State senator sued over failure to release public records

Fielder

A Washington, D.C., watchdog group filed suit Monday against Sen. Jennifer Fielder, R-Thompson Falls, over her failure to produce public records the group asked for more than a year ago.

The lawsuit, filed by the Campaign for Accountability in District Court in Helena, also names the Montana Legislative Services Division and asks the court to order Fielder and the state agency to release the public records in question. Continue Reading →

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Bills aim to diversify income for farmers, allow direct sales

Milk

HELENA — Montana farmers may soon face fewer regulations when it comes to diversifying their farm’s income if three bills in the Montana Legislature find enough support.

One bill, House Bill 325 would legalize the direct sale of raw milk. Another, House Bill 352, would allow farmers to sell food from their own kitchens and a third bill would give them less liability when their farmland is used for tourism purposes. Continue Reading →

Opinion: Satire, though often misunderstood, will be missed

Goodbye to all that.

A bit over a year ago, I wrote a satirical piece for Last Best News about Donald Trump’s idea of building a wall along our border with Mexico. I suggested that what we really needed was a wall between us and Canada. At the time, Ed Kemmick and I had a conversation about whether readers might actually take this as a serious proposal. Satire isn’t always understood by everyone, as I knew from experience. Over 40 years ago, the first piece of satire I ever had published was in a Catholic family magazine. Continue Reading →

Billings native throws himself into art of Norwegian carving

DSCF0901

Walking down the steps to Greg Aldrich’s basement workshop, one enters a kind of wonderland filled with ornate and elegant Norwegian woodcarvings and countless tools. The air is scented from the piles of basswood ready to be carved into beautiful pieces.

A group of woodcarvers studying under Aldrich gather around their works in progress—small, decorative, oval containers known in Norway as tine (pronounced tee-nah) boxes. Aldrich sits quietly in a chair, watching their progress intently. Aldrich, born and raised in Billings, started practicing the craft only 10 years ago. Continue Reading →

Opinion: Protecting outdoor heritage is a job for all of us

River

I looked at the fishing pole he handed me. He looked so excited when he placed it in my lap. It was my birthday. My mind was swimming. I came from a family where fishing was done one week of the year when we vacationed on a lake in Wisconsin.

Looking at the rod, I tried to act excited but I had so many questions. He loved to give gifts but this was far different from the usual. Suddenly, I spotted the shiny band and bit of a glitter in the middle of the rod. Continue Reading →

Parents’ chilling story brings reality of racism home

Bigotry

The ACLU of Montana’s new indigenous justice outreach coordinator was the main speaker at a forum in Billings Thursday night, but it was a couple from Pryor whose chilling story captivated those in attendance.

Meg Singer, a member of the Navajo Nation who earned a degree in Native American studies from Montana State University Bozeman, was hired for the new American Civil Liberties Union position last September. Continue Reading →