Edward O'Brien

Edward O'Brien is Montana Public Radio's Associate News Director.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told Congress this week that American farmers are facing plenty of challenges and deep uncertainty.

“Our farm economy is down by about a 50-percent drop in net income from where it was in 2013 as you all were contemplating the ’14 Farm Bill" Perdue says. "We’ve got several members who – particularly younger farmers – have levered up in this situation where their revenue is not supporting their debt structure and they’re in some dire straits.” 

The Bitterroot National Forest is holding an open house this evening to get public input on a project aimed at reducing wildfire risk near Corvallis.

"We have mature stands of timber that are kind of reaching the end of their lifespan. They just need a little thinning to encourage additional growth or to reduce the risk of future insect and disease outbreaks and to improve their health and vitality,” says Gold Butterfly Project Team Leader Marilyn Wildey.

The U.S. Supreme Court Monday turned away challenges to open primaries in Hawaii and Montana.

Bozeman attorney Matthew Monforton, who served as a Republican Legislator in 2015, concedes this is the end of the line for Montanans who support closed primaries:

Montana beef producers say they can’t wait to regain access to the enormous Chinese market after a 13-year hiatus.

The Montana Stockgrowers Association’s Errol Rice says today’s announcement that China will resume U.S. beef imports by mid-July is great news:

The investigation continues into the shooting of a wolf that was popular with Yellowstone National Park tourists.

Yellowstone spokeswoman Morgan Warthin says hikers discovered the mortally wounded wolf on April 11:

The U.S. Senate could not muster enough votes Wednesday to undo rules designed to reduce methane pollution.

Senators voted 51-49 Wednesday against an attempt to eliminate an Obama-era rule to limit methane emissions from oil and gas production facilities on federal and tribal lands.

Montana’s senior U.S. senator is calling for a special investigator to look into collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

It’s a short school week for students at a Helena middle school that was damaged by a fire Monday afternoon.

Classes were canceled today at C.R. Anderson Middle School and won’t resume until Thursday at the earliest. 

Montana’s been without a permanent U.S. Attorney for almost two straight months. Back on March 10, President Donald Trump fired all 46 of the country’s remaining U.S. Attorneys who had been appointed by Barack Obama.

Montana’s Mike Cotter was one of them.

Courtesy Sen. Steve Daines
Courtesy Sen. Steve Daines

U.S. Justice Department data shows Native women are 10 times as likely to be murdered as other Americans. They’re four times as likely to be raped or sexually assaulted. Yellowstone Public Radio's Brie Ripley and Montana Public Radio's Edward O'Brien report. 

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