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'Capitol Talk': Will An Infrastructure Bill Make It Through The Legislature?

State revenue estimates have grown, but lawmakers are taking a cautious approach. Will the Legislature pass an infrastructure bill this session? A mail-voting hearing turns heated. And Sally and Chuck remember Bob Ream, on this episode of 'Capitol Talk.'

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Week Of High Expectations Stumbles To New Lows For Team Trump

This was to have been the week when President Trump turned his fledgling presidency around, setting a course for success and letting the wind fill its sails at last. Instead, it became his worst week to date, ending with the ship becalmed and its crew in disarray. After other controversies had spoiled the weather, the Republicans proved unable to muster the votes to pass their repeal-and-replace Obamacare bill in the House. The president and Speaker Paul Ryan had to call off the vote...

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MTPR Features

Ascaphus montanus tadpole.
(PD)

'Field Notes': The Tale Of Montana's Strangest Frog

Several decades back while working as a biologist in Oregon, I was picking rocks off the bottom of a rushing stream. While investigating the underlying aquatic insects, I encountered an odd animal. It was what appeared to be a tadpole stuck to the bottom of the rock! Assuming all frogs and tadpoles occur in swamps, not in high elevation rushing streams, I wondered what it was doing there.

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Live, Love, Cupcakes / creative commons

by Cara Chamberlain

The city embellishes
A chase of silver
Or realistically a pus of clouds

Where the moon charades
As blemish or scar
Above the grocery of insomniacs

The dark respiration working
Nighthawks culling tides and waves
Of a winged blight over the big box store

Ascaphus montanus tadpole.
(PD)

Several decades back while working as a biologist in Oregon, I was picking rocks off the bottom of a rushing stream. While investigating the underlying aquatic insects, I encountered an odd animal. It was what appeared to be a tadpole stuck to the bottom of the rock! Assuming all frogs and tadpoles occur in swamps, not in high elevation rushing streams, I wondered what it was doing there.

Medical marijuana sign.
Flickr user Laurie Avocado (CC-BY-2)

A committee of Senate lawmakers approved a 2 percent tax on medical marijuana providers and rejected an increase to the state’s alcohol tax.

Since voters approved a statewide medical marijuana program in November, lawmakers in Helena have debated ways to fund it.

Bill Would Provide Option For Montanans To Comply With Federal Real ID Act

Mar 24, 2017

Montana is facing a deadline at the end of this year to comply with a 2005 federal mandate called the 'Real ID Act,' which requires states to meet minimum security standards for identification cards used to access federal facilities or get through airport security.

State revenue estimates have grown, but lawmakers are taking a cautious approach. Will the Legislature pass an infrastructure bill this session? A mail-voting hearing turns heated. And Sally and Chuck remember Bob Ream, on this episode of 'Capitol Talk.'

Montana Capitol.
William Marcus

The search for nominees to be Montana’s next top political cop ended this afternoon during a short meeting of legislative leaders.

The majority and minority leaders of the Montana House and Senate approved Jeff Mangan, a former Democratic legislator who owns a consulting firm in Great Falls, to join the Commissioner of Political Practices nominee list.

More than a dozen Fort Peck tribal members and veterans plan to traverse nearly 100 miles across the reservation to raise awareness about the potential dangers of the Keystone XL pipeline.
Courtesy Marina Starr

Hours before the Trump administration issued permits to resurrect the Keystone XL pipeline Friday morning a group on the Fort Peck Reservation in northeastern Montana set out on a prayer walk to protest the pipeline.

Gov. Steve Bullock. File photo.
Corin Cates-Carney

Governor Steve Bullock and Senate President Scott Sales reached an agreement Wednesday on a list of nominees for the next Commissioner of Political Practices, ending a more than week long stall in the nomination hearings. Bullock says he did not try to leverage his administration's legislative goals during that meeting, which was outside of the public nominating process.

The Environmental Protection Agency designated the former Columbia Falls Aluminum Company as an official Superfund site in September 2016.
Courtesy Columbia Falls Aluminum Company

The company responsible for cleanup at the Columbia Falls Aluminum Company Superfund site released results of their site evaluation on Thursday. 

The evaluation confirms that groundwater beneath the former aluminum smelter facility has elevated levels of cyanide, fluoride and other contaminants, leached from legacy landfills used from 1955 until 1980. The studies also indicate that the contamination is not moving toward wells used for drinking water in nearby neighborhoods.

The bill would raise the state's tax on gas by 8 cents a gallon and on diesel by 7.25 cents a gallon.
Rusty Clark (CC-BY-NC-2)

The Montana House has endorsed what would be the state's first fuel tax hike in 24 years. The bill would raise the state's tax on gas by 8 cents a gallon and on diesel by 7.25 cents a gallon.

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NPR News

In the spring of my senior year of high school, I took daily trips to the mailbox. It was maybe the only time in my life when I knew for a fact that any day, letters with my name on them would appear in the mailbox from colleges that had read through my hopeful applications.

Leaders of the large and unprecedented pro-democracy protests that roiled parts of Hong Kong in 2014 have been told to report to police on charges of causing a public nuisance, in an apparent crackdown that comes one day after Hong Kong selected a new chief executive.

President Trump was downright low energy.

The look on his face, as he meandered through unscripted remarks Friday after the defeat of the Republican health care plan he supported, told the story. The unusually subdued Trump called the loss a "learning experience." Then he seemed to shrug it all off and said he was moving on.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

As an economist, Hussein Mahrammi helped U.S. development authorities in Kabul, Afghanistan rebuild his war-torn country. He planned to stay in Afghanistan. Then, one by one, his colleagues were assaulted and even killed because they worked with Americans.

"We really feel afraid," Mahrammi says.

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