Amanda Merfeld

Production Assistant

Amanda is a Montana native with an eclectic work experience that includes firefighting and space shuttle recovery with the Forest Service, recycling with Ravalli Services, and coordinator for RSVP. She has also spent 3 years in South Korea as a journalist for the U.S. Army, focusing on print and photojournalism, and public relations.

Currently, she lives in Billings and majors in Public Relations with a minor in Political Science at MSU Billings. She started working part-time for YPR in March 2017 as part of MSU-B’s work-study program.

Yellowstone Public Radio is a natural fit for her, and she hopes to do very similar work after graduation. 

Kay Erickson

MontanaFair, the state’s largest, starts tomorrow, Friday, Aug. 11, in Billings, Montana.

For some, a big draw is the carnival, but a lot of attention is on ride safety since the tragedy last month in Ohio. Montana is one of five states that does not have an official ride inspector.

So who is responsible for ride safety in Montana?

Wyoming InciWeb

The Pole Creek Fire is estimated to be about 3,169 acres and only 5 percent contained. The fire was discovered last Friday and is fueled by heavy timber and grass.

An emergency area closure is in effect to allow firefighting resources to safely perform their job and provide for public safety. The closure includes all roads and trails as well as adjacent forest service lands from the southern boundary of the Bridger-Teton National Forest to just north of the fire perimeter.

Courtesy of Emma Kerr Carpenter

Just months after settling a lawsuit over a sexual assault case, U.S. immigration officials today in Billings detained, and plan to deport, a man who entered the U.S. illegally.

The father of eight moved to Montana 20 years ago, and had no problem with customs – until now.

(Flickr Creative Commons) (https://flic.kr/p/8whSKU)

Officials say nobody was injured and nothing was damaged as a result of the largest earthquake in the Helena area since 1935.

“After a strong shake like this, damage assessment is done immediately to determine if there are any problems, and in this case, we were fortunate enough to file none,” said Paul Spengler, the Lewis and Clark County Disaster and Emergency Services Coordinator.

[url=https://flic.kr/p/risMaC][img]https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8615/16606524482_df2613dabb_k.jpg[/img][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/risMaC]Globe[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/litratcher/]Wendy Cope[/url], on Flickr
Wendy Cope

The Assiniboine and Sioux tribes have filed a Title VI complaint against the Wolf Point school district.

This is the first time tribes have filed a complaint to the federal Departments of Justice and Education on their children’s behalf, based on school policy, in a school district that has a majority Native population.  

Marsy'slaw.us

The Montana Supreme Court delayed a voter-approved victim's rights law that was scheduled to take effect tomorrow.

According to the Associated Press, Marsy’s Law would give crime victims and their families the right to participate in judicial proceedings and be notified of key developments in a case. It would also expand their privacy rights.

Jackie Yamanaka

 

Members of Congress are home for their 4th of July recess without voting on the Republican’s health care proposal.

 

Senators Jon Tester, D-MT, and Steve Daines, R-MT, both held public forums over the past week to gather Montanans opinions on the issue.

Jackie Yamanaka

Patients who are recovering from ailments like a stroke, spinal cord injury, or traumatic brain injury will soon be able to continue their rehabilitation care closer to home.  Three health care entities announced yesterday they’re partnering to build and operate a rehabilitation hospital in Billings.

Annie E. Casey Foundation

More Montana children are covered by health insurance according to the latest KIDS COUNT profile. However, the current report has troubling data on child and teen death.

KIDS COUNT is a project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation that tracks the well-being of children in the United States. Jennifer Calder of Montana KIDS COUNT said the statistics for 2015 are grim.

Jennifer Strickland, USFWS

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke signed an order to review federal efforts to conserve imperiled sage grouse populations across 11 western states.

The action taken late yesterday. The order is meant to improve sage grouse conservation and collaboration between the federal government, states and local communities.  He told reporters during a conference call he has heard concern from some governors and residents that their suggestions are falling on deaf ears.

Pages