Kevin Maki, NBC Montana

Kevin Maki

NBC Montana

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Past articles by Kevin:

Ready or not, fall snow and cold greet Bitterroot

The Bitterroot got an early dose of snow, wind and slick roads. Ready or not, the valley found itself having to prepare for a cold weekend. In downtown Hamilton, a snow plow scraped a business parking lot so customers could get in without getting stuck. Mike Griswold had his snow shovel handy to make sure the sidewalks were cleared. He's preparing for a cold weekend. "Because," he said, "it's… → Read More

Rocky Mountain Grange to host candidate's forum in Hamilton

The Rocky Mountain Grange south of Hamilton will host a bipartisan candidate's forum Sunday. It's a hybrid live event with a maximum attendance in person of 50, and a zoom meeting. Public Service Commission candidates Republican Jennifer Fielder, and Democrat Monica Tranel have agreed to attend. So have House District 87 candidates Republican Ron Marshall, and Democrat Laura Merrill. → Read More

Main part of Ravalli Co. fair canceled due to COVID-19

COVID-19 has forced cancellation of the main portion of the Ravalli County Fair in Hamilton. Ravalli County public health officials said Monday afternoon that " in light of community spread and a recent increase in daily new cases, such a large gathering would increase the threat of exposure and lead to rapidly increasing spread of the virus. " "A high expected attendance for the fair," said… → Read More

Barns of the Big Hole, land of 10,000 haystacks

They call the Big Hole Valley 'The Land of 10,000 Haystacks. ' The Big Hole Historical Society has written a book called History of the Big Hole Valley-Montana Pioneers of the Old West-1806-1930. It was a mammoth undertaking. In its 448 pages, the book recounts Lewis and Clark's visit, The Battle of the Big Hole, stories of the Native Americans who inhabited this land for thousands of years, and… → Read More

American Computer and Robotics Museum traces history of information age

In Bozeman, there is a museum that traces the history of the information age from thousands of years ago to the present day. The American Computer and Robotics Museum is the oldest continuously operating museum of its kind, where visitors can explore displays and artifacts from the first written word to quantum computing. Here, you will see news footage from 1961 of President John Kennedy… → Read More

Bitterroot plow drivers face most snow since '96

The Ravalli County Road Department said the Bitterroot hasn't seen a snow event as dramatic as the one that's currently pounding the valley since 1996. For snowplow drivers it's been a constant challenge to keep roads as clear as possible. Once a road has been plowed it isn't long before it needs plowing again. On Wednesday, NBC Montana took a ride with veteran snowplow operator Mark Lehr as he… → Read More

Massive snow in Bitterroot could pose flooding potential

Ravalli County saw a reprieve from more snowfall Tuesday. But the storm that socked the Bitterroot left anywhere from 18 inches to 2 feet of snow and even more in some places. In Hamilton, residents spent all day digging out their driveways, sidewalks and cars. But there's still more to do. There's so much snow that road crews had trouble finding places to dump it. There are huge snow berms… → Read More

Montana Historical Society art exhibits, treasures of western culture

Some of the state's most cherished art work can be found across the street from the State Capital in Helena. In this week's Montana Moment we explore some of the treasures of western culture housed at the Montana Historical Society. The McKay Gallery of Charles M. Russell art at the Montana Historical Society has more than 200 original works by one of Montana's most famous sons. → Read More

Ruana Knives, 80-plus years crafting tools for the outdoors

A small, family owned knife making company in Bonner has just completed its 80th year in business. Rudy Ruana began making knives for area outdoorsmen here in 1938. Rudy's son-in-law, Vic Hangas joined Rudy making knives in the shop on West Riverside and Third in the 1960's. "He and I got along good," said Vic. "I worked for him for 20 years and I've actually worked in that shop for 55 years.… → Read More

One-man operation Christmas tree farmer going strong at 81

Don Schiltz has been growing Christmas trees in Bigfork for 35-years. Don is 81-years-old and has no definite plans of retiring. Chances are you've purchased one of his trees through the years. In this week's 'Montana Moment' we visit with Don at his farm where he explains the skill and patience it takes to grow the perfect tree. He revs up his 1988 Ford pickup for a trip around the farm to show… → Read More

Bitterroot crews knock down fire sparked by abandoned campfire

An abandoned campfire that hadn't been extinguished in its ring got away and started a small wildfire south of Hamilton Monday.The fire is out, but it burned a quarter of an acre up the Lost Horse drainage. The fire was burning about two miles west of High → Read More

Reynolds Lake Fire 25% contained

Crews have made good progress on the Reynolds Lake Fire burning about 35 miles southwest of Darby.The lightning-caused fire is burning in a remote, rugged area on the Montana-Idaho border on the Bitterroot Salmon-Challis National Forest.The fire remains a → Read More

Journalist documents experiences of WWII combat veterans

Before they pass away a young journalist from California is on a mission to meet and in-depth interview two to three WWII combat veterans every day.Risha Sharma has interviewed as many as 870 veterans in 45 states and Canada.He's now in Montana.On Wednesda → Read More

High water erodes bank at popular Bitterroot River fishing spot

High water in the Bitterroot River eroded a portion of the bank at a spot where people fish and launch their boats near Veterans Bridge north of Hamilton.Now there's an effort by two local residents who want to fix the eroded bank and develop the area into → Read More

Fifth graders shape ideas at Bitterroot College FabLab

Young inventors, engineers, scientists and artists are learning more about how to turn good ideas into reality, and they're only in the fifth grade.They're getting hands-on experience at Montana's only FabLab at University of Montana's Bitterroot College. → Read More

Florence-Carlton students receive Chromebooks

Florence-Carlton School is moving ahead with a five-year strategic plan to improve technology.Kindergarten and first-graders have iPads. Now everyone from the second grade to seniors in high school have Chromebooks.The school held an assembly Friday morni → Read More

Most of state's open burn permits issued in Ravalli Co.

Thirty percent of the open burn permits issued in Montana in the 2017 burn season were in Ravalli County.The burn permit service allows people to obtain and activate permits online.According to a county burn permit service report there were almost 22,000 → Read More

Ag center experiments with trees to improve hard cider industry

Research trials in Corvallis could help Montana's growing hard cider industry.The Western Montana Agricultural Research Center is experimenting with several varieties of hard cider trees. Scientists hope these trees will improve producers' orchards so that → Read More

Hamilton replaces antiquated water mains

The city of Hamilton is replacing antiquated water mains on three blocks just south of downtown.It's part of a long-term project that began several years ago to upgrade the city's water distribution system. It will take years to replace all the water mains → Read More

Bitterroot ranchers deep into calving season

For many western Montana ranchers a full night's sleep these days is a luxury. It's calving season. They're taking shifts checking on their herds day and night.At the Never Sweat Ranch south of Hamilton warm weather is a welcome respite to cold gray skies. → Read More