Rachel Cramer

Bozeman Reporter

Rachel Cramer is YPR’s Bozeman-based reporter. While her roots are in the rolling hills of southwest Iowa, Rachel fell hard for Montana during family vacations. She started working for Montana Public Radio as a website assistant while finishing a master’s degree at the University of Montana, and joined the news team in 2017. As an evening newscaster and reporter, she covered issues ranging from wolf-rancher conflict solutions to tech start-ups. Later that year, she was selected for a fellowship with Crossing the Divide, a cross-country reporting project developed by the GroundTruth Project and WGBH. Rachel and four other early-career journalists covered divisions in five communities across the US, partnered with local news outlets and visited high schools. Before joining YPR, Rachel worked for Threshold, an award-winning public radio and podcast based in Montana.

A snowboarder at Big Sky Ski Resort.
Dennis Matheson/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Like many ski resort communities across the American West, Big Sky has seen a rise in suicides and overdoses in the last five years. A new report looks at some of the underlying factors and makes recommendations to connect a fragmented system of care.

Missoula Club Bar & Grill in Missoula
John Lloyde/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Over 10,000 loans totaling nearly $1.3 billion have been approved for small businesses in Montana as part of the federal coronavirus relief package.

Out of the $350 billion allocated to small businesses nationwide through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), nearly $250 billion in loans had been approved as of Apr. 13.

A tan housing complex
Montana Department of Commerce

  The Montana Department of Commerce announced Apr. 9 over $11 million in low-interest loans will be distributed to affordable housing projects in Havre, Helena, Joliet and Laurel. The funding comes from the state’s Multifamily Coal Trust Homes Program.

Interior of the Red Lodge Brewing Company taproom.
Megan Kalb-Koenigsfeld / Red Lodge Ales Brewing Company

While restaurants, tap rooms and bars in Montana are allowed to provide take out and delivery service during the governor’s stay-at-home order, many business owners say they’re making a fraction of their normal sales.

The front exterior of the Gallatin County Detention Center
Gallatin County website / Gallatin County

An inmate at the Gallatin County Detention Center in Bozeman tested positive for COVID-19 on Apr. 4. He has been released in coordination with the local health department.

The UM Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research asked Montana tourism businesses about their bookings between March 13 and March 26, 2020.
UM Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research

Over 90 percent of travel related businesses in Montana have been impacted by COVID-19 through cancellations and a sharp decline in bookings, according to a biweekly survey by the University of Montana.

Twice as many businesses responding to the Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research’s second survey at the end of March reported cancellations compared to two weeks prior.

The beef aisle of Costco in Bozeman.
Rachel Cramer / Yellowstone Public Radio

Shoppers may have noticed higher beef prices and empty shelves at the grocery store last month. At the same time cattle producers saw a significant drop in what they were getting paid. Panic buying, allegations of price-fixing and uncertainty in the face of a global economic fallout have all been effecting the cattle industry.

Aerial view of Bozeman, 2008.
Jonesey/Flickr (CC-by-2.0)

Rental scams in Montana and across the U.S. have been on the rise for years, but COVID-19’s slow-down of in-person property viewings and interactions with landlords may make it even harder for people to figure out what’s legitimate online.

The Montana Canada Border
Spend A Day Touring, LLC / Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced today it will temporarily reduce its hours of operation at six ports of entry into Montana starting Apr. 6.

Hours will be reduced at the ports of Raymond, Piegan, Opheim, Morgan, Turner and Del Bonita.

Jesse DeVoe and Robyn Goldblatt have been staying busy during self-quarantine with baking and exercise videos.
Jesse DeVoe

Many of us are adjusting to a new normal as we spend much more time inside our homes, rely on apps to see friends and family, and experience a heightened sense of uncertainty. Rachel Cramer with Yellowstone Public Radio spoke with a couple in Bozeman 10 days into their two-week self-quarantine to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.