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When Carla and Darin Fisher opened Backslope Brewing in Columbia Falls in 2016, they knew they wanted to take care of their employees. Six years later, they offer competitive wages, health insurance, retirement benefits, long-term disability and even paid time off for their full-time employe… Read Article

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A woman experiencing delusions sat in Montana’s Cascade County jail for 125 days while waiting for a bed at the state psychiatric hospital. A man with schizophrenia spent 100 days last year in the Flathead County jail on the hospital’s waitlist, at times refusing food and water. A man compla… Read Article

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Attorneys on either side of a consolidated lawsuit challenging new state election laws delivered arguments March 10 before Yellowstone County District Court Judge Michael Moses, with much of the debate centering on one critical question: Do the laws, passed by the Legislature last year, infr… Read Article

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About half of Montana schools that had tested their water by mid-February under a new state rule had high levels of lead, according to state data. But the full picture isn’t clear because fewer than half of the state’s school buildings had provided water samples six weeks after the deadline. Read Article

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The backers of a constitutional initiative that would cap property tax increases on Montana homeowners have been cleared by Montana’s secretary of state to start gathering the signatures they need to have the initiative placed on the 2022 ballot. Read Article

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As yet another winter storm walloped western Montana last week, the Montana Department of Transportation was trying its best to keep the 12,923 miles of road in its care clear of snow and ice. But this year, it’s doing that with about 60 fewer people than normal, thanks to a national labor s… Read Article

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Leaders of Montana’s K–12 and higher education systems convened on the University of Montana campus Friday to discuss strategic goals and ongoing challenges to improve the quality of education for students across the state. Read Article

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The U.S. House of Representatives approved a sprawling $1.2 trillion infrastructure package late last week, setting the stage for a massive federal investment in Montana's highways, bridges, water systems and broadband capabilities.  Read Article

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The drought that has dried out soils, drawn down rivers and reservoirs, and challenged agricultural producers, land managers, recreationists and wildlife continues to persist as hydrologists anxiously track the progression of the La Niña weather pattern, hoping for a wet winter to start reve… Read Article

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An effort by Montana’s independent districting commission to reconcile Republican and Democratic proposals for dividing the state into two U.S. House districts slid into a thicket last week, as public comment split on largely party lines and an initial work session saw the body’s partisan co… Read Article

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In one recent week, a New Yorker got a free COVID-19 test in a jiffy, with results the next day, while a Coloradan had to shell out $50 for a test two cities from her hometown after a frantic round of pharmacy-hopping. A Montanan drove an hour each way to get a test, wondering if, this time,… Read Article

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As classes get underway this week and next, Montana school and county health officials are grappling with how a new state law that bans vaccine discrimination should apply to quarantine orders for students and staffers exposed to COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Read Article

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The race for Montana’s soon-to-be-established second seat in the U.S. House of Representatives is starting to take shape, with Democrat Laurie Bishop and Republican Al Olszewski officially announcing their candidacies this month. Read Article

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This year's fire season could be among the worst in years, due to a combination of weather and environmental factors including dry fuels, hot and windy conditions, and a thin snowpack the past winter, according to local fire officials, who are bracing for a challenging summer.  Read Article

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On January 31, State Senator Edie McClafferty (D-Butte) and Representative Marta Bertoglio (R-Clancy) joined Monitor Publisher Keith Hammonds to discuss the issues emerging in the 67th Montana State Legislature. The first Jefferson County Legislator Forum was co-sponsored by The Monitor and … Read Article

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With the governor’s office and an expanded legislative majority, Republicans will be in the driver’s seat for the 2021 Montana Legislature. Party leaders say they’re still honing their agenda. Read Article

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A recently closed small slaughterhouse in Odessa, Washington, is in the process of reopening, thanks to soaring demand for locally raised and processed meat. As large meatpacking facilities across the country have become hotspots for COVID-19 outbreaks — at least 277 cases have been confirme… Read Article

Graying Pains
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Montana is the oldest state west of the Mississippi, and demographic projections show the state growing collectively older as more Montanans enter their senior years. The economic, cultural, and personal impacts of that trend present the state and its residents with new challenges and, with … Read Article

Graying Pains
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People have been parsing the human lifespan into a taxonomy of ages forever. Aristotle proposed three categories: youthful, prime of life, and elderly. Two thousand years later, Shakespeare’s Seven Ages of Man carved human chronology into seven slices, with the body’s final frailty circling … Read Article

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Since 2013, Jon Bennion of Clancy has served as Montana’s deputy attorney general under Tim Fox, overseeing the Legal Services Division. Now, he’s aiming to become the state’s top law enforcement official; a year ago, he announced his bid for attorney general. Read Article

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While the U.S. House and U.S. Senate have each passed a version of federal tax reform, with support divided along party lines, the legislation must still be revised to come to a consensus that both houses agree on. As the end of the year nears, that work continues, with a final vote expected… Read Article

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Jered Padmos, 2016 graduate of Jefferson High, is making his mark as a kicker for the Montana State University Bobcats. Read Article

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