Beau Baker

Beau is UM School of Journalism reporter. He reads the news on Montana Public Radio two nights a week.

Wearing safety goggles and a hard hat, Sylvianne Wright, a Missoula high school student, is racing to pound nails into a beam in the main woodshop of Missoula College’s Department of Industrial Technology.

Wright, who goes to Willard Alternative High School, is part of a Missoula YWCA program called GRIT, or Girls Representing In Trades.

The Alberta-based livestock company Friesen Foods is proposing a 3,000 acre slaughterhouse and food processing facility outside of Great Falls.

Preliminary plans for the state’s largest slaughterhouse and meat processing plant are being laid in Cascade county.

Friesen Foods, an Alberta, Canada-based company, has purchased 3,018 acres of undeveloped farmland east of Great Falls to build the Madison Food Park complex, which Friesen says will employ 3,000 people and export thousands of tons of meat to consumer markets throughout North America.

The University of Montana announced today that it will try to cut excess personnel through a voluntary severance strategy.

The University of Montana announced it has received a major gift from the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation to expand the college of education and human sciences.

Montana’s medical marijuana providers have to start paying taxes on their product this month.

Updated 6:40 p.m.

Flathead Valley schools will remain closed tomorrow due to an ongoing investigation into unspecified threats.

Just after 6 p.m. tonight Kalispell Superintendent Mark Flatau said all schools in the Flathead Valley will remain closed. That includes private schools.

Forecasters are predicting a couple more relatively calm days on the Lolo Peak Fire southwest of Missoula. This after firefighters and communities from Lolo south to Florence faced their most severe test when the fire grew explosively Friday night, eating up 9,000 acres in a single day.

We’ll have more on what firefighters are expecting in a moment, but for now, let’s go back to Friday night when MTPR’s Beau Baker was reporting from the junction of Highways 12 and 93.

Yellowstone National Park has decided to convert part of its bison trap into a temporary brucellosis quarantine facility. 

The federal government has activated a large military airtanker to assist with wildfire suppression efforts in the West. Ken Palmrose is a public information officer with the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise.

"Right now it’s going to be stationed at Fresno, California and it will probably be working there in California starting tomorrow," says Ken Palmrose, a public information officer with the Fire Center.

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