Crow Tribal senators have chosen to accept the reduction in payments plan of action resolution between the Crow Tribe and mine owner Westmoreland Resources. The plan states the reduction’s specifics must be determined before Oct. 1. Tribal members are well aware of mining’s far-reaching impact on the reservation. A February 2014 report states the Absaloka Mine, located in northeastern Big Horn County on the Crow Reservation, represents two-thirds of the Crow Tribe’s non-federal budget and one-fifth of the county’s.

Oil could be headed to the NorthStar Transloading Facility, located in East Fairview. The $6.8 million 8 inch pipeline is 3.6 miles long. The pipeline would start at Tesoro’s existing Break-Out Tank site 6 miles north of Alexander and end at the NST Express Alexander Facility, a $60 to $80 million project currently under construction 9 miles northwest of Alexander. The Alexander facility has three above ground storage tanks with a capacity of 50,000 barrels each, a pump station and a pig launcher, and a 100,000-bpd pipeline that ties into the NorthStar facility in Fairview.

Highlands Natural Resources has filed permits and bonds with the state as part of a pilot drilling program in the southeastern portion of Custer County. The Helios Two project has plans for drilling and developing natural gas and helium deposits in the area. The firm is a UK-registered investment company established in 2014 and focuses on acquiring oil and gas assets. The Montana Board of Oil and Gas Conservation is currently processing the permit applications. Highlands anticipates beginning the construction of an evaporation pit as soon as possible with drilling to commence within 30 days.

A Missoula company, Blue Marble Biomaterials, has created a plant-based bacon flavor ingredient that has the potential for all kinds of uses. Blue Marble specializes in creating products employing biomass as the starting material, rather than petroleum-derived ingredients. The product, officially called bacon dithiazine, meets all the natural-labeling requirements set forth by the United States and the European Union.

Currently four companies have bought five lots in the Great Falls AgriTech Park, with another 20-acre, “shovel-ready” lot set to be developed. Two international companies, Helena Chemical and FedEx Ground, are completing their AgriTech Park facilities. Montana Specialty Mills, is expected to start construction this fall.

Two Choteau entrepreneurs are using family recipes to manufacture spices. Steve Dogiakos and Katie Eney grew up in the Midwest US, but came to live in Choteau. After discussing their recipes and business ideas they started Choteau Spice Co. in the spring of 2016. They are currently producing three spices and two rubs which are on sale at area farmers markets.

Pioneer Aerostructures makes titanium bulkheads for the Air force’s newest fighter, the F-35 Lightning II. Pioneer Aerostructures is based in Helena. The bulkheads act as the “ribs” of the aircraft. Pioneer currently manufactures three parts for the F-35

Oracle, told Bozeman employees last week that more than 100 positions were being moved to San Antonio, Texas. The employees, who work at the Oracle campus in south Bozeman, were told the decision was a cost savings. The cloud management employees administer legal contracts with Fortune 500 companies.

WBI Energy, Inc., the pipeline and midstream subsidiary of MDU Resources Group, Inc. announced that it will move forward with construction of its Valley Expansion Pipeline Project in eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota. WBI Energy has secured the capacity commitments needed for the 38-mile, 16-inch natural gas pipeline that will connect WBI Energy’s existing system near Mapleton, North Dakota, with the Viking Gas Transmission Company pipeline near Felton, Minnesota. Survey work has begun on the route and construction is expected to start in early 2018. Cost of the expansion is estimated at $55 million to $60 million. The project, which is designed to transport 40 million cubic feet of natural gas per day,.

Montana State University has been named one of the best universities nationally for veterans. A ranking published in USA Today listed 1,427 of the best colleges and universities for veterans, with MSU being ranked 136th. The ranking places Montana State in the top 10 percent nationally.

A Montana State University architecture professor is directing a reclamation project that will transform Butte’s Bonanza Mine Dump to a recreation site that will include a BMX racing course. The project received a $100,000 grant from the Butte Natural Resource Damage Council. Total cost of the project is expected to be $750,000 - $1million. The project is one of five small restoration efforts recommended by the council to improve former Butte mine sites.

The Big Sky Chamber of Commerce will host its annual Business Expo at Buck’s T-4 on September 27. The Big Sky Business Expo is designed to provide cutting edge market intelligence to the Big Sky business community with a goal to support marketing and operations planning during the off season.

The Rocky Mountain Hospice programs serving Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Helena and Missoula will change its name to Compassus. The name change is part of a rebranding initiative following Compassus’ purchase of substantially all Genesis home health and hospice programs earlier this year. Compassus currently operates in more than 165 locations in 30 states across the U.S. Its mission is to provide hospice care to terminally ill patients and their families with compassion, integrity and excellence.

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