YPRnews

By United States Fish and Wildlife Service [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Montana officials are moving ahead toward finalizing its rules for the state’s medical marijuana industry despite the cloud of uncertainty raised after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded an Obama Administration memo that kept federal prosecutors from pursuing marijuana cases in states where pot is legal.

Lawmakers were given an update on on the Montana Medical Marijuana Act during a meeting of Children, Families, Health and Human Services Interim Committee hearing at the state Capitol.


Senator Steve Daines hosting a tele-town hall on Tuesday, January 16th
Senator Steve Daines / Facebook

As Congressional Democrats and Republicans continue to fight over the fate of undocumented immigrants in the DACA program, the federal government is barreling towards a shutdown Friday.

Yellowstone Public Radio’s Nate Hegyi sat down with Montana’s Republican Senator, Steve Daines, to talk about the potential for a shutdown, his legislative goals in 2018 and President Trump’s salty language.

Nate Hegyi / YPR

Montana Democratic Senator Jon Tester wants immigration officials to tell Congress when they eavesdrop on cell phone conversations. His proposal is part of the Department of Homeland Security’s 2018 budget, which is still under consideration in Congress. 

Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development

The fund Montana lawmakers approved during the 2017 Legislature to accept donations to purchase easements to landlocked public land has reached just over $50,000, according to the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation. State officials are working to grow that fund so they can ink the first agreement later this year. 


courtesy of Eric Ward

There are specific words, tactics and tools individuals can can use to diffuse racist or bigoted speech, says civil rights strategist and organizer Eric Ward, executive director of Western States Center

Ward is the featured guest at two Martin Luther King, Junior Events in Montana, sponsored by the Montana Human Rights Network. 

Public Domain

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says the Canada lynx may have recovered to the point where it could be delisted as a threatened species.

The elusive cat was listed as threatened nearly 20 years ago. But since then, Jennifer Strickland with the Fish and Wildlife Service says the federal government has done a good job of protecting and expanding Lynx-friendly habitat.

A large painting called Many Blessing greets visitors as they enter the  Ryniker-Morrison Gallery at Rocky Mountain College. The 7 to 8 foot canvas is a collaborative father/daughter effort and serves as the gateway of a new exhibit featuring Kevin and Sunny Sky Red Star.


Nate Hegyi / YPR

President Trump and members of Congress are trying to strike a deal over border security and the fate of undocumented immigrants under the DACA program. But on Wednesday a judge put a temporary hold on Trump’s plan to end DACA in March.

The president met with a bipartisan group of lawmakers before the ruling this week, including Montana Democratic Senator Jon Tester.  He spoke with Yellowstone Public Radio’s Nate Hegyi after the meeting about border walls, weed, and his top priorities for 2018.

Nate Hegyi / YPR

When low-income people need help getting food stamps, Medicaid and other benefits, they often go to Montana’s public assistance offices. But at the end of this month, more than half of these offices will permanently close because of state budget cuts. This includes one in Livingston, which serves more than 300 people every month.

Dark Sevier, Flickr at https://goo.gl/dqGgLN

State Senator Jen Gross of Billings wants participants at this year's Women's March to leave the event with mission. She says the lack of a "call to action" was a missed opportunity at the inaugural gathering last year at the state Capitol in Helena. In conversation with YPR's Jackie Yamanaka, Gross says she wants to channel the energy and enthusiasm people have after the event into action for change.


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