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Montana State Prison has new warden


A veteran of the Nevada Department of Corrections has been hired as the new warden of Montana State Prison. Montana Department of Corrections Interim Director Loraine Wodnik announced Thursday that Michael Fletcher, whose most recent job was superintending a maximum-security juvenile detention facility in Nevada, will replace Warden Leroy Kirkegard. Kirkegard, warden for the past five years, is retiring on April 14. (more…) Continue Reading →

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History grants go to Adams Hotel, other projects


The Montana History Foundation announced the awarding of grants totaling $117,000 on Wednesday. “Our grant recipients are new and unique every year,” MHF President and CEO Charlene Porsild said in a press release. “We are so proud to support projects from Libby to Ekalaka and all points in between this year ranging from interpretive signage of outdoor exhibits to curation of dinosaur fossils to restoration work on a log cabin or an historic hotel.” (more…) Continue Reading →

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Partners team up to provide transportation for veterans


An effort to provide a van to help transport veterans to equine therapy at Intermountain Equestrian Center west of Billings recently received a boost from several foundations, two local businesses and the Billings School District 2 Career Center. The first meeting of collaborators working to provide transportation for veterans to and from the Intermountain Equestrian Center took place in November. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Industry groups, states challenge flaring restrictions


The Courthouse News Service is reporting that Montana and Wyoming, as well as two energy trade groups, are suing the federal government over new restrictions on the release of natural gas at oil and gas well sites. The separate lawsuits challenge the constitutionality of the Interior Department’s new Methane and Waste Prevention Rule, which restricts the venting, flaring and leaking of natural gas. The two industry groups filed their lawsuit on Nov. 15, and last Friday the attorneys general for Montana and Wyoming filed a joint lawsuit against the rule. The story also has links to both lawsuit. Continue Reading →

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Equine program for vets gets dual financial boost


An equine-therapy program that works with military veterans with disabilities has received two major grants to help expand the program in Montana. Horses Spirits Healing Inc., which operates from the Intermountain Equestrian Center, said in a press release that it will benefit from a $52,500 Veterans Administration grant and a $20,000 Montana Healthcare Foundation grant. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Yellowstone County has first case of Zika infection

RiverStone Health and the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services say they have identified the first case of Zika virus infection in Yellowstone County. Here is the whole story, via a press release from RiverStone Health:

This is the fourth reported case in Montana and was found in an adult male who had traveled to an affected area. In February, Missoula County reported the first travel-related case of Zika in Montana. As of July 27, there have been 1,658 confirmed cases of Zika in the United States. Nearly all cases were travel-related. Continue Reading →

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Longtime public servant, CIA man, Creath Tooley dies at 95


Editor’s note: Although Last Best News does not generally carry obituaries, we will when the individual was widely enough known or lived a life sufficiently crowded with adventure or public service. We believe Creath Tooley was one of those people. Creath Athol Tooley, a Cold Warrior who worked for peace in his mature years, was born in Jordan, Mont., on April 6, 1921, to Dr. Laurence Henderson Tooley and Oda Leah (Owen) Tooley. He died April 18, 2016. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Prairie Lights: LBN founder spills guts in rare interview


Editor’s note: In light of the many questions that have come in regarding the expansion of Last Best News, we asked the renowned but obscure one-time journalist Walter Ego to interview Ed Kemmick, the founder of Last Best News. Here, in place of Kemmick’s usual Prairie Lights column, we offer an edited transcript of the interview. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Taste of Billings: 5 questions for Joanie Swords, Harper & Madison


The second annual Taste of Billings, featuring two nights of fine dining at the historic Billings Depot on Montana Avenue, is set for Friday and Saturday, Feb. 5 and 6. The Saturday night formal dinner will feature a seven-course meal, each plate paired with a wine. All proceeds will go to support the nonprofit Billings Depot. More information is available on the depot website. Continue Reading →

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