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

ypradio.org > 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

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.

Capitol Connections 2013

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

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

Vomund
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.

coat
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.
Group
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.

Cheney
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
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.

IHS
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.
IHS
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.

vet
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.
vet2
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. http://www.wnyc.org/blogs/transportation-nation/
LINKS: MT Department of Transportation Beartooth Highway Information, Friends of the Beartooth All-American Road, videos of MDT's plowing progress

plow
a view from the cab of MDT’s snow blower removing snow near the Montana-Border on Beartooth Pass. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka
Bike
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
plowing
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

Hardin
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. http://www.wnyc.org/blogs/transportation-nation/
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.

Drone01
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.
Drone02
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.
Drone03
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.
Drone04
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.
Drone05
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.

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

Lewis
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

Groseth
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
Cunningham
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

Bullock
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.

Loren
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. http://www.wnyc.org/section/transportationnation/

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.

Jewell
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.

Zinke
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

etchart
Physician Assistant Jodee Etchart standing at the entrance of the new clinic. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.
Follett
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

Lewis
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

McLean
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. http://www.wnyc.org/section/transportationnation/
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. http://www.wnyc.org/section/transportationnation/

LINK: "Do It For Dustin" on Facebook
EMAIL: doitfordustin@gmail.com

Talmark
Nic Talmark, chairman of Friends of Dustin Freese, describes the door-to-door campaign effort taking place in Lockwood. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.
Volunteers
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

Library
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.
Durley
Rev. Dr. Gerald Durley greeting attendees at the Student Union Building
Medal
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.

Tester
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.

Hawke
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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