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Thursday, August 9, 2018 - Kasich calls razor-close vote in Ohio's 12th congressional district 'a race about the president.' Also on the Thursday

rundown: Toxic risks at immigrant detention centers sound alarms and beware of carbon-monoxide poisoning during summer activities. 


Big Sky Connection


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Eric Tegethoff

August 8, 2018

BAINVILLE, Montana - A new report focusing on people who live on the front lines of oil and gas operations says they face greater risks of asthma, cancer and other illnesses.

From the group Moms Clean Air Force, "Face to Face with Oil and Gas" looks at families dealing with benzene, methane, silica dust and other pollutants from drilling.

When rancher Laurie Wilson lived on the Montana/North Dakota border, she said, her asthma became so serious that she'd pass out - and eventually had to leave Montana for her health. Today, she said, the Trump administration's gutting of methane pollution safeguards is troubling. 

"I have had to be hospitalized on trips back for my asthma," she said. "No mother, no grandmother, no Montanan should have to choose between their families and their homes, and their health. I feel that it is totally unconscionable to roll back the federal methane protections."

The administration has said the rule preventing methane flaring and venting at well sites is too burdensome on industry. A federal district court judge has blocked the Bureau of Land Management's attempt to delay its implementation, but the Trump administration now is developing and releasing a final rule to overturn this regulation.

According to the report, almost 12.5 million Americans live within a half-mile of an active oil or gas well, compressor or processor. Pediatrician Dr. Lori Byron said oil and gas development releases known cancer-causing agents, and children are among the most vulnerable to the pollutants.

"Asthma increases and worsens for people living near oil and gas production sites. For children, it can permanently damage their lungs," she said. "As a doctor practicing in Montana for 30 years, I can tell you that no child is as desperate as one struggling to get air or dying due to damaged lungs."

Melissa Nootz, a Montana field organizer for Moms Clean Air Force, said it's important to keep regulations such as the methane-flaring prevention in place. She said she wants Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to know this.

"Montanans expect Secretary Zinke to take our Montana values to D.C.," she said. "We aren't interested in jeopardizing our public lands, sacred spaces, clean air or our way of life for a polluting agenda that prioritizes polluter profits above our families' health."

The "Face to Face with Oil and Gas" report is online at


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Wednesday, August 8, 2018 - A key race for U.S. House is too close to call. Also on the Wednesday rundown: Dreamers' fate is at stake once again in

federal court; health concerns from living near oil and gas drilling sites; and helping rural communities with water and waste woes. 


(Gallatin County, Mont.) Sunday two rescues sent Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Deputies and volunteers to Hyalite and Portal Creek simultaneously. At 4:00 in the afternoon a report of a 67-year-old having heart trouble on the Blackmore trail in Hyalite Canyon was received.  Because heart problems can be lethal a medical helicopter was dispatched to the area as well as SAR ground teams.  The Backcountry topography and weather in Gallatin County often prevents even helicopters from being able to reach people in distress so ground rescuers are always sent and often arrive before the helicopter.  In this case, the weather was an issue and the Reach Air Medical Helicopter had to stand off and wait for an opening in the weather.  Eventually, they were able to land and transport him to Bozeman Health where his condition was reported as stable.  At about the same time Sheriff’s Deputies and Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Volunteers at Big Sky were sent to a 77-year-old man with a broken ankle on the Hidden Lakes trail at Portal Creek.  When rescuers reached the trailhead they found that other hikers had assisted him down the trail to the road.  He declined an ambulance and traveled with family members to the hospital.  In both cases, there was no phone service available and someone had to walk out and report the incident.  These delays can mean hours between when the injury occurs and when help can arrive.  Sheriff Gootkin said “Bad things can happen to people doing all the right things, so when out being active it is important to have a few things to help you survive.  Carry something to stay dry and warm, something to stop bleeding, something to drink and eat and go with a partner.”  Gallatin County Sheriff’s Deputies and Volunteers are also continuing to assist with the search of the Yellowstone River for James Anderson.



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Tuesday, August 7, 2018 - Gates flips and testifies he committed crimes with Paul Manafort. Also on the Monday rundown: reports from two states on

Primary Election Day; and kids in cars deaths, some parent deny it can happen to them.