Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez / MSU

An international team of scientists is a step closer to producing higher protein, better quality wheat and barley.   That’s a potential boon for Montana’s beleaguered farmers, hit by commodity prices so low in recent years many are wondering how they’re going to survive.

It all starts with Dr. Hikmet Budak, Montana State University’s first Plant Sciences Endowed Chair.  His endowed chair is the highest academic award a university can bestow on a faculty member.

 

Clint Peck lives with the mantra of, “Don’t say whoa in the middle of a mud hole.” Peck left cattle ranching to make wine, fermenting the dream at his Yellowstone Cellars and Winery in Billings, Mont. Tucked in a small industrial space on the West End of town, the winery will produce about 3,400 cases of wine this year.

Jackie Yamanaka

The Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Association unanimously endorsed Governor Steve Bullock during its quarterly meeting in Billings. 

Fort Belknap Tribal Chairman Mark Azure says the endorsement comes because of the Bullock Administration’s working relationship with the tribal governments.

“And we want to be recognized as a sovereign nation,” Azure says. “And I think governor Bullock gets that. My fear is the other folks don’t get that. I don’t think we here at the table can afford to see that other party fill those seats.”

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Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton said some things that were flat out untrue — or misleading — in the first presidential debate Monday night. (Check out NPR's comprehensive fact check here.)

A panel of judges Tuesday is hearing a case that could change the future of the power industry.

The D.C. Circuit is hearing an appeal of the Clean Power Plan, an Obama administration rule that would restrict carbon emissions from coal- and gas-fired power plants.

When billionaire tech entrepreneur Elon Musk lays out his vision for colonizing Mars, what should viewers and listeners expect?

"I think it's going to sound pretty crazy, so it should be at least entertaining," suggested one well-placed source ... Musk himself.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Fidel Castro and his rag-tag band of fighters assembled on the shores of Mexico, stealthily navigated their overcrowded boat to southeastern Cuba, and unleashed a 1956 insurgency that rocked all of Latin America. That temblor lasted 60 years and ended, more or less, on Monday.

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Debate over transferring federal public lands to state ownership or management has largely dominated Montana’s U.S. House race between the main party candidates.

Across the country, some state lawmakers and members of Congress are pushing to transfer federal lands to state ownership or control, a movement that has gained traction and created some controversy.

Incumbent Republican Ryan Zinke and challenger Democrat Denise Juneau both say their stances on these issues are clear.

“I have always been a strong supporter of public lands and have voted against the transfer or sale of public lands," Zinke says. "My position is known and well established.”

Denise Juneau says, “I remain 100 percent opposed to any transfer of management or selling of American public lands.”

The candidates have sparred over whether votes Zinke has taken in Congress, or Juneau on the state’s land board, are consistent with those statements.

Less talked about, though, is one case where the management of nearly 19,000 federally-managed acres in Northwest Montana could change hands.

Evening Newscast 09-26-16

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Government investigators are due in Yellowstone National Park tomorrow to look into an employee's claims of sexual exploitation of female workers, and financial misconduct.

U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell says his agency is depending on partnerships with states and private organizations to manage 60 million acres in need of restoration because of staff and budget cuts.

Authorities say a man lured two women into a Montana-based sex trafficking scheme, and had just recruited three teenage girls from the Midwest before he was arrested.

A charitable foundation has established a major endowment with the University of Montana.

The Haynes Foundation has provided scholarship funds to UM before, but Monday's announcement of a $4 million permanent endowment is particularly significant.