Gun control continues to be nationally debated in the wake of the most recent mass shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school. As part of the Montana Public Media “Guns in the Big Sky” series, Montana Public Radio recently aired a live, one-hour discussion of whether new gun control legislation is necessary, or simply a knee jerk reaction to tragedy. News Director Sally Mauk hosted the discussion, featuring four panelists: hunters Doug Webber and Ed Monnig, Dana Gale of “Moms Demand Action”, and Ravalli County Sheriff Chis Hoffman. Listeners also submitted questions online. The discussion covered everything from universal background checks to banning semi-automatic weapons.
Does Missoula need faster and more affordable Internet service? That’s the question a new study will seek to answer. With a 26-thousand dollar matching grant from the state,the city and county of Missoula are chipping in 13-thousand dollars each to fund a feasibility study of affordable extreme broadband service. City councilwoman Caitlin Copple chairs the council’s economic development subcommittee. She believes superfast – and affordable – high speed Internet is an attractive recruitment tool for new business.
The former campaign manager for President Barack Obama, Jim Messina, was in Missoula over the weekend to deliver the commencement address to his alma mater, the University of Montana. Messina currently has his own consulting firm, and also is national chairman of “Organizing for Action”, a nonprofit group working to help the president achieve his legislative agenda. In this feature interview, Messina talks with News Director Sally Mauk about OFA’s priorities: climate change, gun control and immigration reform.
Missoulians John and Sue Talbot will receive Honorary Doctorates of Humane Letters at the University of Montana commencement ceremony tomorrow. The Talbots are being recognized for their long and generous service to both the university and the community. John Talbot is a former publisher of the Missoulian newspaper, and the journalism building on the University of Montana campus is named after Sue Talbot’s father, Don Anderson, a well-known newspaperman. The Talbots have supported and been active in dozens of community and university organizations. In tonight’s feature interview, News Director Sally Mauk talks with the Talbots about their love of UM and Missoula, and why they think both the town and gown have a bright future. The Talbots met in college when Sue was attending Radcliffe, and John was at Harvard..
U.S.G.S. research ecologist Kate Kendall has been studying grizzly bears for over 30 years and done groundbreaking research into the grizzlies that live in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem. Kendall is retiring this month, and she recently sat down with News Director Sally Mauk to talk about her career, her research, and her thoughts about the future of the great bear. Kendall started with the National Park Service right out of college, and moved to Bozeman in 1977 to join the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team – one of only a couple of women working with dozens of men.
Fort Missoula has undergone several incarnations since it was built in the late 19th century. Tate Jones, the Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Museum of Military History, has a new book out that gives a pictorial history of the fort. In this feature interview, Jones talks with News Director Sally Mauk about that colorful history – everything from the fort’s involvement in the Battle of the Big Hole to the internment of Japanese civilians during World War II. Jones says the fort was created in 1877 for two reasons.
Our warm temperatures are forecast to last through the weekend, and that means rivers and streams will continue to quickly rise. LeeAnn Allegretto of the National Weather Service says the biggest flooding threat currently is in Lincoln and Flathead counties.
“Right now the only river that may reach flood stage is the Yaak river near Troy,” said Allegretto.”But the Flathead river and all its branches will also see dramatic rises.”
A warm weekend makes it tempting to want to get out onto the rivers, but Allegretto recommends resisting the temptation.
“The average temperature of rivers in western Montana right now is below 50 degrees,” said Allegretto.”It could pose problems if you get into trouble.”
A strong cold front is expected to move into western Montana by Monday evening, dropping temperatures back down into the 60′s.
Civil rights attorney and co-founder of the National Innocence Project Peter Neufeld and others have been instrumental in winning the freedom of over 300 people wrongly convicted of crimes, through the use of DNA evidence. Neufeld was in Missoula recently to speak at a benefit for the Montana Innocence Project. In this feature interview, Neufeld talks with News Director Sally Mauk about wrongful convictions – and the impact DNA and other analysis have had on our concept of justice.
The University of Montana won’t know till fall how many students are enrolled but UM expects to see another drop. Last fall, UM had 700 fewer students than the previous year, and the school expects, in a worst case scenario, they could be down another 450 this coming fall. Administrators are trying to plan for that. In this feature interview, UM President Royce Engstrom talks with News Director Sally Mauk about how UM is dealing with that projected shortfall.
Congressman Steve Daines has spent this week touring Montana businesses – from gun manufacturers to lumber mills. He’s in Missoula today to tour the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and meet with a local sportsmens’ organization. He also took time to sit down with News Director Sally Mauk to talk about guns, conservation – and his political future. Daines would have voted against the bill to expand background checks on gun buyers.