The Montana Electric Cooperatives’ Association is adopting an avian protection plan to reduce accidents involving birds and power lines. The plan lists measures utilities can take to make power lines safer for birds. The plan includes procedures for dealing with nests and covering live parts of poles. It requires co-ops to develop an implementation plan, allowing each to customize the procedures for their service area.
The Philipsburg Brewing Company won a silver award for its Haybag Hefeweizen at the World Beer Cup held in Philadelphia. The award winner is a wheat beer with a citrus finish. The same day the brewery was notified it had won an award from the Garden City Brewfest in Missoula.
Montana University -Northern has broken ground on the new Diesel Technology Center. The project will provide state-of-the-art training facilities for Diesel technology. The center will costs $9.9 million
Owners of the four coal-fired power plants at Colstrip have been told that the operator of Colstrip, Talen Energy, will no longer operate the plants after May of 2018. told them it plans to leave by May 2018.
Hecla Mining Co. intends to purchase Mines Management of Spokane, which owns the Montacore project between Libby and Troy. The buyout would give Hecla access to reportedly large silver and copper deposits in the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness.
That New Mexico Attorney General has filed a lawsuit in US District Court in Albuquerque against the Environmental Protection Agency “and two mine owners for economic and environmental damages caused by the Gold King Mine spill” in August 2015. The suit, which in addition to the EPA names Administrator Gina McCarthy and various companies, “demand[s] the defendants ‘abate the imminent and substantial threats’ from the Sunnyside Mine network and remediate residual contamination from mine releases.” In addition, the state is seeking “compensation for environmental and economic damages,”
Whitefish Credit Union has hired EFT Manager, Alicia Softich, and Head Teller, Terry Janke to manage its South Kalispell branch.
The State Department of Trust Lands in North Dakota recently held its first totally online auction of mineral acreage on state-owned land. It was so successful that they will no longer hold regular call auctions in which bidders must go to the Capitol. They had 47 bidders from 11 states and two Canadian provinces — more than usual. It helped, said officials, that a 47-acre tract in McKenzie County — still the hot spot for oil drilling — was in the mix. It drew top bonus dollars at $15,200 an acre, amounting to nearly half of the $1.6 million total for 6,350 mineral acres sold. The average price in this sale was $256 an acre, compared with $75 at February’s quarterly sale. The bonus income, plus royalties when oil is produced, go into a state education trust.
The Montana Chamber of Commerce announced the addition of Nate Kavanagh as the organization’s new communications director. A native of Cut Bank, Kavanagh received a bachelor’s degree in communication studies and public relations from Carroll College.
Minot’s population grew by 2.9 percent during the year ended July 1, 2015. The gain of 1,398 residents puts Minot’s estimated population of 49,450 within reach of the 50,000 that would categorize the city and region as a metropolitan area. Minot’s population has risen nearly 21 percent since the official 2010 census.
Zoot, a global provider of advanced origination, acquisition and decision management solutions, at Gallatin Gateway, announced the company’s blog was named a must-read financial IT resource for 2016. BizTech magazine recently compiled and published their list of the top 25 fintech blogs.
Montana State University’s Veteran Services office recently awarded scholarships totaling more than $15,000 to veterans and their spouses at the annual veteran appreciation dinner, held April 29 in Bozeman. The Veterans Family Freedom Scholarship was established for veterans of the United States Armed Forces and their spouses to show support for their protection of our freedom.
Glacier Park hosted 2,366,056 visitors last year, a second record in two years. It was named one of the 10 most popular national parks in America. Yellowstone National Park set a record with more than 4 million people is the fifth most popular park.
Citing higher rates and increased processing in the Williston Basin, ONEOK Partners reported a record high net income of $253.5 million, a 74.1% increase over the same quarter last year. Volumes reached 810 Mmcf a day as they captured previously flared natural gas and connected new wells.
The oil and gas industry praised recent decisions by the Colorado State Supreme Court, which rejected attempts by two cities to control development and hydraulic fracturing. The court upheld a lower court decision that state law preempted action by the City of Longmont to ban fracing within its city limits.
Confronted with lower oil prices, Generac Holdings Inc. will move the manufacturing of MAC heaters from Bismarck, North Dakota to Berline, Wisconsin as part of a restructuring which will save the company between $4 million and $5million. The company makes premium-grade commercial and industrial mobile heaters.
Still riding an expected loss for its Dakota Prairie Refinery in Dickinson, MDU Resources said it was welling diesel fuel on average at $40 a barrel in the first three months of the year. The Bismarck-based company said it lost $7.2 million from the refinery in the first quarter and earlier this year. It anticipates that losses may total $25 million. Because of the continued losses, MDU is considering imposing an impairment charge (goodwill losses) at some future time if market conditions persist. Even so the diversified utility reported $32.6 million in adjusted net earnings and saw improvement in its natural gas pipeline business utilities and a $1.4 billion backlog for its construction business.
Cuba announced that it will legalize small and medium-sized private businesses. In removing the government restraint, it is hoped private firms will import wholesale supplies and export products to other countries for the first time.

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