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Wednesday, Jan. 14th, 2015

STEM role models & sponsors needed for MSU conference

Organizers of a conference at Montana State University are seeking female professionals who can present and serve as role models for junior high-aged girls interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers. The annual conference, called Expanding Your Horizons, takes place Saturday, April 11, 2015 on the MSU campus. More than 200 girls from throughout Montana will participate in engaging STEM activities ranging from robotics to fossils to astronomy.
Volunteers who would like to share their expertise and enthusiasm on a STEM topic will develop a 40-minute workshop and hands-on activity. Training is offered for new presenters. The event is designed to expose young women to exciting STEM careers and encourage them to pursue STEM courses in high school and college.
Businesses and organizations that are interested in financial or in-kind sponsorships are also encouraged to participate.
EYH is a national program that, since 1992, is hosted locally by MSU Extended University’s outreach program.
The deadline for applying to be a presenter is Jan. 22. Contact Nicole Soll with MSU Extended University at (406) 994-6633 or or visit or

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Saturday, Jan. 10th, 2015

Bozeman Public Library Foundation Seeks Nominations for Annual Literary Award

The Bozeman Public Library Foundation is seeking nominations for the 7th annual Cornerstone Award.  This award is presented annually to an individual who has made a significant contribution to literature, libraries, and learning in the Gallatin Valley and is presented annually at the Cornerstone Celebration: Honoring Arts and Ideas during National Library Week.  This year’s Cornerstone Celebration will be held on April 18, 2015.
The award was created in 2008 as a way of honoring those who have supported and helped build the rich cultural community enjoyed by residents of the Gallatin Valley.  “The Cornerstone Award has become a coveted honor, recognizing people who share the Foundation’s vision of the Library as a ‘cornerstone of our community’s high quality of life’.” said Paula Beswick, Foundation Director. “We are eager to gather nominations for the many worthy individuals among us who fit this description.”
The inaugural award was presented to former Country Bookshelf owner Mary Jane DiSanti in April of 2009.  Broadcast journalist and producer George Cole was the recipient in 2010 for his tireless advocacy of the library, and his continued commitment to fostering a sense of community through thoughtful and interesting civic dialogue.  Alan Kesselheim was the well-deserved winner of the 2011 award for his 20+ years of volunteering with the Library as a member of the Friends, a Trustee, a Foundation board member, and an acclaimed author of over nine books. The 2012 award went to Jan Zauha, Montana State University reference librarian and professor for her passionate commitment to bringing books, literature, and discussion to our community, as well as her continual promotion of public libraries. David Quammen, author of the critically acclaimed book “Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic,” was the recipient of the 2013 award for his life contributions to literature, the library and local learning.  April 2014, Jack and Barbara Kligerman received the first joint award for volunteering at the library for the past 11 years, participating in multiple book clubs and offering classes in music and literature for Wonderlust, a program of Montana States Extended University.  As a dynamic duo, they have spent hours organizing and participating in readings at the Library featuring literary greats such as Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Mark Twain and Shakespeare.
Nominations are encouraged and welcome from the general public. The award is open to any Gallatin Valley resident, past or present, whose personal and/or professional experience is deemed relevant to or inherently connected with the Bozeman Public Library.  Nominations will be received beginning on January 1, 2015, through March 6, 2015.  For complete guidelines
and an application form, please visit the Bozeman Public Library website at, or contact Development & Programs Manager, Sarah DeOpsomer at 582-2425.

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Thursday, Jan. 8th, 2015

Bridgercare offering Affordable Care Act Marketplace help

Bridgercare is offering free consultations with a Certified Application Counselor to enroll in a health care plan through the Affordable Care Act Marketplace.
Are you confused by the Affordable Care Act?  Worried you will be fined, because you haven’t applied for health care yet?  Overwhelmed by the different plans and the enrollment process?

The Affordable Care Act has enabled many Americans to finally receive the medical care they need, but the experience of finding and applying for health insurance can sometimes be confusing and overwhelming.

We’re excited to announce that our support staff are now Certified Applicant Counselors (CAC) trained to assist  anyone in the community with health coverage options through the Marketplace of the Affordable Care Act, including completion of eligibility and enrollment forms on  Bridgercare provides this service free of charge. We do not receive any benefit or commission for enrolling anyone and are prohibited from endorsing any insurance agency or specific plan over another.  We can give you information about your health care options and explain the different insurance benefits. Getting a free consultation does not require you to choose enrollment through the Marketplace.  However, if you decide to enroll, we will help you through the application process every step of the way.

How can you schedule your free consultation?
It’s easy.  Just call Bridgercare at 406-587-0681 and make an appointment with any of our front desk staff who will be glad to help you.  Since all of our staff is trained, we will be able to schedule you quickly and flexibly.  Free consultations will be scheduled starting November 15th, aligning with the beginning of the open enrollment period for the 2015 plan year.

I’m not a current patient at Bridgercare - can I still schedule a consultation?
We offer this service to everyone, regardless of your patient status with Bridgercare.  As part of our overall mission to provide excellent, affordable health care, we are reaching out to anyone in our community who could benefit from this information and would like to take advantage of a trained CAC to discuss their health care options.
What should you bring to your consultation?
The initial consultation usually lasts about an hour and a half. It is helpful to have your login information with you, if you have already set up an account on the Marketplace website.  If you haven’t set up an account yet, we will help you do this during your initial consultation.  All you need is an email address.  If you do not have an email address, we can still enroll you via phone; just know that it will take a little longer.  You will need your social security number as well as your income information.  Any possible health care discounts are based on income projections for 2015, rather than your income from 2014. We can help with projecting your income as accurately as possible.  It is also helpful to bring a list of medications you are on and physicians you are currently seeing to ensure your new health insurance plan will cover them.  We will provide a complete check list of things to bring when you make your appointment.

What is the difference in using Bridgercare verses an insurance agency to enroll?
Because training for the Certified Application Counselors (CAC) is paid for by a federal grant and Bridgercare is a non-profit, we provide this informational service for free to our clients and any interested community members.  We are not associated with any insurance agency and will receive no monetary benefit for enrolling anyone in the Marketplace. This allows us to be neutral and simply help you understand your options and support you in whichever decision you make.  If you still have questions or would like more detailed information, feel free to call Bridgercare at 406-587-0681. We’re looking forward to speaking with you!

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Extreme Totem Makeover: New Signage on Local Trails

Trail users will notice something new starting in 2015. Local trails got a face lift over the holidays; it’s called the Extreme Totem Makeover. The Gallatin Valley Land Trust (GVLT) and volunteers replaced the way finding signs on the wooden totems at trail crossings and intersections around town. The totem signs include directional arrows to help trail users navigate the Main Street to the Mountains trail system.

The totems are an iconic part of Bozeman outdoor life. For years the totems and signs have been mismatched or damaged. With a fresh new design by Molly Stratton Design, the signs will be cohesive and accurate for trail users to easily identify as they use the trails. The trail system has over 90 totems with multiple sides which equates to over 500 signs that needed replacing.

Do you have a favorite totem sign or trail? Looking for that perfect gift for a friend? Or just want a special piece of Bozeman history? Old signs are available for a small donation to GVLT at the GVLT office, 212 South Wallace Suite 102.

Thanks to all the volunteers who made the Extreme Totem Makeover possible!

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Wednesday, Jan. 7th, 2015

Bozeman Public Library Seeking Proposals for 2016 Atrium Gallery Exhibition Series

The Bozeman Public Library Foundation is seeking submissions for its 2016 Atrium Gallery Exhibition Series. The Atrium Gallery located in the Library lobby will showcase both traditional and innovative contemporary art forms, as well as the work of both established and emerging artists of our region. The Library’s primary objective is to feature exhibitions that will expand public appreciation of art and reflect the diversity of the community. Selections will be made by the Library Art Committee, which is made up of local artists, community members, Library Foundation, and Library staff. Each exhibit will run for one to three months, determined by the committee.
The Bozeman Public Library is committed to promoting the visual and aesthetic enhancement of the Bozeman community through this ongoing presentation of rotating exhibits of public art in the Library. Proposals must be received by April 30, 2015.  Incomplete or late proposals will not be considered. For complete description of the program and guidelines, visit For additional information, please contact Paula Beswick at 406-582-2426 or

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Thursday, Jan. 1st, 2015
Sunday, Dec. 21st, 2014

Horseman Buck Brannaman to visit MSU for horsemanship clinic

Internationally renowned horseman Buck Brannaman will lead a horsemanship clinic for equine students from Montana State University, Miles City Community College and The University of Montana Western on Monday, Feb. 16, from noon to 3 p.m. at MSU’s Miller Pavilion, located off of West Garfield Street just west of 19th Avenue.


The clinic is open only to students enrolled in colt-starting classes at MSU, Miles City Community College and UM Western, although members of the public are invited to attend as spectators. Tickets for spectators are $20, or $10 for current students with student identification, and they will be available for purchase at the pavilion on the day of the event only. Proceeds from the event benefit MSU’s equine science program.

Prior to Brannaman’ s clinic, beginning at 9 a.m., there will be a free public preview of colts that will be up for sale during the MSU Equine Boosters’ Club annual Top of the West Horse Sale at Cooper Spring Ranch on April 11. The colts are donated to the club for the sale, and proceeds go directly to programming and facilities for the MSU equine science program.

Brannaman, a world-renowned horseman who holds an honorary doctorate in equine science from MSU, was one inspiration for the character Tom Booker in the Nicholas Evans novel “The Horse Whisperer,” which was made into a film directed by and starring Robert Redford. He is also a member of the MSU Equine Boosters’ Club.

Brannaman practices a unique approach to horsemanship and teaches a philosophy that respects a horse’s natural instincts. This training method encourages a deep connection between horse and human. The film “Buck,” a documentary featuring Brannaman’s work, won the U.S. Documentary Competition Audience Award at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Brannaman also regularly serves as a motivational speaker on the topics of animal and child abuse and conducts national and international horsemanship clinics and lectures.

“MSU is proud to have a relationship with one of the best horseman around,” said Glenn Duff, head of the Department of Animal and Range Sciences. “We’re thankful Buck not only donates his time and expertise for our students, but also for the gentle manner in the way he highlights the necessary focus on human-horse interaction.”

Duff said the MSU College of Agriculture’s equine science program is growing quickly. Brannaman’s daughter, Reata Brannaman, is an MSU student and currently teaches colt-starting classes. Duff said having Reata as an instructor has helped to bolster the national prominence of the equine program.

“Reata naturally brings with her the world-class horsemanship stature learned by her father,” he said. “That proficiency translates directly to our equine students receiving top horsemanship training in the country.”

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“Time Capsule” Golden Eagle Released

The Montana Raptor Conservation Center (MRCC) is set to release a 23-year-old Golden Eagle that completed a short rehabilitation. Local biologists captured and banded the eagle in 1992 and believe it migrates through the area year after year. The male eagle (GE 174-14) will be equipped with a satellite transmitter that can track its movements for approximately one year; the transmitter falls off as the bird’s feathers undergo their annual molt.

GE 174-14 was rescued from the Flathead pass area north of Bozeman on December 4. Area residents called MRCC to report the raptor was having trouble flying. “He just ran into some bad luck,” explains Becky Kean, Director of Montana Raptor Conservation Center. “His feathers got wet and he had a very full crop, so it was difficult for him to get off the ground.” 

Routine blood tests revealed elevated lead levels in the eagle’s bloodstream. MRCC staff provided chelation therapy to reduce the lead and supportive therapy, such as hydration. “He has shown good progress in our flight barn, and is ready to go back to the wild,” says Kean.

Original field documents show that GE 174-14 was trapped on March 31, 1992 near Ringling as a juvenile from the spring hatch. “Measurements illustrate this bird has grown into a healthy adult,” adds Kean, noting that he weighed 3400 grams (7 lbs. 8 oz.) in 1992 and is currently 3700 grams (8 lbs. 2.5 oz.). “Most Golden Eagles don’t live past their first year. If they do survive, their lifespan typically peaks at about 11 years in the wild,” she explains. “Other than picking up some lead along the way, this boy has done a good job of providing for himself,” she adds. 

Satellite tracking will help researchers by providing information on GE 174-14’s migratory habits. “He was born in the area and he’s wintering here,” explains Kean, “In the spring he’ll go somewhere to meet up with his mate and breed.” Kean and the others studying the eagle speculate that his breeding grounds are in Alaska, but until they receive data from the transmitter, they will not know for sure. 

Although biologists band birds all the time—GE 174-14 was one of 30 local eagles caught in the 1992 banding project—it’s not often that raptors are recaptured or rescued alive. “MRCC has rescued 175 birds of prey so far this year and only three have had bans,” says Jordan Spyke, Assistant Director. “We saw no banded birds in 2013 and only one in 2012,” so this is fairly unusual,” he adds. “The bans have an 800 number, and the fact that no one has reported GE 174-14 is a sign that he’s been living a good life,” says Jordan.

“We are always excited when we release a raptor back into the wild. It’s especially rewarding to learn about the birds after they have left our care, as we can do with GE 174-14 and his satellite tracker,” says MRCC Board President Rick Sanders. “Raptor-related research is a critical part of our mission,” he adds. “The more we can learn about these majestic creatures, the better positioned we are to help them.”

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Tuesday, Dec. 9th, 2014

Outdoor Artists Showcased at Sola Café

No, we’re not talking about plein-air painters, stooped over easels beneath a sun-dappled mountainside. These are artists who depict outdoor scenes—in this case, to illustrate stories in Outside Bozeman magazine. After 15 years in business, O/B has published some dandies, and it’s high time we honored these talented artists with a show all their own.
From December 16 to January 31, twenty of our best paintings and illustrations will grace the walls of Sola Café, at the corner of Kagy and S. 3rd. Expect a wild assortment of subjects and mediums—paper-maché skiers, hand-painted Subarus, watercolor winterscapes, and digitally-rendered wild animals drag-racing the streets of Bozeman, to name a few. This may not be the most high-brow art show in town, but it’ll surely be the most interesting.
Art-minded Bozemanites may recognize a few longstanding figures—Parks Reece, Mimi Matsuda, Adair Peck, and Blaise Arsenault, for example—while being introduced to newer names like Stephen Downer, Ted Rechlin, and Mike Russo. What they all have in common is creativity and talent—loads of it.
Here’s the best part: each piece is for sale, with proceeds benefitting Friends of Hyalite (FOH), a nonprofit organization that protects wintertime recreation in Hyalite Canyon. Without FOH, our favorite outdoor amphitheater would likely remain inaccessible all winter, for lack of funding to plow the road.
So swing by Sola this month and next, wander around with coffee in-hand, and enjoy the talents of our excellent outdoor artists—all while supporting Bozeman’s backyard playground.

To learn more about Friends of Hyalite, visit

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Sunday, Dec. 7th, 2014

Three former MSU cowboys compete at 2014 Nationals Finals Rodeo

Three cowboys who once wore the blue and gold vests of the Montana State University Rodeo Team are competing in the 2014 National Finals Rodeo, regarded as the country’s leading rodeo event, which began Thursday and runs through Dec. 13 in Las Vegas.
Ty Erickson of Helena, the youngest of the trio, competes in steer wrestling. Cort Scheer of Elsmere, Neb. and Jake Vold of Ponoka, Alberta, are both competing in roughstock events of saddle bronc and bareback riding, respectively.
“Three (NFR competitors) is a lot out of any one college,” said Mike True, MSU’s head rodeo coach, who will be watching the competition closely along with thousands of other rodeo fans. “I imagine we (MSU) have had three before, but it’s a pretty good representation. MSU has a glorious history of good rodeo hands.”
To qualify for what is often called the “Super Bowl of Rodeo,” cowboys must finish in the top 15 in their event at the end of the rodeo season. Each qualifier will compete each night of the 10-day rodeo, which is attended by thousands of rodeo fans at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Millions more will watch it on CBS Sports Network.
True said that Erickson, whom he calls “tremendously talented,” just barely qualified for the 15th spot in his event. Nonetheless, he expects Erickson, who graduated from MSU two years ago with a degree in business, to compete well.
“He got kind of cold there for a while and slipped in there by about $64, but I’m sure he will be good,” True said. “Ty is just a young kid getting going. I think he’ll have a great career.”
True has high praise for Erickson, not only as a cowboy, but also as a person.
“Ty was the best leader I have ever had, and one of the greatest talents,” True said. “He had as good of a work ethic of anybody, he stayed in school in four years and graduated with a good grade point average in business marketing.
“He is the model we want our kids and recruits to look at. He is the one who has done the whole job.”
True said that Scheer and Vold both left MSU after their junior year to compete professionally. True said they wanted to “leave while they were hot,” mostly because the nature of their events favors younger athletes.
True said that Vold was the top cowboy in the college region when he competed for MSU in 2008. He said while Vold has often struggled with injuries, he was the Canadian national champion in bareback riding this year, and is going into the NFR in the 11th position.
Scheer is ranked third in the saddle bronc standings. True said Scheer is “really just a good cowboy. He won this region in all-around when he competed here.” True said Scheer has a legitimate chance to end the season as the world champion in bronc riding.
True said the trio competing this week are just the latest in a long line of great professional rodeo athletes with MSU connections. He said MSU graduate Dan Mortenson is probably the biggest rodeo name to come out of MSU, winning the world championship in saddle bronc riding six times.  A couple of other professionals with a large Montana following were Rod Lyman and Bo Clark. Neither competed in rodeo at MSU, but were both MSU Bobcat football players before becoming professional cowboys in the steer wrestling event. Clark is now an assistant rodeo coach at MSU.
True said that it won’t be the last time that MSU cowboys will compete in Vegas.
“We get good people in this program and we always have,” he said.

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