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Thursday, Jan. 4th, 2018

MSU Wonderlust lifelong learning courses now open for registration

Non-credit enrichment courses are now open for enrollment through Montana State University’s Wonderlust, a lifelong learning program of MSU Continuing, Professional and Lifelong Learning.
Wonderlust offers classes, forums, book clubs and workshops for the intellectually curious.
Semester courses typically are offered once a week, for four to six weeks, and cover topics including history, music, science, art, religion and others. Spring courses will cover Islam, Yellowstone wildlife, green energy, psychology and more.
All courses are open to the public. MSU Wonderlust members receive course discounts and free entry to side trips, which are single lectures. This semester's side trips cover Cuba, mushrooms, Montana politics and other topics. Wonderlust also offers book discussion groups and other special events, as well as free side trip lectures at the Belgrade Library.

For more information or to enroll, visit or contact MSU Continuing, Professional and Lifelong Learning at 406-994-6550 or
Course catalogs are available in 128 Barnard Hall at MSU. All course descriptions are also available online.

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Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Seeks Citizens' Advisory Committee Members

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is seeking applicants to fill four volunteer positions on the Region 3 Citizens’ Advisory Committee (CAC). FWP is interested in selecting members from a pool of candidates who represent a variety of interests and communities within the region. Preference may be given to candidates from underrepresented areas of the region. Terms will begin upon selection in February 2018.

The Citizens’ Advisory Committee helps FWP achieve its goals by sharing information, ideas, emerging trends and initiatives from the public in a setting that welcomes differing points of view. Citizen advisors serve in a voluntary capacity with meals and travel expenses provided. Meetings are generally held quarterly in Bozeman, but there may be travel to locations of interest. All meetings are open to the public.

Specifically, the functions of the CAC are to:
    •    Help promote Montana’s strong outdoor recreation traditions
    •    Provide a forum for ongoing two-way communication with our neighbors and communities in southwest Montana
    •    Help FWP personnel maintain and improve responsiveness to the public
    •    Help FWP identify emerging issues
    •    Provide advice and perspective on important resource and management issues
    •    Assist FWP with crafting local, sustainable solutions on regional and statewide issues
Applicants will be asked to provide an overview of their interests and involvement in natural resource issues. Finalists may be asked to interview by phone or in person.
To obtain an application, visit the FWP Region 3 office at 1400 S. 19th Ave., call 406-994-4042, or email Completed applications must be returned to FWP by Jan. 26, 2018. Applicants will be notified by email (or mail if requested) by mid-February about the results of the selection process.

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Vintage sign from Bozeman landmark illuminates MSU architecture studio’s vision

The only thing larger than the sign on top of Bozeman’s former Burger Inn diner was the heart of its owner, the late Emanuel “Manny” Voulkos, who was known for his gruff exterior and his belief that no one should go hungry — especially students.
While Voulkos died in 1995, the two-story sign that once graced “Manny’s,” a 24-hour diner that opened in 1935 at the corner of Seventh and Main, has been restored and installed in the student architecture studio in Montana State University’s Cheever Hall. There, it serves as a reminder of Bozeman’s past and lights the way to the area’s future design.

“The Manny’s sign has two levels of significance,” said Dean Adams, a ceramics professor in the School of Art and associate dean of the College of Arts and Architecture. “As part of the built environment, signs are a part of architecture that we do not always think of when we consider buildings.

“I suppose there is a nostalgic element, too,” Adams added. “I always think of the Manny’s sign as a beacon in the lonely night. … Manny’s sign served as a welcome beacon to travelers and for the Montana State College students who were awake when most were asleep.”
Manny purchased Bozeman’s Burger Inn in 1949 with his brother, Peter, who went on to become one of the most influential ceramic artists of contemporary times after graduating in 1951 from the School of Art at what was then Montana State College. Commonly known as Manny’s, the drive-in operated in Bozeman until Manny’s retirement in the early ‘80s. It was known for dishwater coffee, greasy fries and tough steaks.

The two-story sign that called attention to the diner was built sometime in the 1950s, the neon tubes heated and bent to match the exact curvature of the letters: Burger Inn; Good Food. And for three decades, the sign blinked in the night, directing truck drivers and penniless students to Bozeman’s 24-hour burger joint.

More than 60 years later, the sign with a blinking arrow and marching lights shines again, newly installed in the two-story School of Architecture studio space. While there’s no Formica countertop or late-night food for sale in Cheever Hall, the restored sign conjures stories from Bozeman’s past.
“I think about this sign’s stories — they’re bigger than the sign itself,” said Christopher Livingston, associate professor in the School of Architecture.

And each story sheds light on the generous nature of the restaurant owner himself.
“Manny was somebody who lived during the Depression as a young person,” said Adams, who grew up near Bozeman and visited the Burger Inn as a child. “He thought that nobody should be hungry.” The restaurant was comprised of a single counter and 10 stools, and Adams added that “they always said that he fed the whole town, 10 people at a time.”

“He fed everyone, no matter who they were or how much money they had,” Manny’s daughter, Marcella Robino, said. “If they were broke, he’d find a way for them to do chores to pay for the meal. They ate first, though.”
Adams recalled a story told to him by his mother and his aunt. They were both in high school several decades ago and decided to stop by Manny’s on Thanksgiving before going home to holiday dinner.
“[Manny] thought they were poor students who didn’t have a place to go on Thanksgiving, so he cooked them a huge meal,” Adams said. Laughing, he recalled how angry their mother was upon their return home for having ruined their Thanksgiving dinner.
At the time of Manny’s death in 1995, Bozeman native, former legislator and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Dorothy Bradley was quoted saying that Voulkos had “his own scholarship program. He literally helped students through school by feeding them.”
After Manny’s retirement, the Burger Inn was dismantled and, as the story goes, some architecture thesis students convinced the city to let them have the sign. It was placed on the east wall of Cheever’s studio space; however, the broken shards of neon were dim.

It wasn’t until 2013, after the sign was removed to make room for seismic renovations in Cheever Hall, that restoration became an option.

Rather than reinstall a dysfunctional sign, former School of Architecture faculty member Bill Rea coordinated with the general contractors undertaking the seismic work to re-install the working sign on the south wall of the studio.
“Langlas and Associates offered to cover half the cost of the restoration if the School of Architecture covered the other half,” said Steve Juroszek, a professor in the School of Architecture. “Mosaic Architecture, AIA Montana and the School of Architecture Advisory Council generously provided the funding to cover that half of the restoration.”

“The Burger Inn was a special place in Bozeman — in large part due to Manny’s generosity with students and because it was open 24 hours a day,” Juroszek said. “It was a wonderful part of the local fabric, something that distinguishes the small-town community feeling that Bozeman had. So many students ate there — and many of them were in the groups that funded the sign’s restoration.”

The restoration team had to do a little detective work, Juroszek said. They had to rebuild the back of the sign to house electrical components and so it could be properly hung. They also had to do some research to match the colors of the new neon to the original.
The sign isn’t always on, but when it is, the structure comes to life. The neon glass glows and alternating letters G and F flicker to spell the words, “Good Food.” Light bulbs blink in series along the length of the arrow, marching in time. Sound emanates from the metal and glass as the sign takes mechanical breaths.

“I think it makes people think about making things big,” Juroszek added. “Sometimes I think we’re just way too serious. Can’t architecture and space be fun?”
Students have access to the studio space where Manny’s sign now resides 24-hours a day. To Livingston, it is only fitting the sign finds its home there.
“People spend a lot of time in this building,” he said. “People have always spent a lot of time in this building. Signs are boring these days. … [Manny’s] brings up ideas of memory and narrative, that storytelling is very important for the built environment.”
“We are all deeply committed to preserving the artifacts of the built environment that are unique to their time,” Juroszek said. “We all value good design and this sign is a wonderful example of that.”

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Friday, Dec. 29th, 2017

Complete List of Christmas Tree Recycling Dropoffs

Now that Christmas is over it's time to find out where to take your Christmas tree for recycling! You cannot leave your trees on the curb for regular garbage pickup.

The City of Bozeman offers these Christmas tree recycling sites now through February 16, 2018.

• BMX Park at Tamarack & Aspen Streets

• Christie Fields off East Mason Street

• Lower lot of the Softball Complex off Highland Blvd

The city trees will be turned into mulch for Lindley Park.

Please call the City of Bozeman at 582-3225 if you have any questions or concerns.

Republic Services offers the following Christmas tree recycling sites through January 5, 2018:

• Cashman Nursery, 20155 Springhill Rd

• Republic Services, 8600 Huffine Ln

• Lewis & Clark Park, N Davis Belgrade

• Big Sky Community Park, Meadow Village Big Sky

• Gateway Market Exxon, Gallatin Gateway

• 204 W Main, Manhattan

• Rodeo Grounds, Three Forks

Call 406-586-0606 for more information.


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Wednesday, Dec. 27th, 2017
Thursday, Dec. 21st, 2017

Lindley Park Dog Loop: A 1-km dog-friendly ski trail for downtown Bozeman

Thanks to a donation from the Split Rock Foundation, the Bridger Ski Foundation (BSF) and Run Dog Run have created a much-needed in-town groomed trail for cross-country skiing with your dog. The nearly 1-km Lindley Park Dog Loop utilizes terrain between Buttonwood Avenue and the library.

While dogs and skiers are both permitted on groomed ski trails in Hyalite and Bozeman Creek, they aren’t allowed on in-town trails at Sunset Hills, Highland Glen, or Bridger Creek Golf Course. This new addition creates an easily accessible loop just a block off Main Street for dogs and their human ski partners.

"We are very excited to partner with Run Dog Run and a private donor to create a dog-friendly ski loop in town,” says Kyle Marvinney, trails manager for BSF. “There has been lots of interest in having more dog-friendly skiing around Bozeman, and it is great to see that become a reality through the cooperation of the City of Bozeman Parks and Rec department, Run Dog Run, and the Split Rock Charitable Foundation.”

Terry Cunningham, executive director of Run Dog Run and a Gallatin Valley Trails Ambassador, notes, “We were delighted to learn of the creation of this unique opportunity for off-leash, in-town skiing for Bozeman area dog owners. It fills a real need. “

Cunningham adds, “We urge dog owners to use this facility and respect the fact that Highland Glen and the rest of Lindley Park are dog-restricted during the winter months.”

With this new addition, BSF will be grooming at seven Community Nordic Trails venues in Bozeman. “The loop in Lindley Park provides an efficient solution to providing dog-friendly skiing from the BSF trails perspective and has so far been very well received," says Marvinney. Anticipating mostly week-day traffic on this new trail, he says they plan to groom the loop two to three days a week, mostly on weekdays.

Run Dog Run purchased, installed, and will maintain two dog waste stations on the trail. Both BSF and Run Dog Run invested in trail signage to promote good trail etiquette.

Skiers should park in the Lindley Park parking lot on Buttonwood Avenue. (Please avoid parking at the library.) For safety, this is a one-way loop meant for ski/dog traffic only. Ski in a counter-clockwise direction.

Dog owners: a dog ski trail like this comes with some responsibility. In order for this to work in the long run, please:

Only friendly, well-socialized dogs who are under voice control are allowed on the ski trail.
Dog owners are responsible for picking up dog waste – off-leash doesn’t mean off-duty.
Keep your dog on leash between the parking lot and the trail for the safety of everyone.

DOGS ALLOWED: at Lindley Park Dog Loop, Sourdough/Bozeman Creek, and Hyalite
NO DOGS AT: Highland Glen, Bridger Creek Golf Course, Sunset Hills (between Lindley Center & the hospital)

Trail maps and grooming reports available at

Like these groomed trails? The grooming and maintenance is funded by your voluntary trail passes and donations. Trail users (including Fido) are urged to donate or buy a pass in order to ensure grooming for years to come. Purchase a pass online at or at Chalet Sports, Roundhouse Ski & Sports Center, or Bangtail Bikes & Ski.

Bridger Ski Foundation (BSF) is a nonprofit community ski organization based in Bozeman, Montana. They provide and fund educational and competitive programs for all ages, year round, in Nordic, Alpine, Freestyle, Freeskiing, and snowboarding. They also groom an incredible network of community Nordic ski trails for the public in Bozeman.

Run Dog Run is a Bozeman-based nonprofit that advocates for, funds and constructs additional off-leash recreation facilities in the Bozeman area - and they promote responsible dog ownership practices.

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Tuesday, Dec. 19th, 2017

High Plains Book Award Nominations to Open on January 16, 2018.

Nominations for the twelfth annual High Plains Book Awards will open on January 16, 2018. Nominations will be accepted through March 16, 2018.  Information and nomination forms can be found online at The list of 2017 winners is also available on the High Plains website.

The Billings Public Library Board of Directors established the High Plains Book Awards in 2006 to recognize regional authors and/or literary works that examine and reflect life on the High Plains. In 2017 the High Plains Book Awards Board was granted a 501(C) 3 status and now functions as an independent entity while still collaborating with the Billing Public Library. The High Plains region includes: Montana, North and South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado and Kansas.  In addition, the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan are also included in the High Plains region.

The 2018 awards include twelve book categories that include; Art & Photography, Children’s Book, Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, First Book, Indigenous Writer (new category introduced in 2017), Medicine/Science, Nonfiction, Poetry, Short Stories, Woman Writer and Young Adult.
Nominated books must be published for the first time in 2017. Winners will receive a $500 cash prize and will be announced at the awards banquet that is held in conjunction with the High Plains Book Fest. The 2018 High Plains Book Awards and High Plains Book Fest will take place October 19-20, 2018.
All nominated books are read and evaluated by four different community readers.  Finalist books in each category will be announced in late May 2018.  Winners in each category will be determined by a panel of published writers with connections to the High Plains region.
For more information about the High Plains Book Awards visit the website or contact Shari Nault, High Plains Book Awards President, 406-672-6223,

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Torchlight parade, skiing Santa, fireworks and more this holiday season at Big Sky Resort

Celebrate the holidays on the slopes this season at Big Sky Resort with a torchlight parade, skiing Santa Claus and firework displays sure to wow even the biggest Grinch.

For decades, Big Sky Resort’s Mountain Sports instructors have meandered their way down Andesite Mountain for the awe-inducing annual torchlight parade. Holding flares while skiing and riding in a single file line, about two dozen of the resort’s instructors snake their way down Ambush on Christmas Eve. Hundreds turn out to watch, many securing a prime viewing spot at the base of the Ramcharger Chairlift.

After all of these years, these employees have perfected the careful timing of the torchlight parade – not skiing too fast so as to stay together, but not too slow so that the torches don’t burn out prematurely. The Dec. 24 torchlight parade is a must-not-miss event beginning at 8 p.m.

It’s also possible that Santa Claus may stop in for the torchlight affair to distribute treats to the crowd. Keep your eyes on the sky for Santa and a fireworks display.

If 8 p.m. is past the kids’ bedtime, maybe visit the Huntley Lodge Sunken Lobby at 7 p.m. to hear Santa read aloud the holiday classic, “T’was the Night Before Christmas.”

The Huntley Dining Room will be serving a Christmas Eve Dinner Buffet from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.

The next day, Dec. 25, guests should keep their eyes peeled on the slopes as Santa and one of his elf helpers have been seen skiing the Lone Peak Tram, hitting the terrain parks or enjoying the groomers on Andesite Mountain. In the afternoon, around 1:30 p.m., look for Santa visiting with guests in the Mountain Village and Madison Base areas.

As the New Year approaches, Big Sky Resort again has a whole list of fun events for the whole family. On Dec. 31, there will be two firework shows, one at 8 p.m. and the other at the stroke of midnight. These shows are best viewed from the Mountain Village plaza.

There are New Year’s Eve parties in the Talus Room of the Summit Hotel, and live music of the Dusty Pockets at Montana Jack. Kids ages 4 and up have a supervised party all of their own in the Yellowstone Conference Center from 6 to 11:30 p.m. Reservations are required.

For an elegant, intimate New Year’s Eve celebration, Everett’s 8,800 on top of Andesite Mountain is offering gourmet Alpine cuisine perfect for ringing in the New Year. Limited seats are available.

Not only is there lot happening during the holidays at Big Sky Resort, but also snow is in the forecast. For more information on snow conditions or events, visit As always, purchasing lift tickets online saves guests the most.

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Wednesday, Dec. 13th, 2017

Bee-Clectics will Exhibit January-February at Library

The Bee-Clectics will exhibit fabric creations in the Atrium Gallery at the Bozeman Public Library January 2 through February 28, 2018. The Bozeman Public Library Foundation, sponsors of the exhibit, will host an artist’s reception on Friday, January 5, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m., free and open to the public. 

The members of the Bee-Clectics explore and make fabric art for the fun and joy of creating in a spirit of friendship.  The group started informally in 2016 as a weekly activity group focusing on fabric, threads, and mixed media. The name, Bee-Clectics, comes from the historical concept of the quilting bee, a community gathering where quilts were made by a group of women in a social setting.  

Members work on individual projects while exploring an eclectic source of materials and techniques to enhance their fabric, thread, and mixed media artwork. The group meets weekly and the goal is to experience learning and experimenting in an atmosphere of mutual interest. The diverse members have shown their work at local, regional, and national shows; have published work in various magazines; and have taught art and quilting techniques. Some members sell their work or accept commissions and others produce art for the purpose of inspiring and pleasing themselves and others. 

The exhibition will be on display during Library hours.  A percentage of 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 email

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