Motorcycle deaths are up 26% in Montana

Submitted by Emily Lamb


This week nearly one million motorcycle riders will travel to the world’s largest motorcycle rally in Sturgis, South Dakota. According to recent data, riding a motorcycle is more deadly than ever before.

Our team of analysts found that motorcycle fatalities have increased by 26% in Montana since 2019.

You can find the full report on the rising number of motorcycle deaths is available at the link. It includes detailed information on fatalities, helmet use and alcohol-related deaths.


Key Findings for Montana: 

  • 29 motorcycle riders were killed in 2020
  • Fatality rate of 4 deaths per 10k registered motorcycle owners
  • Helmet use declined from 71% to 68% nationwide

Grants Offered to Rural Schools for History Textbooks

Submitted by Eve Byron


Rural school officials can apply for funds to purchase classroom sets of Montana: A History of Our Home, the new fourth-grade student textbook published by the Montana Historical Society.

The 96-page textbook offers a quick tour through 13,000 years of Montana history. Students will learn about Montana’s 12 tribal nations and seven reservations; the immigrants who moved to Montana in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; and the trapping, mining, logging, farming, and ranching industries that drew them to the Treasure State. The book also introduces students to amazing Montanans from Northern Cheyenne Chief Dull Knife to photographer Evelyn Cameron.

The sturdy, hardback textbook with library binding is accompanied by a detailed, activity-filled, 320-page teacher’s guide. You can download and preview both the student book and the teacher’s guide here.

“The material is aligned to Montana’s new social studies standards, which require students to “explain how Montana has changed over time given its cultural diversity and how this history impacts the present,” said Martha Kohl, the MTHS Outreach and Information program manager. “It also helps students investigate the physical, political, and cultural characteristics of places, regions, and people in Montana.”

The interdisciplinary lessons also align to the ELA, math, and art standards as well as the Seven Essential Understandings Regarding Montana Indians.

Thanks to a grant from the Steele-Reese Foundation, a charitable trust committed to supporting rural communities, schools more than 40 miles from an urban center (defined as Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell, and Missoula) are eligible to apply for funds to reimburse the cost of purchasing textbooks. The school will be required to pay for shipping to their school from Helena.

Selected schools will be required to submit receipts showing their purchase to the Montana Historical Society for reimbursement.

To apply, school officials need to complete this application [] by midnight, Aug. 31. MTHS will review applications and announce decisions by Sept. 12. If there are more requests than can be fulfilled, MTHS will give preference to small schools (measured by the number of fourth-grade students attending the school) to make sure that the most rural schools are served first. A secondary criterion will be how many hours the teacher will dedicate to Montana history.

For more information, contact Kohl at 406-444-4740 or

Department of Public Health and Human Safety Announces First Confirmed Case of Monkeypox in Montana

Courtesy of DPHHS

The Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) and Flathead City-County Health Department today confirmed a single presumptive case of monkeypox virus infection in a Flathead County adult.

Initial testing was completed August 5, 2022, at the Montana State Public Health Laboratory and confirmatory testing will occur next with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

DPHHS is working closely with local public health and the patient’s health care provider to identify individuals who may have been in contact with the patient while they were infectious. The local public health jurisdiction is performing contact tracing and will communicate with individuals identified as a close contact. The patient did not require hospitalization and is isolating at home. To protect patient confidentiality, no further details related to the patient will be disclosed.

As of August 4, 2022, CDC reports 7,102 cases of monkeypox/orthopoxvirus in 48 other U.S. states. In recent months, more than 26,519 cases have been reported in 81 countries where the disease is not typically reported.

Symptoms of monkeypox can include fever, headache, muscle aches and backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, exhaustion, and a rash that can look like pimples or blisters that appear on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body.

The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks and most people get better on their own without treatment. At times, monkeypox can cause scars from the sores, the development of secondary infections, such as pneumonia, or other complications.

The virus does not easily spread between people with casual contact, but transmission can occur through contact with infectious sores and body fluids; contaminated items, such as clothing or bedding; or through respiratory droplets associated with prolonged face-to-face contact.

“Early recognition of the characteristic monkeypox rash by patients and clinicians is necessary to minimize transmission of this virus,” said DPHHS acting State Medical Officer Dr. Maggie Cook-Shimanek. “Anyone with symptoms of monkeypox should isolate from others and immediately consult a healthcare provider.”

Because monkeypox transmission requires close and prolonged contact, close-knit social networks have been particularly impacted.

There is no treatment specifically for monkeypox. But because monkeypox and smallpox viruses are closely related, antiviral drugs (such as tecovirimat) and vaccines developed to protect against smallpox may be used to prevent and treat monkeypox virus infections. The need for treatment will depend on how sick someone gets or whether they are likely to get severely ill. DPHHS is pre-positioning a supply of tecovirimat in the state for use, if necessary. CDC does not recommend widespread vaccination against monkeypox at this time. However, vaccination may be recommended for some people who have been exposed to the monkeypox virus.

According to the CDC, the monkeypox virus is spreading mostly through close, intimate contact with someone who has monkeypox.

Montanans can take steps to prevent getting monkeypox.

Anyone with a rash that looks like monkeypox should talk to their healthcare provider, even if they don’t think they had contact with someone who has monkeypox.

A person who is sick with monkeypox should isolate at home. If they have an active rash or other symptoms, they should be in a separate room or area from other family members and pets, when possible.

To learn more about this virus, visit the CDC website here

DPHHS has also launched a new monkeypox website here monkeypox (