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Saturday, Jul. 22nd, 2017

MSU researcher offers recommendations for viewing Aug. 21 solar eclipse

As the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse draws near, Montana State University researcher Angela Des Jardins has some advice for viewing the rare and awe-inspiring celestial event.
“It’s really a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Des Jardins, who has been preparing for the eclipse for more than three years. To make the most of it, people should be prepared and plan one or more ways of viewing the eclipse, she said.
The last total solar eclipse that was visible from the contiguous U.S. occurred in 1979; the next ones won’t take place until 2024 and 2045. During a total solar eclipse, the moon aligns perfectly with the sun and obscures it entirely.
First, Des Jardins said, be safe. Even during an eclipse, looking at the sun can cause permanent eye damage. In the Bozeman area, where viewers will see a partial eclipse in which the moon will obscure 95 percent of the sun, it will be necessary to wear protective glasses the entire time.
Glasses are inexpensive and are available online. It’s important to purchase glasses that comply with international safety standard ISO 12312-2, Des Jardins said. Information about obtaining free glasses at MSU can be found at
Starting at 10 a.m. on Aug. 21 in front of the MSU Library, members of the MSU Physics Department will distribute glasses and will also have solar telescopes and other special viewing equipment. In Bozeman, the partial eclipse will begin at roughly 10 a.m. and will peak at 11:36 a.m.
Second recommendation: If at all possible, Des Jardins said, go to the path of totality - the roughly 70-mile-wide area stretching from Oregon to South Carolina where viewers will experience the total eclipse. There, the moon will completely block the sun for about two minutes, producing the most dramatic effect.

“If you don’t do it, you might really regret it later,” Des Jardins said.
Although she hasn’t witnessed a total solar eclipse in person, Des Jardins, an assistant research professor in the Department of Physics in MSU’s College of Letters and Science and director of the Montana Space Grant Consortium at MSU, has studied the phenomenon enough to know that experiencing it is profound.

“It’s kind of a deep twilight, with basically a 360-degree sunset,” she said. “Some of the brightest stars will come out.” The sun’s violent atmosphere, called the corona, will become visible as a ring around the moon, “which is an amazing thing to be able to see.”
During the period of totality, viewers can safely look at the eclipse without glasses.
The path of totality includes a tiny and remote corner of southwestern Montana, as well as Idaho Falls and Rexburg in Idaho and Jackson, Thermopolis and Casper in Wyoming. If you go, be prepared for crowds and traffic and bring plenty of water and food, Des Jardins said. Cellphone service may be temporarily unavailable due to high demand.

Third: Watch the aerial video that an MSU team and 54 other teams will livestream using high-altitude balloons as part of the MSU-led Eclipse Ballooning Project. A team of MSU students, mostly undergraduates, has spent countless hours designing and building a system that project teams across the country will use to provide a unique perspective on the eclipse.

“It’s a space-like perspective,” said Des Jardins, who initiated the project in 2014. Helium-filled balloons will carry cameras to an altitude of more than 80,000 feet to capture the video. “From that height you can see the curvature of the Earth and the blackness of space.”
“You’ll get to feel like you’re looking down on planet Earth,” she said. “It will invoke wonder and curiosity about what’s happening, the special alignment that has to happen for the shadow to move across the Earth.”
The video from all the teams will be livestreamed to NASA’s website. During the eclipse, the MSU homepage will link to a livestream transmitted from one of the MSU team’s three balloons, which the team will launch from the Rexburg area.
The livestream is meant to complement viewing the eclipse directly, not replace the experience, Des Jardins said. She recommends viewing the livestream during the hour before or after the local peak of the eclipse. Teams will be livestreaming from more than a dozen balloons in Oregon and Idaho before the eclipse peaks in Bozeman.

The Museum of the Rockies will show the Eclipse Ballooning Project livestream at the Taylor Planetarium. Doors open at 10 a.m. and normal admission charges apply. Eclipse glasses will also be available for purchase.

Regardless of how or where people view the eclipse, Des Jardins is encouraging everyone to take time to experience the extraordinary happening.
“There will be something special about seeing it with your own two eyes,” she said, “but there will also something pretty profound about seeing those images looking down on the planet.”

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Tuesday, Jul. 18th, 2017

Sections of rivers will be closed to fishing daily from 2 p.m. to midnight until conditions improve effective Wednesday

High water temperatures and low stream flows have prompted Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to implement “hoot owl” restrictions on several rivers in Southwest Montana starting Wednesday.

The following sections of rivers will be closed to fishing daily from 2 p.m. to midnight until conditions improve effective Wednesday:

Big Hole River from Saginaw Bridge on Skinner Meadows Road to the Mouth of the North Fork Big Hole River;
Big Hole River from Notch Bottom Fishing Access Site to the confluence with the Beaverhead River;
Lower Beaverhead River from Anderson Lane to confluence with Big Hole River;
Lower Madison River from Ennis Dam to the mouth;
Lower Gallatin River from the confluence with the Madison River at Three Forks to Sheds Bridge (Hwy 84) near Four Corners;
East Gallatin River from Spring Hill Road Bridge (Hwy 411) to the confluence with the Gallatin River;
The entire Jefferson River 

These restrictions come two weeks later in the year than the first restrictions seen in 2015 and 2016. Regional Fisheries Manager Travis Horton said, “We’ve been fairly fortunate so far this year with flows in general, but temperatures are high and could stay that way for a while.” Additional restrictions are possible on other stretches of these or other southwest Montana rivers in the coming weeks.For up-to-date information on restrictions related to drought, visit

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Monday, Jul. 17th, 2017

Skyline Ridership Growth Continues, but Funding Constraints Remain

Over 200,000 Rides in Fiscal Year 2017, Breaking Previous Record.

The Big Sky Transportation District is pleased to announce a record-breaking year for Skyline transportation services, providing over 200,000 rides between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017. Representing an 8.6% increase in ridership from the previous year’s record, Skyline’s Link Express (Big Sky to Bozeman) and local services continue to grow as a vital solution to the changing transportation needs of greater Gallatin County.

“With local ridership growing by 7 percent and Link Express up by more than 13 percent, it’s clear that residents of southwest Montana are responding to increased economic and population growth throughout the area by exploring alternative means of transportation,” said David Kack, Skyline Coordinator. “Despite these increases year over year, the District continues to struggle to receive proper funding to e ectively expand services and improve rider experience.”

According to District Board Chairman Ennion Williams, Skyline’s popularity and growing importance to the area has been recognized with increased nancial support from the Big Sky Resort Tax Board and Madison County, but Gallatin County has decided not to fund the service.

Last year, an on-board survey showed that 76 percent of those utilizing the bus service reside in Gallatin County, with 59 percent of those respondents stating they use the service for work-related purposes.

Williams noted that only once has Gallatin County provided funding in the last 10-years of Skyline operations. “This year, we once again requested funding from Gallatin County to improve Skyline services for the Bozeman area and access to Big Sky for visitors and residents alike, but the initial vote is against providing funding.” Williams went on to say, “We hope we can convince the Commissioners that they need to invest in this vital service before they analyze the budget.”

The Big Sky Transportation District Board will meet this summer and fall to discuss its budget and will continue to explore additional sources of funding to meet the increased demand for services. Current sources of ongoing funding include the Federal Transit Administration (administered by the Montana Department of Transportation), Big Sky Resort Area District, Big Sky Owners Association, Big Sky Resort, Madison County, Moonlight Basin, Spanish Peaks Resort, and the Yellowstone Club.

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Bozeman Entrepreneur Wins MSU Blackstone LaunchPad’s InnovateHER Competition for Flexible Preschool Startup

Jessica Dehn, a Montana State University alumna and founder of Dino Drop-In, a modern, no-screen preschool with the flexibility of drop-in care, advanced to the semifinals of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s InnovateHER competition by winning a local business plan competition hosted online by co-sponsor Blackstone LaunchPad at MSU on June 3, 2017.

Ten finalists, to be announced July 31, will be invited to pitch live at the national competition this fall to vie for $70,000 in prizes sponsored by the Sara Blakely Foundation.
“There are so many opportunities for entrepreneurs to improve the lives of women and families, so no two submissions were alike and competition was fierce,” said Tiphani Lynn, a Montana Campus Compact AmeriCorps VISTA, who organized the local competition.
“Ultimately, the decision was made based on magnitude of impact on the lives of women and families, demonstrated success in commercialization, and clarity of market need. Dehn’s solution was strongest in all three categories,” Lynn said.

In rural communities with high growth rates and increasing rates of entrepreneurship and non-traditional work schedules, the lack of flexible child care is one of the key factors affecting career advancement for women. Demand is also increasing for affordable preschool offerings. The Dino Drop-In model is an elegant solution to both of these needs. It has already proven successful in Bozeman and Belgrade and is poised to scale to other similar communities.

Of the win, Dehn said, “I am thrilled to be involved in revolutionizing child care in our community. Even better, I get to be a resource for other entrepreneurs to enter the market. By providing flexible child care, I get to empower women and families striving to have an impact on their community. The tremendous support we have received from Bozeman and Belgrade has given us the opportunity to expand our offering to other communities, in and out of Montana.”

For more information about Dino Drop-In, visit
About the Blackstone LaunchPad: The Blackstone LaunchPad at Montana State University, a partner of the Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship, is an entrepreneur resource for students, alumni and faculty across the university and community that offers coaching, ideation and venture creation support.

About InnovateHER: The Innovating for Women Business Challenge (InnovateHER) is a cross-cutting prize competition to unearth innovative products and services that help impact and empower the lives of women and families. It’s sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The Blackstone LaunchPad at Montana State University is a co-sponsor for the national SBA competition, serving as a local competition host for eligible entrepreneurs, under co-sponsorship authorization #17-6050-38. SBA's participation in this co-sponsored activity is not an endorsement of the views, opinions, products or services of any co-sponsor or other person or entity. All SBA programs and services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.

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Friday, Jul. 14th, 2017

MSU Gold Rush T-shirt design revealed

The 2017 Gold Rush T-shirt features a design that represents both the Gold Rush football tradition as well as the mountainous view from the Montana State campus and Bobcat Stadium. This year’s Gold Rush game against South Dakota State University is set for Saturday, Sept.9, in Bobcat Stadium.

Now in its 11th year, this Bobcat tradition kicks off the home football season and is designed to inspire fans to showcase their Bobcat spirit by filling the stadium in a sea of gold.

Jooahn Kwon of New Jersey created this year’s winning T-shirt design after stumbling upon the contest online.

“For my design, I wanted to merge the environment of the university along with the football tradition,” Kwon said. “The mountains extend out from the football shape with the Bobcats logo placed on top. I stuck to the colors that can be found within the original Bobcat logo that was provided. Overall, the design is clean and, in my opinion, represents both the region of Montana and the tradition of the Gold Rush game.”

Koon will receive a $500 cash prize for the winning design.

The limited-edition Gold Rush T-shirts go on sale July 14. T-shirts are $12 and may be purchased at the MSU Bookstore and at Universal Athletic stores in Bozeman, Billings, Butte, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell and Missoula. Gold Rush shirts are also available online at and at

For more information, contact Julie Kipfer at 994-5737 or visit

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Thursday, Jul. 13th, 2017

Biologists set to trap Grizzly bears in our area: Public reminded to heed all warning signs

As part of ongoing efforts required under the Endangered Species Act to monitor the population of grizzly bears in the Yellowstone Ecosystem, the U.S. Geological Survey is working to inform the public that pre-baiting and scientific trapping operations are about to begin within the Hebgen Lake drainage basin in the Hebgen Lake Ranger District of the Custer Gallatin National Forest, Montana.  Biologists, with the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team (IGBST), will begin work in the area beginning July 15th and will continue through August 31st.  Trapping operations can include a variety of activities, but all areas where work is being conducted will have major access points marked with warning signs.  It is critical that all members of the public heed these signs. 

Monitoring of grizzly bear distribution and other activities are vital to ongoing recovery of grizzlies in the Yellowstone Ecosystem.  In order to attract bears, biologists utilize natural food sources such as fresh road–killed deer and elk.  Potential trapping sites are baited with these natural foods and if indications are that grizzly bears are in the area, culvert traps or foot snares will be used to capture the bears.  Once trapped, the bears are handled in accordance with strict protocols developed by the IGBST. 

Whenever bear trapping activities are being conducted for scientific purposes, the area around the site will be posted with bright warning signs to inform the public of the activities occurring.  These signs are posted along the major access points to the trapping site.  It is important that the public heed these signs and do not venture into an area that has been posted.  For more information regarding grizzly bear trapping efforts call the IGBST hotline at 406-994-6675.

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Wednesday, Jul. 12th, 2017

Red Ants Pants Music Festival Continues to Fuel Investments in Rural Montana

The Red Ants Pants Foundation announced more than $19,000 in grants to projects that support women’s leadership, working family farms and ranches, and rural communities. Fueled by ticket sales and donations from the 2016 Red Ants Pants Music Festival, the foundation has now given more than $85,000 in grants to date.

“Everyone who enjoys the Red Ants Pants Music Festival is having a lasting impact on rural communities and our working family farms and ranches while helping to move the dial on women’s leadership. It’s a genuine way for people to come together, enjoy our rural landscapes and leave knowing that they’re contributing in a meaningful way,” said Sarah Calhoun, Executive Director of the Red Ants Pants Foundation and Producer of the Red Ants Pants Music Festival. “Our 2017 grantees are doing phenomenal work ranging from empowering young girls to explore careers in the trades to a small town pooling their resources to revive a local grocery store."
The 2017 Red Ants Pants Foundation Community Grants include a diversity of funding to support projects that include reopening a local grocery store in Turner, Montana; a grant to support the Sweet Grass Beef to School program in Big Timber; funding to support Farm Hands – Nourish the Flathead which benefits the Blackfeet Nourish Project as well as investments to support science and learning throughout rural communities in Montana.
Grant applications are considered based on how they best help fulfill the Foundation's mission of developing and expanding leadership roles for women, preserving and supporting working family farms and ranches, and enriching rural communities.
The 7th Red Ants Pants Music Festival will take place on the Jackson Ranch, a working cattle ranch, outside of White Sulphur Springs July 27th – 30th. The 2017 festival will support the 2018 Red Ants Pants Foundation Community Grant Cycle.

2017 Red Ants Pants Foundation Grantees

Big Flat Grocery
Location: Turner, MT
Grant Awarded: $1,500
Big Flat Grocery is a cooperative that was formed by approximately 75 local shareholders in Turner, Montana (pop. 61), in the attempt to reopen their grocery store.  Their cooperative model has proven to be successful thus far, but the building in which the grocery store is located is in dire need of maintenance and a facelift.
The Carter County Museum
Location: Ekalaka, MT
Grant Awarded: $4,300
Founded by the Carter County Geological Society, the Museum is a community institution that engages audiences in exploring 90 million years of history including dinosaurs, American Indian ways of life, and the ranching traditions of today. This grant will be used to purchase a microscope and viewing system for the Hell Creek Amber Citizen Science Project. This project supports their mission to increase knowledge and appreciation of science by enabling participants to discover new species of beetles, wasps, flies, and ants - all while contributing to the understanding of the Cretaceous extinction 66 million years ago. 
The C.M. Russell Museum
Location: Great Falls, MT
Grant Awarded: $2,250
The Russell is developing a new humanities curriculum centered on the life and artwork of Charles Marion Russell (1864–1926). The curriculum is designed to build students’ critical thinking skills, enhance creative problem-solving, and instill a sense of personal agency in middle school students. Underpinning the Russell for Learning (R4L) curriculum is the humanities theme, "Sense of Place," aimed at empowering students to think critically about their cultural, geographic, historic, and artistic "place" in order to become engaged citizens who make thoughtful, informed decisions for their lives and communities. One teacher in Meagher County, Montana will be trained to offer this curriculum to middle school students.
The Crazy Peak Cattle Women
Location: Melville, MT
Grant Awarded: $704
The grant supports the Sweet Grass Beef to School program in 2017 to provide wholesome, nutritious, local beef to the students at the Big Timber Grade School and Sweet Grass County High School.  This grant will be used to create informational brochures about the program and a school cafeteria display board featuring local producers.  Funds will also be used to host the inaugural farm to school day and beef brat designing contest where 4th grade students will learn about food production and the importance of agriculture to the local community. 
Farm Hands - Nourish the Flathead
Location: Whitefish, MT
Grant Awarded: $2,000
Farm Hands – Nourish the Flathead is a grassroots non-profit that is dedicated to connecting communities to local food and those who produce it through education, outreach, and market support.  They work to create a just food system that is accessible to everyone, regardless of age or ability to pay.  The grant from the Reds Ant Pants Foundation will provide much needed funds for their Food for All Programs that benefit seniors, SNAP recipients, and school children, as well as providing support to their Blackfeet Nourish Project.
The Friends of the Meagher County City Library
Location: White Sulphur Springs, MT
Grant Awarded: $600
The Friends support the Library in a number of ways, including bringing in speakers to the community to present on a variety of topics. Grant funding from the Red Ants Pants Foundation will be used to purchase a projector system that will be used for these programs, as well as be available for other library programs.
Glacier County Healthy Food Project
Location: Cut Bank, MT
Grant Awarded: $500
This project brings fresh, healthy fruits and vegetables to food deserts and food distribution centers in Glacier County through donations and volunteer work.  During May 2017, the project successfully completed delivery of 100 Gaines Produce mini-boxes to families in Heart Butte and Cut Bank.  This grant will allow for a second delivery of 100 boxes for the 2017-2018 year and will help to bring attention to donating healthy foods.
The Golden Valley Community Foundation
Location: Ryegate, MT
Grant Awarded: $1,690
The Community Foundation is dedicated to creating more opportunities in the towns of Ryegate and Lavina.  They are in the process of purchasing the recently closed bank building for use as a bank branch and senior citizen health clinic.  With the money awarded by the Red Ants Pants Foundation, they will be able to reconnect the water and sewer, insure the building, and fix other problems that arise in the revitalization process.
Meagher County 4-H
Location: White Sulphur Springs, MT
Grant Awarded: $1,500
The 4-H program has deep, historic roots in Meagher County.  Grandparents of current 4-H members showed in the same two barns that are being used today.  The Meagher County 4-H Council will use this grant toward putting up a new multi-purpose barn at the fairgrounds.  This will allow the 4-H Fair activities to be under a roof for the first time.  The barn will host the annual livestock show and sale, exhibit the indoor fair items, accommodate the 4-H horse program during inclement weather, and house many other 4-H activities.
Meagher County Chamber of Commerce Art and Cultural Trail
Location: White Sulphur Springs, MT
Grant Awarded: $1,000
The Art and Cultural Trail will feature barn square quilts and historical site interpretation to celebrate the past and present people within Meagher County. By defining a trail along the highways circling the Castle Mountains, they will connect and showcase the working rural communities in the region by telling their stories to visitors and younger generations. This grant will fund the purchase of paint and supplies for these barn art quilts that will be installed along the trail.
The Meagher County City Library
Location: White Sulphur Springs, MT
Grant Awarded: $1,000
The Library has just reached their goal of fundraising for a completely new facility! This will be the first time they have ever had a building that will be able to fit their more specific needs - no more retrofitted spaces.  The construction of a new, larger building will provide the space and versatility the growing community needs for decades to come.
The Monarch/Neihart Community and Senior Center
Location: Neihart, MT
Grant Awarded: $1,000
The Monarch/Neihart Community and Senior Center was built using logs from the King’s Hill area.  Its original function was a school that operated from 1941 to 1980.  Since that time, it has been used as the center for Monarch's and Neihart's community functions ranging from weekly dinners, health and exercise classes, quilting, town hall meetings, anniversary and birthday parties, funerals, and just about anything for which there is a need. This grant funding will be used to help defray the cost of lead abatement and window replacement in the historical old school house.
YWCA Missoula’s GUTS!
Location: Missoula, MT
Grant Awarded: $1,000
The Girls Using Their Strengths (GUTS!) program encourages girls and young women to explore their own personal values and discover their strengths through wilderness adventures in the summer and after-school groups and community service projects during the academic year. GUTS! has developed a new way of empowering girls to explore non-traditional careers through GRIT (Girls Representing In Trades.)  GRIT aims to engage, educate, and encourage young girls to explore trade- and skill-based work as attainable and feasible careers – anything from construction to auto mechanics to welding.
For more information, visit

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Tuesday, Jul. 11th, 2017

You’re Weird: A Creative Journal for Misfits, Oddballs, and Anyone Else Who’s Uniquely Awesome

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, more than one out of every five students report being bullied. The top reported reasons include looks (55%), body shape (37%), and race (16%). In such a diverse world, young kids, teens, and even adults are pressured day in and day out to fit into a mold.

In Kate Peterson’s quirky and refreshing interactive book, YOU’RE WEIRD: A Creative Journal for Misfits, Oddballs, and Anyone Else Who’s Uniquely Awesome, we’re free to explore the eccentric sides of ourselves in a no judgement zone. A successful, self-taught illustrator who creates under the name of The Dapper Jackalope, Kate Peterson gives readers an animated, fun-loving guided journal for self- expression. Featuring Kate’s own strange creatures, colorable quotes, silly prompts, and twists on popular idioms, YOU’RE WEIRD celebrates what makes each of us extraordinary human beings.

Whether you are a young kid, an old soul, or a parent advocating originality in your child’s life, YOU’RE WEIRD will leave you doodling and creating with a smile on your face! YOU’RE WEIRD is on sale now.

About the Author:
 Kate Peterson is a Bozeman native and self-taught illustrator who sells her prints, cards and illustrations under the name The Dapper Jackalope. Her illustrations have been featured in Apartment Therapy, Buzzfeed, and The Frisky. She is based in Boise, Idaho. To learn more about Kate, visit her website

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Thursday, Jul. 6th, 2017

Cenex Zip Trip to Partner with The Salvation Army for Backpacks for Kids

Throughout the month of July, Cenex Zip Trip will raise money to help prepare local kids for the new school year. Cenex Zip Trip is partnering with The Salvation Army for the annual Backpacks for Kids campaign. Backpacks for Kids is an annual Salvation Army family services program providing backpacks full of school supplies to local families in need. The goal is to provide school supplies for children, so they’re ready to learn when they report for the first day of school this fall.

Cenex Zip Trip customers are encouraged to make a donation at the convenience stores. Everyone who donates can add their name to a special flyer that will be displayed in the store. As a thank you for their donation, contributors will receive a coupon for a free 20 oz. fountain soda or 16 oz. coffee.

Over the last six years, Cenex Zip Trip has raised more than $250,000 for Backpacks for Kids. In 2016, Cenex Zip Trip raised more than $77,000 through the Spokane, Coeur d’ Alene, Bozeman, Livingston and Billings communities. For the 2017 campaign, the reach will be expanded to also include Kalispell, Butte, Helena, Great Falls, and Havre.

“Cenex Zip Trip is excited to be continuing this tradition of partnership with The Salvation Army, and expanding the program to help prepare even more kids for the new school year. When kids are prepared for the school year, their performance in the classroom improves,” said Steve Haase, General Manager of Cenex Zip Trip.

Several Cenex Zip Trip convenience stores are participating in this campaign throughout Washington, Idaho and Montana. The campaign is taking place at the following Bozeman location:

1210 E Main St, Bozeman, MT 59715

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Saturday, Jul. 1st, 2017

Gallatin Valley Guide/Surviving Bozeman Section in August Issue

Instead of creating a separate Gallatin Valley Guide publication this year we are offering guide customers a great deal on advertising in our August issue in the Surviving Bozeman Section.

10,500 copies of the August issue will be distributed to our nearly 200 locations in the Bozeman area, as well as several thousand copies to MSU at Catapalooza, the SUB & dorms.
As in every issue of Bozeman Magazine this issue will include a local artist on the cover, great local articles about events before they happen & local features, and our massive user friendly events calendar.
Contact Angie before July 17 for details and to reserve your space - five79-5657 or angie @

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