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.

Montana’s Law Enforcement Academy, which trains every new cop in the state, is getting an upgrade over the next few years. Lawmakers approved $6 million, despite the tight budget year, to begin remodels in the academy for new officers.

Montana’s backlogged sexual assault evidence kits will undergo lab testing beginning this month. Last fall, the state got a $2 million federal grant to fund cataloging and testing of the unsubmitted so-called rape kits. 

Gas and diesel prices ticked up over the weekend as a new state tax went into effect. The new tax will increase every July 1 for the next six years, to fund maintenance on bridges and roads across the state.

Fire season is off to a slow start this year, but state officials say drought conditions in eastern Montana and rising temperatures across the state could change that.

Lawmakers will study prisoner solitary confinement and meth and opioid abuse during the legislative interim as they begin to shape new policy proposals for the 2019 session.

Democratic Senator Jon Tester held a digital town hall Tuesday night to answer questions about the Republican health care proposal awaiting action in the U.S. Senate.

The hour long Facebook live event came hours after Senate Republican leaders announced a delay on the vote for their long-awaited plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare”. 

Governors from the western U.S. converge on Whitefish this week for the annual Western Governors Association. Monday, they talked about international trade agreements between the U.S. and Canada. 

The round table discussion between 10 western governors, a Canadian ambassador, and the premier of Saskatchewan, began with a question about the ongoing softwood lumber trade dispute between the two countries.

Last Thursday the Interior Department announced that it’s removing Yellowstone-area grizzly bears from the endangered species list. It’s expected that grizzlies in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem (NCDE) will be de-listed in 2020.

For the first time in a lifetime, grizzly bears in the NCDE  have been roaming far east of the Rocky Mountains following drainages, streams and food into the tan waves of farmland stretching out from the forest edges of the Rocky Mountain Front.  

In the town of Valier, where about 500 people live along a lake an hour and a half drive from the mountains to the west, the community is still adjusting to living among grizzlies.

The governors of Montana and other western states are meeting Monday with Canadian leaders to talk about economic development between the two countries.

The meeting between state and provincial leaders comes as the U.S. and Canada are battling over softwood lumber trade.

Endangered Species Act protections for grizzly bears that have been in place for more than three decades are poised to be peeled back soon. This week state and federal land managers from the Rocky Mountain west are meeting talk about what that means for the future of grizzly bear management and recovery.

The Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee, or IGBC is spending three days in Choteau this week working on a five-year-plan to guide management of grizzlies as the bear’s population grows.

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