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Sunday, May. 4th, 2014

Big Sky Resort Golf Course opens for public play Friday, May 23, 2014

Big Sky Resort Golf Course opens for public play Friday, May 23, 2014, along with the Bunker Bar and Grill. The 18-hole Arnold Palmer designed resort course is the closest Montana golf course to Yellowstone National Park’s West Entrance. Big Sky Resort Golf Course hosts seven tournaments, women’s and men’s clinics and offers online tee time booking.

“The course crew has done a fabulous job bringing the golf course out of its winter slumber,” says Mark Wehrman, PGA Head Golf Professional at Big Sky Resort Golf Course. “The greenside bunkers have all been upgraded with lighter quality sand and the fairway bunkers will be completed this year.”

Course tournaments will increase this summer with the new Two Player Spring Draw Tournament on Saturday, June 7, 2014 which is a 27-hole tournament with the first 18 holes as a Two Player Better Ball and the last nine holes as a blind draw partner scramble. The season long Match Play tournament signups begin opening day for a 32 player field and each player is guaranteed two matches.

Wehrman coaches 13 weeks of golf clinics with the Saturday clinic open to all at 12:00pm, Ladies’ clinic each Tuesday at 10am or 5:30pm and Men’s clinic each Wednesday at 5:30pm. Drop-ins welcome and discounts are available when purchasing the 13 week clinic series. Wehrman also provides quick golf tips via YouTube at Big Sky Resort Golf with new tips being added throughout the summer.

“I believe in building upon the natural swing and ability of the golfers who take my clinics,” said Wehrman. “I don’t overload my student with too much information. Swing and shot diagnosis will be made through ball flight tendencies, divot examination and a strong focus on the fundamentals. I explain what they need to do, to improve, and how to execute it. It’s about the long-term enjoyment of the game through short-term results and success.”

Big Sky Resort Golf Course received the 2012 GRAA Top 50 Range in the Public Category award and Wehrman received the PGA Horton Smith Award recognizing PGA Professionals who are model educators of their fellow PGA Professionals. The golf course is 6,600 feet above sea level offering longer drives, spectacular views of Lone Peak, and winds along the banks of the West Fork of the scenic Gallatin River.
Contact the Pro Shop at 406-995-5780 or visit for more information. Tee times can be made online at

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Athletes and sports fans alike will benefit from the $3.2 million upgrade of the Brick Breeden Fieldhouse

Athletes and sports fans alike will benefit from the $3.2 million upgrade of the Brick Breeden Fieldhouse arena that begins in May. The renovation calls for a complete new running surface, upgraded seating, new sound system and venue curtains.

Track athletes who will train and compete on the new state-of-the-art surface are not the only ones benefitting from the arena upgrades, according to Duane Morris, director of the Event Services Division for Auxiliary Services at MSU. Sports fans and patrons will appreciate upgraded seating in the lower level seats on the north and south sides of the arena complete with backrests and cup holders. 
“It’ll be a whole new game day environment,” Morris said. 
Morris said that because the current arena floor is cracked and peeling, a wooden floor had to be laid down before each indoor track meet for the athletes’ safety. “Replacing the floor is critical for the safety of our athletes and patrons,” Morris said. “The new floor will allow our athletes to train and compete on the same world-class floor.” 
MSU head track and cross-country coach Dale Kennedy is excited about the impact the floor will have on training, competing and recruitment. 
“We’ve got a great track program with 97 athletes on the roster,” Kennedy said. “This new floor will positively impact cross-country as well as indoor and outdoor track programs.” 
Kennedy said that the blue and gold alternating lanes will look beautiful, and the 16 millimeter Mondo Surface is the latest material for indoor running surfaces. 
“The current surface has been there since 1980 and really should have gone out along time ago,” Kennedy said, citing the high risk of injury. “Training was compromised by the old surface.” 
Facility operations staff will have the ability to separate the upper level of the arena through the installation of a state-of-the-art curtaining system used in most NBA arenas. 
“This will offer a more intimate environment for events including basketball games,” Morris said. “The curtains offer flexibility as to how we use the space, and they are amazingly efficient. Within minutes of finishing a basketball game, the curtains can be raised to allow for other activities.”
Originally built in 1957 with student building fees, the Brick Breeden Fieldhouse is an iconic building in the Gallatin Valley. It is used as a site for graduations, convocations, athletic competitions, sporting events, Montana youth programs, expos and major concerts.
“The new arena floor, seats, sound system and venue curtains will help us better meet the multi-purpose uses of this building,” Morris said. “And the new sound system will deliver a clearer sound with equal coverage throughout the arena.”
Brick Breeden offices will remain open during the renovation and no events were cancelled, although some were relocated. 
“This has been a great example of sharing resources and accommodating different groups with different needs,” Morris said. “Everyone has worked together to make this as seamless as possible, and we will take similar steps next fall to shift events to the fieldhouse and other facilities while the SUB ballrooms are renovated.”
In March the Board of Regents of Higher Education authorized funding to upgrade the arena. The Associated Students of MSU will contribute $1 million to the renovation. The remaining funds will come from athletic-donated funds and net Auxiliary Services revenues and from revenue generated from building user charges. The money contributed by ASMSU is from student building fees designated for maintaining campus facilities. Using these funds will not increase student fees.

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From Cuba with Love: Faces & Places

Lissa Barber’s photography exhibit From Cuba with Love: Faces & Places will be on display in the Atrium Gallery at the Bozeman Public Library May 1 through June 30, 2014.  The Bozeman Public Library Foundation, sponsors of the exhibit, will host an artist’s reception Friday, May 9, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
“There's certainly not just one thing about Cuba that pulls my heart strings” says Barber, “What I know for sure is that Cuba and her people speak to me.”  Barber, who has a journalism degree from Ohio University and has worked in both the journalism and photography fields, is currently a professional portrait photographer in Bozeman.  “I started playing with a camera when I was nine or ten years old. I coupled my love of horses with making photographs of them using an old Kodak Brownie camera.” 
She finds portrait photography to be an art form that provides endless opportunities to capture a person’s nature.  She took this passion to Cuba in January, 2011, with a group of photographers, and again in November, 2013, as a member of a women’s delegation to attend an International Women’s Symposium, and wants to share with the public what she has captured and learned about this intriguing island.  
“Visions of what life in Havana in its ‘hey-day’ must have been like are thrilling.  The Revolution has left its mark everywhere.  And, the stories of what transpired in and around that time is an element I'm fascinated with.  Cuba is ninety miles south of the United States, yet so far away in many respects,” says Barber.
The exhibition will be on display during Library hours.  A percentage of photograph sales will go to the Bozeman Public Library Foundation to ensure continuation of cultural programs at the Library for public benefit. 
For more information about the exhibit or opening reception, please call Sarah DeOpsomer at 582-2425 or

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Thursday, May. 1st, 2014

May Begins Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental illness is a worldwide epidemic that does not discriminate against anyone whose path it crosses. It could be seen as the high school student battling depression who feels that the only way to be heard is to search for his/her parent’s firearm. It could be the anxiety stricken neighbor who has been considering suicide for the past year. Or even your best friend, who is afraid that you will look at them differently if they tell you that they have been sad for a long time.

National debates continue to grow in regards to the public safety of children and adolescents within schools amidst the tragedy of shootings in Aurora, CO and Sandy Hook Elementary school. Not to mention the 13 school shootings that have ensued within the first 6 weeks of 2014.

The question is, what is actually being done to address this growing epidemic?

We need to take this opportunity to educate ourselves on an important piece of legislation that is being considered in Congress as we speak. It is called H.R. 320- Student Support Act.

The Student Support Act is a revision of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. The Bill states that if passed into law the Secretary of Education will match grants of up to $1 million for the additional hiring of school social workers, school counselors, and school psychologists across the nation. The purpose of the addition is solely to aide in the support and wellbeing of children and adolescents suffering with a multitude of mental health issues. Across the nation, the current average caseload of children to support staff is 471 to 1. If passed, the additional funding will cut the insufficient ratio by nearly half.

The Surgeon General of Public Health and Human Services has found that one in every ten children in the United States is suffering with a mental illness. Of that, only one in three are receive the treatment needed to help them succeed. The National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) suggests that one half of chronic mental illness begins by the age of 14.

Some would argue that the passage of this Bill would be costly on taxpayers, however the American Medical Association found that with the rise of individuals with mental health concerns from 1996 to 2006, the projected cost of care went from $35 billion to $58 billion. If that trend continues, it will cost American’s $81 billion in 2016 to fund the treatment of mental health disorders as opposed to the $1 million to aide it its recovery.

We sit in front of our televisions at night hearing about the latest school shootings and feel such sorrow for those who have been affected. We discuss it almost as if it has become a normal occurrence in our society as we stride along throughout our day. We hear the latest reports as the days pass, hoping that events so horrendous never happen to the 22,393 K-12 students who reside within Gallatin County.

But how do we know it won’t? How do we know that our schools are sufficiently staffed with those who have been trained to work with student’s anger, frustrations, and anxieties?

Now that you know what mental illness looks like, what resources could be available, and how much we would be saving in long run, I encourage you to act.

Timing is everything and the time to act on behalf of our Montana children and adolescents is now.

The month of May begins Mental Health Awareness Month. I encourage you to learn one new thing about mental illness and pass it along to just one person. Pass along the fact that NAMI-Bozeman holds a connection support group every month. For more info call Alicia at (406) 600-8102 or (406) 994-9134. Or become an advocate for the importance of this issue by taking 5 minutes out of your day to contact our Montana Representatives and tell them that you are in support of H.R. 320. Follow this link to find our state Representatives and Senators contact information. If you or someone you know is suffering in silence with a mental health disorder, know that you are not alone. There are fellow community members that care and want to help.

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Wednesday, Apr. 30th, 2014

Bozeman Kickstarter campaign “Planet Of Misfits”

Interchange is a festival inspired by a series of chaos and imperfect moments. We all have closets, stories and social trauma. The profiled, the homeless, veterans, rape victims, being gay/transgendered, being bullied or telling someone you may die. We all have it. It’s the alternative to pushing away for fear of un acceptance. This year our topics include Racism, Human Trafficking, Women’s Rights, Homelessness, Veterans and the LGBT movement. This June 25-29, we’ll feature a Film Festival, Leadership Summit, The Remix Runway Show, Parade, Garden Party and Concerts featuring Paul Oakenfold, People Under The Stairs and more!
Check out our Kickstarter campaign “Planet Of Misfits”: This is a social investment and we risk the wages of obsession. Allowing ourselves to be vulnerable and acknowledging that our greatest fear is what we desire most.  Like a kaleidoscope, we find the wonderfully complex grey area and smother ourselves in it.  The wallflowers. If we invest in social experience and develop empathy into our leaders, into everyone, we all learn, we all win.

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Wednesday, Apr. 23rd, 2014

The Sewing Academy On The Road

The Sewing Academy On The Road is a traveling series of workshops on 19th century dressmaking and Living History research & interpretation techniques.  These workshops will cover a variety of wardrobe construction techniques, demonstrations and hands-on instruction as well as take home materials. You may take one session or take them all. Please visit to register for workshop sessions.

Registration deadline is May 1, 2014.  MOR Living History Farm volunteers receive a discounted fee for this program.

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MSU School of Art hosts World Champion Belt Buckle competition and exhibit

Submissions are due Friday, April 25, for the third annual World Championship Belt Buckle Competitionhosted by the Montana State University School of Art.
Bryan Petersen, professor in the MSU School of Art and organizer of the online competition of wearable, one-of-a-kind wearable examples of handcrafted art in a belt buckle format, said that Daniel Icaza of Costa Rica, champion of last year’s contest, will visit the MSU School of Art Metalsmithing Department to co-jury the competition and speak with art students. Peterson will also co-judge the competition,
Petersen said the World Championship Belt Buckle Competition has grown in popularity and created a venue for buckle makers and artists working in contemporary art in the buckle format from throughout the world.
The competition has managed to sustain itself financially and create a visiting artist fund for the MSU Metalsmithing Department, Peterson said. For instance, the contest has allowed MSU’s student-run guild to hire Icaza to teach a technical workshop on a Japanese metalsmithing technique, called Mokume-Gane, in which layers of copper and brass are forge welded into a laminated billet and then patterned with either concentric circles or a linear patterns.  Icaza used the technique in his 2013 winning buckle entry, “Space Cowboy.”
The winner of this year’s contest will receive a belt buckle made by John Winston of Bunnell, Fla., who was runner-up in the 2013 competition. Winston has made pirate-themed belt buckles collected by such people as Johnny Depp, Jerry Bruckheimer and Steven Segal, and will be contributing a buckle in his renowned pirate style to the competition.
“Winston explains the significance of the buckle to pirates describing how they were some of the first to create and wear buckles, taking a cinch strap from a horse and fashioning a large brass buckle,” Petersen said.
For more information about the contest, go to or

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MSU's Peaks and Potentials youth camp open for registration

Registration is now open for Montana State University’s Peaks and Potentials program, a weeklong enrichment camp offered June 15-20 on the MSU campus.

Peaks and Potentials is designed to give high-ability/high-potential students entering grades 5-7 next fall the opportunity to explore special topics of interest and work with experts in various subject areas. A signature from an appropriate school official is necessary for the student's acceptance.

Sessions for this summer's camp include a variety of topics in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) as well as the arts and humanities, including jewelry making, honeybee investigation, world music, nutrition, water science, renewable energy and more. Evening activities include swimming, volleyball, soccer and others.

Students have the option of staying on campus or commuting to and from camp each day. Enrollment is limited, and the camp generally fills to capacity. Registrations are available online at:, or in the MSU Office of Continuing Education, 200 Culbertson Hall.

Instructors are MSU faculty, graduate students and experienced professionals from the area. University students and professionals act as directors and counselors throughout the week. All classes emphasize personal instruction and small group interaction as well as a “hands-on” approach. Academic, recreational and social activities offer students a chance to interact with their peers and sample campus life.

The camp is sponsored by MSU Extended University. For more information, contact MSU Extended University at or (406) 994-6683.

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MSU offers several online summer credit courses for open enrollment

Montana State University offers several online summer credit courses for open enrollment. Courses are offered in many disciplines, including writing, astronomy, photography and other fields.

Courses include “History of Yellowstone,” HSTA468; “College Writing,” WRIT101; “Evolution and Public Opinion,” LS491; “Introduction to Astronomy – Mysteries of the Sky,” ASTR110; and “Exploring Digital Photography,” PHOT154.
Most courses begin May 12.

The courses are open to anyone interested in the topics. These particular courses also apply toward MSU's online bachelor's degree completion program. This flexible program helps students with an associate’s degree or 60 or more college credits complete a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies from Montana State University Online.

To register or read the full course descriptions, visit MSU’s Extended University at For information about the bachelor's degree completion program, contact Sarah Hendrikx at (406) 994-7441 or or visit

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Friday, Apr. 18th, 2014

Gallatin County Extension office to host weekly plant clinic

Montana State University Extension in Gallatin County will host a plant clinic in their office in Belgrade on Wednesdays during the growing season. The weekly clinic will run April 16 – Oct. 1, from 1-4 p.m. at 201 W. Madison Ave., Suite 300, Belgrade.

Level 3 Master Gardeners will staff the plant clinic with assistance from Emily Lockard, Gallatin County agriculture agent, and Dara Palmer, assistant coordinator for Master Gardener.

Questions will be answered through phone calls and walk-ins from the public. The public is encouraged to bring plant samples for identification or disease diagnosis. Yard and garden insect samples can also be brought for identification. Plant and insect samples can be dropped off at the Extension office during their normal business hours, but yard and gardening questions will be answered during the Wednesday clinic hours. The public can call (406) 388-3213 to have questions answered and to request yard and gardening information.

If you would like to learn more about Gallatin County MSU Extension visit

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