Monday, Mar. 4th, 2019

Logjam Presents the ELM A World Class Concert Venue in Bozeman, MT

Montana based concert promoter Logjam Presents has begun construction on a new 1,500 capacity venue in Bozeman, Montana. The state-of-the-art facility will be located at 506 Seventh Avenue in Bozeman’s midtown district.  The name of the new venue will be the ELM.

Logjam Presents owner Nick Checota provided some insight into the name of the new venue. “In honor of the long-standing tradition of naming venues after people, my wife Robin and I selected a name that pays tribute to our three children. Additionally, we choose a name that we believe creates a brand that fits the esthetic design of the venue.”

Continuing its reputation of redefining the live music experience,  the Logjam team has designed the ELM to create a world-class experience for artists and concertgoers.

“Through the experience of Logjam with its other owned venues  -- the Top Hat, the Wilma and the KettleHouse Amphitheater -- we have learned that the esthetic and functional design is an integral part of the concertgoer experience. We feel our investments in acoustic treatments, production capabilities, functional design and the overall architectural statement are critical success factors of a world-class venue,” says Checota.

Construction for the new venue will begin on Monday, March 4, 2019, with a grand opening of the ELM scheduled for winter 2020. To stay current on venue updates and event announcements, patrons can sign up for the Logjam Presents newsletter on (direct link) and follow @elmbozeman on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter).

For interviews and press inquiries, please contact Nick Checota at or by phone at (406) 544-7440. Additional images available upon request. 

About Logjam Presents

Logjam Presents is a independent, Montana-based venue operator and promoter of entertainment events and private functions. The Missoula-based owners of Logjam Presents own the 1,500 capacity Wilma, the 4,500 capacity KettleHouse Amphitheater and the 600 capacity Top Hat Lounge -- all three venues located in greater Missoula. Logjam is also the exclusive promoter for the Missoula’s 10,000 capacity outdoor stadium Ogren Park. With an exclusive focus on the Montana music scene, Logjam Presents is committed to creating a world-class customer experience in state-of-the-art venues. For more information visit

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MSU 2019 American Indian Council Powwow set for March 29-30

The 44th annual American Indian Council Powwow at Montana State University will be held March 29-30 at the Brick Breeden Fieldhouse. The powwow is free and open to all. This year’s powwow will be will be dedicated to missing and murdered indigenous women and girls.
“Our indigenous students at MSU care deeply about this issue, and we want to feel safe in our communities, and we want our children to grow up not having to look over their shoulders,” said Allison Longtimesleeping Reyos, an MSU student who is co-president of the MSU American Indian Council. “This MMIWG (murdered and missing indigenous women and girls) powwow dedication is also a way to remember and honor those who have passed on or who are still missing. They need to know we care.”

The MSU American Indian Council Powwow is one of the largest in Montana. The powwow weekend events will begin this year at 3 p.m. Friday, March 29, with a ground blessing ceremony for the planned MSU American Indian Hall to be held at the building’s planned location, south of Hannon Hall. The powwow will begin at 6 p.m. Friday, with a grand entry. There will also be grand entries at noon and 6 p.m. Saturday, March 31. Dance and drum competitions with cash prizes are offered.

The host drum group will be The Boyz of St. Paul, Minnesota. The head woman dancer is Wozek Chandler (A’aniinen White Clay of Fort Belknap). Head man dancer is Kasey Nicholson (Aaahniinin and Pikuni Nation from Fort Belknap Indian Community). The masters of ceremonies will be Kenneth Helgeson (Nakoda, from Lodge Pole) and Don Racine (Aaniiih, White Clay from Hays). The arena directors are Francis Sherwood, a member of the Arikara, Hidatsa and Navajo tribes, of Denver, and Kyle Felsman (Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribe of Arlee). The head dance judge is Ron Lodgepole (Chippewa, of Gilbert, Arizona). Head singing judge is Zach Felsman (Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribe of Arlee). Tiny Tots dancers, up to 5 years of age, will be given an opportunity to dance and will receive small prizes during each of the three powwow sessions.

Booths located in the Brick Breeden Fieldhouse will offer a variety of artisan work for sale, and nonprofit and government organizations also will share information. Concessions will be available for purchase.
Indigenous food, including bison sliders, bison stew served in a squash bowl, an elk chili and fry bread with wojape (traditional berry sauce), among other items, will be available for purchase from the Fork in the Road food service that will be served in the south side upper concessions of the Brick Breeden Fieldhouse.

Powwow organizers are seeking volunteers from the MSU and greater community to help with the event. Volunteers may volunteer at the south entrance of the fieldhouse during the powwow. Also, the American Indian Council has organized a silent auction with proceeds going to help fund the powwow.
The American Indian Council Powwow Fun Run, with 5K, mile and walking categories, will be held March 30, beginning at the Brick Breeden Fieldhouse parking lot. Registration begins at 8 a.m. the day of the race with the race starting at 9 a.m. The walk category will begin at 9:05 a.m. There is a $20 registration fee, which includes a race T-shirt.

The annual MSU Powwow Basketball Tournament, with cash prizes, will be held March 29-30. For more information, call Cheryl Polacek at 406-599-1311 or email
The Presidential American Indian alumni brunch, is set for 9:30 a.m. Saturday, March 30, in the Great Room at the MSU Alumni Foundation. For more information about the brunch go to the AIC webpage at, contact the MSU Alumni Foundation at 406-994-2401 or email The brunch is free, but those who wish to attend should RSVP by Monday, March 25, by calling 855-850-2586 or emailing

The American Indian Council, an MSU student organization, raises funds to help ensure the powwow is free. The MSU Department of Native American Studies and multiple colleges, departments and programs, as well as off-campus organizations, also contribute. For more information about the powwow, go to or contact Lisa Perry at 406-994-4880 or or Nick Ross-Dick,

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Wednesday, Feb. 27th, 2019

Artist’s Julia Henderson and Kelly Hartman display new works at the Bozeman Public Library

Self-portraits by artist Kelly Hartman and macramé pieces by fiber artist Julia Henderson will be exhibited in the Atrium Gallery at the Bozeman Public Library March 1 through April 30, 2019. The Bozeman Public Library Foundation, sponsors of the exhibit, will host a macramé demo on April 18, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m., free and open to the public.

In order to best explain her works of self-portraiture, Bozeman artist Kelly Hartman quotes artist Frida Khalo “I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the person I know best.” Hartman adds “Time alone, particularly for me in the studio, allows the mind to wander, to go places the conscious body usually keeps barred. To this end, I find painting to be a lonely but cathartic endeavor.”

Hartman’s work also uses backgrounds she considers still life interpretations of patterned fabrics. Inspired by vintage-like floral fabric because of her day-job as a museum curator, she states “The innate femininity of it and the overall repetition of the patterns fit my identity as a woman and as a human. Our minds are repetitive; they beat circles around the things we hold most dear which makes us who we are.”

Julia Henderson likes to point out that while macramé is perhaps best known as a 70s handicraft, today it is having a massive resurgence among “modern bohemians.”  Macramé is seen as both as a functional aspect of home décor - plant hangers, floating tables and shelves, hammocks, clothes, chairs, curtains - and as an art form.

Henderson discovered macramé as part of the process of recovery from a violent assault.  She remarks “Macramé has become an increasingly large part of my life and is essential to my healing process. The act itself is meditative—simple yet consuming enough to achieve that ideal intersection psychologists call a “flow” state. I lose hours at a time tying knots, watching patterns emerge under my fingers as I bring beauty into the world. It gives me a sense of control, bringing order to a chaotic tangle of rope.”

Often blending macramé with weaving or crochet, Henderson works with found objects such as pinecones, feathers, and driftwood to add an organic dimension. She also works with antlers and old rusty drill bits or chains for a more industrial look, constantly surprising herself with the beauty found in old cast-off objects.

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, please call Sarah DeOpsomer at 582-2425 or email

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Friday, Feb. 22nd, 2019

MSU Library receives grant of more than $300,000 to digitize records related to fish and aquatic insects

Montana State University is home to a wealth of information about fish in the state. Gathered by researchers over more than a century, the specimens, field notes and other data provide potentially valuable research information. But, with no information about the collections available online, or even in one physical location, the information hasn’t been widely accessible.

That will soon change, thanks to a grant of more than $300,000 from the Council on Library and Information Resources. The grant will fund “From the Mountains to the Prairies, From Trout to Dace: Revealing Climate and Population Impacts on Culture, Ecology, and Economy in Montana’s Fisheries.” The project, which will take about three years to complete, is a collaboration between the MSU Library, the MSU Department of Ecology, the Montana Entomology Collection and the Montana State Library.

“We are really excited to help others discover and use these specimens and data,” said Jason Clark, associate professor and head of Special Collections and Archival Informatics at MSU.

The funds will enable a multidisciplinary team to gather information about a variety of archival documents, field notes and prairie-fish and aquatic insect metadata that are available at MSU. Once digitized, the information will let scientists, historians, sociologists, economists and others study the cultural, ecological and economic impacts of human population growth and climate change on the biodiversity of Montana’s fisheries, Clark said.

The Council on Library and Information Resources awarded 17 grants for projects proposed to digitize “hidden” collections. The MSU team’s proposal included digitizing information about collections at the university dating back to 1911. Those include manuscripts on aquatic biodiversity and cultural heritage surrounding fisheries and fish conservation efforts in the American West; prairie fish specimens collected over the past century; and invertebrates that serve as food, pathogens and competitors for the fish. The archival papers of scientist Robert Behnke and anglers Bud LillyDatus Proper and Sylvester Nemes, from the library’s renowned Trout and Salmonid Collection, will be digitized as part of the effort.

The team will also develop related educational materials, said Justin Shanks, CLIR postdoctoral fellow at MSU Library. Those will include instructional materials for K-12 students, pedagogical workshops for educators and an interdisciplinary course for MSU students.

“Making these materials available to a wider community is an important part of this project,” Shanks said.

Once the project has been completed, the records will be available online via the MSU Library, as well as the Biodiversity Heritage Library, the Montana Field Guide at the Montana State Library’s Natural Heritage Program, and the Symbiota, Fishnet2 and XBiod repositories, Clark said.

“By including this information in the Montana Natural Heritage Program’s database, it will be included in all state and federal environmental review processes and viewable to over 300,000 individuals that use the Montana Field Guide annually,” said Bryce Maxell, program coordinator with the Montana Natural Heritage Program.

Faculty and staff from MSU working on the project include Clark, Shanks, Department of Ecology head Diane Debinski, Special Collections librarian James Thull, associate professor Michael Ivie in the Department of Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology, affiliate professor Robert Bramblett in the Department of Ecology and museum collection specialist Sarah Rubin.

The team hopes that the data will be useful to researchers from a broad range of disciplines. 

Debinski noted that scholars could use the materials to study a range of topics, from biodiversity patterns to the culture of fishing and could be used in projects from history books to biological analyses to artwork.

“This information should be interesting to people in academia and beyond,” Debinski said.

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Thursday, Feb. 21st, 2019

MSU audio-forensic expert contributes to New York Times cover story

A Montana State University researcher was included in a front-page New York Times story on Monday for using audio forensics to help the newspaper confirm the identity of a prominent Islamic State militant.
The story, published online with the title "The English Voice of ISIS Comes Out of the Shadows," explains how Rob Maher, professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in MSU's Norm Asbjornson College of Engineering, contributed to The Times's investigation of the man who narrated some of the Islamic State's most notorious and gruesome propaganda videos.

The Times quotes Maher as saying that "the speech tone, pitch, cadence and pronunciation" of the narrator's voice matches audio recorded shortly after Mohammed Khalifa was captured in Syria last month by American-supported fighters.
According to the article, The Times turned to Maher and two other well-known audio-forensic experts to confirm that Khalifa, a 35-year-old Canadian citizen, was indeed the man who narrated videos for IS. Later, The Times reported, a U.S. official confirmed Khalifa's identity.
Maher uses sophisticated software and other tools to analyze recorded soundwaves and has published more than 20 papers on the subject. Most of his audio forensics research at MSU has been funded by the National Institute of Justice, the research and development wing of the U.S. Justice Department. He regularly receives calls from attorneys and investigators and has testified about audio evidence in courtrooms around the country. Maher recently authored a book, titled "Principles of Forensic Audio Analysis," intended chiefly for law enforcement officials and forensic investigators.

According to The Times report, "Terrorism experts say it is hard to overstate the role (Khalifa's) effortless English narration played in bringing the terrorist group’s propaganda to English speakers and luring some of them to its cause."

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Monday, Feb. 18th, 2019

MSU develops unique set of resources for Montana parents

When Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services staff members wanted to advance their efforts to curb underage drinking, they knew that parents are the No. 1 influence on whether youth engage in risky behaviors. And they knew they wanted to bring in new expertise and fresh ideas.
"We wanted to make something that would really empower parents to work with their kids in a positive way," said Vicki Turner, director of DPHHS Prevention Resource Center.
That's when they teamed up with Montana State University researchers who specialize in tackling complex social problems. The result, announced by Gov. Steve Bullock on Jan. 23, is a one-of-a-kind suite of online resources that gives parents guidance not only about teenage alcohol use but also the day-to-day challenges that come with parenting children of all ages.

 Available at, the tools include step-by-step tips for dealing effectively with a 5-year-old's meltdown, a 13-year-old's back talk and a 17-year-old's chore responsibilities, among other things. The guidance, categorized by age and topic, is grounded in the leading science on childhood development and parenting, according to Turner.

"We're already hearing from other states who are interested (in doing something similar)," Turner said.
MSU's Center for Health and Safety Culture developed the website as well as the associated videos and media campaign. What started for the center as a project focused on underage drinking grew into something more comprehensive after the center conducted a survey of Montana parents in 2017.
According to Center for Health and Safety Culture manager and research scientist Annmarie McMahill, the survey showed some things that wouldn't surprise most Montanans, including widespread support for reducing underage drinking. But the study also showed that many parents struggle with having the kind of daily social and emotional engagement with their child that contributes to dealing effectively with drinking and other risky behaviors.

"If parents can handle the day-to-day challenges in an effective way, then they have a solid platform when the bigger issues come along," McMahill said.
With that understanding, the project broadened, McMahill said. The center and DPHHS saw an opportunity to reduce underage drinking by getting at the root causes. Moreover, the parenting strategies would foster healthy social and emotional development in children, which has been shown to further reduce underage drinking, substance use and suicide, McMahill said.

"This makes Montana a leader in the nation," McMahill said, adding that she is not aware of any other resource like
Jay Otto, the principal scientist at the Center for Health and Safety Culture, and McMahill were the principal investigators for the project. Both attended the Jan. 23 news conference in Helena where Bullock announced the project.
The Center for Health and Safety Culture will continue to support the project over the next five years. Turner said she is interested to applying a similarly holistic approach to other outreach projects.
"It's been a wonderful partnership," she said.
The Center for Health and Safety Culture, housed in the Western Transportation Institute in MSU's Norm Asbjornson College of Engineering, serves communities and organizations in their efforts to cultivate healthy and safe behaviors and is dedicated to applying research to develop sustainable solutions to complex social problems.

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Friday, Feb. 15th, 2019

Roads reopen around SOBO Lofts after fire

Bozeman officials will reopen road closures that were in place all day Thursday and most of Friday. Roads will open by 5 PM on February 15, 2019. The closures, which were located along Babcock between 6th and 8th avenues and 7th avenue between Olive and Main, were put in place for the safety of emergency responders and Bozeman citizens during a fire of an under construction building known as SOBO Lofts.

The Bozeman Fire Department will continue to monitor the area but at this point there is no longer a need for an onsite presence. The area has been safely secured by a fence.

The Bozeman Fire and Police departments are continuing their investigation into the origin and cause of the fire however the property has been turned back over to the owner. Both Bozeman Fire and Police Departments will continue to collaborate and communicate with the owner and their insurance companies as the investigation moves forward.

There has been no determination as to the cause of the fire at this point.

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Statement from Matthew Savery

Matthew Savery will be voluntarily leaving his position as Music Director and Conductor with the Bozeman Symphony. Matthew expresses his gratitude for and appreciation to the Symphony for the opportunity to serve and is grateful for his time with the exceptional musicians who have made the Symphony a success. He is thankful to the donors and community who have supported live symphonic music in Bozeman and who will continue to do so in the future. He wishes nothing but success for the Symphony in the future and encourages the community to continue in its support going forward.

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Dear Bozeman Symphony Supporters

Dear Bozeman Symphony Supporters,
Two weeks ago, the current Board of Directors of the Bozeman Symphony received a list of past allegations regarding Conductor Matthew Savery. Within hours of receiving this communication, the Board hired an impartial, third party investigator.  The investigation is ongoing.
Yesterday, Mr. Savery tendered his resignation, and the Board wishes him well in his future endeavors.
The investigator’s work is ongoing; upon completion the Board will review the report to identify opportunities to better serve musicians, staff, patrons, volunteers, and our community.  The Symphony Board deeply appreciates the dedication and professionalism our talented musicians have always shown, and especially during the past several weeks. Thank you.

The Bozeman Symphony has been woven into the fabric of Montana’s cultural heritage for decades.  For the past fifty years, musicians, staff, donors, patrons, community partners and volunteers have shared their love of music with residents and visitors of Bozeman. We are honored and eager to chart a prosperous, creative future for the next fifty years.

We will be embarking upon a national search to identify a new Music Director and Conductor in the coming weeks and months. Members of the orchestra, staff, board members, and community symphony supporters will be a part of this process.
Orchestra members and staff have been fervently preparing for our spring concerts in March and April, and we are delighted to have secured guest conductor Elliot Moore for the March concert dates. We hope to see many of you during the spring performances, as we celebrate the immense musical talent our community holds.

The Symphony is also planning our annual June fundraiser, and as plans develop for a fun evening celebrating the arts we hope you’ll consider joining us.
For more information or to buy tickets for our spring concert series March 2-3 and April 13-14, please visit our website at:
Kindest regards,
Bozeman Symphony Board of Directors

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Thursday, Feb. 14th, 2019

Bozeman area emergency responders actively working fire at SOBO Lofts

Bozeman Fire Department and other responding agencies are currently on scene at an active fire of a under construction four story apartment building known as SOBO Lofts located on Babcock St between 7th and 8th avenues. At this point no injuries have been sustained by any emergency responders or civilians. The building is still on fire and emergency responders are actively working to extinguish it.

Roads are closed in the area. 7th Street is closed from Main Street to Olive Street. Babcock Street is closed from 6th avenue to 8th avenue. Members of the public are asked to stay away for their own safety as well as the safety of those responding. Due to the nature of the fire, work will continue throughout the day. Updates will be sent out as things change.

                                                                                                                       photo: Ken Thorsen
On the morning of February 14, 2019 at 12:19 AM a 911 call was received by the City-County 911 center concerning a fire. Crews were dispatched at 12:21 AM and arrived to the scene within minutes. The first emergency responder on scene was a Bozeman Police Officer who reported fire coming from the exterior of the building.

The first Bozeman Fire unit that arrived on scene identified that the building was under construction. Due to the large amount of fire the crew made the decision not to enter the building and chose to fight the fire from the exterior of the building. Because the building was determined to be under construction, to the best of the knowledge of the Fire Department the building was unoccupied.

Fire Departments immediately called to the scene included Bozeman Fire Department, Hyalite Fire Department, Central Valley Fire Department and Ft. Ellis Fire Department. Additional resources were requested and received from Bridger Canyon Fire Department, Gallatin Gateway Fire Department, and Manhattan Fire Department.

In addition to fire response, additional support was provide by Bozeman Police Department, Gallatin Sheriff’s Office, Montana State University Police Department, Bozeman Public Works, and Northwestern Energy. Local businesses also assisted first responders by opening their doors to provide coffee and refreshments.

Moving Forward:
Fire Department crews will remain on scene throughout the day continuing to extinguish hot spots. Law Enforcement will also remain in the area and some residential streets will be closed. Members of the public can expect to see smoke but should not be alarmed.
A coordinated effort between the Bozeman Police Department and Bozeman Fire Department will be investigating the fire. At this point there are no determinations that can be made about the cause of the fire.
A huge thank you is extended to all cooperating agencies for their quick response and good work. The Bozeman community is also thanked for their continuous support.

2/21/19 UPDATE

Work on the investigation into last Thursday’s fire at SOBO Lofts continues. Insurance companies are involved and due to the large scale of the fire the investigation will include the insurance investigators.  At this point we have no information suggesting this was a criminally set fire and all involved parties are cooperating with the investigation. We haven’t taken any recent calls (this week) from the public but continue to encourage anyone with information to contact Detective Joe Swanson 582-2951

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