Corin Cates-Carney

Corin Cates-Carney is the Flathead Valley reporter for MTPR.

Corin has worked for NPR, and is a UM Journalism School Graduate.

Federal education officials have now weighed in on Montana’s plan to replace the No Child Left Behind law. Public educators here have been waiting on that since submitting the plan in September

More than 20 officials with Montana’s Office of Public Instruction gathered around a conference room table in Helena Wednesday to hear the federal Department of Education’s response to the state’s plan to comply with the Every Student Succeeds Act.

A new union that formed in response to state budget cuts is now charging their employer with unfair labor practices. Adult mental health caseworkers accuse a state contractor of not bargaining in good faith.

The union, which formed in September, filed an unfair labor practice complaint Friday with the National Labor Relations Board.

Montana’s largest public pension funds Monday reported greater than expected returns on investments this year. But moving forward, one of them isn’t expecting such high returns to continue.

Both the Public Employees Retirement System and the Teachers Retirement System saw investment returns slightly higher than the 7.75 percent their investment managers expected.

Montana wildlife managers have approved a special hunt to learn more about the prevalence of chronic wasting disease in south central Montana.  

The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission voted Thursday to allow the hunt that will begin December 15. Licenses will go on sale December 11.

Energy developers and utility companies met in the state Capitol Friday to discuss Montana’s energy future. As the energy market changes, and some lawmakers and customers demand less carbon emitting power, energy companies are looking at how renewable energy will grow in Montana.

More than a dozen major energy market players from around Montana and the West sat at a table in Helena Friday to explore the potential of renewable resources.

Regulators in Washington state have approved a major settlement with a utility that owns part of the Colstrip power plant. It includes $10 million to help Colstrip transition away from a coal driven economy.

Colstrip’s biggest champion in the Montana Legislature says has mixed feelings about the money.

Montana does not have widespread voter fraud in its elections system.

That’s according to Secretary of State Corey Stapleton, now that he’s reviewed data he requested from Montana’s Clerks and Recorders Association.

Montana is suing the pharmaceutical giant Purdue Pharma. Attorney General Tim Fox held a press conference today to announce a consumer protection lawsuit against the Connecticut-based company.

Fox says Montana is joining over a dozen other states in alleging Purdue Pharma holds some of the blame for the rise in abuse of opioid drugs across the nation. Drugs like Perdue’s painkiller Oxycontin.

As grizzly bears in and around Glacier National Park and the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem move closer to a possible delisting, a plan for management for the bears is nearing a final publication. A committee in charge of organizing grizzly bear recovery in the region met Wednesday in Missoula.

Bear managers say grizzlies in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem (NCDE), in and around Glacier National Park, are ready for federal protections to be lifted, which could allow a hunting season for the bear.

Montana’s secretary of state said Tuesday that he’s looked into whether there was election fraud during this May’s special election and hasn’t seen any evidence showing a coordinated effort to cast mismatched, or illegal, signatures on ballots.

Secretary of State Corey Stapleton raised the issue of potential voter fraud in August. At a meeting with state lawmakers, he said that just because it hasn’t happened in Montana before doesn’t mean it’s not happening now. 

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