Archives for March 2017

Two Men Charged With Setting Seven Fires

Two Helena men are charged with arson, in connection with seven fires that were set in the area starting just before midnight on Tuesday. The two were arrested in a traffic stop that night. One of the men, 61 year old Willam Carver, told officers that he and 27 year old Noah Province had just been driving around starting fires. Province told officers he couldn’t remember much of anything.

Census Numbers Show Population Growth In Helena

Helena’s population continues to grow. The latest numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau show a growth rate of about 8 and a half percent between 2010 and 2015. The report shows the average income for the city at about 29-thousand dollars a year.

Committee Kills Mail Only Ballot Proposal

There’s a special election on May 25th to fill an open congressional seat and state lawmakers shut down one possible voting option yesterday. The House Judiciaary committee tabled Senate Bill 305, which would allow counties to choose to use only mail ballots in that special election. Unless a supermajority of the House votes to bring the bill to the floor, it’s dead.

Prickly Pear Creek in the Helena Valley is getting a facelift

Prickly Pear Creek in the Helena Valley is getting a facelift. On Monday, volunteers, the Lake Helena Watershed Group, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the Lewis and Clark Conservation District continued work at the Upper Prickly Pear Creek Fishing Access Site aimed at reducing erosion which is putting aquatic life in jeopardy. Crews were working on reconstructing and stabilizing the banks, and planting willows to provide shade and reduce sediment buildup.
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Climate change is having an impact on Montana’s waterways

MISSOULA — Climate change is having an impact on Montana’s waterways. Fly-fishing guides and outfitters, who are out nearly every day, say they have seen serious negative impacts on the fragile ecosystem in the past decade, including more dead fish than usual, due to drastically fluctuating temperatures. These are just some of the topics discussed at a meeting last week at the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks headquarters in Missoula with the local chapter of the National Wildlife Federation and more than a dozen local fishing guides.
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A Montana lawmaker wants to come up with a living wage for the state’s working poor

HELENA — A Montana lawmaker wants to come up with a living wage for the state’s working poor. After attempts to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour failed in January, Rep. Mary Ann Dunwell, D-Helena, said Tuesday that in defining a living wage it’s important to consider the costs of transportation to jobs, child care services, elder care services, health insurance not offered by employers and vacation or sick leave for personal or family illnesses. Dunwell is trying to do a study. Business’ that have opposed raising the minimum wage in the past say they do not support the study.
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Montana Senators tentatively approved measure for carry conceal bill

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana Senators have tentatively approved a measure granting themselves the right to carry concealed weapons in the state Capitol and other state property. The chamber endorsed the bill 33-17 on Tuesday. Senate President Scott Sales of Bozeman argued that legislators should have the option to carry concealed weapons for protection against constituents who could turn violent. But Democratic Sen. Carlie Boland of Great Falls said she would feel no safer knowing a colleague was armed.
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Montana Senators could come “packin’

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana Senators have tentatively approved a measure granting themselves the right to carry concealed weapons in the state Capitol and other state property. The chamber endorsed the bill 33-17 on Tuesday. Senate President Scott Sales of Bozeman argued that legislators should have the option to carry concealed weapons for protection against constituents who could turn violent. But Democratic Sen. Carlie Boland of Great Falls said she would feel no safer knowing a colleague was armed.
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Senate Committee Okays Cigarette Tax Hike

A proposal to increase Montana’s cigarette tax by $1.50 a pack was approved by a committee of the state Senate on Tuesday. That approval sends the bill to the Senate floor for a vote. Final approval would give Montana a tobacco tax of $3.20 a pack. The bill, proposed by Senator Mary Caferro of Helena, would also tax electronic cigarettes and vaping products.

Airport Officials Have Plan To Expand Service

The folks at Helena Regional Airport have a plan to expand service, and the Chamber of Commerce is getting behind it. The Chamber not only agreed to make a contribution to the airport’s fundraising efforts, but they are also asking other businesses in the community to support the effort. Airport officials intend to apply for a grant from the US Department of Transportation to provide a half million dollars in revenue guarantees as an incentive for Alaska Airlines to add an additional flight to Seattle or direct service to Portland.