Chair breaks with Democrats to pass a legislative map, completing redistricting process – Daily Montanan

Redistricting Commission Chair Maylinn Smith broke with Democrats to pass Montana’s legislative map on Saturday, marking the end of over three years of work from the commission. Montana Districting and Apportionment Commission voted 3-2, with Republicans opposed, on a map to divide the state into 100 house districts, with 50 senate district pairings after accepting recommendations from the legislature on their tentative map proposed in December. “We’re trying to create a map that’s best for Mo

Sheriff Slaughter commends Great Falls minister handling unhoused, remorseful over criticisms – Daily Montanan

The First United Methodist Church in Great Falls is photographed on Monday, July 25, 2022. (Photo by Nicole Girten/Daily Montanan) Cascade County Sheriff Jesse Slaughter expressed remorse this week over how he spoke about a Great Falls reverend during a radio interview in October when he criticized how the First United Methodist Church was handling unhoused people living on church property. “I stand by my comments about the situation — that it wasn’t being handled correctly and that it was out

'I’m humbled it gets to be me': Zephyr to be the first out trans woman in Montana Legislature –

When the wheels touched down in Missoula on Nov. 8, Zooey Zephyr was the last to deplane. It was election night, and Zephyr learned she had won her race in House District 100. People sitting next to her told her they were supporters and soon-to-be constituents. On her way off of the plane, Zephyr turned back after a stewardess congratulated her. “I’m going to be the first trans woman to hold office in Montana,” she told her. The flight attendant, a mother to a trans son, said Zephyr gave her

Cascade County goes ‘bright red’ on election night – Daily Montanan

The Cascade County Courthouse covered in snow in 2021. (Photo by Nicole Girten/Daily Montanan) The race for Clerk and Recorder in Cascade County is in possible recount territory — with Republican Sandra Merchant, a business woman from upstate New York, squeaking ahead of Democrat and 16-year veteran of the office Rina Moore by 20 votes. Republicans in Cascade County saw wins across the board this week, with every partisan candidate in the election winning down ballot in a county that used to b

‘Absolutely insane’: Cascade County Election Official says cops called after skeptics escalate –

Law enforcement was called Friday after a group of election integrity skeptics in Cascade County escalated tactics, circling the county office and waiting for election officials and staff to come outside, according to County Clerk and Recorder Rina Moore. The last year already had been an “absolute nightmare” for her and her elections staff because the skeptics called for the hand counting of paper ballots, among other unrealistic demands, Moore said. Moore said Friday, the group waited for Mo

Despite a bit of spitting, name calling, parents will keep bringing kids to Drag Queen Story Hours – Daily Montanan

Brittney Arnold was driving up the gravel road to ZooMT for the Drag Queen Story Hour event in Billings with her 11 year-old daughter and three friends in her Dodge Nitro when a wad of spit blotched the passenger side front window. Picketers tried to block the driveway leading to the zoo with signs, some reading “groomer walk of shame” and calling people names. Arnold, daughter of 406 Pride President Walt Donges, said she didn’t hesitate to bring the kids to the event, even in light of protest

Where did they go? People without homes forced to relocate after evictions in Great Falls, Missoula – Daily Montanan

At 9 a.m. on August 1, the residents of the encampment in the parking lot of First United Methodist Church in Great Falls were asked to evacuate the premises. By 10:30 a.m., nearly everyone had cleared out. “Many were understandably emotional,” Giovanna Minardi of nonprofit Housed Great Falls said in a text that morning. “A tough day, and unfortunately it’s going to be a very hot one as well. We now look towards the future.” In the last two weeks, people living in at least two unhoused commun

Where will they go? Housing encampment in Great Falls being evicted Monday – Daily Montanan

The housing encampment at the First United Methodist Church in Great Falls on Monday. (Photo by Nicole Girten/Daily Montanan) GREAT FALLS — Susan Raining Bird, 48, soon won’t be able to call the parking lot of the First United Methodist Church here home. The church handed the unhoused people living there eviction notices on Monday, giving them one week’s notice to clear the property. “Unfortunately, the City of Great Falls has served First United Methodist Church with a lawsuit requiring us t

County asserts local elections are secure after conspiracies discussed during meeting

County asserts local elections are secure after conspiracies discussed during meeting The Cascade County commission chambers were overflowing Monday afternoon with attendees for an “Election Integrity Presentation” put on by local resident and concerned citizen Lewis Zanto. This presentation comes as ballots for the next Great Falls Public School Board election are already out to voters, with election day on May 3 and the June 7 primary for legislative and local candidates in the near future.

Cascade County Sheriff's Debate: Detention center staffing shortages, differences in leadership styles

Cascade County Republicans Political Action Committee (PAC) on Monday hosted a debate and town hall question and answer session between the incumbent Sheriff Jesse Slaughter and Corporal Jay Groskreutz in the run up to the primary election slated for June 7. Topics discussed during the evening included staffing shortages at the Cascade County Detention Center, management styles and party affiliation. Both officers have been in public service in Montana for at least 20 years, with Groskreutz wo

Great Falls votes to deny business safety inspection certificate, put referendum to voters on city marijuana sales

Great Falls votes to deny business safety inspection certificate, put referendum to voters on city marijuana sales The city commission voted 4-1 to deny the appeal from local marijuana dispensary owners over a Safety Inspection Certificate and to bring forward a proposed referendum package regarding adult-use marijuana sales in Great Falls on the ballot this November. After this decision, city staff will work with city commissioners to get a referendum on the ballot. Voters will go to the ball

Daines discusses trip to Ukraine, defends omnibus vote

In a press call following his international trip to Ukraine, U.S. Sen. Steve Daines described what he saw in the city of Bucha as "the most horrible thing" he had ever seen. “To see shallow graves and the bodies being exhumed, to smell the stench of death, to see the smaller body bags knowing those contained children,” Daines said. “You can’t prepare for that.” Ukraine updates: Russia's new attacks are prelude to Donbas push, US says Daines was one of the first American officials to enter Ukr

Tester attends event celebrating homeownership program, discusses housing crisis

Great Falls will see 10 new homeowners thanks to NeighborWorks Great Falls’ Owner Built Homes Program. U.S. Sen. Jon Tester attended an event Friday inside one of the newly built homes touting the success of the program and discussed the ongoing housing crisis both city and statewide. “I gotta be honest with you when I walked into the house, I thought, you know, just another house,” Tester said at the top of his remarks. “But it's not that, all you gotta do is look around. This is pretty damn n

Great Falls Tribune Archives Stored at History Museum

Elevator doors open up to the top floor of the History Museum in Great Falls, where overflow and large items not on display are stored, and an entire corner of the room was filled with recently acquired filing cabinets. Executive Director Kristi Scott opens up a drawer filled with photographs and pulls one out that was included in a story written in 1985. “His name's Robert Warden, at the time he served as Editor and he's working with Joseph Kinsey Howard who was The Leader copy editor in 1940,” Scott said. “And that was just opening up a drawer.”

As Great Falls homelessness stirs debate, city to weigh $1 million in spending

As Great Falls homelessness stirs debate, city to weigh $1 million in spending Discussion surrounding the homeless population in Great Falls, particularly the growing number of people experiencing homelessness who congregate near the First Methodist Church downtown, continued during this week's City Commission meeting. Pastor Stephen Underwood of Central Christian Church spoke to the commission during the Petitions and Communications portion of the meeting about comments made by Commissioner R

Here’s who is running for state and local office in Cascade County (so far)

Here’s who is running for state and local office in Cascade County (so far) Candidate filing for local and statewide office opened up earlier this month with 81 people filing for statewide office on opening day and 180 processed as of Friday. The initial number of filings was down from the 145 candidates that ran for statewide office in 2018, according to a release from Montana Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen. Nine people have filed to run for Montana’s two Congressional seats. The state

Meet Bosco: Great Falls born, 'RuPaul's Drag Race' Season 14 bound

For the first time in "RuPaul’s Drag Race" herstory a queen from Montana will be sashaying into the competition. Season 14 of "Drag Race" features Bosco, born in Great Falls and the first queen from the Treasure State to compete in what some call the “Olympics of drag.” “Drag Race” is a reality television competition series featuring drag performers from across the U.S. and its territories who perform in weekly challenges leading up to the crowning of “America’s Next Drag Superstar.” Contestan

Mary Sheehy Moe reflects on tenure representing Great Falls, upcoming move to Missoula

Mary Sheehy Moe sat at the top of the stairs at Great Falls High School, where she got her start in education as a student teacher nearly 50 years ago. Moe is retiring from the city commission with her term expiring on Dec. 31, but she wanted to go back to where her love of Great Falls started as a high school student attending a football game at Memorial Stadium. “It's such an incredible view from Memorial Stadium up to the school. And the stands were just filled with people and Great Falls w

Owen Robinson on his time on the city commission and his adventures to come

Owen Robinson on his time on the city commission and his adventures to come After over 40 years of public service, Owen Robinson is retiring. Robinson most recently served on the Great Falls City Commission but as his four-year-term is ending, Robinson is taking time for his hobbies and to write a book on his family’s business history in Montana. Robinson grew up in Great Falls and left for Los Angeles to audit government contracts for the Department of Defense after getting his undergraduate

Trisha Gardner reflects on two years of pandemic leadership and her new role at DPHHS

Trisha Gardner reflects on two years of pandemic leadership and her new role at DPHHS Trisha Gardner led the City-County Health Department as the Health Officer during the last two years and through the COVID-19 pandemic. Gardner announced at the beginning of December that she would be stepping down from her position at CCHD to pursue a new opportunity at the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services. Gardner stepped into her role at CCHD in December of 2019, mere months before CO
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