Astonishing early winter heat grips U.S., Canada and shatters records
A widespread and intense heatwave is roasting large portions of the U.S. and Canada, shattering daily and monthly temperature records. Why it matters: Winter is the fastest-warming season across the U.S., and the lingering warmth is shortening the snow season in places like Colorado and Montana, where mountain snowpack is a critical source of water during the summer months. Get market news worthy of your time with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free.The big picture: On Wednesday, British Columbianews.yahoo.com
Deal reached to reduce Yellowstone's bison herd by 600-900
Officials have agreed to allow as many as 900 bison from Yellowstone National Park to be shot by hunters, sent to slaughter or placed in quarantine this winter in a program that seeks to prevent the animals from spreading a disease to cattle. Bison routinely leave Yellowstone and head north into Montana each winter, raising concerns that the animals could spread brucellosis to cattle. Brucellosis is a bacterial disease that can cause cows to abort their calves.news.yahoo.com
Wildfire burns into central Montana town, destroys houses
A fire near Denton led hundreds of residents to flee the central Montana town on Wednesday. — (AP) — A late-season wildfire pushed by strong winds ripped through a tiny central Montana farming town overnight, burning several homes and grain elevators that had stood for more than a century, authorities said. “Unfortunately we lost numerous houses on the Southside of town, but thankfully no one was hurt!” the sheriff's office posted on Facebook on Wednesday night. Winds were forecast at about 20 mph (32 kph) with gusts up to 36 mph (58 kph) in central Montana on Thursday, the National Weather Service said. Several Montana cities also saw record high temperatures on Wednesday, with the central Montana town of Jordan reaching 76 degrees Fahrenheit (24 Celsius).wftv.com
Protections for western bird will get new look under Biden
The announcement of a range-wide habitat evaluation for greater sage grouse came after the Trump administration tried to scale back conservation efforts adopted when Biden was vice president in 2015. But Biden administration officials said the attempt set back conservation efforts — even as the chicken-sized bird's habitat was further ravaged by wildfires, invasive plant species and continued development. Biologists have said those buffers are needed to protect sage grouse breeding areas where the birds engage in elaborate annual mating rituals. Greater sage grouse once numbered in the millions across all or portions of 11 Western states. In 2010, U.S. wildlife officials said drastic habitat losses meant protections for sage grouse had become warranted for under the Endangered Species Act.wftv.com
Officials weigh Montana-Idaho border line move
Nov. 10—It literally takes an act of Congress to move the boundary of one of the United States. The last time was in 1961 when a small divison between Minnesota and North Dakota was adjusted. However, it seems that this process was bypassed on Interstate 90 at Lookout Pass when the highway was constructed and has been that way since. Denley Loge, House District Representative 14 and a rancher ...news.yahoo.com
Dems disappointed with final Montana congressional districts
A new map dividing Montana into two congressional districts for the first time in decades was finalized Tuesday, triggering disappointment from Democrats who hoped to craft a different western district that would give them a better chance of winning in an increasingly Republican-dominated state. The 2020 census gave Montana a second congressional district for the first time in 30 years, spurring a redistricting process that has included debate about the changing nature of the state. Booming cities such as Bozeman and Missoula in western Montana provide a contrast to the stagnating agricultural communities in the prairie region that covers the eastern half of the state.news.yahoo.com
Railroads fight with unions in court over vaccine mandates
BNSF filed a lawsuit Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021, against its major unions over its mandate. It joins Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific, which both filed similar lawsuits against the unions last month. It joins Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific, which both filed similar lawsuits against the unions last month. The railroads that have imposed vaccine mandates say they are complying with President Joe Biden's executive order requiring all federal contractors to have their employees vaccinated. Federal judges have yet to rule on any of these lawsuits related to the railroads' vaccine requirements.wftv.com
3 people found dead in eastern Montana casino, police say
Casino shooting: Three people were fatally shot at an eastern Montana casino, authorities said. — Three people are dead after a shooting at an eastern Montana casino on Saturday, authorities said. >> Read more trending newsRoosevelt County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the Stateline Casino in Bainville at about 5:30 p.m., the Billings Gazette reported. In a Facebook post, Sheriff Jason Frederick said deputies discovered three people fatally shot, including the suspected shooter. The Stateline Casino, along with the Colby’s Casino nearby, said they would be closed “until further notice.”“Our entire staff is so grateful and overwhelmed with all of the support,” Stateline said in a Facebook post.wftv.com
Canada lynx to keep species protections under legal deal
US-Canada Lynx FILE - A Canada lynx is released in Schoolcraft County in Michigan's Upper Peninsula on April 12, 2019. U.S. wildlife officials have agreed to drop their attempt to strip Canada lynx of federal protections, under a court settlement approved Monday, Nov. 1, 2021, by a judge in Montana. — (AP) — U.S. wildlife officials have agreed to keep federal protections in place for the snow-loving Canada lynx, under a court settlement approved Monday by a judge in Montana. That has left officials to rely on information about lynx habitat and hare populations to gauge the species’ status. Federal wildlife officials did not immediately respond to questions about the settlement.wftv.com
Cause of Montana Amtrak derailment still under investigation
— (AP) — A preliminary report on the derailment of an Amtrak train in north-central Montana last month that killed three people and injured dozens more gave no information on the cause of the accident, but said the train’s emergency brakes were activated and that Amtrak estimated the damage at $22 million. The National Transportation Safety Board's report issued Tuesday said the westbound Empire Builder was carrying 154 people when it derailed on Sept. 25 just west of Joplin, Montana. Forty-four passengers and crew were taken to local hospitals with injuries, the report said. But they said investigators would consider all possibilities, including potential problems with the Empire Builder’s wheels or suspension system. Investigators also were examining if passengers were ejected from the train during the crash.wftv.com
Department of Justice Files Suit to Recover Forfeiture Penalty for Nearly 5,000 Illegally Spoofed Robocalls
Wednesday, the Department of Justice served a complaint filed against a Montana man to recover a $9.9 million penalty imposed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for nearly 5,000 unlawful and malicious “spoofed” robocalls. An investigation by the FCC culminated in the imposition by the agency of over $9.9 million forfeiture penalty against Rhodes. According to the FCC’s investigation, Rhodes’ unlawful spoofed robocalls allegedly included highly inflammatory messages indicative of Rhodes’ intent to cause harm. For example, hundreds of Rhodes’ spoofed robocalls targeted residents of Brooklyn, Iowa, in the aftermath of a local woman’s murder. The spoofed robocalls included a message that Charlottesville’s “Jew Mayor” and “his pet Negro Police Chief” were responsible for the death of the “unhealthy, morbidly obese” victim.justice.gov
Guatemala riot police deployed as ex-soldiers storm Congress parking lot, torch cars
Guatemalan riot police are deployed as former soldiers storm the rear area of Congress on and torch several vehicles in protest over unpaid compensation for their service during the country's civil war from 1960 to 1996.news.yahoo.com
Two Montanas? New maps highlight state's split personality
The Speidels own a horse boarding business in Cascade, a rural community on the banks of the Missouri River. — (AP) — For the first time in 30 years, the Census has awarded Montana a second seat in Congress. In Montana, Republicans are pushing to separate the two booming college towns of Bozeman and Missoula in the western half of the state. Putting the two Democratic-leaning communities in different districts would make it hard for Democrats to win either seat. Home to Montana State University, Bozeman grew a whopping 33% in the last decade, growth that dwarfs that seen anywhere else in the state.wftv.com
Two Montanas? New maps highlight state's split personality
For the first time in 30 years, the Census has awarded Montana a second seat in Congress. On paper, that leaves the state's redistricting commission with the easiest task of all its counterparts across the country: Divide the expansive state in half. Nothing is ever that simple in redistricting battles, as political parties jostle for control over maps that will give their candidates an advantage and the simple act of drawing a line becomes a fraught battle over the identity of the state.news.yahoo.com
Idaho reaches deal to reimburse hunters who kill wolves
Idaho officials will make available up to $200,000 to be divided into payments for hunters and trappers who kill wolves in the state through next summer. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game late last month entered into an agreement with a nonprofit hunting group to reimburse the expenses for a proven kill. The agreement follows a change in Idaho law aimed at killing more wolves that are blamed for attacking livestock and reducing deer and elk herds.news.yahoo.com
California to set school vaccine mandate for kids
California has announced it will enact the nation's first coronavirus vaccine mandate for schoolchildren. Gov. Gavin Newsom says the state aims to have all students in seventh through 12th grades vaccinated by next fall. Parents had mixed reactions. (Oct. 1)news.yahoo.com
Investigation underway following deadly Amtrak derailment in Montana
Investigators with the NTSB are looking into what may have caused an Amtrak train to derail in Montana over the weekend. Three people were killed and dozens were injured. Former chairman of the NTSB and CBS News transportation and safety consultant Robert Sumwalt joined Ed O'Keefe to discuss.news.yahoo.com
Victims identified in fatal Amtrak derailment
Amtrak derailment A person uses survey equipment, Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021, near an Amtrak train that derailed Saturday just west of Joplin, Mont. The westbound Empire Builder was en route to Seattle from Chicago, with two locomotives and 10 cars. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) (Ted S. Warren/AP)JOPLIN, Mont. — The identities of all three victims killed Saturday in the derailment of a westbound Amtrak train near Joplin, Montana, have been identified by local authorities. The NTSB is launching a go-team to investigate Saturday’s derailment of Amtrak’s Empire Builder train near Joplin, Montana.wftv.com
Amtrak train that derailed was going just under speed limit
Amtrak Train Derails Workers examine a train car, Monday, Sept. 27, 2021, from an Amtrak train that derailed Saturday, near Joplin, Mont. — (AP) — An Amtrak train that derailed in rural Montana over the weekend was going just under the speed limit at about 75 mph (121 kph) when it went off the track along a gradual curve, killing three people and possibly ejecting passengers, federal investigators said Monday. The train, carrying 141 passengers and 16 crew members, had two locomotives and 10 cars, eight of which derailed, with some tipping onto their sides. The crew saw the track had shifted, but the train was going full speed and could not stop before derailing. It might have been that the front of the train hit the switch and it started fish-tailing and that flipped the back part of the train,” Clarke said.wftv.com
Safety officials seek answers in deadly Amtrak derailment
Amtrak Train Derails Workers examine a train car, Monday, Sept. 27, 2021, from an Amtrak train that derailed Saturday, near Joplin, Mont. — (AP) — Federal investigators examined overturned rail cars and a stretch of tracks Monday as they worked to figure out why an Amtrak train derailed in rural Montana over the weekend, killing three people. That was the cause of another derailment in northern Montana in August 1988, when an Empire Builder train derailed about 170 miles (274 kilometers) east in Saco, Montana. Allan Zarembski, director of the University of Delaware’s Railway Engineering and Safety Program, said he did not want to speculate but suspected the derailment stemmed from an issue with the track, train equipment or both. The derailment comes as Congress works toward final passage of a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package that includes $66 billion to improve Amtrak service.wftv.com
Investigators seek cause of deadly Montana train derailment
Amtrak Train Derails Cars from an Amtrak train that derailed the day before are shown illuminated by floodlights, late Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021, as they rest near a train signal near Joplin, Mont. — (AP) — Federal investigators are seeking the cause of an Amtrak train derailment near a switch on tracks in the middle of vast farmland in far northern Montana that killed three people and left seven hospitalized over the weekend. He said the train car left the tracks near a switch where two tracks narrow to one but did not fall over. Allan Zarembski, director of the University of Delaware’s Railway Engineering and Safety Program, said he didn’t want to speculate but suspected the derailment stemmed from an issue with the train track, equipment, or both. A 14-member National Transportation Safety Board team including investigators and railroad signal specialists will be looking into the cause of the accident on a BNSF Railway track, NTSB spokesman Eric Weiss said.wftv.com
A look at recent Amtrak accidents
Amtrak Train Derails In this photo provided by Kimberly Fossen an ambulance is parked at the scene of an Amtrak train derailment on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021, in north-central Montana. Other recent Amtrak accidents:—- Dec. 18, 2017: Three people were killed and 10 seriously injured in a derailment near Olympia, Washington, in which part of the train landed on Interstate 5. The lead engine of the train derailed. — March 14, 2016: A train traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago derailed in southwest Kansas, injuring at least 32 people. — May 12, 2015: A train traveling at twice the 50 mph speed limit derailed as it entered a sharp curve in Philadelphia.wftv.com
Balky sign-ups complicate virus vaccinations for blind, deaf
In Alabama, Donte Little helped 20 blind and deaf people who had trouble signing up for vaccinations and getting to a clinic for shots. Add deafness or blindness on top of it and it’s that much more of one,” said Little, who is visually impaired and directs a regional center for the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind. The National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness estimated in 2008 that about 40,000 U.S. adults were both deaf and blind. This can be a significant barrier,” said Weinstock, director of public relations at Gallaudet University, a school for the deaf. AdRobert Jaquiss, who is blind, experienced problems firsthand when he tried to get an appointment for a shot in Missoula, Montana.
Deaths highlight once-in-a-decade Rockies avalanche danger
This image provided by Colorado Avalanche Information Center shows an avalanche that killed an unidentified snowboarder on Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021, near the town of Winter Park in Colorado. When you pile on more snow, there’s always one spot that’s going to break,” said Ethan Greene, director of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. Jared Polis and the state parks and wildlife agency urged residents to check conditions this holiday weekend, citing the high danger. The Colorado Avalanche Information Center issued a special advisory Monday, warning that “large, wide and long-running natural and human-triggered avalanches are likely.”Are people getting the message? “The bottom line is that partner rescue is the only way we have positive outcomes in the backcountry,” Zinn said.
US agency cancels Trump policy on conservation purchases
Interior Department officials on Thursday canceled a Trump administration directive that gave local and state officials power to block purchases of land and water for conservation under a longstanding federal program. Trump administration officials had said the order would have allowed the government to fulfill goals that were set when conservation areas were created, by filling in missing pieces of them. Jon Tester of Montana and Joe Manchin of West Virginia and others for undermining the conservation program. They accused the Trump administration of using Bernhardt’s order to circumvent the intent of Congress and squandering the bipartisan goodwill created by passing last year's law. Daines welcomed the move to revoke the order and said in a Thursday statement that the program was a critical tool for conservation.
Judge orders US officials to weigh coal mine's climate costs
FILE - In this April 4, 2013, file photo, a mechanized shovel loads a haul truck with coal at the Spring Creek coal mine near Decker, Mont. Mining in the Spring Creek expansion has been ongoing since it was approved in 2012. She gave the government until October to do a new analysis of the mine's climate impacts and other environmental effects. Environmentalists sued when the mine expansion was approved, claiming climate change hadn’t been fully considered under the Obama administration. That led to a 2016 order for officials to re-examine the environmental impacts, and then another lawsuit when that study was completed.
Masks, social distancing and speed: Snowmobiles enjoy boom
From Maine to Montana, it's becoming difficult to find a new snowmobile for sale. Nearly a third of sales were to new riders, Jones said, and he would sell more snowmobiles if he could get more from manufacturers. So does the speed, with the largest units easily gliding past 100 mph (160 kph) on wide open paths. AdFor the most part, snowmobiling has fewer pandemic restrictions and offers riders an escape from people, riders say. “You can go when you want, where you want,” said Mike Tevanian, from West-Port Motorsports, a snowmobile dealer outside of Portland.
You won’t believe the record for the greatest temperature swing in a 24-hour period
Nearly 50 years have passed and the world record for the greatest temperature change in a 24-hour period of time is still a staggering 103 degrees. Great Falls, MT closest city to Loma courtesy of National Weather Service in Great Falls, MT. What happened to cause the 103-degree temperature change that day 49 years ago was pretty cool. In addition to arctic blasts of air, Montana is no stranger to Chinook winds. Loma got to a balmy 49 degrees, courtesy of the Chinook winds, setting the world record for the greatest temperature change in a 24-hour period of time.
'Big Sky' stumbles in addressing Native American criticism
(Amy Schlatter via AP)LOS ANGELES – After ABC's “Big Sky” drew Native American censure for overlooking an epidemic of violence against Indigenous women and girls, its producers set about making changes. “Big Sky” was a plum for Disney-owned ABC, marking writer-producer David E. Kelley’s return to network TV after a string of cable successes ("Big Little Lies," “The Undoing”). They sought guidance from National Congress of American Indians, the largest and oldest representative body for America's nearly 600 tribal nations. The first “Big Sky” change was to add an on-screen message noting resources for victims of sexual or labor exploitation. She was heartened by the prospect of a major network paying heed to the crucial issue of violence against Native women, she said, calling producers sincere in their efforts.
'Big Sky' producers recognize Native American criticism
Native American tribes and coalitions are condemning Big Sky, a Montana-set ABC drama, for ignoring the history of violence inflicted on Indigenous women and instead making whites the crime victims. On Tuesday, the makers of “Big Sky” broke their silence. They cited “Somebody's Daughter,” a documentary detailing the murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls crisis, as it's known to those fighting the scourge. They’re not asking for ‘Big Sky’ to be taken off the air,” he said, but instead be used to inform. While Lightning said she was “a little bit shocked” when she saw a Native American tragedy mirrored in a story but without Native American characters, her years working in Los Angeles meant she wasn’t surprised.
US: Mountain pine tree that feeds grizzlies is threatened
Grizzlies raid caches of whitebark pine cones that are hidden by squirrels and devour the seeds within the cones to fatten up for winter. The officials added that overall, whitebark pine stands have seen severe reductions in regeneration because of wildfires, a fungal disease called white pine blister rust, mountain pine beetles and climate change. As with whitebark pine, loss of the bee's habitat was considered less important than other threats. The two cases underscore a pattern of opposition to habitat protections by the administration of President Donald Trump, environmentalists said. Whitebark pine is another example of that,” said Noah Greenwald with the Center for Biological Diversity.
Americans across party lines, regions embrace marijuana
Montana Advanced Caregivers owner Richard Abromeit talks about different strains of marijuana stored in a refrigerator at the Billings, Mont., medical marijuana dispensary on Nov. 11, 2020. Recreational marijuana initiatives passed in four states this year, from liberal New Jersey to conservative Montana and South Dakota. Fifteen states have now broadly legalized it, while 36 states allow medical marijuana. The owner of a chain of medical marijuana dispensaries in Billings, Montana, credited passage of the recreational marijuana initiative to a yearslong campaign by medical marijuana supporters to educate the public about the benefits of cannabis. Chris Nylen, 50, of Flagstaff, Arizona, is a Trump supporter who voted to legalize recreational marijuana.
Oregon, New Mexico order lockdowns as other states resist
Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico said in imposing a two-week stay-at-home order. Nevada Democratic Gov. In Montana, where cases are up more than 16% in the past week, Democratic Gov. Democratic Gov. Some economists say the crisis has been falsely portrayed as a choice between the economy and public health.
Montana goes red; it's status quo in other governor races
Mike Parson, and State Auditor Nicole Galloway are seen onstage before the Missouri gubernatorial debate at the Missouri Theatre in Columbia, Missouri. Democrats are hoping to gain control of more state legislative chambers after Republicans scored huge wins in 2010. The only governor's job to change parties is in Montana, where Republican U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte defeated Democratic Lt. Gov. The national Democratic and Republican governors associations and the campaigns themselves have contributed more than $24 million to the race. In Missouri, incumbent Mike Parson, a Republican, defeated Nicole Galloway, the state auditor who was the Democrats' best chance to pick up a seat.
Dems keep focus on public lands despite GOP legislative win
The two contests are crucial in the fight for control of the Senate, where Republicans have a 53-47 majority. “You can’t just be a supporter of public lands for four months before the election,” Montana Gov. Democrats have gained traction on a Bullock lawsuit against a senior Trump administration official with a history as an anti-public lands firebrand, Wyoming attorney William Perry Pendley. The Trump administration installed Perry as the nation’s lead public lands steward, acting head of the Bureau of Land Management, only to have a court side with Bullock and remove Pendley from the post. The court also struck down plans approved under Pendley that would have opened public lands in Montana to more oil and gas development.
Postal Service agrees to reverse service changes
Postal Service agreed Wednesday to reverse changes that slowed mail service nationwide, settling a lawsuit filed by Montana Gov. The agreement also requires the Postal Service to prioritize election mail. “The Postal Service was willing to resolve this matter because it has always been our goal to ensure that anyone who chooses to utilize the mail to vote can do so successfully,” said Postal Service spokesperson David Rupert in a statement. “This settlement underscores our unwavering commitment to that principle and to our important role in the nation’s electoral process.”The agreement comes after a federal judge temporarily blocked the controversial Postal Service changes on Sept. 17, calling the changes “a politically motivated attack on the efficiency of the Postal Service” before the November election. Postal Service.
Postal Service agrees to reverse service changes
Postal Service agreed Wednesday to reverse changes that slowed mail service nationwide, settling a lawsuit filed by Montana Gov. The agreement also requires the Postal Service to prioritize election mail. Postal Service did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment. The agreement comes after a federal judge temporarily blocked the controversial Postal Service changes on Sept. 17, calling the changes “a politically motivated attack on the efficiency of the Postal Service” before the November election. Postal Service.
Pelosi out to block Trump if disputed election ends in House
Under election law the House would intervene if the Electoral College gave no presidential candidate the majority Jan. 6. “There ain't no light at the end of the tunnel in the House of Representatives,” Pelosi said at a recent press conference. The president can be selected by a House majority — 26 states — if the Electoral College deadlocks or is unable to agree on the winner. Another is Montana, where Democratic state Rep. Kathleen Williams and Republican state Auditor Matt Rosendale are vying for the state's lone at-large seat. Veteran GOP election lawyer Ben Ginsberg said there’s a long ways to go from election day Nov. 3 and a potential House vote on Jan. 6.