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Can Montana get a grip on addiction? Can Montana get a grip on addiction?

MONTANA — In late January, when Mary Windecker got up to testify in front of the budget committee considering how to fund Montana’s addiction and mental health treatment programs, her words cut through a typically bureaucratic proceeding to present an uncomfortable bottom line.  “You’re all familiar now with some of the statistics across the state,” she said. “Montana scores at the highest of every indicator we don’t want to be in.” Windecker, director of the nonprofit Behavioral Health Alliance of Montana, was talking about the state’s suicide rates. And the percentage of children who are removed from their homes because of a...


Yoga brings beauty to life

My hope for my students is that they will recall that they know more than they think. The hard part is rolling out their mat and getting on it (no small feat, I can attest to that).  I suggest that people set up a space that can stay prepped for spontaneous yoga, perhaps in a designated room or in a ...


Experts share strategies for handling pandemic isolation Experts share strategies for handling pandemic isolation

Social isolation has as much impact on a person’s health as smoking and alcohol consumption, according to the Centers for Disease Control, but maintaining connections can be difficult during a pandemic.   “Public health actions, such as social distancing, can make people feel isolated and...


Lawmakers debate local nicotine-product prohibitions Lawmakers debate local nicotine-product prohibitions

In what opponents say is part of a larger push this session to pass laws favorable to the tobacco industry, legislators discussed a bill proposal that would prevent local governments from regulating nicotine products ingested through devices like electronic cigarettes and vape pens. The proposal, HB 137, ...


Local video produced to highlight availability of inclusive grants Local video produced to highlight availability of inclusive grants

POLSON — Maclaen Burningham, of Polson, has volunteered his time to create an environment of inclusion in the state of Montana for several years, and he is asking for the community to get involved. His overall goal is “to help people with and without disabilities.” Maclaen saw the import...


It’s not just adults who are stressed - kids are too It’s not just adults who are stressed - kids are too

Families are under an extraordinary amount of pressure right now, and the next few months will provide little relief. The trials of 2020 include economic uncertainty, winter dread, an emotionally charged presidential election and a worrying rise in coronavirus cases. Then there’s the disrupted school y...


Researchers harness computer science for treating opioid addiction

MONTANA — Augmented reality, in which digital data is blended with sensory experience via a special headset or similar technology, has been used to train surgeons, to help fighter pilots navigate and to entertain the masses with video games like Pokémon Go. Now, researchers at Montana State Univ...


Professor summarizes role of climate change in 2020 fire season

UM News Service MONTANA — In an invited, rapid-publication article for the journal Global Change Biology, University of Montana Associate Professor Philip Higuera tallies the statistics on the 2020 fire season, calling the numbers shocking, yet at the same time sadly predictable. By the end of ...


Wildfires’ toxic air leaves damage long after the smoke clears Wildfires’ toxic air leaves damage long after the smoke clears

SEELEY LAKE — When researchers arrived in this town tucked in the Northern Rockies three years ago, they could still smell the smoke a day after it cleared from devastating wildfires. Their plan was to chart how long it took for people to recover from living for seven weeks surrounded by relentless smo...


Telemedicine and Montana’s digital divide Telemedicine and Montana’s digital divide

Montana is the oldest state west of the Mississippi, and demographic projections show the state growing collectively older as more Montanans enter their senior years. The economic,  cultural, and personal impacts of that trend present the state and its residents with new challenges and, with those...


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