Official seal for the Montana Public Service Commission
Montana Public Service Commission / Montana Public Service Commission

Editor's Note April 21, 2020: PSC counsel Zack Rogala's name was mispelled in a previous version of this article and has since been corrected.

A Montana regulatory body on Apr. 14 fell victim to an instance of teleconference hijacking, also called “zoombombing,” which interrupted public comment and delayed commissioners’ decision making.

The Montana Public Service Commission turned to remote teleconferencing in late March to maintain social distancing during the coronavirus. The commission has been using the popular Zoom platform to hold public meetings.

Montana is suing several tobacco companies for allegedly withholding millions of dollars owed the state under a landmark tobacco settlement agreement.

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox said enough is enough. Fox, who’s seeking the Republican gubernatorial nomination, announced Monday his office is suing several tobacco companies for allegedly withholding $43 million from Montana.

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox at a podium.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

As the June 2 primary approaches we are airing conversations with some of the candidates running for governor in Montana. 

Republican Tim Fox was born in Hardin and has been Montana’s Attorney General for the past eight years. He spoke with YPR New’s Jess Sheldahl in early March, before the coronavirus pandemic hit Montana, about his time as attorney general, his public safety plan and his campaign.

A train runnning along a river in Lombard Montana.
Miroslav Volek (CC BY 2.0) / BNSF Railway

A survey released on Apr. 13 shows a majority of Montanans support public lands, even amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Gov. Bullock's complaint about the federal response to Montana's pandemic equipment needs yields results. Sen. Daines has a new campaign ad bragging about that aid. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Whitney Williams wants to have an online debate with her primary election opponent. Montana will have its first-ever statewide mail-in primary election. And in a close vote, the public service commission decides not to sponsor a forum on climate change.

Listen now on Campaign Beat, with Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Holly Michels.

The spring weather that brought Montana plenty of sunshine and afternoon highs in the upper 60s this week is about to be replaced with something very different. National Weather Service Meteorologist Travis Booth says a blast of wintery weather moves into Montana tonight.

In Butte, the epicenter of one of the most toxic industrial sites in the country, essential work during the COVID-19 outbreak can mean protecting humans, and the environment, from historic pollution. Nora Saks with Montana Public Radio’s Richest Hill podcast has this look at Superfund during the pandemic.

Federal assistance through the CARES Act is making its way to Montana health centers to help combat the costs of the COVID 19 epidemic. The funding comes from the Health Resources and Services Administration, or HRSA.

Montana is entitled to $9.1 million to support 14 health centers across the state. According to HRSA, that money must be put to use to prevent, respond to or prepare for the novel coronavirus.

After the speedy shift to online learning amid the coronavirus pandemic, many school districts across the state say it would be easier to finish out the school year that way instead of returning to classrooms.

Montana’s top K-12 education official is asking Gov. Steve Bullock to give districts that flexibility if he lifts his emergency school closure order.

The number of Montanans filing for unemployment continues to rise. More than 64,000 people in the state have filed a claim for benefits since the first case of the novel coronavirus was reported in Montana in mid March.

The new unemployment filings equate to almost 6 percent of Montana’s population.