Monthly Highlights - September 2016


The Rundown with Beth Saboe: The Future of Colstrip (No. 101) 
At a time when the coal industry is facing one setback after another, MontanaPBS News & Public Affairs Producer Beth Saboe explores how the conflict over coal is playing out in the small town of Colstrip. This company town is home to around 2,200 people, and the coal-fired power plant and nearby coal mine are the community's largest employers. But Colstrip's plant is primarily owned by out-of-state utility companies who want to wean customers off electricity generated by coal and replace it with renewable energy. The Obama administration is also making it hard for this town that coal built, with a plan to fight climate change that would force Montana to drastically reduce its carbon emissions. Can the people of Colstrip win the war on coal? Or will this small town be forced to forgo its namesake to survive? Airs Thursday, 9/1 at 7:30pm, Sunday, 9/4 at 10:30am

Business: Made in Montana
This episode introduces viewers to Coaster Pedicab in Bonner, Adipose Boatworks in Helena, McCollum Longboards in Missoula, Alpine Tipis in Polson, E.L.K. Inc. in Gardner and Kochel Guitars in Potomac. Airs Thursday, 9/1 at 7pm, Sunday, 9/4 at 10am, Wednesday, 9/7 at 1am

Backroads of Montana: Singing in the Wires (No. 136) 
The 50 students at Greenfield School in Fairfield are energetic and bright. One reason for their success is a tasty lunch program. We'll spend a day with Lunch Lady Salley Young as she prepares a special meal that's 100 percent Montana made. In Kalispell, we switch into the world of antique phones, with a man whose collecting began with his career as an installer with the phone company. He's proof that it pays to "keep the old stuff." We'll veer off the road to some of Montana's beautiful lakes and ponds to observe the springtime ritual of birds' courtship dances. And we'll meet a man in Fort Benton whose skill in crafting musical instruments is only surpassed by his generous spirit. William Marcus hosts the program from the Big Horn County Museum in Hardin. Airs Saturday, 9/3 at 5pm

Montana Ag Live: Precision Farming (No. 4403) 
MSU agro-ecologist Bruce Maxwell will look at some amazing advances in precision farming, and the producer development of on-farm research programs. Airs Sunday, 9/4 at 11am

11th & Grant with Eric Funk: Chinook Winds (No. 1105) 
The Chinook Winds Quintet showcases their interpretation of late 20th century classical, Operatic comedy and crossover genres. Performing throughout the region since 1992, the quintet features Norman Gonzales on flute, Melanie Pozdol on oboe, Elizabeth Crawford on bassoon, Christopher Mothersole on clarinet, and Mike Nelson on horn. From David Maslanka's Quintet No. 3 to Gioachino Rossini's Overture to the Barber of Seville with a touch of Guns N' Roses, this ensemble's virtuosity and dynamic performances make this a memorable episode of 11th & Grant. Members of this premiere ensemble serve as principal players in the Great Falls Symphony Orchestra as well as present chamber music and interactive school programs and residencies throughout Montana and the Northwest. 
Airs Thursday, 9/8 at 7pm, Saturday, 9/10 at 10:02pm, Monday, 9/12 at 2am

Backroads of Montana: Paintings, Partials and Pies (No. 137) 
Follow competitors in the cherry pit spitting and cherry pie eating contests at the Flathead Cherry Festival in Polson. Learn the story of Hobson dentist Virgil Stewart who began his practice in 1912 during an era when most rural Montanans could not afford such care. Hike into the Sweet Grass Hills where an unexpected natural wonder rises out of the prairie. And meet an eastern Montana man whose passion for art has literally spread all over the town of Forsyth. William Marcus hosts the program from historical landmarks near Havre and Chinook. Airs Saturday, 9/10 at 5pm

Montana Ag Live: Head for Cover! (No. 4407) 
NRCS Area Agronomist for SW Montana Susan Tallman will discuss the status of cover crops, soil health issues and erosion issues in irrigated fields. Airs Sunday, 9/11 at 11am

Brought to You by Alec
They've been around for four decades and are behind some of the most influential and controversial legislation in Montana and the nation, including electricity deregulation, prison privatization and stand-your-ground laws. Despite these high-profile successes, few Americans know anything about the American Legislative Exchange Council, also known as ALEC. The group invites legislators from all 50 states to corporate-funded conferences where they sit down with corporate representatives and lobbyists to craft legislation together. Supporters say ALEC is an invaluable networking tool that gives them the opportunity to hear how policy could impact businesses. Critics say it gives corporations unfair access and undue influence over lawmakers. Using extensive research and interviews with both critics and supporters, MontanaPBS examines how ALEC operates, their impact in statehouses across the United States and critics' claims that ALEC has failed to report millions of dollars spent lobbying. 
Airs Sunday, 9/11 at 10am

Montana Ag Live: Weeds Special (No. 4601)
We are starting our new season with a special program focusing on the management of weeds in Montana. Featuring Dave Burch, weed coordinator for the Montana Department of Agriculture, we will concentrate on how to manage both new and existing weed issues in the Treasure State. If you have an issue with weeds, and who doesn't, then don't miss this program. 
Airs Sunday, 9/11 at 6pm, Sunday, 9/18 at 11am

Concussion: Answers in the Blood?
Potentially groundbreaking research is taking place in Montana to improve diagnosis and treatment of concussions. Two scientists are attempting to find critical information in human blood. This program gives an inside look at people who suffer a concussion and those who are trying to help them. 
Airs Thursday, 9/15 at 7pm, Sunday, 9/18 at 10am, Wednesday, 9/21 at 5am

Backroads of Montana: Hook, Line and Singer (No. 138) 
Backroads meets a western Montana man who has worked hard to improve access to the state's great outdoors. A terrifying highway accident left Chris Clasby a quadriplegic, but it couldn't diminish his passion for hunting and fishing. His spirit comes through as we tag along on a fishing trip on the Missouri River. Next is a tour of Rock City near Valier, a sandstone metropolis of hoodoos carved by Two Medicine River. The show profiles Chontay Standing Rock, a student at Stone Child College on the Rocky Boy Reservation, who has a unique approach to American Indian songs. He adds some English words and a striking stage presence to put his own spin on traditional music. And in Deer Lodge Backroads visits retired rancher, Gene Hensen, whose unlikely collection of home appliances grew from necessity. William Marcus hosts the program from the Fergus County Courthouse in Lewistown. 
Airs Saturday, 9/17 at 5pm

Montana Ag Live: What's It Worth? (No. 4602) 
Richard Browning from the Montana Department of Revenue will help us understand how agricultural land is appraised, and will address questions and concerns about tax appraisals. 
Airs Sunday, 9/18 at 6pm, Sunday, 9/25 at 11am

11th & Grant with Eric Funk: Angella Ahn & Friends (No. 1101) 
"Angella Ahn and Friends" showcases a diverse performance that crosses genres and merges styles, breaking the barriers that exist between them. Her deep repertoire ranges from William Grant Still and Hyung-ki Joo to Jimmy Paige and Robert Plant. Collaborating with accomplished singer Jeni Fleming, pianist Julie Gosswiller, and classical guitarist Stuart Weber, Ahn's groundbreaking vision makes this episode one of a kind, filled with music that is moving and fresh. 
Airs Thursday, 9/22 at 7pm, Saturday, 9/24 at 10:55pm, Monday, 9/26 at 2am

Backroads of Montana: Not Forgotten (No. 139) 
Backroads remembers a DeBorgia man who left behind a legacy on film. He went from western Montana lumberjack to improbable filmmaker and, in the process, provided memories to share. It's not possible to share a tasty artifact from Montana's military past in Miles City -- you'll find out why. Did you ever wonder what a cow was thinking? We'll meet a Toston woman who took that a step further and wrote songs about it. Listen in on Judy Williams' entertaining concert and see how her approach to having fun has impacted others. And learn the traditions and family ties that inspire Crow Indian artist Kevin Red Star during visits to his studio in Roberts and family ranch near Pryor. 
Airs Saturday, 9/24 at 5pm

Montana Ag Live: What's Happening in the World of Organics? (No. 4603) 
Mac Burgess will join the panel to lead viewers through the organic and commodity crop issue. 
Airs Sunday, 9/25 at 6pm

Indian Relay
The hope and determination of modern-day American Indian life is revealed in this film about what it takes to win one of the most exciting and perilous forms of horseracing practiced anywhere in the world today. Featuring remarkable high-speed cinematography, INDIAN RELAY follows three teams from different American Indian communities as they prepare for and compete in a grueling Indian Relay season -- all hearts set on the glory and honor of winning an Indian Relay National Championship. 
Airs Sunday, 9/25 at 10am

History of Glacier National Park: Crown of the Continent
A vivid journey, through the pages of history, revealing the natural forces that created the park's majestic landscape.
Airs Thursday, 9/29 at 7pm

Monthly Highlights

Each month, MontanaPBS presents new programs and favorites from the past that have been produced in the state. For a detailed schedule with airdates and descriptions of the upcoming Montana programs, view the featured Monthly Highlights.

Future Productions

MontanaPBS stations KUSM-TV/Bozeman and KUFM-TV/Missoula are always hard at work on new stories for our viewers. View a listing of the productions that are in our program pipeline.

Production Services

KUFM-TV and KUSM-TV offer facilities and professional television Production Services for individuals or organizations interested in producing a program.


Improved and more economical television production technologies, such as the digital video (DV) format, have made it easier than ever before for individuals to create their own programs for potential broadcast. MontanaPBS encourages these Independent Producers, and in some cases we may be able to provide some assistance on your project. Visit our Independents page for more information.