Montana’s public schools could receive about $41 million from the federal stimulus package Congress passed last week. Schools will have a lot of flexibility on how they can spend that money.

A map of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline route through northeastern Montana.
U.S. Bureau of Land Management / U.S. Bureau of Land Management

Editor's Note April 02, 2020: TC Energy spokesperson Sara Rabern is referring to workers being American when she says they are "local."

A Canadian company says it plans to start construction of the disputed Keystone XL oil pipeline running from Canada through the U.S. in April after lining up customers and funding.

TC Energy says it’ll kick off construction on the oil pipeline in Phillips County, Montana while also enforcing social distancing and screening to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 illness caused by the novel coronavirus.

Two invasive mussels detected on March 16th at the Dillon check station.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks


Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks announced Mar. 30 that inspectors in Dillon intercepted three boats infested with invasive mussels since Mar. 16. FWP says news about the novel coronavirus caused a big spike in boat traffic as people returned home.

The Ellen Theater in Bozeman, Montana,  the evening of March 30, 2020.
Rachel Cramer/Yellowstone Public Radio

The number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb in Montana, but with limited test kits, not all patients with symptoms are tested and included in the state count.

Montana Women, Infants and Children logo.
RiverStone Health / RiverStone Health

The first of the month is when many low income families have access to monthly benefits for supplemental food programs. People grocery shopping with these monthly benefits are navigating more than empty shelves.

Monday was the first day that public schools across Montana were required to have plans in place for how they will deliver online or remote education, as well as other services. MTPR’s Corin Cates-Carney spoke with reporter Aaron Bolton about classes moving forward as school buildings remain closed amid the novel coronavirus pandemic:

Montanas are being asked to report Census data online or by phone even without receiving a specialized ID code to begin the process.

A press release from the Montana Dept of Commerce on Monday says the state’s response remains critical as Census field operations across the U.S. are being suspended due to COVID-19.

Navajo Transitional Energy Company logo.
Navajo Transitional Energy Company / Navajo Transitional Energy Company

Editor's Note 03/31/2020 : This segment has been updated to clarify that NTEC is operating the mine, which Spring Creek Coal LLC, a subsidiary of the now-defunct Cloud Peak Energy, holds the permit to.

The state gave Montana’s most productive coal mine the go-ahead to expand its mining capacity, effectively extending the mine’s life to 2031.

The expansion continues despite the current owner’s debt to the state.

Gov. Bullock Orders Self-Quarantine For People Entering Montana

Mar 30, 2020
Map illustrating vacation rental revenue throughout Montana since it was introduced to the novel coronavirus.
Eric Dietrich, Data: AirDNA / Montana Free Press

Montana Governor Steve Bullock is ordering anyone coming into the state to self-quarantine for 14 days in an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

Quasar and Infiniti Thompson perform at a community music night in February 2020 at the Lewistown Art Center in Lewistown, Montana.
Mary Callahan Baumstark / Lewistown Art Center

Many nonprofit organizations across Montana have canceled programs and postponed big spring fundraisers in an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. Participants in a recent survey say they’re concerned how the economic fallout from COVID-19 will affect them and the communities they serve. The new $2 trillion coronavirus response package could provide some relief.