Jackie Yamanaka

Senior Political Reporter/Special Projects

Jackie Yamanaka has been news director at YPR since 1986.  From her home base in Billings, Jackie covers a wide range of issues across Montana and Wyoming. During the Montana Legislative session, she re-locates to the state Capitol in Helena where she has another office.

During her tenure she has won numerous journalism awards from Public Radio News Directors, Inc.; The Society of Professional Journalists, The Montana Broadcaster’s Association EB Craney Awards; The Montana Associated Press; and elsewhere.

Jackie received a degree in Mass Communications from Eastern Montana College (now Montana State University Billings).  She is secretary of the Montana Freedom of Information Hotline (http://www.montanafoi.org/) and a past board member of Public Radio News Directors, Inc.  When she’s not working she enjoys running and hiking with her dogs, fishing, shooting sporting clays, and playing tennis.

Ways to Connect

Dave Skinner, RANGE Magazine

Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte announced Phillips County Commissioner Lesley Robinson as his choice for lieutenant governor.

The Bozeman businessman says Robinson has the qualities he’s looking for in a running mate.

Gianforte says Robinson has a strong Montana work ethic. He adds as a rancher in northeastern Montana, Robinson is a fierce advocate for rural Montana and Montana’s number one industry.

“Agriculture needs a voice in Helena which it has sorely lacked,” Gianforte says.

Jackie Yamanaka

Billings Senior High School will soon award a varsity letter in Science.

Several school officials say the letter in science is the first of its kind in the state.

There are several components to earning that letter. “Part of that is tied to their grades, classes that they take, and their community involvement in STEM related things,” says Craig Beals, chemistry teacher and faculty advisor to the Senior High STEM Society.

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. 

Jackie Yamanaka

Democratic U-S House candidate Denise Juneau kicked off her jobs tour today in Billings.

Juneau is currently the state school superintendent. She made her announcement in front of Medicine Crow Middle School, which is under construction.

“What better place than a construction site that’s actually building infrastructure for the community where students can learn,” she says.

Juneau says education and workforce training will prepare the workers of tomorrow. She wants them to be able to earn a living wage and raise their families in Montana.

Jackie Yamanaka

200 elementary school children have signed up to learn more about energy and engineering tomorrow in Billings.

Industry representatives will be leading hands-on activities while members of Billings Senior High’s STEM Society will be there to mentor the K-through-6th graders.

“I’m giving up my Saturday because I have a younger sister and she got really excited when they started having these STEM Saturday’s,” says Junior Grace Ostermiller.

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

Jackie Yamanaka

           U-S Magistrate Carolyn Ostby was the first to welcome 25 people from 16 countries as new U.S. Citizens. Ostby presided over the naturalization ceremony at the James F. Battin Federal Courthouse in Billings, Montana.

She says while the new citizens swore to abandon all allegiance to the government of any foreign state or country, they don’t have to give up their love of the country or the people where they were born.

Jackie Yamanaka

Montana State University Billings is considering how best to spend a one-time injection of 760-thousand dollars.

Chancellor Mark Nook told a gathering of faculty and staff there will not be a spending spree. Rather, he says this money will be for recruiting and retaining students to MSUB and City College.

“Right now we’ve got to stay focused on how do we recruit students for the fall,” Nook says. Last Fall, MSUB saw a drop in enrollment for the fourth straight year. Because state funding depends full-time equivalent students, the campus took a financial hit.

Jackie Yamanaka

An art exhibition, readings, a jazz improvisation performance are just a few of the launching points meant to inspire contemplation and a community conversation about water.

Artist Sherri Cornett is the force behind the project titled “Flow.”

During her hikes around the region, she became inspired by water.

“Where I’ve taken time to sit down by the water and really take in the calming effects, thinking about, meditating about water,” she says.

NPS/Neal Herbert

Many of the natural sounds of Yellowstone National Park are available for on-line listening thanks to the work of audio producer Jennifer Jerrett.

Sunday is the deadline to enroll for health insurance coverage under the federal Affordable Care Act for this year.

Kim Gillan is the Region 8 director for the federal Department of Health and Human Services office in Denver.

She says people perhaps may be confused about the multiple sign-up deadlines, “But January 31st is the drop dead date for Open Enrollment 3.”

Gillan says if people miss this deadline they likely won’t be able to get insurance for 2016 and are subject to the federal penalties for failing to have health insurance.

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