Blog Cabin

Missoula cops clear another suspicious device

(MISSOULA)- For the second time in a week, Missoula Police are scrambled to check out the report of a suspicious device.

This latest incident happened on West Broadway near Allied Waste. KPAX's Jill Valley reported from the scene that police were called to the address between 10:30 and 11. The street was blocked off for a time, but re-opened to traffic by 11:15 after everything checked out.

Last Thursday, several blocks of downtown Missoula were blocked after a suspicious package was found outside the downtown post office. Police used a robot with a high pressure water nozzle to "disrupt" the package, harmlessly blowing it apart. Later they determined it was just a box with some plastic bags inside.


Quirky travel slogan is paying off

It may have raised some eyebrows when it was introduced 2-years ago, but Montana's "There's Nothing Here" campaign is also opening wallets.

At a time when many states have drastically cut tourism marketing because of the recession and declining budgets, Montana's program is headed in the opposite direction, a point proven by new figures from the University of Montana's Institute for Tourism and Recreation.

The Flathead Beacon, following up on a recent article in the New York Times, found that "nothing" is not what's in the bank account since the campaign has been running. In fact, Montana's tourism sector are benefiting from a 36% in traveler awareness of Montana.

Here's the full article.


Saga continues over future of Missoula's water provider

(MISSOULA)- It's been months since a major investment group announced it was interesting in buying out Mountain Water, which provides service to thousands of customers in the Garden City.

But the future of the sale is still in question. Some of the delay was caused by a dust-up over what authority the state had to approve or disapprove the proposal.

Now, with the question firmly back in the hands of the Public Service Commission, a hearing on the sale to the Carlyle Group has finally been scheduled for late September.

KPAX TV has more details.


FEMA clears way for assistance for MT flood victims

(HELENA)- The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved Governor Brian Schweitzer’s formal request to get help for individuals who suffered damage in this year’s floods.

The state requested the money several weeks ago when the Treasure State was coping with some of its worst flooding in decades.

FEMA’s action means the money is now available for residents and tribal members in several counties, including Big Horn, Blackfeet Reservation, Carbon, Cascade, Crow Reservation, Custer, Fergus, Fort Belknap Reservation, Garfield, Hill, Jefferson, Judith Basin, Lewis and Clark, Missoula, Musselshell, Petroleum, Sweet Grass, Valley and Yellowstone. The money can be applied to flood damage that started as early as April 4th and is continuing to be a problem in some areas still coping with cleanup from the high water.

State and federal officials encourage those affected by the disaster to register for assistance immediately by calling toll-free 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 800-462-7585. The toll-free line will be in operation from 6 a.m. to 12 a.m. (CDT) until further notice. Registration can be accomplished anytime at  

FEMA’s Individual Assistance program includes a wide range of aid, including emergency home repair, temporary disaster housing, replacement grants for serious disaster-related needs and expenses not covered by insurance or assistance programs. For those insured, the government may help pay for basic needs not covered by insurance.

Residents must register with FEMA at the above numbers or online to be eligible for all forms of federal assistance.


Missoula leaders, Poverello Center set meeting to discuss location

(MISSOULA)- A month after Mayor John Engen asked the Poverello Center directors to hold off with plans to move to a new location, the city has enlisted the help of a professional mediator to lead a broader discussion about the move.

The Poverello Board of Directors had looked at a move to the site of the old Trail's End Bar on Broadway, but residents in the area raised immediate objections.

The problem is, the center isn't keeping up with demand for shelter, food and other assistance at its present location on Ryman. The shelter provided more than 25,000 nights of shelter last year and served over 126,000 meals. (KPAX photo)

Mayor Engen is hoping the community meeting August 10th will help build some consensus on how to help deal with that demand.

For the latest on the story, check out the KPAX TV website.