Montana

3:57pm

Tue August 13, 2013
The Two-Way

Air Force Nuclear Unit Fails Inspection

The 341st Missile Wing at the Malmstrom Airforce Base in Montana handles one-third of the United States' land-based nuclear missiles.

Today, it failed an inspection after making "tactical-level errors during one of several exercises," the Air Force's Global Strike Command said in a statement.

The AP reports this is the second setback in a year for the unit. The news service adds:

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1:52am

Tue July 30, 2013
Health

Montana's State-Run Free Clinic Sees Early Success

Originally published on Tue July 30, 2013 5:46 am

Montana opened the first government-run medical clinic for state employees last fall. A year later, the state says the clinic is already saving money.
Dan Boyce for NPR

A year ago, Montana opened the nation's first clinic for free primary healthcare services to its state government employees. The Helena, Mont., clinic was pitched as a way to improve overall employee health, but the idea has faced its fair share of political opposition.

A year later, the state says the clinic is already saving money.

Pamela Weitz, a 61-year-old state library technician, was skeptical about the place at first.

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1:32am

Mon July 22, 2013
Nickel Tour: Get To Know Great Tour Guides

Little Bighorn Tour Guide Brings Battle To Life

Originally published on Mon July 22, 2013 10:04 am

Seasonal Ranger Mike Donahue (right) discuses the Battle of Little Bighorn with Jon Jones atop Custer Hill.
Jim Kent NPR

On a scorching hot summer afternoon along the banks of the Little Bighorn River in Montana, seasonal ranger Mike Donahue brings the historical Battle of Little Bighorn to life with remarkable enthusiasm and passion.

At a recent presentation, Donahue welcomes a crowd to the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument. "Why did it happen in the first place?" he asks during the presentation. "Because you had two peoples that really didn't understand or appreciate one another very well."

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4:30am

Sun July 21, 2013
Environment

Fighting Fire With Fire: Why Some Burns Are Good For Nature

Originally published on Sun July 21, 2013 12:50 pm

An arborist from the Montana Conservation Corps works to clear pine trees from land in Centennial Valley, Mont.
John W. Poole NPR

Wildfires were once essential to the American West. Prairies and forests burned regularly, and those fires not only determined the mix of flora and fauna that made up the ecosystem, but they regenerated the land.

When people replaced wilderness with homes and ranches, they aggressively eliminated fire. But now, scientists are trying to bring fire back to the wilderness, to recreate what nature once did on its own.

One place they're doing this is Centennial Valley, in southwestern Montana.

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1:01am

Thu July 11, 2013
Environment

Saving One Species At The Expense Of Another

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 2:52 pm

Antelopes stand at alert at the presence of a human visitor in the sparsely populated Centennial Valley of Montana.
John W. Poole NPR

To keep America's wilderness anything like it used to be when the country was truly wild takes the help of biologists. They have to balance the needs of wildlife with those of cattle-ranching and tourism, and even weigh the value of one species against another. Ultimately, they have to pick and choose who makes it onto the ark. And, as scientists in Montana's Centennial Valley have discovered, all that choosing can be tricky.

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