The city of Bozeman has been ranked number four on a list of the 25 best small college towns in which to live. Bozeman, the home of Montana State University, was the highest-ranked town in Montana on the list. The rankings were made by Schools.com, an online resource for education information and national education news.
Neptune Aviation, based in Missoula, provides flights between Billings and Missoula on a daily basis. While members receive discounts for multiple flights or prior bookings, flights are available to the public, either one way o two.
The Atlas Bar in Columbus celebrated its 100th birthday on March 26. On the National Register of Historic Places, the bar is famous for its “Dead Animal Zoo,” and attracts hundreds of tourists annually.
Petroleum producers in North Dakota are unhappy with the new requirements North Dakota is imposing to regulate the installation of underground pipeline gathering systems. “The rules appear to substantially exceed the legislative intent in many areas, they will be costly to implement and add time consuming record keeping/reporting requirements with little benefit to reducing or minimizing crude oil or produced water spills,” said Ron Ness, of the North Dakota Petroleum Council. “The timing could not have been worse for the state to run out these extensive rules, as we continue to get throttled with new federal rules trying to shut-down our business; the industry is overwhelmed with new regulatory burdens at a time when we are fighting for survival.”(Oil Patch Hotline)
Lewis and Clark County District Court Judge Kathy Seeley declared that a permit for the Rosebud Mine that was issued by the Department of Environmental Protection should not have been issued. She said the permit showed “clear errors of judgment” regarding the protections of waters into which the mine discharges. Spokesman for the operator of the mine, Western Energy Engineering, said that while the court case is costly and time consuming it does not affect the day-to-day operations, which was originally permitted in 1999, with a five-year renewal requirement. The mine produces 8 million tons of coal, primarily used by the Colstrip Power Plant. The permit, which allows the discharge of approved pollutants into surrounding waters, was scheduled to be in place over ten years ago. A bureaucratic struggle between the mine and DEQ, delayed the permit but it was finally issued in 2012. It was then challenged in court by the Montana Environmental Information Center and the Sierra Club.
Researchers will be using a mailed survey in Richland County, Montana, and McKenzie County, North Dakota, to collect data to better understand the local community benefits and costs of oil and gas development. The survey asks businesses and landowners about how recent oil activity affected their businesses and farm and ranch operations.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is recommending that grizzly bears be taken off the Endangered Species list in the Yellowstone ecosystem. The area is fully “saturated” with as many bears as the ecosystem can sustain and has been for a number of years, said one grizzly expert. There are 674 bears, not including those in adjacent areas, which wander in and out of the designated area. If the number drops below 500, the grizzly would be considered for relisting. If the proposal is approved the agency will be required to prepare a recovery plan, which will probably include hunting seasons in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho.
A new antique store has opened in Livingston. Called Junk and Disorderly, the store is owned by Dan Porter. It is located on East Park Street west of the Teslow grain elevator.
For the fourth quarter of 2015, cattle prices averaged $128 per hundred weight, down about 23 percent from the fourth quarter of 2014. Hog prices during the fourth quarter of 2015 averaged about $45 per hundredweight, down about 33 percent from the same quarter a year prior and nearly 50 percent below the prices received during the second quarter of 2014. Retail prices for both beef and park are down somewhat. (From Western Ag Reporter).
North Dakota oil production in January dropped by 30,596 barrels to 1,22,100 BOPD, but combined with current production from Montana at $7,545 BOPD and South Dakota at 3,914 BOPD, Williston Basin Total production stood at 1,183,559.
A new Love’s Truck Stop will be locating in Hardin. The City of Livingston has been resisting a proposed location there, by refusing to annex the property.
The Dawson County Commissioners hope to issue a request for bid in June to build a sewer connection to tie the West Glendive sewer system to the city’s new wastewater treatment plant. The project has been delayed because of difficulties getting easements.
Even with a relatively new the 464-bed Two Rivers Detention Facility located nearby, Big Horn County commissioners are taking steps to build a new jail addition, as they respond to pressure from the American Civil Liberties Union for lack of space in their current facility. They may have to keep the existing jail for a while requesting bids for the design and construction of an addition to the jail, which has 29 beds and an average daily population of 42. Even though the Two Rivers Detention Facility is in the process of earning American Correctional Association accreditation, it doesn’t make economic sense for the county to use it, said commissioners.
Parts of the Canadian portion of Glacier National Park, Waterton Lakes National Park to the north, will be closed from April thru November, as the park constructs new facilities to replace existing facilities at the Cameron Lake day use area. The Akamina Parkway will also be closed in the same time period because of the construction. The Red Rock Parkway will also see intermittent closures through June 17. Starting May 6, the road will be open for weekend use only. On June 17, the road is expected to reopen seven days a week. Visitors can also expect to see work on staff housing, the Blakiston Falls viewing platform until June and the Waterton townsite will see sewer and water upgrades along Evergreen Avenue.
Whitefish Credit Union, Montana’s largest credit union, has announced the planned opening of their newest branch in south Kalispell. Located at 1825 HWY 93 South, this will be the Credit Union’s second branch in Kalispell.
Montana State University researchers in the College of Agriculture have produced a new line of hard red spring wheat, which is available for licensing. The line retains the Clearfield two-gene resistance to the imidazolinone family of herbicides, a non-genetically-modified crop herbicide tolerance technology discovered by BASF researchers. The line, known as MT1173, was derived by crossing the herbicide-resistant genes of the Clearfield line with the Vida variety. MT1173 was selected for the balance of its gluten strength, protein content and yield, and the presence of two genes for herbicide resistance.