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Audio Archives

Making Ends Meet
This occasional series of news reporting, call-in programs, and town hall meetings explores Montanans' ability to make ends meet. > YPR News Desk

YPR News Desk
Jackie Yamanaka, News Director

E-mail Jackie Yamanaka to submit a Press Release or otherwise contact the YPR News Department. View an archive of the 2013 Capitol Connections.

Capitol Connections 2015

YPR News Audio Archive
YPR maintains an archive of News Director Jackie Yamanaka's recent stories.

mp3 logoJazz at MSU Billings
The MSU Billings Jazz Ensemble with Wayne Bergeron starts at 7 pm on Friday, Feb 5 at  Petro Theatre.
General admission is $10.
Free admission with MSUB ID
More info about the festival:

Photo of John Roberts, courtesy of John Roberts

mp3 logoMurray Hotel
aired February 01, 2016
London, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Livingston, Montana. They all have something in common. Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain has come out with his ten  list of favorite hotels in the world. And Livingston, Montana and the Murray Hotel are on it. Kay Erickson explains.

mp3 logoSounds of Yellowstone National Park
aired January 28, 2016
Many of the natural sounds of Yellowstone National Park are available for on-line listening thanks to the work of audio producer Jennifer Jerrett. Jackie Yamanaka has more on the growing Yellowstone Collection that was launched today by Yellowstone Park and the Acoustic Atlas at Montana State University.
Visitors can listen to the Yellowstone collection:,

Jennifer Jerrett recording sound for Yellowstone Collections at Mammoth Terraces on November 15, 2014.  Yellowstone National Park and the Acoustic Atlas at the Montana State University Library launched the curated compilation of field recordings highlighting the sounds in the park. The project is supported in part by MSU, the Yellowstone Association, the Yellowstone Park Foundation, and a grant through the Eyes on Yellowstone Program made possible by Canon USA, Inc. Photo courtesy of the NPS/Neal Herbert.

mp3 logoACA Deadline/Medicaid Expansion
Sunday is the deadline to enroll for health insurance coverage under the federal Affordable Care Act for this year. As Jackie Yamanaka reports some Montanans might find out during this year’s enrollment they are now eligible for coverage under the state’s expanded Medicaid.

According to the Centers for Medicaid and Medicaid Services as of January 16, 2016 in Montana 55,875 and in Wyoming 21,849 people have signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as ObamaCare.

Website:  (explains basics, put in your zip code and identify local (Montana) help, other resources)

Events (These are just a few examples; there is a full calendar at
Today, Jan 26:   Planned Parenthood Montana Navigators in Boulder: Library on Tuesday, Jan 26th from 10-2 pm
Today, Jan 26:   Whitehall: Library from 3:30- 6:30 pm
Tomorrow, Jan 27:   Helena: Lewis and Clark Library from 10-3 pm
Jan 29:   Service Connect Event at the Maroon Activity Center, 550 E Mercury St, Butte, MT 59701
Jan 29:   Flathead County Health Department, 1035 1st Ave West, Kalispell, MT 59901, from 1-5pm on the second floor of the Earl Bennet Building
Jan 29:   Sapphire Community Health will be at Bitterroot Public Library, 306 State St, Hamilton, MT 59840, from 1-6pm

Consumers can schedule appointments to receive in-person help as follows:
Montana Health Navigators (406 234-1420) available in the following communities:
Red Lodge, Hardin, Lewistown, Anaconda, Ekalaka, Scobey, Deer Lodge, Baker, Jordan, Malta, Glendive, Miles City, Livingston, Ennis, Fort Benton, Culbertson, Roundup, Plentywood, Sidney, Butte, Columbus, Harlowton, Libby, Townsend, White Sulphur Springs.

Note:  Montana Health Navigators in Livingston will be available regular hours over the weekend. The remaining Navigators are available by appointment over the weekend if needed.  Call 406-234-1420

Planned Parenthood Montana Navigators offer in-person appointments in Billings, Great Falls, Missoula; use the following numbers:
Great Falls: 406.454.3431
Missoula: 406.728.5490
Helena: 406.443.7676
Billings: 406.869.5040

Community Health Centers:  Riverstone Health in Billings, Call Main number 406 651-6540 (ask for health care enrollment help)

Consumers can go directly to or call 1-800-318-2596

mp3 logoBLM End Gas Flaring
aired January 22, 2016
Federal land managers are seeking public comment on a proposed new rule to reduce the amount of natural gas released into the atmosphere from oi and gas operations on public and tribal lands. Jackie Yamanaka joined the telephone conference call to make that announcement and has this report.
LINK: More info about the proposed rule

mp3 logoWorkforce Development at City College
aired January 22, 2016
City College is training its graduates to meet the workforce needs of employers…that’s the message students and faculty delivered to Governor Steve Bullock. Jackie Yamanaka joined the tour at the Billings campus.

City College student Nick Wells shows Governor Steve Bullock the biodiesel students in Process Plant Technology program at City College in Billings. Wells is an Army Veteran who is going to school at City College. Bullock toured the campus to see three of the workforce programs, including the Diesel Technology and Paramedic programs. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.

mp3 logoECHO Launch/ Providers Help Providers
aired January 21, 2016
Billings Clinic launched a new project in Montana yesterday that will provide peer support to health care providers across the state. As Jackie Yamanaka reports this pilot project will start in the area of addictions and behavioral health for the Montana Department of Corrections.

Dr. Eric Arzubi chairs the Psychiatry Department in Billings Clinic. He says the hospital will provide a psychiatrist and pharmacist for the ECHO team that will support mental health and substance abuse clinicians in the Montana Department of Corrections (DoC). Other members include a licensed addictions counselor from Rimrock Foundation as well as members from the DoC. Project ECHO is scheduled to officially begin in Montana in February. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.
Erika Harding is the director of replication initiatives for Project ECHO at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine.  ECHO stands for Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes. It uses video teleconferencing to bring together healthcare providers who would otherwise be regionally isolated. Project ECHO operates 39 hubs for nearly 30 diseases and conditions in 22 states and 5 countries outside the U-S. The Veterans Administration is using ECHO in its healthcare system. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.

mp3 logoGianforte Announces Candidacy in Billings
Republican Greg Gianforte officially kicked off his campaign for governor in Lockwood, just east of Billings this morning. It was the start of a two-day fly-around across the state. Jackie Yamanaka reports.

Gianforte 1
Republican candidate for governor Greg Gianforte (R) greets supporters Brooke and Todd Buchanan of Billings during the Bozeman businessman’s campaign launch in Lockwood, east of Billlings. Gianforte has been raising and spending campaign money since last August on an exploratory campaign for Governor in which he has raised about $300,000. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.
Gianforte 2
Gianforte speaks to Billings-area supporters at his campaign launch at Montana Peterbilt. His wife Susan looks on from Gianforte’s right side. During his two day, campaign fly-around, Gianforte also scheduled stops in Sidney, Lewistown, Kalispell, Great Falls, Helena, Missoula, and wraps up in Bozeman. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.

mp3 logoEnergy Briefing/ Federal CPP on MT
aired January 19, 2016
The federal Clean Power Plan will have a devastating impact to Montana’s economy and electric customers. That was the message speakers delivered at an Energy Briefing yesterday in Billings. As Jackie Yamanaka reports, the elected officials on the panel said they are fighting back.

Senator Steve Daines, R-MT, says President Barack Obama’s actions on the domestic energy front has been detrimental to Montana’s economy. He points to the president’s rejection of the Keystone X-L pipeline, the federal Clean Power Plan, and the temporary moratorium on federal coal leases on public land. Daines spoke to roughly 170 elected officials, utility and business representatives at an Energy Briefing 2016 event in Billings. Daines is sponsoring another energy event March 30th and 31st in Billings. (link for event is Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.

Energy Briefing 2016 also featured remarks from (L-R) state Attorney General Tim Fox, state Senator Duane Ankney, R-Colstrip, NorthWestern Energy V-P of Supply John Hines, Montana Chamber President Webb Brown, U-M BBER Director Patrick Barkey, and Boilermakers Local 11 President and Northern Cheyenne tribal member Jason Small. The event in Billings was sponsored by Big Sky Economic Development and Senator Steve Daines.  Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.

mp3 logoHistoric Restaurants of Billings
aired January 18, 2016
The railroad brought exotic menus and foods to a young Billings, Montana. Culinary and wine educator Stella Fong discovered that in research for her new book Historic Restaurants of Billings.


mp3 logoNew Inpatient Peds Unit
aired January 14, 2016
Billings Clinic will show off its new pediatric in-patient unit to the public Saturday. After that the unit will be only for these patients and their families because of the hospital’s security measures. Jackie Yamanaka got an early tour of the new unit and has this report.

Dr. Michelle Pierson shows one of the nature murals in the new Bob and Penni Nance Pediatric In-patient Unit at Billings Clinic. Speakers in the ceiling bring in sounds of water, birds and crickets. This new wing is for patients 18 years old and younger who need hospitalization. It brings pediatric patients into one secure wing at Billings Clinic.  Work crews on January 13, 2016 were putting the finishing touches on this unit before the ribbon cutting on Saturday. All of the funding for the remodeling and equipment came from private donations and fundraisers. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.

The Nance Pediatric Unit will have 7 private rooms to accommodate young patients and their families. Each room has a couch that folds out into a bed. This new unit is located near the Family Birth Center and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Dr. Michelle Pierson says this brings all of the women and children’s health care services into one dedicated wing. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.

There are 2 90’ interactive televisions to entertain patients and their families. Two nurses in the unit try out a dance video game during their orientation before the unit accepts its first patients on January 18, 2016.  Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.

mp3 logoCPP Advisory Council
aired January 6, 2016
Governor Steve Bullock is optimistic Montana’s recent success in keeping the sage grouse off the Endangered Species List will help protect Montana’s coal industry, the environment, and the economy. Bullock announced the members of a new Clean Power Plan Advisory Council yesterday in Colstrip. As Jackie Yamanaka reports, the fossil fuel industry is well represented on the panel.

Democratic Governor Steve Bullock (R) talking to State Senator Duane Ankney  (L), R-Colstrip,  before announcing the 27 members of the Interim Clean Power Plan Advisory Council. Ankney and Kathy Hadley (C), the Executive Director of the National Center for Appropriate Technology and President of the Montana Wildlife Federation, were named to the panel.The panel is charged with reviewing the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan rule and come up with recommendations to the Montana Department of Environmental Quality. The DEQ will report back to EPA with a filing of an Initial Submittal. The scheduled deadline for submission is mid-Summer, although DEQ officials say they may ask for an extension.  Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.

The coal-fired power plants are visible from the Colstrip City Hall.  Critics of the Clean Power Plan worry the new federal rule will lead to the shutdown of these electric generating facilities.  Under the plan finalized by the EPA on October 23, 2015, Montana is required to reduce its CO2 emissions by 47% by 2030. Montana is one of about a dozen states that are challenging the rule in court.  Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.

mp3 logoBullock Names CPP Members
aired January 6, 2016
Over two-dozen people were tapped to come up with a way for Montana to comply with the federal Clean Power Plan rule aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Governor Steve Bullock announced the members during a stop in Colstrip. As Jackie Yamanaka reports, the Bullock Administration says the new rule contains flexibility that could soften the blow on the state.

The Interim Clean Power Plan Advisory Council members are:

Senator Duane Ankney, Colstrip, MT – Senate District 20, member of the Energy and Telecommunications Interim Committee

Carl Borquist, Bozeman, MT – Founder and President, Absaroka Energy, LLC

Hon. Kirk Bushman, Billings, MT – Montana Public Service Commission member representing District 2

Chris Christiaens, Great Falls MT – Legislative and Project Specialist, Montana Farmers Union

Gordon Criswell, Hysham, MT – Director, Environmental & Engineering Compliance, Talen Montana

Al Ekblad, Great Falls, MT – Executive Secretary of the Montana State AFL-CIO

Gary Forrester, Billings, MT – Government Affairs, MDU Resources, Inc.

Dave Galt, Helena, MT – private consultant specializing in energy and natural resources issues, immediate past Executive Director of the Montana Petroleum Association

Paul Gatzmeier, Billings, MT – a small business owner with extensive natural resource and energy background

Kathy Hadley, Deer Lodge, MT – Executive Director of the National Center for Appropriate Technology, and President of the Montana Wildlife Federation

Doug Hardy, Great Falls, MT – General Manager of the Central Montana Electric Power Cooperative

Britt Ide, Bozeman, MT –  Principal, Ide Law & Strategy, LLC, private practice attorney specializing in energy, consensus-building, and innovation.

Senator Jim Keane, Butte, MT – Senate District 38, member of the Environmental Quality Council

Lorna Luebbe, Bellevue, WA – Director of Environmental Services/Assistant General Counsel, Puget Sound Energy, Inc.

Chuck Magraw, Helena, MT – private practice attorney specializing in energy issues

Chairman Darrin Old Coyote, Crow Agency, MT – Chairman, Crow Tribe

Jim Orchard, Broomfield, CO – Senior Vice President, Marketing & Government Affairs, Cloud Peak Energy

Bill Pascoe, Absarokee, MT – Principal, Pascoe Energy Consulting, representing a broad diversity of clients in energy matters.

Senator Mike Phillips, Bozeman, MT – Senate District 31, member of the Environmental Quality Council

Sunny Radcliffe, Portland, OR – Director, Governmental Affairs & Environmental Policy, Portland General Electric

Diego Rivas, Helena, MT – Senior Policy Associate, Northwest Energy Coalition

John Roeber, Butte, MT – Officer President, Montana State Building & Construction Trades Council, and International Brotherhood of Boilermakers

Rex Rogers, Colstrip, MT – IBEW Local 1638 Business Manager

Tom Schneider, Helena, MT – Private consultant specializing in energy issues, former three-term Montana Public Service Commissioner (2003-2006, 1977-1984)

Darrell Soyars, Spokane, WA – Manager of Corporate Environmental Compliance, Avista Corporation

Pat Sweeney, Billings, MT – Senior Advisor to the Western Organization of Resource Councils

William Thompson, Butte, MT – Senior Technical Advisor/Engineer, NorthWestern Energy

mp3 logoCooney New Lt. Governor
aired December 30, 2015
Governor Steve Bullock named a political veteran as his new Lieutenant Governor. Former Secretary of State Mike Cooney will be Bullock’s third lieutenant governor in three years.

Mike Cooney New Lt. Governor

mp3 logoBullock- Media Swing
aired December 18, 2015
The GOP is pouncing on the press coverage Democratic Governor Steve Bullock is getting over the recent resignation of his lieutenant governor. Details of the tension between the two emerged as Bullock was traveling the state to visit with media organizations. He stopped by YPR yesterday afternoon to talk with Jackie Yamanaka.

mp3 logoLewis and Clark Middle School STEM
aired December 17, 2015
Some middle school students in Billings were given this challenge:  build a structure that’s strong and tall using spaghetti and marshamallows. As Jackie Yamanaka reports this project is part of efforts to keep students interested in math and science.

7th graders in Mrs. Greene’s life sciences class work in teams to build a structure using just spaghetti and marshmallows. This hands-on-project is aimed at keeping students interested in science, technology, engineering, and math careers.  Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.

State School Superintendent Denise Juneau joins students at Lewis and Clark Middle School in Billings as they build a structure that is strong and tall using everyday food items.  Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.

mp3 logoGarrison Keillor Live Performances
aired December 10, 2015
Garrison Keillor is bringing live performances to Wyoming, Idaho and Montana next February and March. Jackie Yamanaka has more about his stop in Billings.
LINK: Ticket information at Alberta Bair Theater
LINK: Garrison Keillor's website

mp3 logoYellowstone Kelly Site Donor
aired December 3, 2015
Phillips 66 was named the lead donor for a project to restore the Yellowstone Kelly gravesite in Billings. As Jackie Yamanaka reports yesterday’s announcement at Swords Rimrock Park brings the fundraising effort to nearly the halfway point.
LINK: About Yellowstone Kelly and to donate
LINK: Billings Chamber of Commerce trails initiative

Bill Cole (L), the chair of the Billings Chamber of Commerce's Yellowstone Kelly Site Steering Committee, presents an engraved sandstone plaque to Ray Rigdon, the refinery manager of Phillips 66 in Billings. The plaque is to recognize the company for its $80,000 donation to the renovation of Luther Sage "Yellowstone" Kelly's grave and for the construction of an interpretive site at Swords Rimrock Park in Billings. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.

mp3 logoAir Ambulance Interim XGR Hearing
aired December 1, 2015
In a big, rural state like Montana, medical care is often far away. And because most hospitals here are small, people who experience serious trauma or need specialty care often have to fly to get it. But as Corin Cates-Carney reports, patients and their families find when they use an air ambulance the cost can be staggering. That’s why an interim Legislative committee will hear about the issue tomorrow in Helena.
LINK: Agenda for the Economic Affairs Interim Committee hearing Dec 1-2, 2015
LINK: Survey results from (most) air ambulances serving Montana
LINK: To listen or watch the Economic Affairs Interim Committee
Funding for this story in part comes from the Montana Healthcare Foundation.

mp3 logoHelmsley Charitable Trust CT Grant
aired November 6, 2015
Four critical access hospitals in Montana and three in Wyoming are receiving grants to help purchase new CT scanners. The money comes from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. As Jackie Yamanaka reports, the trustees want to address the lack of philanthropic dollars for health care in rural America.

Shelley Stingley, program director for the Helmsley Charitable Trust's Rural Healthcare Program, announces the Montana and Wyoming recipients of grants to buy new CT scanners.  Photo by Jackie Yamanaka

mp3 logoHeart Mountain Lecture
aired October 13, 2015
A former prisoner at Wyoming’s Heart Mountain internment camp will talk about that experience Wednesday at MSU Billings.  Blair Koch reports.

mp3 logoStop the Frack Attack/Denver
aired October 8, 2015
About 200 people from across country took to the streets of downtown Denver Monday to protest the impacts of oil and gas development in their communities. The action was part of a three-day national summit called “Stop the Frack Attack.” Blair Koch was in Denver and has this report.

Protesters with the Stop the Frack Attack national summit in Denver took to the streets on Monday with a march downtown that ended in front of Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper's mansion. Photo by Blair Koch.

mp3 logoUnbranded/screening in Billings
aired September 30, 2015
A film documenting the journey of four men who rode adopted wild horses across the country will have a screening in Billings Friday. The film – “Unbranded” - is being shown across the country. Jackie Yamanaka talked to the film’s director and has this report.
LINK: Art House Cinema and Pub
LINK: Official Theatrical Trailer

Photo courtesy of Fin and Furs Films and Gravitas Ventures

mp3 logoHarvesting Clean Energy Conference
aired September 28, 2015
Biofuels, electric cars, and alternative energy are a few of the topics to be discussed during the Harvesting Clean Energy Conference in Billings this week. Blair Koch reports.

mp3 logoAttendance Matters
aired September 24, 2015
Billings schools have been in session just over one-month and the principal and Newman Elementary says already more than half of the student body has had perfect attendance. State School Superintendent Denise Juneau joined representatives from Billings School District number Two, United Way, and others to celebrate that accomplishment. Jackie Yamanaka has more on why school officials nationwide are addressing school attendance beginning with Kindergarten.
LINK: Graduation Matters Montana

Newman Elementary Principal Travis Niemeyer talks with one of the 160 students who has had perfect attendance so far this school year. Albertsons provided lunches for just over two-dozen students who were randomly selected from that group. Two of the classrooms that had the highest combined attendance rate won fish tanks, fish food, and gift certificates to get fish at a local pet shop for their classrooms. Niemeyer says he is already planning the next attendance challenge at his school to be awarded in January. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.
Approximately 300 elementary students rose and raised their right hands to recite the Graduation Matters pledge before Newman School, School District #2, and State School Superintendent Denise Juneau. School officials say students who miss too may days from school fall behind in their class work and many end up dropping out of school. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.

mp3 logoRiverstone Health Expansion
aired September 23, 2015
Riverstone Health is just over half-way toward its goal of building a new primary care clinic. This community health center formally kicked off an 11-million dollar capital campaign today in Billings. As Jackie Yamanaka reports Riverstone Health has outgrown its current facilities.

mp3 logoHigh Prices for Wild Horses
aired September 21, 2015
The Bureau of Land Management just completed one of its most successful wild horse adoptions to date. The top-selling horse went for a record breaking 4-thousand dollars. Blair Koch traveled to the Britton Springs holding facility near the Montana-Wyoming border to find out why these horses can command such a high price.

The Bureau of Land Management's Billings Field Office recently competed one of its most successful wild horse adoptions from the Pryor Mountain herd, with one mustang drawing a record breaking $4,000. Pictured here are a few wild horses at the Britton Springs holding facility near the Montana-Wyoming border just days before their new owners picked them up. Photo by Blair Koch. 

Before the Bureau of Land Management wild horse adoption process is complete a few strands of hair of taken from of the animals' manes so that their DNA can be analyzed in a lab. The genetic tests are needed for records and management of the herd. Pictured here are, from left, the BLM's Montana/Dakota Office's Wild Horse and Burro Specialst Jared Bybee and Range Specialist Blair Street processing hair samples from adopted wild horses from the Pryor Mountain Horse Herd at the Britton Springs holding facility near the Montana-Wyoming border. Photo by Blair Koch.

mp3 logoSenate field hearing PHMSA
aired September 18, 2015
A U-S Senate Committee is using the coming reauthorization of the federal agency that oversees pipelines and hazardous materials to take a close look at its record of safety. The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee held a field hearing on pipeline safety in Billings this morning.
Jackie Yamanaka reports.

The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation held a field hearing at Montana State University Billings on pipeline safety as part of the reauthorization of the federal agency that oversees pipelines and hazardous materials. Senator Steve Daines, R-MT, and subcommittee Chairwoman Deb Fischer, R-NE, conducted the field hearing.  Senator Jon Tester, D-MT, was among the witnesses who testified. The others are Marie Therese Dominguez, administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration; Todd Denton, president Phillips 66 Pipeline; John Ostlund, Yellowstone County commissioner; and Michelle Slyder of the Montana Liquid Gas Pipeline Association.  Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.

mp3 logoLessons Learned OKC
aired September 17, 2015
Like many communities that depend on natural resources for its economic well-being, Oklahoma City knows first hand what happens when the market hits rock bottom. The mayor recounted the 1980’s when banks failed… the oil and natural gas sectors went bust… and construction and real estate tanked. He laid that groundwork in a speech to the annual meeting of the Billings Chamber of Commerce. As Jackie Yamanaka reports, Oklahoma City took an unorthodox step to rise from the ashes… it raised a tax.

mp3 logoOil Field Radioactive Waste
aired September 14, 2015
Where ever oil and gas drilling takes place, there is radioactive waste. It's an issue that regulators must address to protect public health and the environment. Blair Koch has more on new technology used to identify and track radioactive oil and gas waste on site.

mp3 logoBroadband for MT Schools
aired September 14, 2015
A public-private partnership is working to bring broadband to schools across the country at little- to no-cost. As Jackie Yamanaka reports from Bozeman this includes Montana.

mp3 logoNASA’s Hunch Program/LHS
aired September 11, 2015
Astronauts are looking for help in solving some of the challenges of living and working on the International Space Station. As Jackie Yamanaka reports from Laurel, astronauts and NASA are turning to high school students to help find solutions to these challenges.

Space X box: Florence Gold NASA HUNCH Implementation Project Manager shows Laurel High School students a Russian- made box that flew to the International Space Station (ISS) on Space X-6. Gold told says students in the HUNCH program have fabricated soft-sided boxes.  Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.

Astronaut food: Gold, a retired teacher from Laurel High School, first got involved in HUNCH 10 years ago. She now works with high schools and students across the country to try to solve problems brought by astronauts living and working on the ISS. This includes the “culinary challenge” to bring fresher food to ISS.  Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.

Food closeup: Laurel High School Students in the HUNCH program take a closer look at the food sent to the ISS. HUNCH stands for High School Students United with NASA to create Hardware. Under the partnership, students become unpaid, but official contractors for NASA’s Research and Integration Office at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.

mp3 logoSTEM Bench Elm
aired September 4, 2015
School started just over a week ago in Billings, but one area business is wasting no time in its effort to spark some excitement about learning. ExxonMobil is a partner with Bench Elementary School. The goal is to send the message that being an engineer is possible for every student at this school in the Billings Heights.

6th graders at Bench Elementary in the Billings Heights are using marshmallows, straws, and paper cups to build “lunar landers.”  Bench is participating in a national science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) initiative known as Project Lead the Way that encourages projects and inquiry.  Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.

Engineer and ExxonMobil Refinery Manager Monica Mainland talks with 6th graders about what they learn in STEM education at school is used to create the video games, music, and tv shows they say they love. She handed out“Be An Engineer” t-shirts during her visit.  Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.

mp3 logoNavy Naming
aired September 2, 2015
The U-S Navy has two new vessels in their fleet honoring Montana and Billings. The Secretary of the Navy was in Billings to officially unveil the names.

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus visits and poses for photos with some of the sailors who attended the naming ceremony at MetraPark in Billings. Mabus announced a Virginia-class attack submarine will be named the USS Montana and a Littoral Combat Ship will be named the USS Billings.  The announcement commemorates Montana’s longstanding service in the Navy and the Marine Corps.  Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus (far R) shares a moment with Senator Jon Tester, D-MT (L), Governor Steve Bullock, and Billings Mayor Tom Hanel before the naming ceremony.  About 200 people, including numerous veterans and active duty personnel, gathered at MetraPark to welcome the Navy Secretary and attend the ceremony.  Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.

mp3 logoSTEM Education and More
aired September 2, 2015
Students at an elementary school in Billings are learning about science, engineering, technology, and math as part of building their robots. But as Jackie Yamanaka reports… educators say what’s taking place in this classroom extends well beyond just STEM education.

Governor Steve Bullock talks with 5th grade students in Ross Marquis’ classroom at Arrowhead Elementary School in Billings about their robotics project. Billings School District #2 has partnered with area businesses for “Project Lead the Way.” The emphasis is on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education in hopes of developing a future workforce.  Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.

mp3 logoTranslators Available
aired August 28, 2015
Well over 200 people attended this week’s U.S.-China Clean Coal Industry Forum in Billings. This included large delegations of U-S and China officials. That meant there was a need for interpreters. As Jackie Yamanaka reports the organizers were able to fill that need from students and staff from Montana State University Billings and the University of Montana.

mp3 logoChina and Coal
aired August 27, 2015
China is not likely to give up using coal anytime in the near future. That was the message from a top energy official during a conference on clean coal technology this week in Billings.

Governor Steve Bullock (L) and Vice Administrator of the National Energy Administration P.R. China Shi Yubo (R) take part in the farewell reception at Little Big Horn College on the Crow Indian Reservation. The reception wrapped up the two-day U.S.-China Clean Coal Industry Forum in Billings, MT August 25-26, 2015. Photo courtesy of Xiaoyi Wang.

mp3 logoUS-China Clean Coal
aired August 25, 2015
Government and energy officials from the US and China collaborating to advance clean coal technology. The goal is to address the demand for reliable, inexpensive energy, and the concerns over global climate change. As Jackie Yamanaka reports from Billings, this conversation is taking place near one of the world's largest coal reserves - the Powder River Basin.

US Ambassador to China Max Baucus (left) talks with Governor Steve Bullock (center) and Assistant US Secretary for Fossil Energy in the Department of Energy Christopher Smith. All spoke about the need to include coal and promote clean coal technology as part of the mix to fuel the energy needs of the US and China. They were part of the Keynote address at the 2015 U.S.-China Clean Coal Industry Forum in Billings, Montana August 24-26.  Photo by Jackie Yamanaka, YPR news.

mp3 logoMedicaid Expansion Billings Session
aired August 19, 2015
Nearly 80 people turned out for a public meeting in Billings yesterday afternoon on the state of Montana’s proposed waiver request for its Medicaid expansion program.
As Jackie Yamanaka reports all of the two dozen people who offered comments all want the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to approve Montana’s two waivers.

mp3 logoFed Highway Bill and Billings by-pass
aired August 19, 2015
The impasse in Congress over a long-term Highway funding bill threatens to delay a major transportation and economic development project in the Billings area. The director of the Montana Department of Transportation met with local officials in Billings yesterday to discuss how this this issue.

mp3 logoRoad safety & DUI
aired August 18, 2015
Montana Department of Transportation officials say they are taking steps to make the state’s highways safer. MDT Director Mike Tooley says there’s a role for motorists to improve highway safety. As Jackie Yamanaka reports that means drivers need to reject acceptance of high-risk behavior.

MDT Director Mike Tooley says state highway officials are investing millions for safety improvements on a portion of US 212 from the I-90 interchange at Laurel that leads to Red Lodge, Beartooth Pass, and Yellowstone National Park. He says that alone will not cut down the traffic fatalities on this popular roadway. Tooley says drivers need to buckle their seat belts, pay attention while driving, and refrain from drinking and driving. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.

mp3 logoSen. Tester on Iran Nuclear Agreement
aired August 13, 2015
Senator Jon Tester announced today he will support the Iran nuclear agreement when it comes before lawmakers. He says he came to that decision after personally reading the proposed agreement, talking with experts, and listening to Montanans. Jackie Yamanaka talked to Montana’s senior Senator and has this report.
LINKS: Sen. Tester Asks for Montanan's Comments on the Iran Deal, Veterans Against the Deal Advertisement

mp3 logoBLM Coal: Economic Value
aired August 12, 2015
An overflow crowd packed the Montana/Dakota’s BLM state office in Billings yesterday afternoon to speak on the federal coal program. The agency is seeking comment on possible changes to make sure it’s obtaining the full economic value for the mining of federal coal. Jackie Yamanaka reports.

Spring Creek coal miner Annette Detavernier was one of 79 people who signed up to speak at the BLM’s listening session in Billings, Montana. Several coal mining supporters wore helmets and t-shirts that said “Stop New Energy Taxes” while supporters of reforming the federal coal program wore stickers that said “No Coal Loopholes.” Because of the number of speakers, the session ran nearly two-hours past its scheduled time. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.
The line of people waiting to get into the BLM’s Montana/Dakota state office started over an hour before the scheduled start time. Across the street there was a pro-coal rally while nearby those advocating reforming the federal coal program held their own rally. The meeting room was limited to just over 200 people. An overflow area was set up to accommodate the crowd. Written public comments can be sent to until September 17, 2015. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.

mp3 logoBLM Coal: Economics & Environment
aired August 12, 2015
Hundreds of people from across Montana, Wyoming, and North Dakota spoke at the BLM’s listening session on the federal coal program. As Jackie Yamanaka reports comments ranged from whether the government getting the full economic benefits for the mining of federal coal, to climate change, to the war on coal.

mp3 logoBullock on Economic Development on the Reservations
aired August 5, 2015
Montana’s reservation communities still are not enjoying the same economic benefits as the rest of the state. Governor Steve Bullock told Native American business leaders meeting in Billings the state is doing what it can to address chronic unemployment and boost entrepreneurship. Jackie Yamanaka reports.

mp3 logoBillings' Historical Riches
aired August 5, 2015
Billings – like many communities in our region – has a rich history. The challenge is how to let residents and visitors know about that history. As Jackie Yamanaka reports, the Billings Chamber of Commerce is one of the groups leading a multi-prong approach to raise public awareness and money to preserve one site.
LINK: Learn More About Yellowstone Kelly

mp3 logoClean Power Plan/reax
aired August 4, 2015
The Bullock Administration says it’s initially disappointed with the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan released yesterday. Jackie Yamanaka has more on the reactions on the EPA’s rule.

mp3 logoFWP Hearings on Bison
aired July 31st, 2015
State Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials will hold 5 public hearings in August to find out if there’s a place for bison on the Montana landscape. As Jackie Yamanaka reports the first two hearings are scheduled next week in Bozeman and Billings.
LINK: Draft EIS for Bison Conservation and Management in Montana

mp3 logoMicroplastics
aired July 29, 2015
Our love of polar fleece and yoga pants could be contributing micro-plastic pollution into the water supply. A Bozeman-based group will launch a sampling project in September to find out just how much of this pollutant is in the Gallatin River. Jackie Yamanaka reports.
LINKS: Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation Gallatin Microplastics Initiative, Greater Gallatin Watershed Council

mp3 logoClark's Crossing Dedication
aired July 27, 2015
A site near Billings where Captain William Clark and some members of the Corps of Discovery crossed the Yellowstone was formally dedicated last Friday as “Clarks Crossing.” As Jackie Yamanaka reports, this site will join other historic sites that are linked via the city’s Heritage Trail system.

Elk River Brigade: The dedication of “Clarks Crossing” featured a volley fired from the north bank of the Yellowstone River by the Pompeys Pillar Elk River Brigade. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.
Ribbon Cutting: The Billings Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting at the site on the eastern edge of Riverfront Park is where William Clark and some of the members of the Corps of Discovery crossed the Yellowstone River on July 24, 1806. Clark had the Corps’ remaining horses cross to the south side of the Yellowstone River so they could take them on an over-land shortcut to the Mandan villages. The next day - on July 25, 1806 – Clark traveled downstream on the Yellowstone and carved his name and the date into the sandstone on the site now known as Pompeys Pillar. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.

mp3 logoDeadline Highway Bill
aired July 23, 2015
The clock is ticking again toward the expiration of the current federal transportation funding bill. This week, the Senate agreed to debate a long-term funding bill. If Congress fails to act by July 31st, the federal government won’t have the ability to process transportation funding payments that were promised to states. Jackie Yamanaka talked to Montana’s two Senators for their views on the proposal.

mp3 logoMT Manufacturing
aired July 21, 2015
Employment in Montana’s manufacturing sector is outpacing those same jobs nationally. That’s according to the latest annual report from the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center based at Montana State University. As Jackie Yamanaka reports, the center’s director says there are many reasons behind that employment growth.
LINK: The State of Montana Manufacturing 2015

mp3 logo24/7 Sobriety Program National Conference
aired July 14, 2015
A law aimed at keeping certain repeat D-U-I offenders clean and sober is drawing interest around the country. Jackie Yamanaka talked to Montana Attorney General Tim Fox about an upcoming conference that will answer questions about how the program works and the impact it has had on reducing DUI’s.
LINK: Conference Registration and Information

mp3 logoDraft MT Medicaid Waiver
aired July 7, 2015
The Bullock Administration will begin taking public comment today on its draft Medicaid expansion waivers to be submitted to the federal government. The 2015 Montana Legislature passed and the governor signed into law its own version of Medicaid Expansion that will require federal approval before health insurance for the working poor can be offered. Jackie Yamanaka explains.

mp3 logoDaines and Northern Cheyenne Lands Act
aired July 2, 2015
Montana Senator Steve Daines will be in Lame Deer tonight to celebrate the passage of the Northern Cheyenne Lands Act. The federal legislation passed last December gives the tribe more control over its land base, natural resources, and trust funds. Jackie Yamanaka reports.

Senator Steve Daines, R-MT, talks with NOAA Fire Incident Meteorologist Dan Borsum. Borsum told Daines during the Eastern Montana Fire briefing this past winter’s snowpack melted early and the traditional wet months of May and June generally did not materialize. Borsum says it’s “dry, drying out, and staying dry.” Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.
Senator Steve Daines, R-MT, got a close up look of fire apparatus from the BLM, DNRC, and the USFS. Afterwards he talks with Travis Lebow (R) and Austin Skogas of the USFS about the equipment they use to fight fires on federal lands. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.

mp3 logoYellowstone Kelly Grave
aired July 1, 2015
As part of making sure there’s “heritage” in the Heritage Trail that winds through Billings, members of the Chamber of Commerce and the City of Billings yesterday laid a wreath on the grave of military veteran and scout Yellowstone Kelly.
LINK: Yellowstone Kelly

Kelly Grave
Steering Committee Chair Bill Cole (Right) helps carry a wreath to be placed on Yellowstone Kelly’s gravesite. Each year until her death, Kelly’s widow, sent a wreath to the Chamber from her ranch in California to be placed on the grave. It was 3’ in diameter made of evergreen and Toyon Berry. After her death, the tradition was lost until work began on the Heritage Trail system in Billings.  This is the third year the Chamber has placed a wreath on the grave. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.
Kevin Kooistra
Community Historian Kevin Kooistra of the Western Heritage Center talks about the history of Luther Sage “Yellowstone” Kelly during the 3rd annual wreath laying ceremony at his grave site at Swords Rimrock Park. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.


mp3 logoBillings Chamber of Commerce Talks Tourism
aired June 12, 2015
The head of the Billings area Chamber of Commerce says travel and tourism has a large impact on the Yellowstone County economy. Jackie Yamanaka has more on the Chamber’s efforts to grow this sector.

mp3 logoCharlie Russell Symposium
aired June 8, 2015
A fresh look on the artwork of artist Charlie Russell is the subject of a three-day symposium beginning June 18th in Helena. As Jackie Yamanaka reports, this symposium is part of the year-long celebration of the Montana Historical Society's 150th anniversary.
LINK: Charlie Russell: 21st Century Perspectives on the Cowboy Artists

mp3 logoBioBlitz in Cody
The Heart Mountain Ranch Preserve near Cody is the site of this year’s BioBlitz. Citizen scientists team up with biologists to search for and document as many plants, animals, and organisms as they can find in a 24 hour period. As Jackie Yamanaka reports, the organizers invite participants of all ages and interests to join them for this family-friendly hands-on event.
Link for more info and to register:

mp3 logoRed Ants Pants Ant in Billings
aired June 2, 2015
The founder of the Red Ants Pants music festival brought her iconic red ant to Billings today as part of a promotional tour around the state for the upcoming event. Jackie Yamanaka caught up with Sarah Calhoun at Swords Park, an overlook over the city of Billings.

Red Ants Pants Music Festival founder Sarah Calhoun brings her iconic red ant to the Rimrocks overlooking Billings. Calhoun is touring Montana promoting the festival in White Sulphur Springs July 23-26, 2015. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.

mp3 logoMedicaid Oversight Panel Named
aired June 1, 2015
Governor Steve Bullock and Legislative leaders named their picks for the 9-member panel that will oversee the roll-out of Medicaid coverage for Montana’s working poor. As Jackie Yamanaka reports from the Capitol, the oversight committee includes two opponents of Medicaid Expansion.

mp3 logoSen. Tester: Sidney Infrastructure Follow-Up
aired May 28, 2015
Senator Jon Tester held a follow-up meeting with officials in the Sidney-area on the issue of their strained roads, water and sewer systems. Tester was in Sidney and Glendive today. Jackie Yamanaka reports.

mp3 logoTax Break for Pollution Control Equipment
aired May 14, 2015
A tax cut for industry to install pollution control and carbon sequestration equipment is good for industry, jobs, and public health. That’s the message from Governor Steve Bullock during a ceremonial bill signing today in Billings. Jackie Yamanaka reports.

Governor Steve Bullock at a ceremonial bill signing for House Bill 156 at the Billings-area Chamber of Commerce. The bill gives a tax reduction to companies that install pollution control and carbon capture equipment. Seated next to Bullock is Representative Mike Miller, R-Helmville, the bill’s sponsor. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.

mp3 logoHELP Act Signed Into Law
aired April 29, 2015
Governor Bullock signed into law a bill that extends Medicaid coverage to Montana’s working poor. A standing room filled the Capitol rotunda while on-lookers crowded the third floor and peered down from the balcony. Jackie Yamanaka has more from the Capitol.

Governor Steve Bullock signs into law Senate Bill 405, also known as the Montana Health and Economic Livelihood Partnership Act. Representative Rob Cook (far left), R-Conrad, carried the bill on the House Floor. Senator Ed Buttrey (to the Right of Cook), R-Great Falls, is the bill’s sponsor. Sitting to the right of Bullock is Stephanie Wallace of Troy. Wallace testified before lawmakers as a Head Start teacher who earns too much money to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to be eligible for the tax credits to buy insurance on the federal Marketplace under the Affordable Care Act. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.

mp3 logoSine Die / Infrastructure
aired April 28, 2015
The 2015 Legislative session is over. Lawmakers “clocked out” this morning after the House failed another attempt to approve a statewide infrastructure bill. Jackie Yamanaka has more from the Capitol on the last piece of business remaining before lawmakers – funding for infrastructure.

mp3 logoSine Die
aired April 28, 2015
The Montana Legislature came to an abrupt halt this morning after it became clear there was no desire to vote yet again on a the remaining bill for statewide infrastructure projects in the state. Jackie Yamanaka has more from the Capitol.

mp3 logoNo Infrastructure Bill, No Sine Die
aired April 27, 2015
The House fell one-vote short of the supermajority needed to give final approval to the last major remaining infrastructure bill before lawmakers. Then the House voted to adjourn for the session. But as Jackie Yamanaka reports from the Capitol, the Senate refused to accept the House’s request so lawmakers will have to come back for at least one more day.

mp3 logoDark Money
aired April 22, 2015
Montana is striking back against anonymous campaign donations in political campaigns. Governor Steve Bullock signed into law a bill to shine the light on so-called “Dark Money.”
PDF: SB 289 Bill Text
LINK: SB 289 History

Governor Steve Bullock signs Senate Bill 289 into law.  Senator Duane Ankney (right of the governor), R-Colstrip, was the primary bill sponsor and Representative Frank Garner (left of the governor), R-Kalispell, carried the bill on the House. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.

mp3 logoBully Free Montana Signed Into Law
aired April 21, 2015
Local school districts in Montana are charged with coming up with a process so their students can report bullying at school and have those complaints formally addressed. The new requirement is the result of Governor Steve Bullock signing House Bill 284 into law. Jackie Yamanaka has more from the Capitol.

Governor Steve Bullock signs House Bill 284 – The Bully Free Montana Act – into law as State School Superintendent Denise Juneau (right) and the main bill sponsor Representative Kimberly Dudik, D-Missoula look on.  The bill signing was held at Jefferson Elementary School in Helena. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.

mp3 logoCorette Power Plant Officially Shut Down
aired April 14, 2015
Tomorrow the J-E Corette coal fired power plant in Billings officially shuts down. PPL Montana announced in 2012 new proposed EPA rules were problematic for the nearly 50 year old power plant. As Jackie Yamanaka reports those federal regulations take effect tomorrow.

mp3 logoMedicaid Expansion: House 2nd Reading
aired April 10, 2015
A bill to extend Medicaid to Montana's working poor won preliminary approval in the Montana House on a 54-to 46 vote. But as Jackie Yamanaka reports from the Capitol, even after that vote supporters of Senate Bill 405 still had to fight off another attempt to potentially kill this bill again in committee.

mp3 logoWater Compact Motion
aired April 10, 2015
The raw nerves over the procedural fights in the House spilled over on to another controversial bill this session: the Confederated Salish Kootenai Water Compact. Jackie Yamanaka has more from the Capitol.

mp3 logoSenate Floor Passes HB 2
aired April 9, 2015
The Republican-controlled Senate gave preliminary approval to the state’s main budget bill. The GOP majority allowed only a few technical amendments and resisted attempts by Democrats to add additional funding or programs to House Bill 2. As Jackie Yamanaka reports from the Capitol this includes a Bullock Administration proposal to fund early childhood education.

mp3 logoMedicaid Expansion
aired April 9, 2015
The last surviving bill to expand Medicaid to Montana’s working poor is scheduled to be debated on the House Floor later today. Senate Bill 405 will be carried in the House by Republican Representative Rob Cook of Conrad. Jackie Yamanaka sat down with Cook after yesterday’s procedural fight to talk about why he joined 10 other Republicans and all Democrats to bring this bill to the House floor for debate.

mp3 logoHELP Act Needs Help
aired April 8, 2015
The lone bill barely alive at the Montana Legislature that expand Medicaid coverage to the working poor is now tangled in a procedural fight over the House rules. As Jackie Yamanaka reports from the Capitol, it will be an interpretation of those rules that will determine whether the full House gets to debate this bill on the floor.

mp3 logoFederal/State Veterans Court
aired April 2, 2015
The U-S Attorney for Montana says the federal criminal justice system is good at catching offenders, prosecuting them, and sending them to federal prison. Now the District of Montana has a new tool – treatment court. As Jackie Yamanaka reports the federal criminal justice system is partnering with a Veterans Court based in state district court in Great Falls.

mp3 logoSenate Finance Action on HB2
aired April 2, 2015
The Senate Finance and Claims Committee added about $55 million of general fund dollars back into the state budget. That's according to preliminary figures from the Legislative Fiscal Division. As Jackie Yamanaka reports from the Capitol, not quite half that amount was to cover cost over-runs in the current biennium.

mp3 logoInsure Montana
aired March 31, 2015
With no debate, the Montana House voted to continue a program that helps small businesses provide health insurance benefits for their employees. Jackie Yamanaka has more from the Capitol.

mp3 logoInfrastructure Bills
aired March 30, 2015
Several infrastructure bills are working their way through the Montana Legislature. The notable exception is the one proposed by the Bullock Administration. Jackie Yamanaka has more from the Capitol.

mp3 logoSenate Fianance Begins HB2
aired March 30, 2015
The state budget director criticized the work of the House on the state's budget for the coming biennium. The comments came as the Senate Finance and Claims Committee started its review this morning. Jackie Yamanaka has more from the Capitol.

mp3 logoEastern MT Crime Lab
aired March 30, 2015
The Montana House gave preliminary approval to a bill to create an Eastern Montana satellite crime lab. This lab wouldn't to duplicate all of the services of the Missoula-based State Crime Lab. Instead, as Jackie Yamanaka reports from the Capitol, this facility would focus on evidence involving alcohol, drugs, other chemicals and toxic substances.

mp3 logoState Pay Plan Blast Fails
aired March 30, 2015
An attempt to "blast" the state employee pay plan to the House floor for debate failed Saturday. As Jackie Yamanaka reports the motion fell 16 short of the votes needed.

mp3 logoMediciad Bill Passes on Senate Floor
aired March 27, 2015
The Montana Senate gave preliminary approval to a bill to expand Medicaid coverage to the state's working poor on a 28-to-22 vote. Jackie Yamanaka has more from the Capitol.

mp3 logoState Employee Pay Plan Tabled
aired March 27, 2015
The House Appropriations Committee this morning tabled the state employee pay. As Jackie Yamanaka reports from the Capitol, the action came with no debate.

mp3 logoHELP Act Blasted to Floor
aired March 26, 2015
A Senator from Great Falls successfully blasted his bill to provide health insurance for the working poor to the full Senate for debate. Senate Bill 405 already has had two committee hearings, but as Jackie Yamanaka reports from the Capitol, the sponsor is worried a deadline could kill his bill.

mp3 logoHouse Appropriations Committee Tables Gov.'s Infrastructure Bill
aired March 25, 2015
The House Appropriations Committee today tabled the Governor's infrastructure proposal. Instead, the Republican controlled panel voted to pass out several alternative GOP infrastructure bills. As Jackie Yamanaka reports from the Capitol, Democrats plan to use one of their so-called "silver bullets" to blast House Bill 5 to the floor for debate.

mp3 logoHELP Act
aired March 24, 2015
The remaining bill seeking to expand Medicaid coverage to the working poor will have another hearing tomorrow at the Montana Legislature. As Jackie Yamanaka reports from the Capitol, this action comes on the heels of stalling last evening in the Senate Public Health Committee.

mp3 logoRevenue Estimate
aired March 23, 2015
Lawmakers are considering whether to increase the amount of revenue the state of Montana is projected to collect in taxes and fees over the coming three years. The revenue estimate is an important number for lawmakers to consider as they craft the state budget and consider tax cuts for the coming two years. As Jackie Yamanaka reports from the Capitol, the proposed figure is the latest compromise.

mp3 logoPublic Intoxication Bill Tabled
aired March 20, 2015
A bill sought by the City of Billings and downtown business owners to combat serial inebriation and protect public safety was tabled in the House Judiciary Committee. As Jackie Yamanaka reports from the Capitol that action came despite unanimous passage amendments that sought to better clarify the intent of Senate Bill 360.

mp3 logoGov. Bullock Tours RiverStone Health
aired March 19, 2015
Governor Steve Bullock is continuing his push to get health insurance coverage for the working poor. That's even though action by the Republican-controlled House killed his proposal for this Legislative session. As Jackie Yamanaka reports, Bullock toured Riverstone Health in Billings today to talk about the continued need for Medicaid Expansion.

Carol Blank (L), RN and Riverstone Health’s Clinic Manager and Dr. Mike Geurin (R), Associate Director of the Riverstone’s Residency program, explain to Governor Steve Bullock (C) how their medical home model coordinates care among all of their providers for the benefit of their patients. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka

mp3 logoButtery Health Care Bill for Poor
aired March 17, 2015
The latest proposal to expand health insurance coverage for the working poor is scheduled for a legislative hearing Friday. Senator Ed Buttrey unveiled his Senate Bill 405 today. As Jackie Yamanaka reports from the Capitol a component of the plan is expanding Medicaid.

Speaking from the lectern Senator Ed Buttrey, R-Great Falls, outlines his SB 405 or Montana Health and Economic Livelihood Partnership or Montana HELP Act. The visible legislators in the background (from L to R): Rep. Dan Salomon, R-Ronan; Rep. Christy Clark, R-Choteau; Sen. Taylor Brown, R-Huntley; Sen. Bruce Tutvedt, R-Kalispell; Rep Rob Cook, R-Conrad; Rep Geraldine Custer, R-Forsyth; Sen. Brian Hoven, R-Great Falls, and Sen. Duane Ankney, R-Colstrip. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.

mp3 logoEastern MT Satellite Crime Lab
aired March 17, 2015
Law enforcement officials say one way to speed up the backlog of processing evidence at the state Crime Lab is to open a satellite office in Billings. Lawmakers are considering a bill to do just that. Jackie Yamanaka has more from the Capitol.

mp3 logoGovernor's HB 5 Proposal
aired March 17, 2015
Supporters for infrastructure projects across Montana packed the House Appropriations Committee yesterday afternoon to speak in favor of the governor's funding plan. As Jackie Yamanaka reports from the Capitol the hearing was a stark contrast to last week's hearings on the GOP's alternate infrastructure bills.

mp3 logoState Pay Plan
aired March 16, 2015
A standing room only crowd packed into the hearing room for the state employee pay plan. Members of the House Appropriations Committee are considering whether to implement the pay plan agreement reached between the Bullock administration and the various public employee unions. Jackie Yamanaka has more from the Capitol.

mp3 logoAnother Tax Cut Proposal
aired March 13, 2015
The Republican-controlled legislature is closer to sending another tax cut proposal to Democratic Governor Steve Bullock’s desk. The House gave preliminary approval to another income tax cut measure. The governor has already vetoed such bill. Jackie Yamanaka has more from the Capitol.

mp3 logoSchool Infrastructure Bill
aired March 13, 2015
The fate of most of the university system’s long-range building projects remain in limbo. The Republican controlled legislature has put forth its own proposal to pay for infrastructure projects that does not rely on bonding. At the same time, the Bullock Administration’s proposal is languishing in committee. Jackie Yamanaka has more from the Capitol.

mp3 logoHouse Appropriations / Infrastructure Projects
aired March 12, 2015
The House Appropriations Committee has begun examining funding for the various infrastructure projects proposed this legislative session. But the Republican-controlled panel did not start with the Bullock Administration’s “Build Montana” proposal. Instead, they started on several individual bills broken down by the nature of the project. Jackie Yamanaka explains from the Capitol.

mp3 logoFunding for Regional Water Projects
aired March 11, 2015
The Senate Finance and Claims Committee is considering a bill to make permanent the funding source for regional water projects. As Jackie Yamanaka reports from the Capitol that funding dries up next year and throws uncertainty on the future of these projects.

mp3 logoGovernor's Medicaid Expansion Dead
aired March 10, 2015
The Republican-controlled House officially killed the governor's Medicaid Expansion proposal. That's because House Democrats failed to convince the Republican controlled chamber to reject the "do not pass" recommendation from the House Human Services Committee on the bill. That action came Friday night immediately after a nearly six-and-a-half hour-long hearing. Jackie Yamanaka has more from the Capitol.

mp3 logoInsure Montana
aired March 10, 2015
A made-in Montana health insurance program aimed at helping small businesses provide this benefit to their employees is seeking money from the general fund to continue operation. As Jackie Yamanaka reports from the Capitol some members of the Senate Finance Committee question this expenditure since these workers could also get insurance under the federal Affordable Care Act.

mp3 logoMedicaid Expansion
aired March 9, 2015
Democrats in the House charge the Republican majority abused their power with their "do not pass" recommendation on the Bullock Administration's Medicaid expansion bill late Friday night. It’s a charge Republicans deny. As Jackie Yamanaka reports tension remains high at the Capitol over Medicaid Expansion.

mp3 logoMedicaid Expansion
aired March 6, 2015
The hearing is underway in the House Human Services Committee on the governor’s Medicaid Expansion bill. Before the hearing, the Republican majority took another jab at the bill. Jackie Yamanaka has more from the Capitol.

mp3 logoTax Simplification
aired March 5, 2015
The chairman of the Senate Taxation Committee again is trying to simplify Montana’s income tax system. For the second time, the Senate gave initial approval to Senate Bill 171 on a 28-to-20 vote. Jackie Yamanaka has more from the Capitol.

mp3 logoTransmittal Wrap
aired February 27, 2015
The Montana Legislature is at the half-way point of the scheduled 90-day session. It’s more than just the numerical half-way point; it’s a key legislative deadline. All non-spending or tax bills had to meet the Day 45 deadline of being transmitted to the other chamber or they died. Lawmakers will now have nearly a week off before they return to the Capitol to resume their work. Jackie Yamanaka talked to legislative leaders and the governor about the progress so far and what lies ahead.

Some lawmakers remained at the Capitol to attend bill signing ceremonies in the Governor’s reception room following the conclusion of the House floor session Friday morning. State Senator Dee Brown, R-Hungry Horse, shares a laugh with Gov. Steve Bullock. Because two co-sponsors of her Senate Bill 16 (Revise appointment process laws for commissioner of political practices) could not attend the official bill signing ceremony, Brown made arrangements for them to be there in absentia. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.

mp3 logoCampaign Finance Reform
aired February 27, 2015
The Senate gave final approval to a bill that would shine the light on so-called “dark money” donations in Montana’s political campaigns. Jackie Yamanaka has more from the Capitol.

mp3 logoCoal Trust Infrastructure
aired February 27, 2015
The Montana Senate gave final approval to a pair of bills seeking to make long-term infrastructure investments using coal severance tax money. To do that, voters would be asked to approve a Constitutional Amendment. As Jackie Yamanaka reports from the Capitol, the effort faces an uphill battle to get the necessary votes in the House to put the issue before voters.

mp3 logoPublic Intoxication
aired February 25, 2015
The Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously voted to give local governments the ability to adopt and enforce a public intoxication law. Supporters of the bill say the intent of the bill is to get help for people who have frequent contact with law enforcement or other first responders. Jackie Yamanaka reports from the Capitol.

mp3 logoTax Cuts Early in Session
aired February 23, 2015
The Republican majority at the Legislature is marching ahead with an income tax cut bill despite warnings from the Bullock administration the move is premature. Jackie Yamanaka has more from the Capitol.

mp3 logoBison Capture Tour
aired February 19, 2015
Another nearly four dozen Yellowstone National Park bison are scheduled o be loaded up today t the Stephens Creek Capture facility and delivered for slaughter in Big Timber and Columbus. It's part of the population control measures spelled out under the Interagency Bison Management Plan. Yellowstone officials held a tour of the Stephens Creek facility yesterday. Jackie Yamanaka joined that tour and has this report.
LINKS: YNP Bison Management Program, Interagency Bison Management Plan

Brian Helms is a National Park Service backcountry ranger stationed at Mammoth in Yellowstone National Park. During the winter Helms is on horseback helping roundup bison for the Stephens CreekBison Capture facility north of Gardiner, Montana. Helms is standing on a catwalk overlooking the pens holding bison that are sorted by age and sex. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.
These bison are awaiting loading onto a semi-truck that will haul them to a slaughter facility in either Big Timber or Columbus. The meat will be turned over to Indian tribes. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.
Rick Wallen is the lead wildlife biologist overseeing Yellowstone National Park’s bison herds. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.

mp3 logoKnudsen/E MT
aired February 16, 2015
There’s agreement between the Democratic Governor and the Republican-controlled Legislature that communities and schools in Eastern Montana need help with their infrastructure needs. As Jackie Yamanaka reports from the Capitol there’s disagreement how to pay for those projects.

mp3 logoFinal Bills in Mental Health Package
aired February 11, 2015
The Montana House gave preliminary approval to the final two bills in a package to address the state’s crisis when it comes to mental health. As Jackie Yamanaka reports from the Capitol all 5-bills were recommended by an interim legislative committee.

mp3 logoGOP Health Plan
aired February 10, 2015
A conservative group of Republican lawmakers unveiled their plan to address healthcare in Montana that don’t involve Medicaid expansion. It’s dubbed “Big Sky Health.” As Jackie Yamanaka reports from the Capitol, the package contains just over 20 bills.

mp3 logoMental Health Bills
aired February 10, 2015
A unanimous House of Representatives passed three bills aimed at addressing the mental health crisis in Montana. As Jackie Yamanaka reports from the Capitol, the three bills are part of a package aimed at funding community-based services to keep patients out of institutions.

mp3 logoCell Phone Use and Driving
aired February 9, 2015
A ban on using a hand-held cell phone to talk or text is not an infringement on personal freedom, according to the sponsor of a bill to ban the practice. Instead, Representative Virginia Court says her bill is about safety on the state’s roads and highways. Jackie Yamanaka has more from the Capitol.

mp3 logoTeton Medical Center/Medicaid Expansion
aired February 6, 2015
Just over 40 percent of the patients who get care at Teton Medical Center are uninsured and can't pay their medical bills. That's the message the hospital's CEO gave to Governor Steve Bullock yesterday afternoon. Jackie Yamanaka joined the governor on his trip to tour the hospital in Choteau and has this report.

mp3 logoWho Makes Tax Policy Decisions?
aired February 5, 2015
Lawmakers are considering the question of who should make tax policy decisions: voters or the Montana Legislature? Members of the House Taxation committee heard two bill that seek to amend the Montana Constitution to set tax policy. Jackie Yamanaka explains.

mp3 logoOil Trust Fund
aired February 5, 2015
A Great Falls lawmaker wants the 2015 Montana Legislature to put on the ballot a measure to create a permanent trust fund to benefit future generations. This oil and gas permanent trust is modeled after the Permanent Coal Tax Trust. Jackie Yamanaka has more from the Capitol.

mp3 logoElderly Tax Credit Fix
aired February 3, 2015
About 12-hundred elderly Montana homeowners or renters were surprised to find in 2013 they no longer qualified for a tax credit because where they live. A Great Falls lawmaker says that is an unintended consequence and he has a fix. Jackie Yamanaka has more from the Capitol.

mp3 logoMetal Mines Tax
aired February 3, 2015
Local governments are asking the state of Montana for a greater share of the tax collected on metal mines. They argue this money will help their counties and schools better prepare once the mine is closed for good. Jackie Yamanaka. Has more from the Capitol.

mp3 logoProperty Tax Cut Bill
aired February 2, 2015
The Montana House gave preliminary approval to a bill to provide some property tax relief. Jackie Yamanaka has more from the Capitol.

mp3 logoUniversity System Performance-Based Funding
aired January 30, 2015
Montana University System officials told lawmakers they are meeting the benchmarks the 2013 Montana Legislature set toward increasing student retention and graduation. As Jackie Yamanaka reports from the Capitol, higher education officials say while tying that performance to funding remains an area of concern for some, they believe these benchmarks will ultimately be a win for students.

mp3 logoBuild MT Broken Up
aired January 29, 2015
Despite a warning from the Governor to keep his Build Montana infrastructure bill intact, lawmakers are moving to break House Bill 5 into at least 5 bills. As Jackie Yamanaka reports from the Capitol the move sets up a face-off with the Bullock Administration.

mp3 logoBusiness Equipment Tax Cut or Tax Shift
aired January 28, 2015
Legislators are grappling over whether a proposal to further reduce Montana’s business equipment tax is a tax cut or a tax shift. Jackie Yamanaka has more from the Capitol.

mp3 logoUniversity System Bonding Projects
aired January 27, 2015
The Montana University System is asking lawmakers for permission to issue just over 53-million dollars in bonds. The money would be used to renovate existing buildings to protect the life and safety of students, faculty and staff; bring the buildings up to code; and for improvements to classrooms and laboratories. Jackie Yamanaka has more from the Capitol.

mp3 logoParole Board Revisions
aired January 26, 2015
The Montana House gave preliminary approval to two bills to revise the state Board of Probation and Parole. These bills are among a handful of bills aimed at making the Parole board more accountable and transparent. Jackie Yamanaka has more from the Capitol.

mp3 logoMoney for Oil-Impacted Counties
aired January 22, 2015
A legislator wants to get money to oil boom impacted counties faster. The money could be used to for infrastructure projects, schools, or public safety. Jackie Yamanaka has more from the Capitol.

mp3 logoElection Bills
aired January 22, 2015
Lawmakers are considering changes to the state’s election laws. One bill would change who would prosecute political robo-calls. The other bill would allow a special election to fill a vacancy in the U-S Senate. Jackie Yamanaka has more from the Capitol.

mp3 logoFunding for Regional Water Projects
aired January 21, 2015
Funding for regional water projects will expire without legislative action. Two planned projects are depending on these dollars. These projects provide ample supplies of clean and safe drinking water to residents across rural Montana. Jackie Yamanaka has more from the Capitol.

mp3 logoOne Time Only Tax Cut, Income Tax Reduction
aired January 20, 2015
Montana lawmakers are considering two tax cut proposals. One is for a one-time only tax cut that affects income and property taxes. The other is a slight reduction across all income tax brackets. Jackie Yamanaka has more from the Capitol.

mp3 logoHousing Vouchers for Parolees
aired January 15, 2015
Giving parolees a voucher to help with housing costs saves taxpayer dollars and ensures public safety.That’s according to supporters of a bill before the House Judiciary Committee. Jackie Yamanaka has more from the Capitol.

mp3 logoMT's Deficient Roads and Bridges
aired January 15, 2015
Montana’s deficient highways and bridges are a safety hazard and detrimental to economic vitality. That’s the conclusion of a report by a national transportation group. TRIP held a rally at the front steps of Capitol today to call attention to the issue. Jackie Yamanaka reports.
LINK: TRIP's MT Road Report

mp3 logoMT Tax Credits
aired January 14, 2015
Lawmakers are considering a bill that would have an interim legislative committee review 25 individual income tax breaks. That panel would then recommend to future legislatures whether to continue those tax breaks. Jackie Yamanaka has more from the Capitol.

mp3 logo20th Anniversary of Wolf Reintroduction
aired January 13, 2015
Monday marked the 20th anniversary of the arrival of 8 wolves into Yellowstone National Park. That event marked the beginning of the recovery effort for the grey wolf, a species that had been absent from the Northern Rockies for more than 70 years. Several of the former National Park Service and U-S Fish and Wildlife Service officials in the recovery effort met Sunday and Monday to reflect on the effort and consider the future of the grey wolf. Jackie Yamanaka reports from Gardiner.

A close-up of the bronze wolf statute by artist Charlie Russell. The work is titled: “Timber Wolf” The Montana Historical Society loans artwork to legislative leaders.
Senate President and rancher Debby Barrett poses next to the shelf in her office where the bronze wolf statue sits. Her desk faces this shelf.
National Park Service biologist Doug Smith uses one of the spotting scopes set up by visiting wolf watchers to Yellowstone National Park. A group set up a series of spotting scopes near the Tower-Roosevelt area to watch a pack of wolves. Smith thinks it could be the Prospect Peak pack. Smith was the project leader for the Yellowstone Wolf Project.
Blackfeet spiritual leader James “Jimmy” St. Goddard and retired director of the Yellowstone Center for Resources John Varley. Goddard is telling Varley the story of his Medicine Bundle near the Roosevelt Arch on Yellowstone National Park’s northern boundary. Both men were at the arch on January 12, 1995 to welcome the stock trailer that brought the first 8 wolves into Yellowstone at the beginning of the wolf recovery project.
members of the wolf recovery project. Among those in the photo: Norm Bishop (in the yellow coat) a 36 year NPS veteran, including as a ranger in resource management, interpretation, and research. He often spoke and answered questions about wolves to park visitors. NPS biologist Doug Smith (to Norm Bishop’s left) was the Yellowstone Wolf Project leader. Suzanne Stone (to Dough Smith’s left) was part of the 1995/1996 US/Canada capture team. She now works on wolf restoration in ID. Carter Niemeyer (in the orange hat) is a retired from US Fish and Wildlife Service. He darted the Canadian wolves that were transplanted into Yellowstone National Park and Idaho. Niemeyer also conducted wolf depredation investigations in MT, WY and ID and continued to capture or remove problem wolves in the wolf recovery states from 1989-2000.


mp3 logoBuild Montana Bill Opens
aired January 13, 2015
Montana lawmakers got their first official look at the major infrastructure bill of the 2015 Legislature. The Bullock Administration’s nearly $400 million dollar Build Montana program was presented to a joint Appropriations Subcommittee today. Jackie Yamanaka has more from the Capitol.
DOCUMENT: hearing schedule for HB 5 in the joint Appropriations Subcommittee on Long-Range Planning

mp3 logoGov. Bullock / Rep. Senate President Barrett Meeting
aired January 8, 2015
Democratic Governor Steve Bullock and Republican Senate President Debby Barrett held their first meeting since the Montana Legislature convened Monday. The two said they wanted to establish open lines of communication. Jackie Yamanaka has more from the Capitol.

mp3 logoWomen's Mural
aired January 8, 2015
A standing room only crowd packed the third floor under the stained glass barrel vault at the state Capitol late yesterday afternoon (Wednesday) for the dedication and unveiling of the newest artwork. As Jackie Yamanaka reports from the Capitol, the mural tells the story of women’s contributions as community builders in Montana.

Salish educator and historical consultant for the mural Julie Cajune presented muralist Hadley Ferguson of Missoula with a blanket as a gift during the dedication/unveiling ceremony. Cajune, Ferguson, and MSU History Mary Murphy conducted extensive research to ensure the historical accuracy in the images. All documentation is at the Montana Historical Society archives. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.
Former Montana Supreme Court Chief Justice Karla Gray in front of one of the mural panels. Gray was one of many elected female officials to attend the dedication/unveiling ceremony for the Women’s Mural. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.
Muralist Hadley Ferguson of Missoula with her daughter Sarah. The work is titled Women Build Montana. One panel is dedicated to culture. The second panel depicts community. Each features a central image and is surrounded by vignettes. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.
Muralist Hadley Ferguson and daughter Sarah (L), Senate Bill 59 sponsor and former state Senator Lynda Moss, D-Billings, and Kim Baraby Hurtle of the Montana Arts Council in front of one of the mural panels before the public unveiling and dedication. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka

mp3 logoGovernor Bullock on 64th MT Legislature
aired January 6, 2014
Democratic Governor Steve Bullock says he will take legislative leaders at their word when they called for civility and working together during this legislative session. As Jackie Yamanaka reports from the Capitol he’s also hopeful Republican majority will give serious consideration to his proposals.

mp3 logoDay One at the 64th MT Legislature
aired January 5, 2015
Jackie Yamanaka and Montana Public Radio's Steve Jess report on the opening day of the 64th Montana Legistature.

mp3 logoTed Turner
aired December 1, 2014
Founder of CNN. Bison rancher. Philanthropist. These are just a few of the labels attached to Ted Turner. But who is he? And what motivates him? Bozeman-based journalist Todd Wilkinson wanted to find out. Jackie Yamanaka talked to Wilkinson about his book Last Stand: Ted Turner's Quest to Save a Troubled Planet.

mp3 logoMDU Buys Wind Generation Facility
aired November 24, 2014
Montana-Dakota Utilities is buying another wind generation facility to meet the growing demand of its customers for electricity. As Jackie Yamanaka reports, MDU is paying about $200 million to acquire this wind farm.

mp3 logoGov. Bullock on Budget and Infrastructure Support
aired November 18, 2014
Governor Steve Bullock is calling on the business community to help him promote his $300 million plan to upgrade roads, water systems, and other infrastructure projects across Montana. Bullock met with representatives of the construction and engineering community today in Billings. As Jackie Yamanaka reports, the Democratic governor hopes they will help him get support for the plan before the skeptical GOP-led legislature.

Governor Steve Bullock talks about how his proposed budget would fund Montana's Infrastructure projects. Among the attendees are Dick Anderson, the CEO of Dick Anderson Construction (to Bullock's right) and Bill Enright, a senior project engineer and office manager for Interstate Engineering. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.

mp3 logoMike Wheat Reflects on Election
aired November 13, 2014
Montana Supreme Court Justice Mike Wheat says the partisan attack launched against him won't impact his work on the state's highest court. Jackie Yamanaka sat down with Wheat in his chambers to reflect back on last week's general election results.

mp3 logo2015 MT Legislative Leaders Chosen
aired November 12, 2014
Montana’s newly elected legislative leaders are talking about working together to benefit Montana as they prepare to convene the 2015 Legislative session. Jackie Yamanaka has more from the Capitol.

mp3 logoSen. Tester on Money in Politics
aired November 6, 2014
Montana Senator Jon Tester is the keynote speaker tomorrow at a day-long event on campaign finance reform and money in politics at Harvard University. Jackie Yamanaka reports.
LINK: Streaming link for Sen. Tester's speech (goes live at 11am on Friday, November 7)
DOCUMENT: Poster for the event

mp3 logoMid-Term Voter Turnout
aired November 5, 2014
Voter turnout for Montana's mid-term election was on par with previous years. Jackie Yamanaka talked with MT Secreatry of State Linda McCulloch about yesterday's election.

mp3 logoSteve Daines Wins U.S. Senate Seat
aired November 5, 2014
Congressman Steve Daines made history last night. As Jackie Yamanaka reports, Daines became the first Republican to take back a U.S. Senate seat that Democrats have held for just over a century.

mp3 logoRyan Zinke Wins U.S. House Seat
aired November 5, 2014
Republican Ryan Zinke emerged as the winner in Montana's open U.S. House seat, according to unofficial returns. Jackie Yamanaka talked to the former state senator from Whitefish and retired Navy SEAL about his priorities after he's sworn in.

mp3 logoMT Supreme Court
aired November 5, 2014
Montanans retained the two MT Supreme Court justices up for a retention vote. According to unofficial returns, incumbent justices Mike Wheat and Jim Rice have defeated their challengers. While these are non-partisan races, as Jackie Yamanaka reports, Wheat overcame a challenge that took on partisan overtones.

mp3 logoVoter Turnout
aired November 4, 2014
Montana's top elections official says she won't be satisfied until 100% of eligible voters in the state cast thier ballots. And while Linda McCulloch says she won't issue prediction, she expects today's turnout will be on par with mid-term elections of the past. In 2010, voter turnout was 56%. Jackie Yamanaka reports.

mp3 logoHomeless Summit Day Two
aired October 30, 2014
City of Billings officials and social service providers say they take to heart the message "doing nothing is not an option" when it comes to dealing with serial intoxicated transients. That phroase was often repeated by the experts from California and Texas who came to Billings to listen and offer advice. As Jackie Yamanaka reports, attendees to the Community Innovations Summit are moving forward to target services for a group of individuals who have been identified as costing Billings-area taxpayers the most.

mp3 logoHomeless Summit Billings
aired October 29, 2014
Billings has a good start on serving the needs of the homeless. What it needs is someone to coordinate and communicate those pieces together. That's according to experts from San Diego and San Antonio who are in Billings this week to examine what Billings is doing now and offer suggestions for the future. Jackie Yamanaka reports.

mp3 logoU.S. Senate Debate FULL AUDIO
aired Monday, October 20, 2014
Audio of the U.S. Senate debate between Republican candidate Steve Daines and Democratic candidate Amanda Curtis. The two faced off on Monday at Montana State University Billings' Petro Theater.

mp3 logoMSUB Poll: U.S. House & Senate
aired October 17, 2014
The latest statewide poll shows Republicans are leading in Montana’s races for the U-S Senate and U-S House, but there are still a large number of respondents who say they are undecided. Jackie Yamanaka reports.

The co-directors of the 2014 MSUB Poll of National, State and Local Issues – Professor Matthew McMullen (L), Professor Craig Wilson (C), and Professor Joshua Poulette discussing the results of this year’s poll during a press conference. 410 likely Montana voters were telephoned between October 6-11, 2014 by MSUB students. Half of respondents were reached via their cell phones. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.

mp3 logoFederal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President
aired October 16, 2014
The president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis says economically this district is an exciting part of the world. the 9th district covers six states, including Montana and North Dakota. Jackie Yamanaka sat down with the district's president to talk about the health of the region's economy and has this to report.

mp3 logoU.S. House Race: Public Lands
aired October 15, 2014
Both the Democratic and Republican U.S. House candidates agree access to public lands in Montana is a critical part of the state's culture and heritage. But that's about all the agree on when it comes to this issue. As Jackie Yamanaka reports, Democrat John Lewis is aggressively going after Ryan Zinke on the issue of public lands. So Zinke held a press conference in Billings today to reiterate his position.

Republican U-S House Candidate Ryan Zinke talks about his position on public land access and management of public lands during a press conference at Reiter’s Marina in Billings. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.

mp3 logoGov. Bullock Early Edge Montana
aired October 14, 2014
Governor Steve Bullock says it's time to give every four year-old Montana child access to high-quality, early childhood education. It's one of the priorities of the Bullock Administration going into the 2015 Montana Legislative session. The governor and lieutenant governor are visiting communities across Montana this week as part of its kick-off for its early childhood proposal called "Early Edge Montana." Today, the governor was in Hardin and Billings. Jackie Yamanaka reports.

Governor Steve Bullock reads to preschool students at the YWCA in Billings as part of his administrations kick-off of its early childhood education proposal. “Early Edge Montana” seeks to allow communities to apply for grants to fund high-quality, half-day, voluntary, pre-Kindergarten programs available to 4-year olds. Bullock says he will request a $37 million dollar biennial appropriation for Early Edge from the 2015 Montana Legislature. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.


mp3 logoSpecialty Prescription Drug Prices
aired October 10, 2014
Montanans who need specialty prescription drugs to battle cancer, multiple sclerosis, hepatitis, and other diseases will see changes in the way the four largest insurance companies cover those medications. As Jackie Yamanaka reports, the state Insurance Commissioner negotiated the chenge for the companies that offer insurance in Montana under the Affordable Care Act.

mp3 logoMT Business and the Global Economy
aired October 9, 2014
There are opportunities for Montana businesses to sell their goods and services in the global marketplace. Washington Companies, based in Missoula, is an example of a thriving Montana-based business competing overseas. As Jackie Yamanaka reports, President and CEO Larry Simkins was in Billings today to talk to community leaders and economic development officials about "building remarkable."

mp3 logoWomen's Rally in Billings
aired October 8, 2014
Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Amanda Curtis says the contrast between her and her Republican opponent couldn't be more clear than when it comes to issues on women. Curtis held a noon-time rally on the lawn outside the Yellowstone County Courthouse. Jackie Yamanaka reports.

Democratic U-S Senate Candidate Amanda Curtis greets a supporter before she speaks to supporters on the Yellowstone County Courthouse lawn about equal pay for equal work, health care, and the Violence Against Women Act. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.

mp3 logoHealth Care Workforce Grant
aired October 7, 2014
The Montana Department of Labor and Industry has projected the state will need an additional 1,300 healthcare workers each year for the next ten years. To help educate that workforce, Montana recently received a $15 million federal grant. As Jackie Yamanaka reports, the money will be used to train workers in allied health and nursing through Montana's two-year, community, and tribal colleges.

mp3 logoU.S. House Debate in Bozeman
aired October 6, 2014
Democrat John Lewis and Republican Ryan Zinke sharpened their differences in their stance on several issues during their second debate in Bozeman. The event Saturday night was sponsored by the Montana Television Network. the two faced off just days earlier at a debate in Billings. As Jackie Yamanaka reports, the two men continued their disagreement over the Affordable Care Act.

mp3 logoU.S. House Debate in Bozeman FULL AUDIO
recorded October 4, 2014
audio courtesy of Montana Television Network
Full audio of the U.S. House debate between Democrat John Lewis and Republican Ryan Zinke on Saturday, October 4, at the Riverside Country Club in Bozeman.

mp3 logoU.S. House Debate at Petro Theater FULL AUDIO
aired September 29, 2014
Audio of the debate between Republican Ryan Zinke and Democrat John Lewis, sponsored by The Billings Gazette and Yellowstone Public Radio and held at Petro Theater on the campus of Montana State University Billings.

mp3 logoMatheson Seeking Employees
aired September 23, 2014
A company that does business at the Billings airport is aggressively seeking employees to handle the upcoming rush during the Christmas season. Matheson Flight Extenders does business across the country, but company executives say Billings is the only location where it’s having trouble hiring enough workers. Jackie Yamanaka has more on the tight labor market in the Billings area.
DOCUMENT: Matheson Press Release
LINK: State of Montana Labor Day Report 2014 from the Montana Department of Labor and Industry

mp3 logoMT Water Plan Public Comment
aired September 22, 2014
As a headwater state, Montana is blessed with water. And that’s exactly why state officials say Montana needs to update its strategic plan for managing its water resources. The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation is beginning a series of public meetings around the state to take final public comment on its draft 2015 Montana State Water Plan. Jackie Yamanaka reports.
LINK: DRAFT 2015 Montana State Water Plan and information about scheduled public meetings

mp3 logoMental Health Research & Recovery Center / Board of Regents
aired September 18, 2014
The governing body for the Montana University System unanimously approved the creation of a Center for Mental Health Research and Recovery at Montana State University. Supporters of the center told the Montana Board of Regents, the center will is aimed at research on mental illness and work to reduce the high level of suicides. The proposal was presented to the two-day Board of Regents meeting that wrapped up today at City College in Billings. Jackie Yamanaka reports.
LINKS: Center for Structural and Functional Neuroscience at UM, Request to create a Center for Mental Health Research and Recovery at MSU

Rolf Groseth shows off one of the gifts he received after he was awarded the title of Chancellor Emeritus during the September 2014 meeting of the Montana Board of Regents. Groseth retired earlier this year as Chancellor at MSU Billings. Prior to that he has served as the interim chancellor at MSUB, MSU Northern, and as an administrator at MSU. When told that the gifts were chosen by his wife, Jaynee, Rolf Groseth remarked, "I can't wait to open this. My wife is involved always in elegant conspiracy."

mp3 logo9/11 Ceremony at MSUB City College
aired September 11, 2014
A photo exhibit featuring over 50 photographs by members of the Montana National Guard opened today at City College in Billings. The show's opening coincided with a remembrance ceremony at Montana's 9/11 Memorial. Jackie Yamanaka has more in this audio postcard.

Dignitaries bring wreaths to place at the 9/11 Memorial at City College in Billings. The memorial features a 612 pound section of I-beam recovered from the World Trade Center site following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The I-beam arrived in Montana on May 15, 2011. Montana's 9/11 Memorial was dedicated on September 11, 2011. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.
members of Montana State University Billings ROTC program prepare to present the colors during the 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony at City College. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.
The Montana National Guard photo exhibit officially opened at City College on Sept. 11, 2014. The 54-prints in this exhibit features the work of 11 Montana military photographers. This free public display is available for viewing at the Health Sciences Building at City College, 3803 Central Avenue in Billings, Monday through Friday from 7:30 am to 6:00 pm. The show will remain on exhibit through the end of September. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.

mp3 logoDebate Over Debates
aired September 10, 2014
The debate about debates is not new during election years. This November's general election is no different. What is unusual is several Montana media organizations have tried to sponsor Fall debates but have been turned down by at least one of the candidates running for the open U.S. Houe and Senate seats. That led Jackie Yamanaka to wonder if debates still matter. She posed that question to long-time MSU Billings political science professor and pollster Craig Wilson.

mp3 logoElection Day Voter Registration
aired September 9, 2014
AARP has joined those opposing a Montana ballot measure that would end the practive of allowing voter registration on Election Day. The organization's national board president was in Billings yesterday to advocate for making voter access easier. Jackie Yamanaka reports.

mp3 logoDual Enrollment
aired September 4, 2014
Governor Steve Bullock visited Billings West High School today to learn about their dual enrollment pilot program that allows students to earn college credit while still in high school. Jackie Yamanaka reports.
DOCUMENT: Dual enrollment figures statewide for the Montana University system provided by the office of Commissioner of Higher Education
LINK: MSUB’s University Connections program for for high school students who want to earn college credits

Billings West High Principal Dave Cobb (L) listens to Montana State University Billings Chancellor Mark Nook (3rd from Right). To the right of Nook is MSUB Associate Professor of Mathematics Aryal Saroj who is working with 3 Billings Public School mathematics teachers, including Margaret Aukshun of Billings West (sitting next to Saroj). There are currently 15 Billings West Students enrolled in the high school Algebra 3/college Algebra. The students in this class earn college credit at a cost of nearly $250, this includes tuition and the text book. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.
Governor Steve Bullock eats lunch and visits with students in Mrs Aukshun’s Algebra 3/college Algebra Dual Credit class. Dual credit is a priority for the Bullock Administration. Bullock sees dual credit as a way to increase the number of Montanans with a college degree or certificate. The administration also sees it as a way to reduce the time to degree for college students. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka

mp3 logoAmanda Curtis: Education Policy, Debates
aired September 3, 2014
College students are returning to classes across Montana. Democratic U-S Senate candidate Amanda Curtis is using that fact to talk about her plan to address the high cost of a college education and the debt load students face. Curtis brought her message to Montana State University Billings today, the first day of classes. Days before she visited the University of Montana and Montana State. As Jackie Yamanaka reports, Curtis also called on her Republican opponent to debate her on this and other issues.

Democratic U-S Senate candidate and High School Math teacher Amanda Curtis of Butte talking with a supporter at Montana State University Billings. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.

mp3 logoVeterans Job Workshop in Red Lodge
aired August 26, 2014
An organization based in Red Lodge wants to help military service members and their families transition from life in U-S Armed Services to life as a civilian. This means finding a home and a job. According to the U-S Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for veterans who’ve served since 2001 was about 9-percent in 2013. That’s slightly higher than the average rate for that year of just over 7-percent for that year. As Jackie Yamanaka reports, local Elks Lodge and the community of Red Lodge are hosting a 2-day workshop to help veterans get a job or transition to a new career.
To register for the Veterans Education and Job Training Program in Red Lodge on September 27-28 2014, call Warene Wall at 406-425-3429. The workshop is capped at 10 participants.
DOCUMENTS: Why Hire a Veteran?, Veterans Education and Job Training Program Poster

mp3 logoMSUB/PUK Exchange Agreement
aired August 25, 2014
MSU Billings and the Prefectural University of Kumamoto today renewed its agreement to cooperate and collaborate with its existing student and faculty exchanges. As Jackie Yamanaka reports, the campuses say the study abroad programs help students better understand the global environment.

Paul Foster (L), executive director of MSUB’s Office of International Studies and Outreach, and Professor Hiroaki Tsutsumi (R) of Prefectural University of Kumamoto (PUK) look on as MSUB Chancellor Mark Nook and PUK President Minoru Koga sign a new agreement between the two campuses. The agreement defines specific areas of cooperation and collaboration between MSUB and PUK for its students, faculty, administrators and staff. The agreement has existed since 1998 and covers study abroad and research opportunities for faculty and students. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.

mp3 logoRep. Daines on Coal Regulation
aired August 22, 2014
Montana Congressman Steve Daines says he’s not against the regulation of the coal industry, but he told a group of yesterday afternoon in Billings he’s against unreasonable regulations. The Republican sat down with representatives of business, unions, the Crow Tribe and others to discuss the latest proposed EPA carbon emission regulations.

Montana Congressman Steve Daines, right, sat down with Montana business, union, Crow Tribal, and other representatives to talk about proposed EPA coal emission regulations at Modern Machinery in Billings. Bob Winger, retired past president of Boiler Makers Local 11, sits far left. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.

mp3 logoMSUB Convocation
aired August 21, 2014
The new Chancellor at MSU billings says in the six weeks he's been on the job he's learned how vital the campus is to the local business community. Mark Nook spoke today to faculty and staff at the annual Convocation that welcomes the start of the new academic year. Jackie Yamanaka reports.

mp3 logoYellowstone County Commissioners Hear Refinery Proposal
aired August 19, 2014
Yellowstone County officials welcomed a proposed refinery project near Billings. The county commissioners listened to a presentation today on the project and offered to help Quantum Energy get with its proposed new refinery in the Billings-area. Jackie Yamanaka reports.

mp3 logoScheels Sneak Peek
aired August 19, 2014
Avid big game hunters know September 6th as opening day for archery for a number of big game species in Montana. The sporting goods store Scheels also hopes customers remember it will also be their grand opening for their 220,000 square foot store in Billings. Jackie Yamanaka joined other business leaders for a sneak peek at the new store and filed this audio postcard.

One of the special attractions at the new Scheels sporting goods store that is scheduled to open in Billings, MT on September 6, 2014. The 220,000 square foot store has shooting galleries and laser shot shooting and other sport simulators, and other attractions. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.
A scuba diver cleaning the 16,000 gallon saltwater aquarium that greats customers as they enter into the front of the store. The aquarium will eventually hold up to 750 different fish. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.
Another special attraction is the 16-car operating Ferris Wheel. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.

mp3 logoDemocrats Nominate Curtis
aired August 18, 2014
Democrats from across the state gathered Saturday and selected Amanda Curtis as their candidate for the U-S Senate. The political newcomer and classroom teacher replaces Senator John Walsh on November’s general election ballot. Walsh was appointed to the seat in February by the governor. He recently ended his campaign to keep that seat amid a plagiarism controversy surrounding his 2007 research paper at the U-S Army War College. Jackie Yamanaka has more from the Democrat’s special Nominating Convention in Helena on the challenges Curtis will face against a Republican opponent who is better known--and a well-funded Congressman.

Democratic U-S Senate Candidate Amanda Curtis enjoys a quiet moment with her husband Kevin Curtis in between individual interviews with the media gathered to cover the Democrat's Special Nominating Convention at the Lewis and Clark Fairgrounds in Helena. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.
members of the Montana Democratic party publicly count the ballots between the nominees, Amanda Curtis and Dirk Adams. The vote was 82 to 46 for Curtis. A spokesman for the Montana Democratic Party said 129 delegates from across the state attended the convention, but not all cast ballots Saturday. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.


mp3 logoSen. Walsh Alzheimer's Field Hearing
aired August 13, 2014
Alzheimer’s disease causes a physical, psychological, and financial toll on thousands of Montana patients and their families. And as the number of aging residents continues to grow, more and more families will be affected. That was the message delivered during a Senate Special Committee on Aging field hearing held today in Billings. Jackie Yamanka reports.

A supporter talks to Senator John Walsh, D-MT, after the Democrat’s Senate Special Committee on Aging field hearing at the South Park Senior Center in Billings, MT. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.
Witness Kathleen Burke of Billings, R, shows Senator John Walsh a report during her testimony at the Senate field hearing. Seated to her left is Dr. Patricia Coon of the Billings Clinic. Others who testified include: Dr. George Carlson of the McLaughlin Research Institute of Great Falls, and Dr. Bruce Fink of the Indian Health Service and Nashville, TN Area Elder Health Consultant.

mp3 logoWalsh Pulls Out
aired August 8, 2014
Senator John Walsh ended his campaign for the seat he was appointed to earlier this year. Walsh said in a written statement the action as taken so he could focus his responsibilities as U-S Senator. Jackie Yamanaka has more on the process Democrats will use to select the Democratic replacement for the open U-S Senate seat.

mp3 logoRep. Daines (R-MT) Ag Tour
aired August 6, 2014
Montana’s growing microbrewing business is a part of adding value to the state’s agricultural products, according to Congressman Steve Daines. Daines stopped by Carter’s Brewing yesterday afternoon as part of his statewide swing around Montana highlighting the state’s agricultural industry. Jackie Yamanaka reports.

Congressman Steve Daines (R-MT) gets a tour of Carter’s Brewing in Billings from owner and brew master Mike Uhrich. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.
After the tour, Mike Uhrich and Steve Daines taste a sample of Derailed IPA. Uhrich told Daines he currently has 5 employees and hopes to hire more if he starts selling his beers in cans. He hopes to expand into packaging his product next door to his current tasting room. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.

mp3 logoSmokey Bear
aired August 4, 2014
Smokey Bear turns 70 years old on Saturday. To celebrate the Bureau of Land Management’s Wildland Fire station near the Logan International Airport in Billings is hosting an open house. The public is invited to meet Smokey Bear, get a close up look at firefighting equipment, and eat cupcakes.  And as Jackie Yamanaka reports, families can also learn more about wildfire prevention.
The open house for Smokey Bear’s 70th Birthday will be held at the BLM’s Wildland Fire Station. It’s located at 1299 Rimtop Drive, just east of Airport. The open house begins at 1 o’clock Saturday afternoon.

Carmen Thomason and Smokey Bear teach campfire safety to school children in Billings. Photo courtesy of Carmen Thomason, East Zone Fire Mitigation Specialist, Miles City/Billings BLM.

Tanker 815  is an AT-802F Single Engine Air Tanker (SEAT) and is stationed at the Interagency Dispatch Center in Billings. It’s from Olney, TX.  It holds 800 gallons of retardants and is owned by Henry’s Aerial Service from Brinkley, AR. Photo courtesy of Carmen Thomason, East Zone Fire Mitigation Specialist, Miles City/Billings BLM.

Tanker 01 taking off from Logan International Airport in Billings, MT. The BAe-146 next generation air tanker. It is owned by Neptune Aviation of Missoula, MT. The Bae-146 is capable of carrying 3,000 gallons of retardant.  Photo courtesy of Carmen Thomason, East Zone Fire Mitigation Specialist, Miles City/Billings BLM.

Tanker 06 is also stationed at the Billings Interagency Dispatch Center. This P2V  was built in the mid-1950’s. It can carry 2,100 gallons of retardant and is owned by Neptune Aviation of Missoula, MT. Photo courtesy of Carmen Thomason, East Zone Fire Mitigation Specialist, Miles City/Billings BLM.

Carmen Thomason marshals Tanker 01, a BAe-140, into position in preparation for takeoff from the Billings Interagency Dispatch Center at Logan International Airport in Billings, MT. The tanker was used for retardant drops during the recent Bender Road Fire in Musselshell County. Photo courtesy of Carmen Thomason, East Zone Fire Mitigation Specialist, Miles City/Billings BLM.

mp3 logoGift to Billings Clinic and St. Vincent's Hospitals
aired July 31, 2014
A humble farmer from Laurel left a multi-million dollar gift to be split between Billings' two hospitals. Jackie Yamanaka reports.

mp3 logoMark Vomund
aired July 30, 2014
As political and military leaders are winding down the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, thousands of service members are returning home. Many need services--whether it's medical care, help finding a job, or housing. And they’re coming home to a political climate of fiscal austerity. As part of an on-going series, Jackie Yamanaka is gathering individual stories from veterans about that, and the challenges they face in getting the care they need.
LINK: Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Approved Treatments Under TriCare

mp3 logoWounded Veteran TBI & PTSD
aired July 29, 2014
A highly decorated master sergeant who was medically retired following injuries from a roadside bomb wants other veterans to know there’s hope. Mark Vomund and his family are at a retreat in Red Lodge this week with three other military families. The trip is sponsored by Operation Second Chance. The organization was formed to help wounded service members and their families. As Jackie Yamanaka reports, Vomund talked about his life, his combat injuries, and his on-going recovery during a public talk last night in Red Lodge.
LINK: Operation Second Chance

Medically retired U-S Army Master Sgt and Green Beret Mark Vomund of North Carolina and his military working and service dog Herco greeting the crowd at the Red Lodge Elks Lodge. Herco was born and initially trained in Holland and understands Dutch and English. Vomund says Herco, who joined him in retirement, serves as a bridge to connect with other people and situations he would otherwise avoid. Vomund served 26 years in the military, including in the Army National Guard and active duty with the U-S Army. He has been awarded 5 Bronze Stars and 2 Purple Hearts for his military service. Vomund was invited to speak in Red Lodge by Operation Second Chance, the organization helps wounded veterans and their families return to civilian life. OSC also hosts retreats for military families to enjoy the outdoors. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.

mp3 logoHealthcare Summit
aired July 10, 2014
Healthcare providers, economic development officials and economists say the healthcare industry is an economic powerhouse across the state of Montana. Healthcare officials say the industry is also undergoing innovations and rapid change. That change is being spurred by the federal Affordable Care Act, as well as the uncertainty over Medicaid expansion. Jackie Yamanaka has more about how healthcare officials are coping and still delivering care.

mp3 logoHealthcare In Transformation
aired July 9, 2014
The President and CEO of a company that helps improve the healthcare industry says while Obamacare is here to stay, it isn’t the fix-all for all of the problems in healthcare. Susan DeVore spoke at the Big Sky Business Health Care Summit taking place today and tomorrow in Billings. Jackie Yamanaka reports.

mp3 logoHail Damage Help
aired July 7, 2014
Montana’s commissioner of insurance is sending experts to Billings this week to answer insurance questions from area residents who struggling to get their hail-damaged homes and other property repaired. As Jackie Yamanaka reports, residents will be able to meet one-on-one with state officials to discuss insurance problems, scams or other issues.

Hail Help Sessions:

Wednesday, July 9
5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Billings Library
510 N. Broadway
Community Room
Thursday, July 10
11 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
MSUB Extended Campus
214 N. Broadway
Seminar Room
Thursday, July 10
5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Country Inn and Suites
Billings Heights
23 Main St.
Conference Room

mp3 logoBison Management Plan
aired July 7, 2014
Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks officials are seeking public input on issues related to bison management and conservation in the state. The agency has scheduled a mid-July meeting in Billings to gather public input. Jackie Yamanaka reports.

mp3 logoNew MSUB Chancellor
aired July 3, 2014
Tuesday was the first official “work day” for the new chancellor at MSU-Billings. And even though the moving van had just arrived at his new residence yesterday, Mark Nook had a packed schedule meeting with community members and the media. Jackie Yamanaka was among those who sat down with Nook to talk about the move and his plans for the next 100 days.

mp3 logoBillings Clinic Medical Residency
aired July 1, 2014
A dozen medical school graduates took their next step in their career. They’re beginning their residency at Billings Clinic. The inaugural White Coat ceremony was held today for those accepted into the new Internal Medicine residency program. As Jackie Yamanaka reports, this ritual signals formal admission into the new role of physician.

Billings Clinic CEO, Dr. Nicholas Wolter, helping one of the residents of the new Internal Medicine Residency Program put on their white coat. The ceremony symbolizes the beginning of their career as physicians. Wolter hopes many of these residents will practice in Montana. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.
The 12 residents are joined by the faculty and staff of the Internal Medicine Residency Program and invited guests for a group photo at Billings Clinic. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.

mp3 logoFormer Vice President Dick Cheney at Energy Expo
aired June 26, 2014
Former Vice President and Wyoming Congressman Dick Cheney continued his criticism of the Obama administration on energy and foreign policy during his speech last night at MetraPark in Billings. Jackie Yamanaka reports.

Former Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT) visits with former Vice President Dick Cheney before the start of the dinner at the Energy Exposition event at MetraPark in Billings. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.
Protesters gather outside the Energy Exposition event. They object to Cheney’s role in US involvement in Iraq. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.

mp3 logoTester/VA Listening Sessions
aired June 5, 2014
Senator Jon Tester says his first listening session to hear about veteran's experiences with the federal VA health care system will be held next week. As Jackie Yamanaka reports, the Democrat made the announcement during his weekly telephone conference call with reporters.

mp3 logoPoli Sci - Post Primary Analysis
aired June 5, 2014
Montana political scientists say, in general, establishment Republicans were able to fend off primary challenges from more conservative candidates. But they’re not ready to say the Tea Party influence on Montana politics is completely squashed.

mp3 logoPrimary Election Top Races
aired June 4, 2014
In Montana’s U-S Senate race, Democrat John Walsh and Republican Steve Daines cruised to easy victories in their respective primary contests. Both grabbed early, substantial leads after the polls closed at 8 o’clock last night. It was a much longer night for the Republican U-S House candidates. Jackie Yamanaka reports.
LINK: MT Election Results

mp3 logoPrimary Election Day
aired June 3, 2014
Montana voters will have the final say today on several contested primary election races. This includes for the top tier races for the US Senate, US House, as well legislative and local contests.
LINK: MT Secretary of State

mp3 logoSen. Tester (D-MT) on VA Legislation
aired June 2, 2014
Senator Jon Tester wants to reassure veterans their health care concerns remain a top priority in light of the recent resignation of the Veterans Administration secretary and the director of the VA in Montana. Tester is a member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. The Democrat held a press conference yesterday to announce new legislation he’s working on to address the issue. Jackie Yamanaka was among the reporters who joined that press conference by telephone and has this report.

mp3 logoEconomists Discuss GDP
aired May 30, 2014
Two economists say they aren't overly concerned that the first quarter of the year showed declines for the first time in three years. They told an audience in Billings the harsh winter across much of the nation was largely to blame. As Jackie Yamanaka reports, they also said oil and natural gas producing states like Montana continue to lead the country economically.

mp3 logoIndian Health Service Testimony
aired May 27, 2014
Tribal Leaders from across Montana and Wyoming say the federal program responsible for providing their health care continues to provide inadequate services on reservations. The Indian Health Service provides medical care to just over two million American Indian and Alaska Natives across the country. The recent resignation of the IHS Director for Montana and Wyoing highlighted the ongoing problems tribes have had with the agency. As Jackie Yaanaka reports, a standing room crowd of about 150 people packed the comunity room at the Billings Public Library to hear tribal officials air their grievences and offer a few solutions at today's U.S. Senate field hearing.

Senator Jon Tester, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, called a field hearing in Billings to hear testimony on the Indian Health Service: Ensuring HIS is Living Up to Its Trust Responsibility. Among the witnesses: Dr. Yvette Roubideaux, Acting Director of I-H-S. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.
Senator Jon Tester asked tribal representatives from across Montana and Wyoming to testify. This includes the Chairman for the Crow Tribe Darrin Old Coyote (seated L at the table), Northern Arapaho Business Council Chairman Darrell O’Neal of Wyoming’s Wind River Reservation (C at the table), and Tim Rosette, Sr., Interim CEO of the Rocky Boy Health Board for the Chippewa Cree Tribe (R at the table). Sitting behind Darrin Old Coyote is Dr. Yvette Roubideaux, Acting Director of the I-H-S. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka

mp3 logoYellowstone National Cemetery Dedication
aired May 27, 2014
A veterans cemetery located north of Laurel is the first to be dedicated as a rural national veterans burial ground under federal legislation was approved in 2012. Montana’s Congressional delegation, the VA’s Undersecretary for Memorial Affairs, and others welcomed this newest veterans cemetery into the national system during a Memorial Day celebration. Jackie Yamanaka filed this audio postcard from yesterday’s dedication.

The new plaque designating the Yellowstone County Veterans Cemetery as a new National Veterans Burial Ground. U-S Senator Jon Tester (L of the plaque) was responsible for including language in the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act (2011) calling on the V-A to allow rural cemeteries like YCVC to become V-A National Cemeteries. In FY 2013, the federal budget allowed a provision to allow the V-A National Cemetery Administration to purchase land from rural cemeteries in 8 states, including Montana. V-A Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs Steve Muro (R of the plaque) is joined by Senator John Walsh and Congressman Steve Daines. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.
Senator Jon Tester and Burt Gigoux of the Marine Corps league wait to play taps after the Eugene Sara Detachment Marine Corps League delivers the volley Salute. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.

mp3 logoSame-Sex Marriage Court Challenge
aired May 21, 2014
Four same sex couple in Montana are following the lead of those in other states in suing to overturn Montana’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriages. The ACLU is representing the couples in the lawsuit filed in U-S District Court in Great Falls.
DOCUMENTS (.pdf): Rolando v State of Montana, Marriage Equality bios

mp3 logoUS Veterans Cemetary Designation
aired May 20, 2014
The federal government will officially designate the Yellowstone County Veterans Cemetery north of Laurel as a national cemetery Memorial Day weekend. As Jackie Yamanaka reports, Yellowstone County Commissioners gave final approval to the transfer of property and water rights to the federal government today.

mp3 logoBeartooth Pass Plowing
aired May 20, 2014
Weather permitting, crews are on track to have the scenic Beartooth Pass south of Red Lodge open for the Memorial Day weekend. Jackie Yamanaka joined Montana Department of Transportation crews as they worked to clear the last quarter mile of the pass near the Montana-Wyoming border and filed this audio postcard. YPR is part of a multi-station public radio reporting project looking at the issue of transportation. Funding for the Transportation Nation project comes from the Rockefeller Foundation.
LINKS: MT Department of Transportation Beartooth Highway Information, Friends of the Beartooth All-American Road, videos of MDT's plowing progress

a view from the cab of MDT’s snow blower removing snow near the Montana-Border on Beartooth Pass. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka
a bicyclist takes one of the switchbacks on Beartooth Pass. The scenic highway is a popular destination for bicyclists, despite being narrow. The highway is also a destination for backcountry skiers who want to jump into several of the chutes that are visible from the highway. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka
Rail Crews
Two crews are replacing sections of guard rail from the switchbacks that were destroyed by avalanches. Because the crews are working below the path of avalanche prone chutes spotters are positioned above and below the chutes to alert the crews if additional snow slides occur. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka
The MDT’s snow cat and snow blower work together to clear snow from this quarter mile section near the Montana-Wyoming border. MDT crews began using the snow cat to shave snow off of large drifts 3 years ago after they found it was faster than using snow blowers alone to clear the roadway. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka


mp3 logoMSUB Chancellor Mark Nook
aired May 16, 2014
The individual chosen to become the next chancellor of Montana State University Billings says he will attend next week’s Board of Regents meeting in Havre. His appointment is on the agenda next Friday at the regent’s regularly scheduled meeting. Jackie Yamanaka spoke with Nook about his leadership style and has this report.
LINK: Press Release Announcing Nook's Selection

mp3 logoNAMI Billings Ceremony
aired May 15, 2014
The Billings chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness has scheduled a candle-lighting ceremony at Veterans Park Saturday evening. The event is to call attention to the number of veterans who commit suicide.
Jackie Yamanaka reports.
LINK: NAMI Billings Candlelight Vigil, Sen. John Walsh (D-MT) Suicide Prevention for America’s Veterans Act press release

mp3 logoBillings Treatment Court Recognition
aired May 14, 2014
The Billings Adult Misdemeanor Treatment Court was recognized as one of the top such courts in the country. It was also named (again) as one of the 10 courts designated by a national organization as a mentor court. Jackie Yamanaka has more on what this designation means for this program.
LINKS: Billings Adult Misdemeanor Drug Court, National Drug Court Institute's Mentor Court Program

Carolyn Hardin, senior director of the National Drug Court Institute in Alexandria VA, speaking at the weekly Billings Adult Misdemeanor Treatment Court session. Billings Municipal Court Judge Sheila Kolar is behind Hardin. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.


mp3 logoSchool Zone Traffic Violations
aired May 13, 2014
Motorists caught speeding or using a cell phone while in a school zone face higher base fines in Billings Municipal Court. Jackie Yamanaka explains why. YPR is part of a multi-station public radio reporting project looking at the issue of transportation. Funding for the Transportation Nation project comes from the Rockefeller Foundation.
LINK: Billings Municipal Court
DOCUMENTS (.pdf): School Zone Traffic Detail Violation Results, provided by the Billings Police Department. DWRS stands for driving while drivers license is suspended or revoked; CPDP stands for criminal possession of drug paraphernalia
Fines in School Zones Memorandum

mp3 logoRMC Drone Program
aired May 12, 2014
Rocky Mountain College’s aviation program is one of a handful from around the nation that’s teaching its students about the legal and technological advances of unmanned aerial systems, or drones. That’s according to aviation attorney and the program’s professor Scott Wilson. Wilson and two of his students talked about the program, and as Jackie Yamanaka reports, they flew two of their drones to demonstrate its capabilities.

A close up of one of the unmanned aerial systems (UMS) – commonly referred to as a drone – that students in Rocky Mountain College’s aviation program studied and flew. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.
Another close up of a fixed wing UMS. The camera is mounted on the front of the UMS. To the right is the screen the operator sees from the UMS camera. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.
RMC aviation student Joe Mutchler demonstrating how he can touch the UMS while it is airborne. Mutchler is a sophomore from Billings. Prior to enrolling, he has 13 years in the armed forces flying missions over Afghanistan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Oman. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.
Joe Mutchler (L) and Ryan Rojeski (R) of Nine Mile Falls, WA talk about how they can use an iPad to control some of the drones. Rojeski graduated this spring from RMC. He reports to the Naval Officer Training School in RI to become a US Navy fighter pilot in June. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.
Aviation attorney and RMC Aviation Program Professor Scott Wilson (L) watches as student Joe Mutchler demonstrates the UAS/drone. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.


mp3 logoCrime Victim Witness Advocates
aired May 7, 2014
Most people are familiar with criminal trials that feature the judge, the attorneys, the accused, the witnesses, and the jury. There are others behind the scenes, however, who may never take the stand. Montana Attorney General Tim Fox calls crime victim advocates the unsung heroes. Yesterday afternoon he handed out the first of three awards recognizing their work. Jackie Yamanaka has more on the job of a crime victim advocate.

Victim/Witness Coordinator for the Yellowstone County Attorney’s Office Angie Fox (center) receives one of the three Outstanding Crime Victim Advocates of the Year awards for 2014. It was presented by Montana Attorney General Tim Fox (R) and Yellowstone County Attorney Scott Twito. Also receiving an award this year are Kelly Erickson, legal advocate for The Haven in Bozeman and Janel Pliley, an adult protective services worker in Powell County. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.


mp3 logoYellowstone County Commission Approves Contract
aired April 29, 2014
The Yellowstone County Commission voted to approve a new contract with its sheriff's deputies. Today's action ends several months of negotiations between the county and the union representing the deputies. The disagreement between both sides even had the deputies voting to authorize a possible strike. Jackie Yamanaka reports.

mp3 logoLockwood Business Zoning Request
aired April 29, 2014
Yellowstone County is accepting written public comment on a zoning request change in Lockwood to accomodate a growing, existing business. Jackie Yamanaka reports.

mp3 logoPipefitters Union, Lewis Visit
aired April 24, 2014
The union representing pipefitters and plumbers in the Billings-area is actively recruiting women and veterans to this trade. They showed their training program to Democratic U-S House candidate John Lewis. Jackie Yamanaka reports.
DOCUMENT: Application for the Billings Piping Industry JATC
LINK: MT Dept. of Labor and Industry: Union Programs Training Opportunities

John Lewis (L) and welding instructor CJ Schultz watch one of the apprentices weld on a prop at the Billings Piping Industry JATC/Local 30 facility located at 317 Washington Street. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.


mp3 logoBillings VA Clinic Dedication
aired April 14, 2014
Officials say the new VA clinic in Billings is more than a building--it represents a promise made and a promise kept for the thousands of veterans who call Montana, Wyoming, and North Dakota home. This new health care facility offers specialty services that used to be available at Montana's only VA hospital (Fort Harrison) in Helena. Jackie Yamanaka reports.

mp3 logoYellowstone Hall
aired April 8, 2014
MSU-Billings officials yesterday unveiled the architectural renderings of the new science building on campus. The state of the art facility, called Yellowstone Hall, will replace the current Science Building that was constructed in 1947. Jackie Yamanaka reports.
LINK: more information on Yellowstone Hall

MSUB Chancellor Rolf Groseth kicking off the official public fundraising event for Yellowstone Hall. The current Science Building was constructed in 1947. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.
Yellowstone Hall
MSUB junior and biology major Elizabeth Mullins (L) and MSUB Foundation President and CEO Chuck Wendt help reveal the architectural rendering of Yellowstone Hall. Both are part of the project's steering committee. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.


mp3 logoApollo Astronaut at Rocky
aired April 7, 2014
Apollo 7 astronaut Walter Cunningham says if politicians and educators want to inspire more students to take science, technology, engineering and mathematics courses, they should invest in space exploration. Cunningham told an aviation class at Rocky Mountain College no government program inspired more technological innovation than the U.S. Space program. Jackie Yamanaka reports.

Apollo 7
The crew of the first manned Apollo space mission, Apollo 7, stands on the deck of the NASA Motor Vessel Retriever after suiting up for water egress training in the Gulf of Mexico. Left to right, are astronauts Walter Cunningham, Donn F. Eisele, and Walter M. Schirra Jr. Photo courtesy of NASA
Walter Cunningham signs a quilt for injured Navy SEAL Bo Reichenback of Billings who was jured by an IED in Afghanistan in 2012. Cunningham spoke with students in Rocky Mountain College's aviation program on April 4, 2014. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.


mp3 logoMain Street MT Plan Released
aired April 4, 2014
Governor Steve Bullock and the co-chairs of his Main Street Montana Project released their business plan to grow the state's economy. The business plan was unveiled at events in Helena and Billings yesterday. Jackie Yamanaka reports.
LINKS: Main Street MT Project, Main Street MT Project Business Plan

Governor Steve Bullock talking with Karen Fagg, Vice President at DOWL HKM Engineering. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka
Main St MT
Co-chair of the Main Street Montana Project Bill Johnstone, chairman and CEO of Davidson Companies, talking about implementing the business plan. Governor Steve Bullock (R) and project co-chair Larry Simpkins, President of Washington Corporations (L) look on. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka

mp3 logoKeystone X-L/TransCanada
aired April 3, 2014
One of the controversial projects being discussed at an energy industry conference and trade show in Billings is the proposed Keystone X-L pipeline. The Project is to transport crude from Canada's tar sand fields and the Bakken to refineries along the gulf coast. The topic kicked off Montana Energy 2014 on Tuesday. Yesterday Jackie Yamanaka sat down with a TransCanada official to talk about the proposed pipeline.

mp3 logoCrow Coal
aired April 3, 2014
The Crow Tribe is working to expand coal mining and renewable energy projects on its southeastern Montana reservation. This includes a proposed coal-to-liquid plant that also captures carbon. Tribal Chairman Darrin Old Coyote was one of the keynote speakers today at an energy industry-sponsored conference and trade show in Billings. Jackie Yamanaka reports.

mp3 logoEnergy Opportunities and Challenges
aired April 2, 2014
Governor Steve Bullock says Montana is facing significant energy opportunities. He says there are consequences of that boom. Bullock was one of the keynote speakers today at an energy industry-sponsored conference and trade show in Billings. As Jackie Yamanaka reports, Bullock and author/journalist Robert Bryce both advocate a mix of fossil and renewable energy development.

mp3 logoMetraPark Changes
aired April 2, 2014
Policy changes are coming for Montana's largest trade show and entertainment venue. In an effort to help pay for the cost of attracting bigger and better events to MetraPark, it will cost a dollar more for beer. Jackie Yamanaka explains.

mp3 logoMT Energy Forum: Keystone XL
aired April 1, 2014
A retired rear admiral with the U.S. Navy says energy independence and the increase in domestic production gives the United States more options and flexibility. Donald Loren told a crowd in Billings today the proposed Keystone XL pipeline also plays a role in energy security. Jackie Yamanaka reports.

Retired rear Admiral with the US Navy Donald Loren speaking at a Montana Energy Forum luncheon at MetraPark in Billings The event was part of the Montana Energy 2014 event and trade show highlighting the region's energy sector. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka


mp3 logoEqual Pay Summit
aired March 28, 2014
The Governor’s Equal Pay Summit convenes next week in Bozeman to continue the discussion on how to close Montana’s wage gap between men and women. Author and activist Lilly Ledbetter will kick off the summit with a public speech Monday evening. She’s the namesake of the federal act that addresses pay equality. Jackie Yamanaka has more.
LINKS: Montana Equal Pay Equal Work Task Force, Lilly Ledbetter at MSU

mp3 logoYellowstone County / Sherrif's Deputies Contract Dispute
aired March 26, 2014
A Fact-finder is expected to return to Billings next month or in May to mediate a contract dispute between Yellowstone County and its sheriff's deputies. The Yellowstone County Commission voted unanimously yesterday to bring back Sara Adler of Los Angeles. As Jackie Yamanaka reports, both sides continue to say they're close to resolving their differences.

mp3 logoPrice Bundling at Billings Hospitals
aired March 25, 2014
The two hospitals in Billings are participating in a Medicare demonstration project that seeks to improve the quality of patient care and control costs. As Jackie Yamanaka reports, it's called price bundling.

mp3 logoACA Deadline
aired March 21, 2014
The deadline is approaching fast to enroll for health insurance coverage that becomes effective this year under the federal Affordable Care Act. Jackie Yamanaka reports.
LINKS: Questions about Montana's Insurance Marketplace under the ACA?
How to find a navigator in MT
Questions about Wyoming's Insurance Marketplace under the ACA?
How to find a navigator in WY
Still can't find a navigator?
To enroll in the federal ACA marketplace

mp3 logoLockwood Safety Levy
aired March 19, 2014
Lockwood is moving another step closer to having sidewalks, trails, and street lighting installed in the community just east of Billings. The grassrots effort was prompted by the death last year of a 16 year-old boy who was struck while walking on one of Lockwood's streets. As Jackie Yamanaka reports, Yellowstone County Commissioners appointed four people to the advisory board for the Lockwood Safety District. YPR is part of a multi-station public radio reporting project looking at the issue of transportation. Funding for the Transportation Nation project comes from the Rockefeller Foundation.

mp3 logoFlood Damage
aired March 18, 2014
Disaster and Emergency officials in Montana are asking individuals and businesses to provide them information about damages from the recent flood event caused by rapidly melting snow and ice jams on area rivers and streams. As Jackie Yamanaka reports, the information will be gathered across the state to see if the damages were severe enough to warrant a request for federal assistance.
LINKS: Residential Flood Damage Form, Business Flood Damage Form
Call the DES office at 256-2775 to request a hard copy of the form

mp3 logoYellowstone County Deputies Reject Contract
aired March 18, 2014
Yellowstone County sheriff’s deputies rejected the county’s latest contract offer. That message was delivered to Yellowstone County Commissioners during their regular meeting today. As Jackie Yamanaka reports the union representing the deputies would like to continue and complete the fact-finding process that began earlier this year.

mp3 logoU.S. Interior Secretary in Bozeman
aired March 17, 2014
U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell says in this time of constraints on the availability of federal dollars the agency will need help from states, Indian tribes, and others to carry out its mission. Jewell spent last Friday and the weekend touring Montana with Senator Jon Tester. Jackie Yamanaka joined them Friday evening for a public forum in Bozeman and has this report.

U-S Interior Secretary Sally Jewell (L) and Senator Jon Tester (L) answer questions during a public forum in Gaines Hall on the Montana State University Campus. The event was sponsored by the Wheeler Center. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.


mp3 logoRyan Zinke Campaign Office
aired March 10, 2014
U.S. House Candidate Ryan Zinke officially opened his statewide campaign office in Billings today. The Republican adds he is also relocating to Billings for the duration of his campaign. As Jackie Yamanaka reports, Zinke says one of his campaign goals is to heal the rift in the Republican party.

Republican U-S House candidate Ryan Zinke speaking at his statewide campaign headquarters in downtown Billings. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka


mp3 logoBillings Clinic ExpressCare Opens in Blgs. Heights
aired March 5, 2014
The second Billings Clinic Express Care location opened to patients today at an Albertsons in the Heights. This clinic provides quick primary care services for mostly minor medical issues. As Jackie Yamanaka reports, officials say the goal of these retail clinics is to provide more convenience and access for patients.
LINKS: ExpressCare, ExpressCare App

Physician Assistant Jodee Etchart standing at the entrance of the new clinic. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.
Mike Follett, Executive Director of Business and Community Development at Billings Clinic, welcoming the opening of the 2nd ExpressCare clinic at the Albertsons at 607 Main Street in Billings Heights. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.


mp3 logoSVO Roundup
aired March 4, 2014
State Attorney General Tim Fox says state and local law enforcement officials recently wrapped up the largest round up of noncompliant sexual or violent offenders in Montana history. The roundup took place last week in Yellowstone county and brought 95 offenders into compliance. They were among over 200 that had failed to return their address verification letters to law enforcement officials.
LINKS: Montana Department of Criminal Investigation Sexual or Violent Offender Registry

mp3 logoLewis Campaign/Meals on Wheels
aired March 3, 2014
Democratic U.S. House Candidate John Lewis launched his tour around Montana starting in Billings. It will end in Helena later this week when he is to officially file for office. Jackie Yamanaka caught up with Lewis in the kitchen at the Adult Resource Alliance of Yellowstone County and has this report.
LINKS: Adult Resource Alliance of Yellowstone County Meals on Wheels, Adult Resource Alliance of Yellowstone County on Facebook, Montana candidate filing list at the Secretary of State's Office, Montanans for Lewis Campaign site

Participating restaurants for the "March for Meals" campaign in Billings to end hunger among seniors. To participate, diners must tell their servers they want a portion of their bill donated to "Meals on Wheels":
March 3, 2014 – The Vig
March 4, 2014 – Fuddruckers (all day at the West end location)
March 9, 2014 – Ten at the Northern
March 11, 2014 – The Rex
March 17, 2014 – Walker's
March 24, 2014 - Hooligans

Democratic U-S House Candidate John Lewis talking with Jamie Carpenter, Meals on Wheels coordinator, in the kitchen at the Adult Resource Alliance of Yellowstone County. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.


mp3 logoMT Delegation: Firefighting Costs
aired March 3, 2014
The Democratic members of Montana's congressional delegation support a change in the way most catastrophic wildland fires are paid for. President Barack Obama recently told some western governors that his budget will include their proposal to pay for the largest fires out of a special disaster account. Jackie Yamanaka reports.

mp3 logoMT's New Lt. Gov.
aired February 19, 2014
Angela McLean has been Montana’s new Lieutenant Governor for about a week and a half. Shortly after taking office, she hit the road for visits to Great Falls, Missoula and now Billings. Jackie Yamanaka sat down with McLean during her visit to talk about taking on this new role: Lieutenant Governor.
LINK: Angela McLean's Biography

Governor Steve Bullock joins Angela McLean at her classroom at Anaconda High Schools for the official announcement that McLean is Montana's new lieutenant governor. Photo from the governor's office.


mp3 logoProtested Taxes Distributed
aired February 19 2014
Yellowstone County presented checks to three social service agencies and the Billings Public Library during its regularly scheduled meeting. The money comes from the recent settlement of a four-year tax protest by CHS and its refinery in Laurel. Jackie Yamanaka reports.

mp3 logoIndoor Football/Billings Wolves
aired February 18, 2014
Indoor football is a step closer to a return to Billings. The Indoor Football League recently unanimously approved adding the Billings Wolves to its squads. Representatives from the team and the IFL are scheduled to talk about the league’s newest team at a press conference tomorrow afternoon at the Lexington Inn. But as Jackie Yamanaka reports, before the Wolves officially return, they need to sign their contract with Yellowstone County and pay a deposit.
LINKS: Billings Wolves team website, Billings Wolves on Facebook

mp3 logoCode Montana Success
aired February 17, 2014
A statewide program that teaches high school students computer programming has surpassed one thousand students in its first five months. Now one of the co-founders of Code Montana hopes to increase participation to five thousand students. Jackie Yamanaka reports.
LINKS: Code Montana, Montana Programmers, Montana Web Designers and Developers Association

mp3 logoAG Fox on 24/7 Sobriety Program Ruling
aired February 13, 2014
State Attorney General Tim Fox says Montana’s 24-7 Sobriety Program remains up and running despite a recent state district court decision that declared provisions of the state law unconstitutional. Jackie Yamanaka reports. YPR is part of a multi-station public radio reporting project looking at the issue of transportation. Funding for the Transportation Nation project comes from the Rockefeller Foundation.
DOCUMENT: Ruling from the 19th Judicial District on the matter of Robert Spady and the state's appeal

mp3 logoSen. Tester Chairman of Senate Indian Affairs Committee
aired February 13, 2014
Montana Senator Jon Tester is the new chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. There's been a shuffling of chairmanships with the exit of former Montana Senator Max Baucus, who had chaired the Senate Finance Committee. Baucus is now the U.S. Ambassador to China. Jackie Yamanaka talked to Tester about his goals for the Indian Affairs Committee.

mp3 logoGov. Bullock: Lt. Governor Choice
aired February 11, 2014
The newly selected lieutenant governor began her duties today at the Capitol. Governor Steve Bullock formally named Board of Regents Chair Angela McLean yesterday as his pick to replace John Walsh. Bullock named Walsh last Friday to fill the remaining term of U-S Senator Max Baucus who was confirmed as U-S Ambassador to China. Bullock was in Billings to speak to the Montana Association of Counties mid-winter meeting. Afterwards he sat down with Jackie Yamanaka to talk about his recent appointments.
LINK: MT Boards and Councils, Application and/or Nomination Form for MT State Board or Council

mp3 logoGov. Bullock Senate Appointment
aired February 7, 2014
Governor Steve Bullock appointed his Lieutenant Governor to fill the U.S. Senate seat formerly held by Max Baucus. Baucuc resigned to become the next U.S. Ambassador to China. Bullock made the announcement this morning at the Capitol. Jackie Yamanaka reports.

mp3 logoMSUB Chancellor Search
aired February 5, 2014
The president of Montana State University officially kicked off the search for a new chancellor for MSU Billings. Waded Cruzado sat down yesterday for the first time with the 18-member search committee. She charged the panel to deliver to her between three to five candidates to replace retiring chancellor Rolf Groseth. Jackie Yamanaka reports.

mp3 logoEntrepreneurship
aired February 5, 2014
Growing Montana's economy is more than trying to lure other companies to relocate to the state. Rather it will be home-grown entrepreneurship. That's according to the Bozeman-based founder of several high-tech companies. Jackie Yamanaka has more from the keynote speaker at this year's Economic Outlook Seminar sponsored by the Bureau of Business and Economic Research.
LINKS: Better Montana Jobs, Bozeman Technology Incubator, Bootstrap Montana, Code Montana, Ace Scholarships in Montana

mp3 logoLockwood Safety Vote
aired January 29, 2014
A 16-year old boy who was struck and later died on one of Lockwood’s busy streets has become the face of a campaign to make roads in this safer for pedestrians and bicyclists. Voters will receive their ballots late next week on a proposal to add pathways and street lights on some of the arterial streets in this community just east of Billings. Jackie Yamanaka reports. YPR is part of a multi-station public radio reporting project looking at the issue of transportation. Funding for the Transportation Nation project comes from the Rockefeller Foundation.

LINK: "Do It For Dustin" on Facebook

Nic Talmark, chairman of Friends of Dustin Freese, describes the door-to-door campaign effort taking place in Lockwood. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.
Stefeni Freese (right) watches as volunteers get their assignments before heading out to canvas neighborhoods in preparation for the upcoming Safer Streets for Lockwood Election. Ballots for this mail election are due back to the Yellowstone County Courthouse February 25, 2014. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.


mp3 logoPoultry Processor
aired January 28, 2014
Soon poultry growers will be able to have their birds slaughtered and processed at a Montana facility. As Jackie Yamanaka reports, a businesswoman in Wilsall is the first person to be issued a small enterprise exemption license from the Montana Department of Livestock.
Montana Natural Poultry can be reached at 406-578-2366
LINK: MT Department of Livestock Meat and Poultry Inspection

mp3 logoGovernor Tours New Billings Library
aired January 27, 2014
The new Billings Public Library will hold its public dedication ceremony Saturday. Governor Steve Bullock spent part of his day touring the new building with Billings City officials. Jackie Yamanaka reports.
LINKS: Billings Public Library, Billings Public Library Dedication schedule

Billings Mayor Tom Hanel (L), Governor Steve Bullock (C), and Billings Library Director Bill Cochran in the adult section, upstairs. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.
Story Tower
Billings Mayor Tom Hanel (L), Billings, Library Director Bill Cochran, and Governor Steve Bullock looking up at the 42-foot high ceiling of the Story Tower for children. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.


mp3 logoCommunity Health Needs Assessment
aired January 21, 2014
Health Insurance remains out of reach for many residents in Yellowstone County. That was the finding of the latest Community Health Needs Assessment survey. The survey also found most adults questioned had a “fair” or “poor” understanding of the new federal law requiring all citizens to have insurance. As Jackie Yamanaka reports the report ties many health outcomes to income.
PDF DOCUMENTS: 2014 CHNA document, CHNA Survey Summary

mp3 logoMLK Day & Power of One Week
aired January 21, 2014
Change starts with one person. That’s the message from Martin Luther King Junior. The “Power of One” is also the message to students at MSU-Billingsand the larger community during this week of reflection and action in honor of the late civil rights leader. The events kicked off yesterday with a bell ringing ceremony and the first of several guest speakers. Jackie Yamanaka reports.
LINK: Power of One Week Schedule of Events

Bell Ringing
Rev. Dr. Gerald Durley's delivering a prayer before the bell ringing ceremony at Peaks to Plains Park at MSU-Billings. Photos by Jackie Yamanaka.
Rev. Dr. Gerald Durley greeting attendees at the Student Union Building
A close-up of the medal worn by Rev. Dr. Gerald Durley. The "I Have A Dream" medal was given to Durley by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and 27 others


mp3 logoSenator Tester at Billings Food Bank
aired January 20, 2014
Negotiations appear to be winding down in Congress on the long-delayed Farm Bill. And while the debate over cuts to the food assistance program appear to be settled, Montana Senator Jon Tester wanted to find out how the proposed reductions might impact low-income Montanans and what effect, if any, it might have on local food banks. Jackie Yamanaka joined Tester as he toured the Billings Food Bank.

Billings Food Bank CEO Sheryle Shandy, right, gives Senator Jon Tester a tour of the facility. This includes the food warehouse, distribution room, and the Fortin Culinary Center that prepares students for careers in a commercial kitchen. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.


mp3 logoMetraPark's Marketing Director Retires
aired January 16, 2014
The long-time director of marketing for MetraPark retired at the end of last year. Today, her colleagues thanked Sandra Hawke with a party at MetraPark. This anchor of the Billings community hosts numerous events, including: MontanaFair, concerts, rodeos, trade shows, and conventions. MetraPark officials have said some years this venue bring in over 100-million dollars a year to Billings community. Jackie Yamanaka has more on the legacy of one employee who’s been at the center of that success.

Friends embrace Sandra Hawke, MetraPark's Marketing Director for the past 25 years, at her retirement party at MetraPark's Montana Pavilion. photo by Jackie Yamanaka


mp3 logoNewest Justice of the Peace
aired Jan. 1, 2014
David Carter is Yellowstone County's newest Justice of the Peace. The former deputy county attorney was sworn into office yesterday. A few hours later he assumed the waiting Justice Court caseload from his predecessor.

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