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Wednesday, May. 24th, 2017

Escape the Heat this Summer at Montana’s Highest Scenic Overlook

No snow? No problem.

Big Sky Resort is charging into the summer season with lots of fun, sun-filled activities: Take an aerial tram ride to Montana’s highest scenic overlook at 11,166 feet on a Lone Peak Expedition. There’s also golfing, ziplining, skeet shooting, downhill biking and the list goes on. The resort’s restaurants are open and mark your calendars with these events: Kids Adventure Games, Brewfest, Vine & Dine and the Rut Mountain Runs. Escape the sweltering heat this summer in the beautiful mountains of Big Sky Resort.

Big Sky Resort opens its hotels and its many basecamp activities May 29th, weather and conditions dependent.

Big Sky Resort has one of the top five best bike parks in the Northwest, according to It’s the third consecutive year that Big Sky Resort’s downhill trails have ranked among the top in the Northwest. That’s because Big Sky continues to invest in its trails. This year, the resort is adding two new mountain biking trails totaling almost 4 miles. At the bottom of Soul Hole, a black diamond trail on the Swift Current chairlift, Big Sky Resort is adding a jump line with ten tabletops or hip jumps and two big redirect berms. The jumps are bigger than the ones on Snake Charmer, a popular flow trail constructed last year.

The other new downhill trail is a 3.4-mile blue square flow trail off Swift Current chairlift. This trail is to help those bikers transition from the easier runs off the Explorer Chairlift to the more challenging trails on the Swift Current chairlift. This new trail will also connect into the bottom of other downhill trails on the Swift Current Chairlift, allowing bikers to ride a flow trail all the way to the base area.

The bike rental shop is getting a facelift, this summer operating out of the resort’s newly renovated rental center. Big Sky is not only expanding its downhill bike fleet in size and number but also offering expanded maintenance and retail services. Plus, Big Sky Resort has several new electric mountain bikes for those who need a little more help on the steep uphill sections.   

Big Sky Resort also offers mountain biking lessons, guides and youth programs to improve those downhill biking skills. Big Sky Resort has biking trails for all ages and abilities.

For those looking for a less arduous exercise, there is ziplining, spa treatments, skeet shooting, archery or paint ball. Families can enjoy the mini golf, bungee trampoline, climbing wall or giant swing in the plaza. The activities at Big Sky Resort’s Basecamp to Yellowstone are endless.

Escape the summer heat at 11,166 feet. Big Sky Resort offers trips to the top of Lone Peak, Montana’s highest scenic overlook. The Lone Peak Expedition involves a chairlift ride, a safari vehicle and an aerial tram ride to experience majestic views of the Madison, Gallatin, Bridger, Absaroka and Beartooth Ranges. 

Big Sky Golf Course opened May 19th with an updated fleet of golf carts and new sand in the bunkers. Also, check out the new golf boards to pick up the pace of the game and spice up your outing with these hip new modes of golf transportation.

Activities often stir up an appetite. Big Sky Resort offers a number of food options during the summer. Enjoy lunch on the deck at Everett’s 8800, a burger at the Montana Jack or enjoy a glass of wine and one of Andiamo’s signature Italian dishes.

Whether you’re looking for a family-fun getaway, a relaxing golf outing or an adventurous afternoon of mountain biking, Big Sky Resort is the place to live big this summer. Visit to book your summer activities.

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Monday, May. 22nd, 2017

MSU business students to offer consulting for area businesses and non-profits

Montana State University’s Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship is seeking local and regional businesses and non-profit organizations that are willing to offer students practical business experience in return for research, issue analysis or operational advice during the upcoming fall semester, which runs from Aug. 28 through Dec. 8.

Participating students will be enrolled in “BMGT 463—Entrepreneurial Experience” or “BMGT 475R – Management Experience.” Both are senior-level courses taught by Gary Bishop, associate teaching professor of management. Bishop said the entrepreneurial experience course is primarily focused on new start-up organizations or small, locally owned businesses. The management experience course focuses on more established businesses, as well as civic and non-profit organizations.

During the courses, students will help manage special consulting projects requested by area businesses and non-profit organizations. Past projects have included developing business, marketing and financial plans, identifying ways to improve businesses, suggesting solutions to problems, re-branding businesses, developing websites and social networking sites, market and competition analysis, sales analysis, feasibility studies, assisting with human resources and customer services issues, developing employee training and handbooks, and other business and management processes.

Businesses and organizations that wish to participate in the fall are invited to apply to the MSU Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship. Applications are due by Aug. 4.

In addition, the college has an internship program known as Student Entrepreneurs in Action. As part of the program, local businesses and organizations may apply to host a college intern from the program to work with the business or organization for 10 to 20 hours per week. In some instances, the student may work with the business or organization at no cost.

Application materials for both programs may be obtained by contacting Linda Ward at 994-1995 or or Gary Bishop at 994-7017 or More information also is available online at

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The Charles M. Bair Family Museum’s 2017 season opens Friday, May 26

The Bair Family Museum is proud to present a major exhibition of the Bair Collection’s Curtis photogravures entitled, The Shadow Catcher: Edward Sheriff Curtis, from May 26 – October 29, 2017, in the Montana Projects and Curtis Galleries. The selection of over 40 original photogravures is drawn from Volumes I-5, The North American Indian series.

 Photo credit: Sioux Chiefs, Vol. 3, Plate 78, Bair Collection

Over the winter Bair Museum staff worked to install LED lighting in the exhibit spaces. Eliminating damaging UV light sources has provided additional exhibition space to showcase a larger selection of the museum’s 180-plus Curtis collection. John Andrew & Son of Boston, under Curtis’s direction, printed the photogravures, circa 1906-1908, on delicate, almost transparent, Japanese tissue paper. This summer’s exhibit includes images representing the following tribes: the Apache, Jicarillas, Navajo, Pima, Papago, Qahatika, Mojave, Yuma, Maricopa, Walapai, Havasupai, Apache-Mojave (Yavapai), Teton Sioux, Yanktonai, Assiniboin, Apsaroke (Crows), Mandan, Arikara, and the Atsina.

The photographer and self-trained ethnographer Edward S. Curtis (1868-1952) met Charles Bair in Montana in the early 1900s. They became friends and their families would socialize in the winter months at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, where Curtis had a studio and gallery, as did Charlie Russell and Joseph Henry Sharp. Between 1901 and 1930 Curtis photographed over 80 tribes. To provide the funding for his planned series documenting all Native American tribes in North America, Curtis originally intended to sell subscriptions only to those who pre-purchased the 20 volume series. Due to the project’s enormous scope and escalating costs, Curtis immediately ran into financial difficulties, and Charlie Bair likely offered to purchase the first five volumes to help out his friend.  Even with the support of President Theodore Roosevelt, who wrote the foreword for the first volume of The North American Indian series, as well as financial backing from financier J. Pierpont Morgan, the project took over thirty years to complete and eventually bankrupted Curtis and ruined his life and his health.

Located in Martinsdale, the Bair Museum features several galleries where visitors can enjoy the family’s eclectic collection of Native American objects, Western and European paintings, and Navajo weavings. Tours of the Bair family home showcase Marguerite and Alberta Bair’s stunning collection of English silver and European antiques. This summer the museum also features work by Bozeman painter Harold Schlotzhauer in Above and Beyond- Paintings as Kites, in the museum’s lobby. Beginning Memorial Day weekend, the Charles M. Bair Family Museum will be open seven days a week through Labor Day from 10 am to 5 pm. The museum is located at 2751 Montana Hwy 294 in Martinsdale, Montana, between White Sulphur Springs and Harlowton. For more information visit

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Bozeman Kiwanis Sandbox Distribution June 3rd and 10th

A local tradition! The Bozeman Kiwanis Club will provide 80 children’s sandboxes, built by the club, given to families free of charge, sand included! The sandboxes will be distributed at the Dinosaur Park off Davis Road on two Saturdays in June the 3rd and 10th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Thursday, June 8th from 5-7 p.m. Sandboxes get our children outside, while socializing and developing creative and constructive skill sets.  The sandboxes are available on a first come, first served basis, until all are distributed. It is very important to bring a vehicle that can accommodate the 5” by 5” boxes and over 1,000 pounds of sand, and a plastic liner.  It is highly recommended that you protect your vehicle with a tarp or drop cloth for transporting, as the sand is loose. Pick up trucks are the best way to transport the boxes and sand. You may reserve a sandbox in advance, for pickup by going to

The Sandbox Project is one of many the Bozeman Kiwanis Club provides to give back to the community through various outreach programs.  The sandboxes are made possible by the club with support from community donations to purchase materials. Other projects include: Eliminate, which through Kiwanis International has made great strides to eliminate maternal neonatal tetanus. Local support is also provided for Eagle Mount Camp Braveheart, Big Sky Cancer Kids Spaghetti Feed, Hope for the Holidays, Kids in Crisis Backpacks, Fix-Up Festival, playground equipment, park pavilions, Thrive, and others.  For more information about the Bozeman Kiwanis Club please go to or “Bozeman Kiwanis” on Facebook.

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Sunday, May. 21st, 2017

Deputy Moore - Family Support

Earlier this week, Broadwater County lost a good man and hero in the line of duty, Deptuy Mason Moore.  Not only has this tragedy impacted our community, it has rippled across the state.  The outpouring of support has been amazing.  The Moore family has three children in the first year in 4-H in the Crow Creek Clovers 4-H Club.  
There is a lot of interest to support the family in their time of need.  Unfortunately, we have also heard there are scammers out there who are already taking advantage.  For example, if you receive a phone call asking to support the family fund, this is a scam.  Below are the best locations to support the family.

·         Opportunity Bank in Townsend, MT (406) 266-3137
·         Stockman Bank in Helena, MT (educational fund for Deputy Moore's children) (406) 447-9000
·         Bridge Church in Belgrade, MT (406) 388-2004
·         Montana Sheriff/Peace Officer Association (406) 443-5669
There is also a gofundme page. However, people are discouraged from using it because they take a portion of the proceeds.  It’s best to donate directly to a source above.
Another way you can support the family is by supporting your local emergency responders.  In addition to being a Sheriff’s deputy, Mason was also on the Three Forks Volunteer Fire Department.  You can paint your town or school in blue and black. Wear a blue and black ribbon. Have a moment of silence at school or work. Bring donuts (or something healthy) to your law enforcement office or firemen and thank them for their service.

Lastly, if you live in the area, another way to support the family is standing for them along the funeral procession.  The funeral is Tuesday, May 23rd in Belgrade (location TBD). The funeral procession is starting at 9:00 am at the Broadwater County Fairgrounds east of Townsend and planning to be in Belgrade by 10:00. Thousands of people are expected at the funeral and along the procession route.

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Wednesday, May. 17th, 2017

Golf Tournament Benefits Youth Hockey Players

The Bozeman Amateur Hockey Association (BAHA) is set to hold the annual golf tournament on Sunday, August 13th at Bridger Creek golf course. Funds from the tournament go directly to BAHA’s youth hockey scholarship fund.

The scholarship fund was created to support the growth of hockey in Gallatin Valley. Each year youth players apply for a scholarship, and most applicants receive some amount of financial support. The funding is determined by a committee, based on need.

“It is important that we provide the opportunity for families to be involved in such a great sport. We want them to be a part of our ice community, and will do what we can to make sure that happens. Each year we are able to help many families, and with youth hockey growing, that need gets bigger” says BAHA Board Member Rich Needham, who is also on the scholarship committee.

In the 2016-17 season fifteen players’ fees were supplemented by over $6,000 in scholarship awards. The fund is supplied by the funds netted in the golf tournament, as well as the generosity of other ice community members.

“I think there is a perception that endless funds exist in Bozeman. The youth scholarship fund allows families to stay active and engaged in our community” continues Needham, “that is one of the exceptional things about our membership. Scholarship funding is not about haves and have nots, it is about helping your neighbor, making sure our youth have the opportunity to be a part of something very special, and learn a lifetime love for the game of hockey”

The 2017 Golf Tournament sponsorship and registration are now open. The event includes a shotgun start, hole-contests, and lunch. Sponsorship options vary to accommodate all levels of giving. If you are interested in participating in this tournament or in giving directly to the fund, please find details and contact information at

For More Information please contact:

Layne Fisher with the Bozeman Amateur Hockey Association


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Tuesday, May. 16th, 2017

Montana Team Nutrition Program recognized as a national leader

A Montana State University-based program that provides nutrition education and training in schools has been recognized nationally for its continued leadership in the farm to school and farm to early care and education (or ECE) movements in Montana.
The Montana Team Nutrition Program, which is housed at MSU, has been selected as the 2017-2019 National Farm to School Network Montana Core Partner.
From school gardens and farm field trips to local food on lunch trays, farm to school and ECE practices help children learn about where food comes from and to make healthier choices, while also creating new markets for local and regional farmers and food producers.
More than 40 percent of Montana schools are now engaged in farm to school efforts that contributed an estimated $1.6 million to Montana businesses in the 2013-2014 school year, according to Aubree Roth, Montana Farm to School coordinator with the Montana Team Nutrition Program.
In addition, nearly 150 sites are currently participating in the Montana Harvest of the Month program, a collaboration of the Montana Team Nutrition Program, the Office of Public Instruction, the National Center for Appropriate Technology, MSU Extension, Gallatin Valley Farm to School and FoodCorps Montana, which showcases a different Montana grown or raised food each month in school meals, snacks, taste tests and educational activities, Roth said.

According to Roth, Montana Team Nutrition has provided a central leadership role in growing farm to school efforts through coordinating the Montana Farm to School Leadership Team, leading the development of the Montana Harvest of the Month program, providing training and guidance for individuals throughout the state and supporting the Montana Beef to School Coalition. The Montana Beef to School Project, a three-year collaborative project between several Montana beef producers and processors, schools and stakeholders represented in the Montana Beef to School Coalition, explores how to make beef to school programs successful and encourages the use of local beef in every Montana school, according to the website (

The National Farm to School Network has selected Core Partner and Supporting Partner organizations in all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and U.S. territories to collaborate on efforts to strengthen the farm to school and ECE movements nationwide and ensure its benefits are available to all children. These partners will support the development of new information and resources, grow awareness of the movement and its benefits, advocate for supportive policies and provide vision for the growth and evolution of the farm to school and ECE movements.

To learn more about Montana’s partnership with the National Farm to School Network, visit To learn more about farm to school efforts in Montana visit

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Tuesday, May. 9th, 2017

Local Farm Brings Organic Vegetables & Herbs to Backyard Gardens

Strike Farms, a 20-acre diversified organic farm just outside Bozeman city limits, is pleased to announce a series of plant sale events just in time to start your garden. Strike Farms is committed to providing high-quality, sustainably grown vegetables, herbs, and flowers to the local community, which has grown through their Summer Vegetable Subscription program to include Billings, Big Sky, Butte, Helena, and Livingston. The Spring Plant Sale and Open House will be held from 9 am – 3 pm at the farm (67 Rocky Road) on the following dates:

May 13

May 20

May 27

June 3

In addition to stocking up on a wide assortment of locally-grown, certified organic herb and vegetable starts for your own garden, you will be able to wander the farm, meet our farmers, and see for yourself where your food comes from. You can also sign up for Strike Farms’ Summer Vegetable Subscription at the events. The 20-week subscription provides you with the fresh taste of Montana at a discounted rate. For the whole month of May we will be partnering with the Montana Commuter Challenge to offer you deals. We will offer a $25 discount on a Vegetable Subscription for anyone that rides their bike out to the farm to sign up. Learn more on our website,

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MSU student fuses passion for theater, engineering

When Montana State University mechanical engineering major Aaron Benson graduates summa cum laude in May and launches a unique career, he can count his grandfather and William Shakespeare among his influences.
It was childhood trips to where his grandfather worked, at NASA’s largest rocket engine test facility, that first sparked Benson’s interest in engineering. But it was during a trip he took with a high school drama program to London’s famed West End – a mecca for live theater – that he realized he could make engineering come alive on-stage.

Watching a production by London’s National Theatre, Benson marveled at the hydraulic machinery that allowed the stage hands to rapidly switch sets, in one instance lowering an entire two-story house below the stage surface. “That blew my mind,” he said.
When he entered the Honors College at MSU with a Presidential Scholarship, Benson majored in mechanical engineering and worked as a set designer on two productions at MSU’s Black Box Theatre. During a summer break, he trod the boards in the title roles of Macbeth and Hamlet in Shakespeare in the Square productions in Rapid City, South Dakota.

He even channeled his passion for theater into co-developing an upper-division Honors College course called Discovering Shakespeare, which he also helped teach.
“I’ve always been passionate about Shakespeare,” Benson said. The course, he said, was designed to enrich students’ understanding of the Bard by studying his works as they were meant to be experienced — “through live performance.”
When it came time to select an intensive, year-long capstone project, which all engineering students must complete in order to graduate, Benson pioneered a collaboration with the School of Film and Photography in MSU’s College of Arts and Architecture.
Knowing that Black Box Theatre would soon produce the Tony award-winning Spring Awakening, Benson proposed that MSU engineering students design and build the play’s central prop: a 12-foot-diameter turntable that would spin as cast members performed the rock and roll musical on its surface.
As Benson and five other engineering students (Daniel Moore, William Blomquist, Lisa McEnnerney, Gookhyun Jeong and Steve Ferestad) took on that challenge, they also designed and built a large scissor-lift for the rear of the stage, to elevate actors during dramatic scenes. Both machines would need to be operated from a control booth off-stage.

“The largest challenge by far was not only building a structure that would meet the desired performance criteria, but also simultaneously designing a structure that can be easily moved into and out of a space and that will last for years to come,” Benson said. “In addition, these systems needed to be completely silent.”

Benson’s team completed the hardware, which cost about $3,000, on schedule. They also wrote a manual that gives instructions for operating the equipment safely.
When Spring Awakening was performed during a two-week period in April, “the audiences and the actors were blown away” by the new stage equipment, said Black Box Theatre technical director Tom Delgado. During the play’s climactic moments, the spinning turntable played a key role by allowing audience members on all side to see the emotion on the actors’ faces, he said.

The unique collaboration between the School of Film and Photography and the College of Engineering may be a first for those programs, said Shanon Reckinger, assistant teaching professor in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering and the faculty adviser to the capstone project.
According to Reckinger, Benson’s blend of enthusiasm, technical aptitude and leadership were central to the project’s success. “Aaron has been passionately working towards a career in stage automation.”
Upon graduation, Benson will head to a job as a mechanical designer for TAIT Towers, a live-event production company listed as one of Fast Company magazine’s Most Innovative Companies of 2017. There, he will create structures and equipment showcased at Disney's theme parks and with Cirque Du Soleil productions around the world.

That, Reckinger said, “is a dream job for any engineer.”

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Tuesday, Apr. 25th, 2017

Knitting Factory Presents announces multi-year partnership with Big Sky Brewing Company

Knitting Factory Presents (KFP) announced today that they have finalized a multi-year partnership with Big Sky Brewing Company (BSBC), the locally owned and operated brewery based in Missoula with distribution in twenty-four states.

With this announcement comes the news that KFP and BSBC have broken ground on several key infrastructure improvements after more than a year of in-depth planning. The venue will now feature an engineered amphitheater bowl, improving sight lines for all concert goers and allowing for multiple mixed configurations, including general admission and reserved seated options. The new stage house will provide artists with a state of the art performance space and upgraded production capabilities. The venue offers scenic views of Lolo Peak and beautiful big sky country sunsets.

"Big Sky Brewing Company has had a great time hosting concerts such as Bob Dylan, Pretty Lights, Wilco, The Decemberists, Chris Young, Lindsey Stirling and more in our backyard over the past six summer seasons,” said Neal Leathers, president and co-founder of BSBC. “These concerts have allowed us to contribute nearly $500,000 to local non-profit organizations serving the Missoula community at large. Now, after nine months of designing the site improvements, obtaining construction permits and hiring contractors, we finally broke ground on our new and improved venue. We can't wait to show it off to concertgoers and for the 2017 concert season to begin!"

To date, KFP and BSBC have hosted over sixty concerts at the brewery’s current home in Missoula and the 2017 Summer Concert Series is off to a running start with 8 shows announced, to date. The Trey Anastasio Band will serve as the headliner for the grand-reopening of the venue on Saturday, June 3rd, and other performers include Rebelution June 23rd, Sublime with Rome July 4th, Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals July 18th, UB40 Legends Ali, Astro and Mickey July 19th, Michael Franti & Spearhead September 11th and the debut of Travelers’ Rest August 12th and 13th, a new weekend festival presented by The Decemberists.

A full slate of events will be announced over the next few weeks giving BSBC its biggest season yet!

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