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Making Ends Meet
This occasional series of news reporting, call-in programs, and town hall meetings explores Montanans' ability to make ends meet. > YPR News Desk

YPR News Desk
Jackie Yamanaka, News Director

E-mail Jackie Yamanaka to submit a Press Release or otherwise contact the YPR News Department

YPR is part of a multi-station public radio reporting project looking at the issue of transportation. Funding for the Transportation Nation project comes from the Rockefeller Foundation.

Capitol Connections 2013

YPR News Audio Archive
YPR maintains an archive of News Director Jackie Yamanaka's recent stories.

mp3 logoKeystone X-L/TransCanada
aired April 3, 2014
One of the controversial projects being discussed at an energy industry conference and trade show in Billings is the proposed Keystone X-L pipeline. The Project is to transport crude from Canada's tar sand fields and the Bakken to refineries along the gulf coast. The topic kicked off Montana Energy 2014 on Tuesday. Yesterday Jackie Yamanaka sat down with a TransCanada official to talk about the proposed pipeline.

mp3 logoYellowstone Hall
aired April 8, 2014
MSU-Billings officials yesterday unveiled the architectural renderings of the new science building on campus. The state of the art facility, called Yellowstone Hall, will replace the current Science Building that was constructed in 1947. Jackie Yamanaka reports.
LINK: more information on Yellowstone Hall

MSUB Chancellor Rolf Groseth kicking off the official public fundraising event for Yellowstone Hall. The current Science Building was constructed in 1947. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.
Yellowstone Hall
MSUB junior and biology major Elizabeth Mullins (L) and MSUB Foundation President and CEO Chuck Wendt help reveal the architectural rendering of Yellowstone Hall. Both are part of the project's steering committee. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.


mp3 logoApollo Astronaut at Rocky
aired April 7, 2014
Apollo 7 astronaut Walter Cunningham says if politicians and educators want to inspire more students to take science, technology, engineering and mathematics courses, they should invest in space exploration. Cunningham told an aviation class at Rocky Mountain College no government program inspired more technological innovation than the U.S. Space program. Jackie Yamanaka reports.

Apollo 7
The crew of the first manned Apollo space mission, Apollo 7, stands on the deck of the NASA Motor Vessel Retriever after suiting up for water egress training in the Gulf of Mexico. Left to right, are astronauts Walter Cunningham, Donn F. Eisele, and Walter M. Schirra Jr. Photo courtesy of NASA
Walter Cunningham signs a quilt for injured Navy SEAL Bo Reichenback of Billings who was jured by an IED in Afghanistan in 2012. Cunningham spoke with students in Rocky Mountain College's aviation program on April 4, 2014. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.


mp3 logoMain Street MT Plan Released
aired April 4, 2014
Governor Steve Bullock and the co-chairs of his Main Street Montana Project released their business plan to grow the state's economy. The business plan was unveiled at events in Helena and Billings yesterday. Jackie Yamanaka reports.
LINKS: Main Street MT Project, Main Street MT Project Business Plan

Governor Steve Bullock talking with Karen Fagg, Vice President at DOWL HKM Engineering. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka
Main St MT
Co-chair of the Main Street Montana Project Bill Johnstone, chairman and CEO of Davidson Companies, talking about implementing the business plan. Governor Steve Bullock (R) and project co-chair Larry Simpkins, President of Washington Corporations (L) look on. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka


mp3 logoCrow Coal
aired April 3, 2014
The Crow Tribe is working to expand coal mining and renewable energy projects on its southeastern Montana reservation. This includes a proposed coal-to-liquid plant that also captures carbon. Tribal Chairman Darrin Old Coyote was one of the keynote speakers today at an energy industry-sponsored conference and trade show in Billings. Jackie Yamanaka reports.

mp3 logoEnergy Opportunities and Challenges
aired April 2, 2014
Governor Steve Bullock says Montana is facing significant energy opportunities. He says there are consequences of that boom. Bullock was one of the keynote speakers today at an energy industry-sponsored conference and trade show in Billings. As Jackie Yamanaka reports, Bullock and author/journalist Robert Bryce both advocate a mix of fossil and renewable energy development.

mp3 logoMetraPark Changes
aired April 2, 2014
Policy changes are coming for Montana's largest trade show and entertainment venue. In an effort to help pay for the cost of attracting bigger and better events to MetraPark, it will cost a dollar more for beer. Jackie Yamanaka explains.

mp3 logoMT Energy Forum: Keystone XL
aired April 1, 2014
A retired rear admiral with the U.S. Navy says energy independence and the increase in domestic production gives the United States more options and flexibility. Donald Loren told a crowd in Billings today the proposed Keystone XL pipeline also plays a role in energy security. Jackie Yamanaka reports.

Retired rear Admiral with the US Navy Donald Loren speaking at a Montana Energy Forum luncheon at MetraPark in Billings The event was part of the Montana Energy 2014 event and trade show highlighting the region's energy sector. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka


mp3 logoEqual Pay Summit
aired March 28, 2014
The Governor’s Equal Pay Summit convenes next week in Bozeman to continue the discussion on how to close Montana’s wage gap between men and women. Author and activist Lilly Ledbetter will kick off the summit with a public speech Monday evening. She’s the namesake of the federal act that addresses pay equality. Jackie Yamanaka has more.
LINKS: Montana Equal Pay Equal Work Task Force, Lilly Ledbetter at MSU

mp3 logoYellowstone County / Sherrif's Deputies Contract Dispute
aired March 26, 2014
A Fact-finder is expected to return to Billings next month or in May to mediate a contract dispute between Yellowstone County and its sheriff's deputies. The Yellowstone County Commission voted unanimously yesterday to bring back Sara Adler of Los Angeles. As Jackie Yamanaka reports, both sides continue to say they're close to resolving their differences.

mp3 logoPrice Bundling at Billings Hospitals
aired March 25, 2014
The two hospitals in Billings are participating in a Medicare demonstration project that seeks to improve the quality of patient care and control costs. As Jackie Yamanaka reports, it's called price bundling.

mp3 logoACA Deadline
aired March 21, 2014
The deadline is approaching fast to enroll for health insurance coverage that becomes effective this year under the federal Affordable Care Act. Jackie Yamanaka reports.
LINKS: Questions about Montana's Insurance Marketplace under the ACA?
How to find a navigator in MT
Questions about Wyoming's Insurance Marketplace under the ACA?
How to find a navigator in WY
Still can't find a navigator?
To enroll in the federal ACA marketplace

mp3 logoLockwood Safety Levy
aired March 19, 2014
Lockwood is moving another step closer to having sidewalks, trails, and street lighting installed in the community just east of Billings. The grassrots effort was prompted by the death last year of a 16 year-old boy who was struck while walking on one of Lockwood's streets. As Jackie Yamanaka reports, Yellowstone County Commissioners appointed four people to the advisory board for the Lockwood Safety District. YPR is part of a multi-station public radio reporting project looking at the issue of transportation. Funding for the Transportation Nation project comes from the Rockefeller Foundation.

mp3 logoFlood Damage
aired March 18, 2014
Disaster and Emergency officials in Montana are asking individuals and businesses to provide them information about damages from the recent flood event caused by rapidly melting snow and ice jams on area rivers and streams. As Jackie Yamanaka reports, the information will be gathered across the state to see if the damages were severe enough to warrant a request for federal assistance.
LINKS: Residential Flood Damage Form, Business Flood Damage Form
Call the DES office at 256-2775 to request a hard copy of the form

mp3 logoYellowstone County Deputies Reject Contract
aired March 18, 2014
Yellowstone County sheriff’s deputies rejected the county’s latest contract offer. That message was delivered to Yellowstone County Commissioners during their regular meeting today. As Jackie Yamanaka reports the union representing the deputies would like to continue and complete the fact-finding process that began earlier this year.

mp3 logoU.S. Interior Secretary in Bozeman
aired March 17, 2014
U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell says in this time of constraints on the availability of federal dollars the agency will need help from states, Indian tribes, and others to carry out its mission. Jewell spent last Friday and the weekend touring Montana with Senator Jon Tester. Jackie Yamanaka joined them Friday evening for a public forum in Bozeman and has this report.

U-S Interior Secretary Sally Jewell (L) and Senator Jon Tester (L) answer questions during a public forum in Gaines Hall on the Montana State University Campus. The event was sponsored by the Wheeler Center. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.


mp3 logoRyan Zinke Campaign Office
aired March 10, 2014
U.S. House Candidate Ryan Zinke officially opened his statewide campaign office in Billings today. The Republican adds he is also relocating to Billings for the duration of his campaign. As Jackie Yamanaka reports, Zinke says one of his campaign goals is to heal the rift in the Republican party.

Republican U-S House candidate Ryan Zinke speaking at his statewide campaign headquarters in downtown Billings. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka


mp3 logoBillings Clinic ExpressCare Opens in Blgs. Heights
aired March 5, 2014
The second Billings Clinic Express Care location opened to patients today at an Albertsons in the Heights. This clinic provides quick primary care services for mostly minor medical issues. As Jackie Yamanaka reports, officials say the goal of these retail clinics is to provide more convenience and access for patients.
LINKS: ExpressCare, ExpressCare App

Physician Assistant Jodee Etchart standing at the entrance of the new clinic. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.
Mike Follett, Executive Director of Business and Community Development at Billings Clinic, welcoming the opening of the 2nd ExpressCare clinic at the Albertsons at 607 Main Street in Billings Heights. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.


mp3 logoSVO Roundup
aired March 4, 2014
State Attorney General Tim Fox says state and local law enforcement officials recently wrapped up the largest round up of noncompliant sexual or violent offenders in Montana history. The roundup took place last week in Yellowstone county and brought 95 offenders into compliance. They were among over 200 that had failed to return their address verification letters to law enforcement officials.
LINKS: Montana Department of Criminal Investigation Sexual or Violent Offender Registry

mp3 logoLewis Campaign/Meals on Wheels
aired March 3, 2014
Democratic U.S. House Candidate John Lewis launched his tour around Montana starting in Billings. It will end in Helena later this week when he is to officially file for office. Jackie Yamanaka caught up with Lewis in the kitchen at the Adult Resource Alliance of Yellowstone County and has this report.
LINKS: Adult Resource Alliance of Yellowstone County Meals on Wheels, Adult Resource Alliance of Yellowstone County on Facebook, Montana candidate filing list at the Secretary of State's Office, Montanans for Lewis Campaign site

Participating restaurants for the "March for Meals" campaign in Billings to end hunger among seniors. To participate, diners must tell their servers they want a portion of their bill donated to "Meals on Wheels":
March 3, 2014 – The Vig
March 4, 2014 – Fuddruckers (all day at the West end location)
March 9, 2014 – Ten at the Northern
March 11, 2014 – The Rex
March 17, 2014 – Walker's
March 24, 2014 - Hooligans

Democratic U-S House Candidate John Lewis talking with Jamie Carpenter, Meals on Wheels coordinator, in the kitchen at the Adult Resource Alliance of Yellowstone County. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.


mp3 logoMT Delegation: Firefighting Costs
aired March 3, 2014
The Democratic members of Montana's congressional delegation support a change in the way most catastrophic wildland fires are paid for. President Barack Obama recently told some western governors that his budget will include their proposal to pay for the largest fires out of a special disaster account. Jackie Yamanaka reports.

mp3 logoMT's New Lt. Gov.
aired February 19, 2014
Angela McLean has been Montana’s new Lieutenant Governor for about a week and a half. Shortly after taking office, she hit the road for visits to Great Falls, Missoula and now Billings. Jackie Yamanaka sat down with McLean during her visit to talk about taking on this new role: Lieutenant Governor.
LINK: Angela McLean's Biography

Governor Steve Bullock joins Angela McLean at her classroom at Anaconda High Schools for the official announcement that McLean is Montana's new lieutenant governor. Photo from the governor's office.


mp3 logoProtested Taxes Distributed
aired February 19 2014
Yellowstone County presented checks to three social service agencies and the Billings Public Library during its regularly scheduled meeting. The money comes from the recent settlement of a four-year tax protest by CHS and its refinery in Laurel. Jackie Yamanaka reports.

mp3 logoIndoor Football/Billings Wolves
aired February 18, 2014
Indoor football is a step closer to a return to Billings. The Indoor Football League recently unanimously approved adding the Billings Wolves to its squads. Representatives from the team and the IFL are scheduled to talk about the league’s newest team at a press conference tomorrow afternoon at the Lexington Inn. But as Jackie Yamanaka reports, before the Wolves officially return, they need to sign their contract with Yellowstone County and pay a deposit.
LINKS: Billings Wolves team website, Billings Wolves on Facebook

mp3 logoCode Montana Success
aired February 17, 2014
A statewide program that teaches high school students computer programming has surpassed one thousand students in its first five months. Now one of the co-founders of Code Montana hopes to increase participation to five thousand students. Jackie Yamanaka reports.
LINKS: Code Montana, Montana Programmers, Montana Web Designers and Developers Association

mp3 logoAG Fox on 24/7 Sobriety Program Ruling
aired February 13, 2014
State Attorney General Tim Fox says Montana’s 24-7 Sobriety Program remains up and running despite a recent state district court decision that declared provisions of the state law unconstitutional. Jackie Yamanaka reports. YPR is part of a multi-station public radio reporting project looking at the issue of transportation. Funding for the Transportation Nation project comes from the Rockefeller Foundation.
DOCUMENT: Ruling from the 19th Judicial District on the matter of Robert Spady and the state's appeal

mp3 logoSen. Tester Chairman of Senate Indian Affairs Committee
aired February 13, 2014
Montana Senator Jon Tester is the new chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. There's been a shuffling of chairmanships with the exit of former Montana Senator Max Baucus, who had chaired the Senate Finance Committee. Baucus is now the U.S. Ambassador to China. Jackie Yamanaka talked to Tester about his goals for the Indian Affairs Committee.

mp3 logoGov. Bullock: Lt. Governor Choice
aired February 11, 2014
The newly selected lieutenant governor began her duties today at the Capitol. Governor Steve Bullock formally named Board of Regents Chair Angela McLean yesterday as his pick to replace John Walsh. Bullock named Walsh last Friday to fill the remaining term of U-S Senator Max Baucus who was confirmed as U-S Ambassador to China. Bullock was in Billings to speak to the Montana Association of Counties mid-winter meeting. Afterwards he sat down with Jackie Yamanaka to talk about his recent appointments.
LINK: MT Boards and Councils, Application and/or Nomination Form for MT State Board or Council

mp3 logoGov. Bullock Senate Appointment
aired February 7, 2014
Governor Steve Bullock appointed his Lieutenant Governor to fill the U.S. Senate seat formerly held by Max Baucus. Baucuc resigned to become the next U.S. Ambassador to China. Bullock made the announcement this morning at the Capitol. Jackie Yamanaka reports.

mp3 logoMSUB Chancellor Search
aired February 5, 2014
The president of Montana State University officially kicked off the search for a new chancellor for MSU Billings. Waded Cruzado sat down yesterday for the first time with the 18-member search committee. She charged the panel to deliver to her between three to five candidates to replace retiring chancellor Rolf Groseth. Jackie Yamanaka reports.

mp3 logoEntrepreneurship
aired February 5, 2014
Growing Montana's economy is more than trying to lure other companies to relocate to the state. Rather it will be home-grown entrepreneurship. That's according to the Bozeman-based founder of several high-tech companies. Jackie Yamanaka has more from the keynote speaker at this year's Economic Outlook Seminar sponsored by the Bureau of Business and Economic Research.
LINKS: Better Montana Jobs, Bozeman Technology Incubator, Bootstrap Montana, Code Montana, Ace Scholarships in Montana

mp3 logoLockwood Safety Vote
aired January 29, 2014
A 16-year old boy who was struck and later died on one of Lockwood’s busy streets has become the face of a campaign to make roads in this safer for pedestrians and bicyclists. Voters will receive their ballots late next week on a proposal to add pathways and street lights on some of the arterial streets in this community just east of Billings. Jackie Yamanaka reports. YPR is part of a multi-station public radio reporting project looking at the issue of transportation. Funding for the Transportation Nation project comes from the Rockefeller Foundation.

LINK: "Do It For Dustin" on Facebook

Nic Talmark, chairman of Friends of Dustin Freese, describes the door-to-door campaign effort taking place in Lockwood. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.
Stefeni Freese (right) watches as volunteers get their assignments before heading out to canvas neighborhoods in preparation for the upcoming Safer Streets for Lockwood Election. Ballots for this mail election are due back to the Yellowstone County Courthouse February 25, 2014. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.


mp3 logoPoultry Processor
aired January 28, 2014
Soon poultry growers will be able to have their birds slaughtered and processed at a Montana facility. As Jackie Yamanaka reports, a businesswoman in Wilsall is the first person to be issued a small enterprise exemption license from the Montana Department of Livestock.
Montana Natural Poultry can be reached at 406-578-2366
LINK: MT Department of Livestock Meat and Poultry Inspection

mp3 logoGovernor Tours New Billings Library
aired January 27, 2014
The new Billings Public Library will hold its public dedication ceremony Saturday. Governor Steve Bullock spent part of his day touring the new building with Billings City officials. Jackie Yamanaka reports.
LINKS: Billings Public Library, Billings Public Library Dedication schedule

Billings Mayor Tom Hanel (L), Governor Steve Bullock (C), and Billings Library Director Bill Cochran in the adult section, upstairs. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.
Story Tower
Billings Mayor Tom Hanel (L), Billings, Library Director Bill Cochran, and Governor Steve Bullock looking up at the 42-foot high ceiling of the Story Tower for children. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.


mp3 logoCommunity Health Needs Assessment
aired January 21, 2014
Health Insurance remains out of reach for many residents in Yellowstone County. That was the finding of the latest Community Health Needs Assessment survey. The survey also found most adults questioned had a “fair” or “poor” understanding of the new federal law requiring all citizens to have insurance. As Jackie Yamanaka reports the report ties many health outcomes to income.
PDF DOCUMENTS: 2014 CHNA document, CHNA Survey Summary

mp3 logoMLK Day & Power of One Week
aired January 21, 2014
Change starts with one person. That’s the message from Martin Luther King Junior. The “Power of One” is also the message to students at MSU-Billingsand the larger community during this week of reflection and action in honor of the late civil rights leader. The events kicked off yesterday with a bell ringing ceremony and the first of several guest speakers. Jackie Yamanaka reports.
LINK: Power of One Week Schedule of Events

Bell Ringing
Rev. Dr. Gerald Durley's delivering a prayer before the bell ringing ceremony at Peaks to Plains Park at MSU-Billings. Photos by Jackie Yamanaka.
Rev. Dr. Gerald Durley greeting attendees at the Student Union Building
A close-up of the medal worn by Rev. Dr. Gerald Durley. The "I Have A Dream" medal was given to Durley by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and 27 others


mp3 logoSenator Tester at Billings Food Bank
aired January 20, 2014
Negotiations appear to be winding down in Congress on the long-delayed Farm Bill. And while the debate over cuts to the food assistance program appear to be settled, Montana Senator Jon Tester wanted to find out how the proposed reductions might impact low-income Montanans and what effect, if any, it might have on local food banks. Jackie Yamanaka joined Tester as he toured the Billings Food Bank.

Billings Food Bank CEO Sheryle Shandy, right, gives Senator Jon Tester a tour of the facility. This includes the food warehouse, distribution room, and the Fortin Culinary Center that prepares students for careers in a commercial kitchen. Photo by Jackie Yamanaka.


mp3 logoMetraPark's Marketing Director Retires
aired January 16, 2014
The long-time director of marketing for MetraPark retired at the end of last year. Today, her colleagues thanked Sandra Hawke with a party at MetraPark. This anchor of the Billings community hosts numerous events, including: MontanaFair, concerts, rodeos, trade shows, and conventions. MetraPark officials have said some years this venue bring in over 100-million dollars a year to Billings community. Jackie Yamanaka has more on the legacy of one employee who’s been at the center of that success.

Friends embrace Sandra Hawke, MetraPark's Marketing Director for the past 25 years, at her retirement party at MetraPark's Montana Pavilion. photo by Jackie Yamanaka


mp3 logoNewest Justice of the Peace
aired Jan. 1, 2014
David Carter is Yellowstone County's newest Justice of the Peace. The former deputy county attorney was sworn into office yesterday. A few hours later he assumed the waiting Justice Court caseload from his predecessor.

More News Archive

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