On being late on the Yellowstone quake story

The Norris Geyser Basin in Yellowstone National Park (Ben Pierce/Chronicle)

This tweet met me when I opened up the Twitter this morning: Today's sign of the newspaper apocalypse: YNP's 4.8 earthquake occurred 24 hrs ago, and still no word from the @bozchron — The Bozeman Magpie (@bozemanmagpie) March 31, 2014 It seems there was an earthquake in Yellowstone over the weekend, the biggest in three… Continue reading On being late on the Yellowstone quake story

Montana expands inmate notifications for victims

The notification system used by the Montana Department of Corrections to let victims know about changes to an inmate’s status or location has received some upgrades, the department said Thursday. The Victim Information and Notification Everyday system, or VINE, has added text messaging and an iOS and Android app to the telephone, email and TTY… Continue reading Montana expands inmate notifications for victims

A missed reporting opportunity

It must be sweeps week or close to it because the news stations in town are kicking it into high gear with special assignments and more reporting than normal.* My favorites: Who ends up paying for the county’s search and rescue operations? The answer, unsurprisingly: county taxpayers.) A local church speaks out about a handwritten… Continue reading A missed reporting opportunity

West Yellowstone police being investigated

Snow covers the West Yellowstone police station in this January 2011 file photo. (West Yellowstone News photo)

Our friends at KBZK are reporting tonight that the West Yellowstone Police Department and its veteran chief, Gordon Berger, are the subject of a investigation by the state’s Department of Criminal Investigations. We don’t have the story, but rest assured we will tomorrow. In the meantime, the quote from a West Yellowstone town councilman says… Continue reading West Yellowstone police being investigated

CodeMontana enrolls more than 900 Montana high school students

An educational initiative that aims to teach more Montana high school students computer programming said today that it has enrolled more than 900 participants since its launch in September. CodeMontana said students from 140 towns around the state have completed more than 26,000 programming lessons so far. Organized by RightNow Technologies founder Greg Gianforte and… Continue reading CodeMontana enrolls more than 900 Montana high school students

Tester ranked high for transparency

The website GovTrack.us has named Montana Sen. Jon Tester as the Senate’s strongest supporter of government transparency issues. According to Tester’s report card on the site, the Democrat supports all eight Senate transparency-related bills GovTrack has identified in the current congressional session. Tester either introduced or supported the following bills: Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act… Continue reading Tester ranked high for transparency

New state ski reports site, new avalanche info app

The state’s tourism office has launched a website that aggregates snow reports at all the major ski resorts in the state. The website, which is also optimized for smartphones, provides snowfall numbers, summit depth and the number of lifts in operation, according to a press release from the Montana Office of Tourism. There are also… Continue reading New state ski reports site, new avalanche info app

Montana courts switching to electronic filing systems next year

Montana’s courts will switch to electronic filing systems next year, the Associated Press reported today. Montana Supreme Court Clerk Ed Smith told the AP that a pilot program in early 2014 will launch with the state’s high court. Missoula and Mineral counties will follow. This does not mean, however, a wave of open access to… Continue reading Montana courts switching to electronic filing systems next year

Senators ask FCC to reform rural broadband investment rules

A group of 26 U.S. Senators, including both from Montana, have signed on to a letter to the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission asking him to reform the way that Universal Service Fund support is distributed. The USF provides support to telecommunications companies to build broadband and other networks in hard-to-reach areas, such as… Continue reading Senators ask FCC to reform rural broadband investment rules

Montana felon database now updated in real-time

The Montana Department of Corrections has updated its database of felons with an emphasis on real-time data. According to a press release, the Correctional Offender Network website used to be updated only once a week. Now it will be updated throughout the day, corrections department director Mike Batista said in a written statement Monday. The… Continue reading Montana felon database now updated in real-time