Eric Whitney

Eric Whitney is the news director for Montana Public Radio.

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Three years after Congress created the Veterans Choice healthcare program, it continues to flounder.

Here’s Montana Senator Jon Tester, who helped create Veterans Choice:

Senator Jon Tester asked for an opportunity to speak to Montana Public Radio listeners. In this interview we ask him about investigations into the Trump administration's contacts with Russia, his takeaways from President Trump's address to Congress Tuesday, and his thoughts on the May special election and his re-election campaign in 2018. 

Republican candidate Greg Gianforte says he has secured enough of his party's delegates to win its nomination for the special U.S. House election in May. But State Senator Ed Buttery says he thinks Gianforte is wrong. Buttrey is also vying for the GOP nomination.

The party holds its nominating convention this Monday, March 6 in Helena. The election to fill the seat vacated by now-Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is May 25.

Now that May 25 has been set as the date for Montana's special election to fill the seat Ryan Zinke vacated in the U.S. House of Representatives, the next step is picking candidates.

The special election to fill Montana’s lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives will be held May 25.

Governor Steve Bullock made that announcement this morning just minutes after Ryan Zinke resigned the seat. Zinke's resignation came soon after the U.S. Senate confirmed him to be secretary of the Interior department.

The U.S. Senate moved Congressman Ryan Zinke one step closer to becoming secretary of interior in President Trump's administration.

On Monday the Bozeman Daily Chronicle's Michael Wright reported that more than 570 Yellowstone National Park bison have been killed so far this winter. The Park is trying to reduce the size of its bison herd from an estimated 5,500 animals to about 3,000.

The annual slaughter happens as part of compromise between the Park Service and State of Montana, which says bison numbers need to be controlled to prevent the spread of the disease brucellosis to cattle. It's controversial, and there is an alternative.

Joining us now to talk about it is Amy Martin, who spent the last year reporting on bison for her podcast: Threshold.

Two Republican state lawmakers from Hamilton are asking for $5.5 million to expand a healthcare program.

The sponsor of a bill that would mandate limits on opioid prescriptions in Montana now says he’s willing to abandon that idea at the request of physicians in the state.

Montana’s U.S. Senators were quick to issue statements on President Trump’s nomination of Neil Gorsuch to be a Supreme Court justice about an hour ago. Both Senators will vote on Gorsuch's confirmation.

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