in size.

Fire team spokesperson Kristin Sleeper says today’s weather has been more forgiving. But the 2,887-acre blaze in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest is expected to continue growing into the evening.

Firefighters are keeping track of further weather changes tonight heading into tomorrow, including potential gusty winds.

Crews are trying to finish digging control lines around the 20 acre Welcome 1002 Fire burning a few miles southwest of the town of Hot Springs on the Flathead Indian Reservation.

C.T. Camel, fire management specialist for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, says firefighters are working quick to preempt high projected temperatures the rest of the week.

Montana health officials are reporting this season’s first human cases of West Nile Virus. Reported in Custer and Lewis and Clark counties, both occurred in people over the age of 60, who are typically at greater disease risk.

State epidemiologist Stacey Anderson says it’s a common time of year to see West Nile cases.

Wet thunderstorms expected to sweep western Montana through the weekend could provide wildland firefighters their best reprieve of the season yet.

That includes those attacking the Horsefly Fire east of Lincoln, the Beeskove Fire east of Missoula, and the Snow Creek Fire in the Bob Marshall Wilderness.

"Montana persistently ranks in the top three states with the most youth who die by suicide, and their method of choice is overwhelmingly guns."

So starts an article in the latest edition of Montana Business Quarterly, put out by economists at the University of Montana. MTPR’s Kevin Trevellyan asked the article's author Daphne Herling why she wrote it.

On Monday, NPR’s Morning Edition aired a story about Plains resident Sov Valentine, who received a bill of more than half a million dollars for 14 weeks of dialysis at a Missoula clinic.

Thursday, Fresenius, the dialysis company that sent him the bill, said they would waive it.

Montana and North Dakota are petitioning the U.S. Department of Transportation to overturn a new Washington state law that could jeopardize rail shipments of crude oil from the Bakken region.

A U.S. State Department official is in Missoula this week. The University of Montana has a sports exchange program with Peru. MTPR's Kevin Trevellyan talked about diplomacy in the age of President Trump with Susan Crystal, deputy assistant secretary for the State Department.

Rich Trumka, the president of the country’s largest union federation, the AFL-CIO, was in Montana for the state’s convention in Missoula last week. The federation represents many workers in Montana’s troubled coal industry. 

Trumka is a third-generation miner. The Pennsylvania native can’t accept that workers, like those in Colstrip, are getting squeezed out of their jobs.

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