Regional News

Updated 4:10 pm

In Lolo tonight, there’s a public meeting at Lolo Elementary at 7 p.m. about the Lolo Peak fire. Another meeting on the fire is scheduled for the same time Tuesday at Stevensville High School.

Today fire managers in Lewis and Clark County said firefighters and a helicopter responded to a new fire ten miles northeast of Lincoln in the Alice Creek drainage. It is estimated at 15 acres in size, with zero percent containment.

A group of 25 college students from Iraq is visiting Missoula. They arrived on July 10,  just as Iraqi forces were reclaiming the city of Mosul from Islamic State, also known as ISIS.

The students are part of an exchange of Iraqi Young Leaders arranged by the U.S. State Department and the University of Montana with a focus on international peace building.

Montana’s Office of Public Instruction is unsure if its new draft plan to raise student achievement will comply with federal law.

State education leaders are required to submit a plan to the U.S. Department of Education in September, as part of the 2015 Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA, which is the federal replacement for No Child Left Behind. 

The federal government has activated a large military airtanker to assist with wildfire suppression efforts in the West. Ken Palmrose is a public information officer with the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise.

"Right now it’s going to be stationed at Fresno, California and it will probably be working there in California starting tomorrow," says Ken Palmrose, a public information officer with the Fire Center.

As of 8 p.m. Friday, July 21, evacuations have been ordered for residents in the entire area north of Highway 200 from the Petroleum County Line and West of Edwards Road, due to the threat from the Lodgepole Complex fires. 

The evacuation area includes: Big Bart Coulee, Haley Coulee, Benzien School Area, Benzien Road all the way to Steve Forks Road, and Battle Coulee Area.

The Red Cross has set up an evacuation shelter at the VFW Hall in Jordan. 

Montana’s K-through-12 schools could face millions of dollars in cuts next month if state revenues don’t improve. The state Office of Public Instruction warned education groups and teachers’ unions about the possible hit to the agency’s budget during a meeting Thursday afternoon.

This story was updated at 3:30pm.

Trenton Johnson was on just his second assignment for Oregon-based Grayback Forestry when he was struck by a falling tree.

As the nation faces an epidemic of opioid drug abuse after a decade of aggressively prescribing narcotics , Montana doctors are becoming more cautious about giving painkillers to chronic pain patients.

It’s changing some patients ability to get treatment and what is considered compassionate care for chronic pain.

Doctors in Montana are cutting down on the amount of painkillers they’re prescribing in response to the nationwide epidemic of opioid abuse, and that’s having some unintended consequences.