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Features

Where the jobs are: Mapping Montana’s economic landscape Where the jobs are: Mapping Montana’s economic landscape

Spread out Montana’s 676,000 jobs evenly, like sprouts in a Kansas cornfield, and each worker would have 140 acres to plow. But the state’s economy, like its topography, isn’t particularly flat. Just as the landscape directs where we can build homes and businesses, economic geography shapes our lives. It tends to define the opportunities Montanans have — or long for — as we try to make a decent living, support our families and invest in our communities. It’s a major focus for elected officials, business leaders and everyday Montanans, who make growing and sustaining job opportunity a key part of our public policy and politics. As the saying goes &mdash...


Veteran Spotlight Veteran Spotlight

Jim Mathias was driving a truck after high school but decided he couldn’t keep doing that. He had always wanted to be in the Army and to jump out of airplanes. His mother discouraged his enlistment, but it wasn’t her decision to make, and he enlisted in the Army in December of 1969. His recruiter...


Veteran Spotlight Veteran Spotlight

For most people, being number one is a good thing, but not for Melvin Quakenbush. On New Year’s Eve, Melvin was driving around, celebrating and drinking a little beer when a friend pulled him over and asked if he had heard about President Nixon’s new draft plan – eligible men would be draft...


Veteran Spotlight Veteran Spotlight

When asked how he came to join the Army, Slim says, “The judge sent me.”  In December of 1962 he was caught with “adult beverages,” but he was not an adult. In January 1963, he had a choice to make, and joining the Army seemed to be the best of the choices the judge gave him. ...


Polson NRA bull riding champ qualifies for unique upcoming event Polson NRA bull riding champ qualifies for unique upcoming event

POLSON – Payton Fitzpatrick was named to the four-man squad representing Montana in the Battle of the States bull riding event. The competition will be held at the Reno-Sparks Livestock Event Center in Reno, Nevada, on Nov. 10. According to the Rodeo USA website, “the Battle of the States is a...


Neighbors on call Neighbors on call

Part 3: This is the third part of a three-part story on the role of community health workers in rural health care from the Montana Gap project. Two months ago, the boys played like children do, clambering around a ruined building just down the lush green hillside from their home. Now their mom, Moslene,...


Visions for Montana’s economy clash in fight over Initiative 186 Visions for Montana’s economy clash in fight over Initiative 186

MONTANA – The controversy over ballot Initiative 186 seems to be about two competing visions for Montana’s future economy, and water quality underlies them both. The ballot measure, if passed, would amend the state’s 1971 Metal Mine Reclamation Act to provide for an additional $115,00...


Veteran Spotlight - Tom Siple Veteran Spotlight - Tom Siple

Tom Siple February 23, 1967 Desert Storm Era: Iraq, Bosnia, Somalia, Germany U.S. Army – 52nd Signal Battalion Tom Siple wanted to join the military, but there was a problem -- he was an early high school graduate and was too young. Not wanting to waste time, Tom went to college until his 17th birth...


Haiti's healthcare provides idea for Montana

This is the second part of a three-part story on the role of community health workers in rural health care from the Montana Gap project.  The Partners In Health headquarters resides in a huge state-of-the-art hospital in Mirebalais, about a half-hour drive southwest of Cange. On what has become a typ...


Journalism matters because democracy matters Journalism matters because democracy matters

An in-depth newspaper investigation revealed that a state-operated home for aged military veterans was providing sub-standard care and that taxpayer money that was to go to improve the home was spent elsewhere. The result was the replacement of the state’s veterans secretary and numerous corrections at...


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