Tuesday, June 19, 2018 - Four First Ladies take issue with separating kids from families at the border. Also on the rundown: Nebraska struggles to
deliver summer meals and there are thriving rural counties in the USA.
June 18, 2018
At 2:30 on Friday June 15, Gallatin County Dispatch received a report that an 84-year-old man had fallen on the M trail and needed medical assistance. He was half a mile up from the parking lot and could not walk out on his own. Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue was dispatched with a Deputy SAR Coordinator. AMR ambulance and Bridger Canyon Fire Dept responded as well. The man was quickly reached by rescuers and found to have numerous cuts and abrasions, especially to his head. He was assessed, packaged on the one-wheel litter, and carried down to the ambulance for transport to Bozeman Health. The exact extent of the man’s injuries is not known at this time.
Sheriff Brian Gootkin reminds everyone that accidents can happen in the mountains, even near town, and that it takes longer to get help. Always be prepared to stay out longer than expected.
That night, the swiftwater team of the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue was dispatched to assist Sweetgrass County.
Monday, June 18, 2018 - First Lady Melania Trump makes a statement against separating kids from parents. Also on the Monday rundown:
Anti-hunger advocates applaud the newest Farm Bill; plus diaper duty an economic burden for 1-in-3 families.
Big Sky Connection
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June 18, 2018
HELENA, Montana - Summer can be a difficult time for hungry children. In Montana, about one-in-six children lives in a food insecure household where they aren't sure how they will get their next meal.
Lorianne Burhop, chief policy officer with the Montana Food Bank Network, said while that number has gone down, any number above zero is worthy of concern. For families who rely on school to provide breakfast and lunch for kids, summer means having to provide 10 extra meals per week.
Burhop said that can be tough - particularly in addition to other costs, such as day care. And then there's the cost to children when they're hungry.
"It can have a harmful effect on physical health, mental health, academic achievement. It really can have long-term consequences for our kids," Burhop said. "So making sure throughout the summer months, when kids lose access to the school meal program, that they still have access to consistent, quality meals is really important."
Across the country, the United States Department of Agriculture's Summer Food Service Program works to combat hunger in the months when kids are away from school. It has more than 90 sponsors throughout Montana, including schools, nonprofits and churches.
There still are some Montana communities without sites, Burhop said, but the program continues to grow. To find a site nearby, Montanans can text "summer meals" to 97779 or visit fns.usda.gov.
Burhop said another key component in keeping children fed is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps.
"SNAP is really our most important anti-hunger program at any time of the year," she said. "SNAP helps around 60,000 Montana households keep food on the table each month."
SNAP has become a linchpin in the debate over this year's Farm Bill. A House version of the bill that would have required strict work requirements for recipients failed in May.
Big Sky Connection
June 15, 2018
HELENA, Montana - June is Pride Month, a celebration of LGBT communities across the country.
In Montana, Big Sky Pride is holding it's 25th annual celebration in Helena. It will include events across the city all weekend and a speech from Gov. Steve Bullock.
A quarter-century of pride in Montana is a big deal, says Kev Hamm, president of Big Sky Pride, but he adds that the push for equality is still young.
The first pride marches took place after the violent Stonewall riots in New York City in 1969.
"One of the things that I think people don't realize is that we're still the frontier," Hamm points out. "We're celebrating our 25th Pride, which is a great accomplishment for Montana, but you're looking at - 1970 was the first time they had the first annual march in New York."
Hamm says Pride celebrations in Montana grow every year. Events over the weekend will span the spectrum, including a kickoff at the Lewis and Clark Tap Room on Friday, comedy shows, and a meet and greet with LGBT state legislators at Ten Mile Creek Brewery.
Hamm says marriage equality wasn't the culmination of the LGBT movement and that many are still fighting for equality.
He points to Initiative 183, which is currently collecting signatures to appear on the November ballot.
I-183 would require people to use a restroom, locker room or changing room based on their sex assigned at birth. Hamm says it discriminates against transgender and non-binary Montanans.
"It's based on fear and it's run by a bunch of people who think that their beliefs are more important than our lives and it's unacceptable," he states. "It needs to change.
"That's our big focus this year because that's how they've chosen to attack our community. They've gone after some of our most vulnerable and we're not going to stand for it."
Supporters of the initiative need about 25,000 signatures by June 22 to qualify for the ballot.
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