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Wilmot Collins stands in the Helena City Commission chambers before a meeting. He moved to Montana in the early 1990s and is now running for the U.S. Senate. Kirk Siegler/NPR hide caption

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Kirk Siegler/NPR

In Montana, A Liberian Refugee Mounts A U.S. Senate Challenge

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A highway webcam shows a snowy portion of U.S. Highway 89 near Pendroy, Mont., on Monday morning after a record-setting winter storm dumped snow on the northern Rockies. Montana Department of Transportation hide caption

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Montana Department of Transportation

Elongo Gabriel, a refugee from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, drops his kids off on the first day of school at St. Joseph's Elementary in Missoula, Mont. He is one of 330 refugees to be resettled since 2016 in the college town of 75,000 people. Kirk Siegler/NPR hide caption

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Kirk Siegler/NPR

Popular Refugee Resettlement Programs Closing Under Trump Administration

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Montana's Cascade County District Judge Greg Pinksi on Friday handed down harsh punishments for Ryan Patrick Morris and Troy Allan Nelson, who both fabricated stories about serving in the military to get more lenient sentences. Tamir Kalifa/Getty Images hide caption

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Tamir Kalifa/Getty Images

Sovereign Valentine and his wife, Jessica, wait as a dialysis machine filters his blood. Before finding a dialysis clinic in their insurance network, the Valentines were charged more than a half-million dollars for 14 weeks of treatment. Tommy Martino/Kaiser Health News hide caption

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Tommy Martino/Kaiser Health News

First Came Kidney Failure. Then There Was The $540,842 Bill For Dialysis

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Martha Hernandez (left) and Ana Suda say they were interrupted and detained because they spoke Spanish while shopping at a convenience store in Havre, Mont. They've now filed a lawsuit. Brooke Swaney/ACLU of Montana via AP hide caption

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Brooke Swaney/ACLU of Montana via AP

Republican lawmaker Allen Christensen is pushing a bill in the Utah Senate that would shrink the Medicaid expansion his state's voters approved. "They are not obligated to balance the budget," he argues. "We are." Cory Dinter/KUER hide caption

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Cory Dinter/KUER

Utah Voters Approved Medicaid Expansion, But State Lawmakers Are Balking

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Keystone XL pipeline sections sit on a train near Glendive, Mont. Nate Hegyi/Yellowstone Public Radio hide caption

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Nate Hegyi/Yellowstone Public Radio

As Construction Of Keystone XL Is Paused, Tribes Brace For What's Next

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Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, a Democrat, warned that failure of a Medicaid-funding initiative on the ballot could make for a tough legislative session in 2019. William Campbell/Corbis via Getty Images hide caption

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William Campbell/Corbis via Getty Images

"Most of us are ecstatic" about Medicaid expansion in Utah, said Grant Burningham, of Bountiful. "We were all together and hugging and kissing last night." Kim Raff for NPR hide caption

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Kim Raff for NPR

A Winning Idea: Medicaid Expansion Prevails In Idaho, Nebraska And Utah

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Grant Burningham, who lives in Bountiful, Utah, worked to get a referendum on Medicaid expansion on the Utah ballot in November. Kim Raff for NPR hide caption

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Kim Raff for NPR

Voters In 4 States Set To Decide On Medicaid Expansion

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A sow grizzly bear spotted near Camas in northwestern Montana. Wildlife officials endorsed a plan in August to keep northwestern Montana's grizzly population at roughly 1,000 bears as the state seeks to bolster its case that lifting federal protections will not lead to the bruins' demise. Montana Fish and Wildlife and Parks, via AP hide caption

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Montana Fish and Wildlife and Parks, via AP

Grizzlies Have Recovered, Officials Say; Now Montanans Have To Get Along With Them

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Brian Kleinsasser, left, who works in the hog barn at Cool Spring Colony, helps Jake Waldner set up the Hutterite table during a Long Table dinner event at The Resort at Paws Up. Stuart Thurlkill / via Paws Up hide caption

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Stuart Thurlkill / via Paws Up

In Gun-Friendly Montana, Student Walkout Steers Clear Of Politics

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Sens. Jon Tester, left, and Steve Daines, speaking together in Jardine, Mont., in August 2017. Both said recently they want the Indian Health Service to have new, strong leadership soon. Matthew Brown/AP Photo/Matthew Brown hide caption

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Matthew Brown/AP Photo/Matthew Brown

When wildfire smoke choked their community last summer, Amy Cilimburg (left), the director of Climate Smart Missoula, helped Joy and Don Dunagan, of Seeley Lake, Mont., get a HEPA air filter through a partnership with the Missoula City-County Health Department. Nora Saks / Montana Public Radio hide caption

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Nora Saks / Montana Public Radio

When Wildfire Smoke Invades, Who Should Pay To Clean Indoor Air?

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A head of poor-quality malt barley taken directly from a field in Power, Mont. Heat and a lack of water resulted in small and light kernels. Grain rejected for malt barley often ends up as animal feed. Tony Bynum/Food & Environment Reporting Network hide caption

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Tony Bynum/Food & Environment Reporting Network

Wilmot Collins, the next mayor of Helena, Mont., came to the U.S. as a refugee during Liberia's civil war. Refugees are "not bloodsuckers," he says. "We are not just here to consume the resources. We provide for the economy." Corin Cates-Carney for NPR hide caption

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Corin Cates-Carney for NPR

Black-footed ferrets are the most endangered mammal in North America. Scientists in Montana are trying to save the ferrets by saving their main food source, prairie dogs. Kathryn Scott Osler/Denver Post via Getty Images hide caption

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Kathryn Scott Osler/Denver Post via Getty Images

Biologists With Drones And Peanut Butter Pellets Are On A Mission To Help Ferrets

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Smoke plumes rise from the Rice Ridge Fire in August, behind Montana's Seeley Lake Elementary School, in Seeley Lake, Mont. Eric Whitney/MTPR hide caption

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Eric Whitney/MTPR

Montanans Pitch In To Bring Clean Air To Smoky Classrooms

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On July 21, Sperry Chalet was still a beautiful refuge for those who made the trek into the wilderness. Courtesty of Bret Bouda hide caption

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Courtesty of Bret Bouda