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Saturday, Mar. 22nd, 2014

KGLT Fund Drive 2014

KGLT, Southwest Montana’s alternative public radio station, celebrates 46 years of great music by kicking off their annual fund drive on Sunday, March 23rd.

KGLT 91.9 and 97.1 fm in Bozeman is non-commercial and largely listener-supported, making their annual fund drive a major source of operating revenue. And every year, KGLT’s staff of over 80 volunteer DJs take to the airwaves for two weeks to create one of the most entertaining live on-air fund drives you’ll ever hear.

They’ll be offering a wide assortment of gifts donated by local businesses and organizations to entice their listeners to support this rare breed of radio stations.

A collectable KGLT t-shirt and sticker comes with a minimum $50 pledge, and the deal gets sweeter as your pledge increases with music packages, gift certificates, other t-shirt options, hand-made coffee mugs by Mountain Arts Pottery, canvas tote bags and embroidered fleece vests.

Other incentive gifts this year will include certificates for food from your favorite restaurants and coffee shops, services from local businesses - like yoga classes,  jewelry, massages and bike tune-ups with large-ticket bid items like ski passes from Big Sky Resort and Bridger Bowl and a bicycle from Summit Bike & Ski.

In this age of corporate consolidation of the airwaves, KGLT remains wild and unfettered, offering a broad swath of music from its’ rotating roster of live, volunteer DJs every day from 6am to after midnight. Music offerings vary from the ever-popular Saturday morning bluegrass show with DJs Cathy Ebelke and Jim Albrecht, the zany banter of Keith and Randy on Wednesday afternoon’s ‘Coffee Show’ to Classic Country on ‘Cow Jazz’ with Deb Robiscoe Thursday mornings 9am to noon. Occasionally, you may even hear the crackle of vinyl from KGLT’s extensive 46 -year-old record library.

KGLT has a very entertaining two-week fund drive where DJs and community join forces to support commercial-free radio – and if last year’s record-breaking support is any indication, the listeners think that’s a pretty good deal!

KGLT broadcasts from the MSU campus at 91.9 and 97.1fm in Bozeman, 89.5fm in Livingston, 98.1fm in Helena and in Gardiner/Mammoth at 107.1fm.  Log on to for live streaming and a complete show schedule.  During the fund drive, you can phone in your pledge at (406) 994-4492, or 800-254-5458.

For more information, or to offer incentive gifts to KGLT’s fund drive, contact Ron @ (406) 994-7091.

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Big Sky Snowsports Hiring Clinic

Big Sky Resort has created one of the finest Snowsports Schools in America and is encouraging those who are passionate about the sport to join the team for the 2014-15 season. Big Sky Snowsports will be conducting a hiring clinic April 12-13, 2014 to introduce the program and the mountain to those interested in sharing the sport with others by becoming instructors.

Big Sky Resort will be conducting try outs for both skiing and snowboarding for adult and children’s instructors. Participants must be at least a level seven being able to ski or snowboard blue runs comfortably.

Big Sky Mountain Sports diverse staff of instructors, all certified by Professional Ski Instructors of America, and alpine guides bring a wealth of knowledge and skill with a focus on the enjoyment of skiing or snowboarding. All committed Big Sky Snowsport instructors are offered extensive training and certification opportunities.
Big Sky Snowsports School can be flexible to fit the unique needs of local Montanans, including full time students, by signing up to work weekends, holidays and spring break. Part time instructors qualify for full complimentary Biggest Skiing in America season pass for the 2014-15 season. Other benefits include pay for lessons, discounted food and discounts in retail.

Participants interested in attending the Big Sky Mountain Snow Sport’s School hiring clinic on Saturday and Sunday, April 12-13, 2014 should contact Both days are from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., ready to go on the snow by 9 a.m. Complimentary lift tickets will be provided to all participants.

Big Sky Resort is the Biggest Skiing in America with 5,750 acres, 4,350 vertical drop, 28 chair and surface lifts, and the home of the Lone Peak Tram arriving at 11,166 feet in elevation. Big Sky has over 2,400 acres of beginner/intermediate terrain and over 3.300 acres of advance/expert terrain. Big Sky has plenty of opportunities to grow skill sets and advance careers.

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Friday, Mar. 7th, 2014

Montana Girls STEM Collaborative opens new mini-grant cycle April 1

The Montana Girls STEM Collaborative Project (MGSCP), a statewide initiative to encourage girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math, or STEM, has partnered with the Women's Foundation of Montana to offer a mini-grants program.

Applications will be accepted from April 1 through May 1.

Mini grants are designed to build collaboration between existing programs and organizations in order to encourage girls to pursue STEM-related educational programs and careers. Organizations may apply for funding up to $2,000 and must have at least one partner. Preference is given to applications that are innovative and involve collaboration between two programs or organizations that have not previously collaborated together.

Learn more about the mini-grant program at Montana's online applications will open April 1.

For more information, contact Suzi Taylor at Montana State University:

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The Bozeman Energy Smackdown

The City of Bozeman’s Office of Sustainability has challenged residents to shave 10% off their energy usage. This significant savings will add more money to their pocketbook and taking a stand against climate change. The Bozeman Energy Smackdown was developed as a friendly community competition aimed at educating and inspiring residents to reduce their energy consumption. The Challenge evaluates energy use based upon utility bill history from Northwestern Energy, and the two biggest savers over a twelve-­‐ month period will be rewarded with a $1,000 gift card to the home improvement store of their choice.

The contest officially closes on April 16, 2014, so there is still time to enter and see how your energy usage stacks up. The City of Bozeman and their community partners encourage ALL Bozeman residents to become more cognizant of energy usage, especially during recent periods of extreme cold. The contest website ( offers suggestions on weatherization methods for your home, as well as simple daily reminders such as kicking your thermometer down a notch or two and donning a sweater, or air drying your clothes.

“We are excited to see Bozeman residents becoming engaged in saving energy. With buildings generating half of global greenhouse gases, saving energy at home has a significant impact on battling climate change. The community of Bozeman has a vested interest in keeping our winters deep and our whitewater roaring,” stated Natalie Meyer, who works at the City of Bozeman as the Sustainability Program Manager.

Saving energy has a significant impact on a residential family’s pocketbook, too. If every family in Bozeman shaved 10% off of their energy bill each month, the entire community would see an annual savings of $2.6 million dollars.

In addition to the two $1000 grand prizes, generously donated by NorthWestern Energy, the City of Bozeman will also be giving away two $100 gift cards to Lowe’s. Watch for those opportunities on the City’s social media outlets on Facebook ( and Twitter ( as well as nuggets on how to reduce energy consumption in your home or business.

For more information please visit:

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Monday, Mar. 3rd, 2014

MSU film graduate Tom Berninger talked to MSU students

A documentary about one of America's hottest indie groups that is going "National" has a Montana State University connection.
"Mistaken for Strangers," a documentary that will open nationwide next month, is written, directed and co-produced by Tom Berninger, who graduated from Montana State University in 2002 with a degree in film. Berninger recently screened his film in Bozeman and spent a day talking to MSU film students.
"I thought about going to a big film school, but one of my brother's friends who was in film told me to go to a school where I'd have a great college experience …. Get in trouble... Make a lot of friends … all which I did," Berninger said as he spoke to film students last week.
In addition to making friends at MSU, the likable Berninger has also made a memorable film, which was selected as the opening night film for the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival last year and has since then played to great reviews at festivals around the world. Reviewers describe the film as "truly hilarious and touching."
At first blush, the film is about Berninger and his ill-fated turn as a roadie for the indie-rock band The National, a gig he got because his older brother, Matt Berninger, happens to be the group's lead singer. Tom's job doesn't go so well, and from there the film evolves from a humorous look at the inner workings of a rock band into a touching story about complex family relationships and how they form us, and one man's discovery of his strengths and courage.
"It's a love story," one audience member said about the film's examination of the relationship between the two Berninger brothers.
Berninger screened the film at the Bozeman Film Festival in connection with his appearance at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival in Missoula, which meant it was only a short trip to screen the film in Bozeman, visit his old professors and answer questions from film students at his alma mater.
"This is everyone's dream … to come back to their school and talk about their movie," Berninger said. He told students that he followed a cousin to MSU and never regretted his choice.
"This college and this film school let me make movies …. I made a film my freshman year," he said. "That doesn't happen other places."
Cindy Stillwell, MSU film professor who taught Berninger when he was at MSU and introduced him at the Bozeman festival, said her former student has “made a fantastic film that makes us all beam with pride.” The film will have its national opening March 25 at Los Angeles' Shrine Auditorium followed by an appearance by The National.
Berninger is the first to admit that may be surprising for a student who came to MSU because he wanted to make horror films. "More like Herzog's 'Aguirre: Wrath of God' and 'Quest for Fire' than pure horror. Maybe horror action," he said.
Berninger said that after graduation he went to New York, met with a great deal of disappointment and heartbreak and returned to his native Cincinnati to live with his parents. He talked his brother into allowing him to film The National on an international tour with the goal of posting a video blog on the band's website. 
From the beginning of the film, it is obvious that things may not go well for Tom. Even though the brothers' faces bear a resemblance, the similarity seems to end there. Matt is tall, spare, aloof, hipster cool. Tom prefers heavy metal and video games. He's accessible, irreverent, relaxed and always in trouble. The audience learns that this is a longstanding pattern in the Berninger family, where Matt was the "quarterback and hero" and Tom was the class clown.  Yet, as the film unspools along with Tom's career, the audience sees Tom make some important personal realizations that enable him to make the film only he could make. The last image in the film is of the two brothers memorably linked together.
Berninger said he still lives with his famous brother and his family, although they recently relocated from Brooklyn to LA.  "We went out to look at LA and we just stayed, basically," he said.
Berninger told the Bozeman audience that "Mistaken for Strangers" has opened up doors to him, and he is working on another unnamed project. He said he hopes his story may serve as inspiration to those who struggle finding their voice even after "years of heartbreak."
"I wanted to tell the kids that it doesn't matter when you figure it out," said Berninger, who is now 34, of the decade of self-doubt that plagued him. "You just need to figure it out."
His advice to MSU students was to stay in college and take advantage of every opportunity offered them as they discover their own strengths.
"I loved this school, and the five years I was in Montana" Berninger said.
He added that many scenes of Berninger at work with The National while on tour were filmed by MSU film school friends. He said some of his best memories of MSU involve those friends.  "I was kind of a punk. But I was also part of a community. Once you graduate it's really hard. When you are in college, you really are free to create.
"The years here helped create who I eventually came to be," he told the screening audience "… Although. it did take me 12 years to figure that out."
To learn more about Berninger's film, see
To learn more about MSU's School of Film and Photography, see

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Largest private gift in the history of the state

Norm Asbjornson, a Montana State University alumnus and Montana native from the small town of Winifred, has committed to give the university $50 million for its College of Engineering - the largest private gift in the history of the state.

Asbjornson's gift was announced Monday morning at a press conference in the Engineering and Physical Sciences Building on the campus of MSU in Bozeman to an audience of students, faculty, staff, alumni, community members, business leaders and government officials.

"I am excited to see the amazing growth of MSU and the College of Engineering. I hope my gift challenges and inspires others who are in a position to advance the university that has given us so much. MSU needs our support now and this is the time to give back," said Asbjornson, a 1960 MSU mechanical engineering graduate. Asbjornson was also awarded an honorary doctorate in engineering from MSU and the Montana Board of Regents in 2004.

Asbjornson, 78, is the founder and president of AAON, a NASDAQ-traded heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) manufacturer based Tulsa, Okla., with annual revenues in excess of $300 million and more than 1,400 employees.

"Norm has inspired us and humbled us with not only his generosity, but with the depth of his character and his sense of responsibility for future generations," said MSU President Waded Cruzado. "This gift will transform the lives of generations of students, it will transform this campus, and it will transform the state of Montana in profound ways."

Asbjornson's gift will fund the construction of an innovative laboratory and classroom facility that will enable the collaborative, hands-on learning and leadership that embody the university's legacy and mission.  The building, to be named the Norm Asbjornson Innovation Center, is envisioned to promote dynamic interdisciplinary engagement, meaningful student-faculty interaction, and accelerated innovation that responds to and anticipates emerging trends in education, industry and society. Open to all, and anchored in the university's growing engineering programs, the building funded by Asbjornson's gift will bring to life an enduring, state-of-the-art asset that erects bridges between academic programs, serves today's outstanding students and faculty, and supports how learning and leadership will occur long into the future. University officials hope to break ground no later than the spring of 2016 and use the building to anchor development of the university's south campus.

In a previous MSU interview, Asbjornson described his feelings about gratitude and stewardship:

"I think it's an absolute must for everyone to give back to what made them successful. I had a lot of help from MSU and Winifred," Asbjornson said. "I can't repay those who helped me, for they're gone. But I can give to the next generation. I think everyone should balance the books and thank those people and institutions who helped them and also give to the next generation.

"It's a responsibility we all have."

Currently housed in Roberts Hall, Cobleigh Hall and portions of the Engineering and Physical Science Building (EPS), the College of Engineering has been the fastest growing college at MSU for the past two academic years and reached a historic, all-time high enrollment of 3,102 students in the fall of 2013 - up 12 percent from fall 2012. During this time, the college added six new tenure-track faculty lines to support the growth of students and increased its budget for graduate teaching assistants, who provide important teaching support.

From the fall of 2003 to the fall of 2013, the College of Engineering grew from 2,090 students to its current 3,102 students - 48.4 percent growth. The college has had no significant addition of teaching or laboratory space since the completion of the EPS Building in 1997.

"The College of Engineering has been growing rapidly and Norm's gift couldn't come at a better time to help us take our teaching, research and engagement to the next level," said Brett Gunnink, dean of the College of Engineering.

"As a successful engineer and businessman, Norm has seen first-hand how today's greatest challenges benefit from hands-on collaboration across academic disciplines," Gunnink said. "The building supported by this gift will be a game changer for our growing student body, for engineering education and for research and economic development in Montana."

MSU's College of Engineering offers 10 degrees and is home to some of the university's most successful research groups, centers and institutes in terms of student involvement, discovery and economic development.

Asbjornson has made previous gifts to the college and the university. In 2003, he endowed a $1 million scholarship fund for graduates from Montana high schools with 100 or fewer students. He also has created an endowed scholarship specifically for graduates of Winifred High School who attend MSU, and he created an endowment for the Burns Technology Center to develop innovative distance learning programs for rural Montana schools. In 2006, he gave more than $600,000 in cash, equipment and technical advice to create a one-of-a-kind HVAC laboratory in MSU's College of Engineering. His company, AAON, gives research grants to the College of Engineering on a continuing basis and has hired a number of MSU engineering graduates.

Asbjornson has also given of his time and ideas as a member and former chairman of the MSU Alumni Foundation board, through which his gift will be made, and as a long-time member of the College of Engineering advisory council. He has been a major philanthropist for his home town of Winifred as well.

He started his entrepreneurial career at the age of 10 when his uncle offered him a Model T in return for watering hundreds of chickens. For a summer, he hauled hundreds of gallons of water to the chickens from a well using two small pails. On payday, he learned the Model T had been covered in a flood and the engine was too rusted to start.

Undeterred, he worked on the car in his father's garage until it ran. Then he became his own boss and went into business hauling garbage for 25 cents a barrel. It felt like a lot of money to Asbjornson, who grew up during the Great Depression, his family starting in an 800-square-foot house with no indoor plumbing, running water, electricity or telephone. Asbjornson's parents added to the family home in the same way he added to his entrepreneurial skills.

After earning his degree in mechanical engineering, Asbjornson spent 28 years working in the HVAC business until he founded AAON in 1988. The company manufactures commercial air conditioning equipment weighing from 200 pounds to 20,000 pounds. Its equipment can be found cooling and heating businesses around Bozeman, throughout Montana and the nation.

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Thursday, Feb. 20th, 2014

Sweet Pea Festival 2014 Poster Contest +

Sweet Pea Festival 2014 announces its annual poster and T-shirts contests. Details of guidelines and application process can be found online at

The 29th Annual Poster Contest will award a $1,000.00 prize for this year’s Festival poster winner. All ages and levels of expertise are encouraged to enter. Deadline for entries is Friday, April 25, 2014.

The 6th Annual T-Shirt art contest has two categories for entrants: Category 1 (ages 0 - 13) with a $100 grand prize and Category 2 (ages 14 and older) with a $500 grand prize. Winning designs will be used on this year’s Sweet Pea Festival T-shirts. Deadline for entries is Friday, March 28, 2014.

Sweet Pea Festival 2014 also announces its call for artist entries for the Arts & Crafts Show. Details of guidelines and application process can be found online at Only handcrafted original work by the selling artist is acceptable. Each entry requires 4 photos and a nonrefundable $40 Jury Fee. Booth fees are $345 for a 10’X10’ and $495 for a 10’X20’ (limited number of this size). Deadline for entries is Saturday, April 5, 2014.

The Sweet Pea Festival, in its 37th year, is Bozeman’s summer celebration of the arts. This year’s Festival dates are August 1, 2 and 3. The Festival in Lindley Park includes music, children’s activities, dance, theatre, arts and crafts, food concessions and more. Preliminary events begin July 29th and include Chalk on the Walk, an art show, the Bite of Bozeman, a parade, and children’s run.

The Sweet Pea Festival is a three-day festival of the arts held in Bozeman, Montana, since 1978. The event includes everything from dynamic performances to children’s activities to a flower show. Sweet Pea is committed to its mission statement of “promoting and cultivating the arts.”

Hundreds of volunteers run and organize this annual event, a testament to the community’s desire for its ongoing success. All the money raised above what is needed to operate the Festival is given back to the community in the form of grants for the arts, art education, and special projects in the Bozeman area.

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Wednesday, Feb. 19th, 2014

Call For Artists

The Bozeman Public Library encourages local artists to submit proposals to exhibit in the Library’s Atrium Gallery. The goal is to showcase both traditional and innovative contemporary art forms, with each exhibit on display for one to three months. The Library is committed to exhibits that will expand the public’s appreciation of art, as well as reflect the diversity of the community. Selections are chosen by the Library Art Committee, consisting of local artists, community members, and staff from the Library and Library Foundation. Submissions for 2015 will be accepted starting January 2014, due on APRIL 30. Incomplete or late submissions will not be considered. To learn more, please see the exhibit proposal guidelines at, or contact Paula Beswick, Library Foundation Director at 582-2426 or

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Tuesday, Feb. 11th, 2014

2014 The Year of Technology in Business

Online shopping has been around for a number of years. Each Christmas we hear the reports of the increasing numbers of consumers heading to their iPhones to make their purchases rather than the brick and mortar storefront.

Armed with WiFi, smart phones, and Internet, consumers are more informed about products and services than ever before. Your customers are talking about your business and posting reviews on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Yelp. They are researching your products and services long before they darken your door to make a purchase.

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