The ACLU wants to know how government surveils protesters via Missoula Independent
April will mark two years since Standing Rock Sioux elder LaDonna Brave Bull Allard founded the first protest camp erected to oppose the Dakota Access Pipeline. The thousands of activists who flocked to join her in 2016 succeeded in propelling the modern environmental movement to international attention. But now, some fear that the DAPL protest — and other direct actions targeting oil pipelines — has prompted an Orwellian response from government officials.
Report: Medicaid expansion pays for itself; future economic impact seen as bright via Billings Gazette
Medicaid expansion will bring about $350 million to $400 million in new spending to the state’s economy and add 5,000 jobs in health care and other industries that pay $270 million by 2020, according to the report.
In its first year, 2016, the state saved spent $5.3 million on benefits and claims and to administer Medicaid expansion. That same year, savings were $18 million. The third part of the picture, which advocates are calling attention to, is increased revenues to the state in the form of more taxes paid on income from more jobs, higher spending on health care and industry grown, for example. That revenue was $22.2 million in 2016.
Homeland Security will start collecting data on hundreds of thousands of journalists via The Week
The Department of Homeland Security wants to compile a database to monitor hundreds of thousands of news outlets and journalists around the world.
The tracking would apply to online, print, broadcast, cable, and radio sources — essentially, any journalist, editor, blogger, or correspondent deemed a possible “media influencer” could be included. DHS also wants to follow social media activity and hopes to be able to instantly translate coverage in more than 100 languages to English to add to the database.
Trump’s tariffs, talk of trade war could put GOP midterm candidates in tight spot via Helena Independent Record
As President Donald Trump teeters toward a possible trade war with China, Montana’s agriculture industry could be collateral damage. That puts Republican candidates in this year’s midterm elections in a tight spot of not wanting to bash the actions of a president that won Montana by 20 points 17 months ago, but also needing to defend their state’s economy.
Hecla Mining’s pipeline to Zinke via Missoula Independent
“Hecla is pushing hard,” she says. “They want to turn ground on both these mines. And there’s a lot of legislation we’re hearing about now that would have major impacts on really truncating the [National Environmental Policy Act] process.”
Interior Press Secretary Heather Swift didn’t respond to the Indy’s request for information about these meetings.
Trump thrives in areas that lack traditional news outlets via Politico
President Donald Trump’s attacks on the mainstream media may be rooted in statistical reality: An extensive review of subscription data and election results shows that Trump outperformed the previous Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, in counties with the lowest numbers of news subscribers, but didn’t do nearly as well in areas with heavier circulation.
Advocacy group again names Smith River as one of the country’s most endangered via Helena Independent Record
Montana’s Smith River has again made a national advocacy group’s list of most endangered rivers in the country due to a proposed mine near its headwaters.
American Rivers added the Smith to its list of “America’s Most Endangered Rivers” for the third time, citing Sandfire America’s proposed Black Butte Copper Project north of White Sulphur Springs.
These Volunteers Are Battling Idaho’s Government To Expand Medicaid via Buzzfeed
State legislators in Idaho have refused to accept federal funding that could help thousands without health insurance get coverage. Meet “Reclaim Idaho,” the group that’s trying to do what elected officials won’t and put Medicaid expansion up for a vote in November.
Missoula Independent Staff Unanimously Votes Yes On Union via Missoula News Guild
The non-management employees of the Missoula Independent voted this morning in favor of having the News Guild — Pacific Northwest represent them. The Missoula News Guild is excited to sit down with management and hopeful that we can reach a mutually beneficial collective bargaining agreement with Lee Enterprises. The unanimity of the vote is proof of how strongly the paper’s staff feels about securing a viable future for the Independent in Missoula.