Friday, May. 10th, 2019

Watercraft inspection stations to open in southwest Montana

Several watercraft inspection stations in southwest Montana will soon become operative for the 2019 boating season. These stations help boaters meet state laws in preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species.
Boaters with either motorized or nonmotorized watercraft must stop at any inspection station they encounter in Montana. In addition, boaters must seek out an inspection prior to launching if they are coming into Montana from out of state, traveling west over the Continental Divide into western Montana, coming off Tiber or Canyon Ferry reservoirs, or launching anywhere within the Flathead Basin with a watercraft that last launched on waters outside of the Basin.

Several decontamination stations at Canyon Ferry Reservoir are scheduled to open in the coming weeks. Their hours of operation are Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., and Friday through Sunday from 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.:
    •    Canyon Ferry Bureau of Reclamation Visitor Center and Silos stations open May 11.
    •    Canyon Ferry Hellgate station opens May 18.
    •    Canyon Ferry Goose Bay station opens May 25.
Several other stations in and around the region are currently open or scheduled to open soon:
    •    The Dillon inspection station (Red Rocks Rest Area on northbound I-15, south of Dillon) is currently operating daily from 6:30 a.m. to 8:45 p.m.
    •    The Anaconda inspection station (westbound I-90) is currently operating daily from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
    •    The Helena Highway 12 inspection station (westbound) opens May 18. Hours of operation will be posted at the web address listed below.
    •    Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks’ Helena office inspection station operates weekdays from 9 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
    •    FWP’s Bozeman office operates weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
If regulations require you to get a watercraft inspection and you will be traveling past a station outside of operating dates and hours, please plan to go to FWP’s Helena or Bozeman offices during the hours listed above, or any other regional FWP office. Boaters are also asked to voluntarily clean, drain and dry their boat and equipment before launching in Montana waters.

For more information on how you can help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species in Montana, please visit

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Wednesday, May. 8th, 2019

4 Easy Suggestions for Starting a Small Business

Starting a small business is not an easy task. There is lots of planning, discussion, critical thinking, and even more planning. The most difficult part about all of it is in the end, it may not work. You might have to start over from zero multiple times before you can ever feel like you’re truly taking off.

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Switching to a more positive tone, there are so many benefits to running your own business. For starters, it’s your business. You can be in control of everything from the name to who you hire. You get to be a part of the community. Above all, you can get that amazing sense of accomplishment that your business started from nothing and became something great.

There is no perfect blueprint for starting your own business, but there are certainly lots of different tips and suggestions to get you started.

Concentrate on What Your Business Will Do
“Well...of course,” you might be thinking. Your business has to be doing something, and chances are you already have a good idea of what exactly you want to be doing.

But when you’re providing any service or selling any product, it might be better to think about what your products or services will solve instead of what you will sell.

If you’re opening up an antique store, think about what you’re providing people the opportunity to have a beautiful home, garden or expand their antique toy collection. Don’t just think of yourself as selling items. Try and find a need and service that your town needs and how you will provide for that need.

Venture Online
Have you ever tried to find a business or restaurant by Googling them, only to find out they’re not online or don’t have their hours posted? That’s an easy way for this other place to quickly lose your business and for you to move on.

That’s why you need to get online now. You’ll want to go about making sure people can find you just as easily as they could with any other business. Even if you’re not open yet, make your website and make sure people know when you’re open. Head out to social media and advertise yourself through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. That is free marketing after all.

If you don’t consider yourself a tech person, it might be time to learn. Ask around or see what free courses or classes you could take as well. In this technological age, it hurts to be behind the curve.

Nail Down the Finances
Starting a business is a big risk, not only for your personal life, but also financially. In a recent survey, only 80% of small businesses make it to the second year and about 50% make it five years.

Many small businesses struggle to turn a profit over the first few years and others, plain and simple, just run out of money.

From Day 1, you need to make sure you’re on top of your finances and are prepared for anything that could happen. Plan out every business expense in meticulous detail and review everything until you know it perfectly. If you need help, reach out to a financial expert who can help you plan out your next steps, especially if you’ve taken a loan from the bank.

Become an Active Community Member
As a small business, you are what your name states you are, small. You’re not Walmart, Target or Best Buy. You’re going to be the friendly neighborhood small business.

Part of being that friendly neighborhood small business is becoming involved in your community. How can you do this? Here are some ideas:

• Partner with a local non-profit
• Sponsor a local sports team
• Offer discounts for special events around town
• Talk to everyone who comes into your store

The last one is the most important, as it will help you take the heartbeat of your town. You can find out what other services you could be offering or how you can fill other needs. Not only that, but it can help build connections and friendships that will only bring more and more people to your business. A smile can go a long way!

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Tuesday, May. 7th, 2019

FWP seeks information on vandalism at Blacktail WMA

Game wardens with Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks are seeking information on property that was vandalized at Blacktail Wildlife Management Area.

Sometime between 3:30 p.m. on May 3 and 9:30 a.m. on May 6, the main entrance gate at the WMA was pushed in by a vehicle, bending the gate and breaking the lock box. Vandals also pushed over a large WMA sign at the entrance. Replacing the gate and making other needed repairs could cost about $1,500.

Blacktail WMA is about 30 miles along Blacktail Road, southeast of Dillon. Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation personnel discovered the vandalism when they returned Monday morning to continue work on the bridge near the WMA entrance, then notified FWP.

Those with information that may help solve this vandalism case are asked to contact Dillon warden Kerry Wahl at 406-490-0956 or 1-800-TIP-MONT (847-6668). Callers can remain anonymous.

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Monday, May. 6th, 2019

KGLT fm comes to Big Sky in August 2019

KGLT fm, Bozeman's Alternative Public Radio Station has just been approved to expand their coverage in Big Sky in August. Their new translator will broadcast from an existing site on Andesite Mountain with a range encompassing Big Sky Resort and the Meadow Village at the same 91.9 frequency as in Bozeman.

KGLT's programming ranges from hip, new indie artists to vintage folk, country, blues, rock - and everything in between. "KGLT's strength lies in its' diversity" says Marketing Director Ron Craighead. "We've never been a 'format' station. With a staff of over 84 live, volunteer DJs bringing their musical passions to the airwaves - and no playlists - there's never a dull moment."

KGLT began broadcasting on the Montana State University Campus in 1968 as KATZ, a low-power station heard only around the MSU campus. In the early 70's, when a group of passionate students pushed for upgrading the signal to reach the broader Bozeman community,  KGLT 91.9fm was born. Since then, KGLT has grown across Southwest Montana with translators in Helena, Livingston, Big Timber, Gardiner-Mammoth and streaming world-wide at

"We are incredibly excited to be bringing live, free-form community radio to Big Sky with our new translator in August and look forward to being a part of the Big Sky community."

You can learn more online at, or contact Ron Craighead directly at (406) 994-7091, ronc(at)

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Wednesday, May. 1st, 2019

Friends of Hyalite Seeks Volunteers for Annual Spring Clean Up Day

On Saturday, May 11, the public is invited to join Friends of Hyalite and the Bozeman Ranger District for the annual Hyalite Spring Cleanup Day. Friends of Hyalite, a local non-profit dedicated to stewardship of, access to, and support for year round recreation in Hyalite Canyon, organizes a bi-annual Cleanup in Spring and Fall with help from the Bozeman Ranger District and the City of Bozeman. Over the past decade they have removed more than 10,000 pounds of trash and recyclables from trailheads, parking lots, campsites and along roads. “We encourage anybody who enjoys recreating in Hyalite Canyon to join us on the 11th. Together, we can keep Hyalite enjoyable for all” says Hilary Eisen, president of the Friends of Hyalite board of directors.

Volunteers should meet at the large parking area at the bottom of Hyalite Canyon at 12:00 pm on the 11th. Friends of Hyalite and the Forest Service will supply tools, garbage bags, and gloves but volunteers should be prepared with clothing that will keep them warm and dry during a spring day outside in the mountains. The Clean Up Day will wrap up around 4:00 pm with a volunteer appreciation picnic sponsored by Schnee’s. For more information see

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Top 8 Medical Positions in Montana

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The medical field industry is growing drastically and the state of Montana is like other states across the country who are in need of new workers. The demand for medicine and the practice of medicine expands every day. Jobs are left unfilled as the industry grows too fast, resulting in at least 50% of jobs being vacant.

Montana has contributed to the overall expansion rate of the healthcare field and will continue to contribute significantly in the future to come. The education available in Montana is abundant as there are over 25 colleges that offer the best healthcare programs. While the Health Works Institute has the highest graduation rate of 96%, Montana State University has the highest acceptance rate.

With changes in healthcare and the increase in healthcare availabilty opens the door for many well-paying positions in the medical field. We often think of physicians and other professional level occupations as the most popular medical positions when, in fact, nurses and support occupations have the highest employment rates.

Entry level positions are often accompanied by academic requirements and aren’t usually as easy to get without previous education or certification. Going through a formal training program should be considered when trying to decide a position in the medical field. Training is usually finished within a year. Consider the appropriate training programs in Montana to receive the specified skills needed for the position you’re wanting to obtain. There are opportunities for healthcare positions in Montana and the best locations to find a career in health medicine include:

Billings, MT
Great Falls, MT
Missoula, MT

Nursing Assistant
The most demanded career in the medical field is the nursing assistant (CNA) as there is a constant need for the patient's needs. Clients in need of basic care require a CNA to assist them. Most CNAs are responsible for the collection and record of a patient's vital signs and assistance with any movement or transferring between their bed. It is also important for a certified nurse assistant to give their patients assistance with hygienic matters and feeding if needed.

Annual median wage: $27,520.
Employment in Montana: 6,100

Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurse
Licensed nurses are required to work closely with patients and nursing staff to see patient care plans through. They are similar to CNA in the responsibility to assist patients with bathing, dressing, and feeding and are supervised by a Registered Nurse. The work environment varies from hospitals and nursing homes to hospice and correctional institutions.

Annual median wage:  $42,690
Employment in Montana: 2,470

Dental Assistant
A dental assistant is the most comprehensive in the dental office, responsible for the assistance in delivering the quality of oral health care in the dental office. Interpersonal and communication skills along with technical and hands-on ability are especially important to make a great dental assistant.

Annual median wage: $37,050
Montana employment: 1,340

Pharmacy Technician
Pharmacy technicians work closely with pharmacists in hospitals and drug stores to help ensure patients get the specified medication and are knowledgeable about it. As pharmacies grow patient services provided, the role of a pharmacist technician will grow as well.

Annual median wage: $34,290
Montana employment: 1,100

Health Information Technician
Health Information technicians ensure the quality of medical records and specialize in coding diagnoses and procedures in patient records for research. Most health information technicians work in a hospital environment while some are employed at nursing homes, mental health facilities, and office-based physician practices.

Annual median wage: $38,280
Montana employment: 1,210

Emergency Medical Technician and Paramedic
Prehospital care and emergency medical services work in ambulances, helicopters, fire trucks, and hospital emergency rooms to assist patients in medical emergencies. EMTs and Paramedics both provide help to others in the state of emergency and possess the skills to do so. Emergency Medical Technicians are skilled in giving patients oxygen, administering glucose for diabetes and helping with asthma attacks and allergic reactions.  While paramedics are more advanced and have the skills to administer medications and start IVs.

Annual median wage: $33,220
Montana employment: 700

The person that is trained to draw blood from a patient for medical testing is called a phlebotomist. The collection of blood is primarily retrieved by performing venipunctures or finger sticks. This position is revolved around blood regardless of work environments or patients.

Annual median wage: $32,730
Montana employment: 350

Physical Therapist
Movement and recovery experts are referred to as physical therapists as they are responsible for the patient’s understanding of how to maintain or prevent a condition through prescribed exercise, hands-on care and patient education. Many physical therapists practice in hospitals but most practice in outpatients clinics, rehabilitation facilities, homes, schools, and educational research centers.

Annual median wage: $46,430
Montana employment: 160

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Tuesday, Apr. 23rd, 2019

Celebrating 40 Years, the Co-op is Planting 40 Trees in Two Bozeman Locations

 Trees for Bees

40 Years — 40 Trees

This year marks the Community Food Co-op’s 40th anniversary.

To celebrate, they are planting 40 pollinator-friendly trees at two locations in Bozeman.

Partnering with the City of Bozeman Forestry Division and Happy Trash Can Curbside Composting, the Co-op will plant 20 trees at Langhor Park (near the community gardens) and 20 trees at the Bozeman Sports Complex on Baxter Lane.

Why bees? This species is critical to all of us. They pollinate much of the food we eat. Unfortunately, bee populations are in global decline. Industrial agriculture, insecticides and habitat loss due to climate change play a role in their dwindling numbers.

“These trees are a gift to our community,” said marketing manager Alison Grey Germain. “In addition to providing bee habitat, they will also help offset our business’ carbon footprint.”

The Co-op is hosting a tree planting event on Saturday, May 11 at 10 am at two locations (Langhor Park and the Bozeman Sports Complex) and are looking for volunteers.

Find more  info on their website:

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Livingston Depot Museum to Open May 11, 2019 with Special Exhibit “Danforth at the Depot: A Preview of Livingston’s First Art Museum"

The Livingston Depot Museum will open for the year starting Saturday, May 11 at 10 a.m. with both its railroad and Yellowstone history displays, and also a new special exhibit for the 2019 season, “Danforth at the Depot: A Preview of Livingston’s First Art Museum.”

This sampling of the area’s most renowned and talented artists is the result of a partnership between the Livingston Depot Center and the Danforth Museum of Art, formerly the Danforth Gallery, which is reorganizing and renovating its historic building on Main Street in order to nurture the contemporary art ethos of the local artistic community and its evolution over the years.  From Russell Chatham to Edd Enders, from turn-of-the-century to contemporary, from canvas to bronze, and mixed media to photography, the region’s art has both reflected and shaped the local community.

The exhibit, “Danforth at the Depot: A Preview of Livingston’s First Art Museum,” will continue this conversation with works by over a dozen nationally acclaimed and internationally-known artists, asking, why here? Why now? Why these people? What do we as audiences and artists have in common that drives an artistic response?

In connection with the exhibit, the Depot will host a public reception Thursday, June 13 at 6:00 p.m. for the show’s artists as well as collectors and art lovers from around the region. The Depot also hosts other events during the summer, including the Festival of the Arts July 2-4, the Roundhouse Roundup on July 25, and more.

The Depot Museum exhibits in 2019 will be open from May 11 through September 22.  The popular ongoing main exhibit “Rails Across the Rockies: A Century of People and Places” introduces visitors to the rich history of railroading in Montana. It gives special attention to the Northern Pacific and its central role in the opening of Yellowstone, America’s first national park, through Livingston beginning in the 1880s. And the Depot’s stunning architecture itself evokes a sense of free-spirited adventure for today’s visitors, recalling the opulence of vintage travel to Yellowstone National Park, dude ranches, and the Rocky Mountain West.

In addition to its main and special exhibit, the museum exhibits also include “Film in Montana: Moviemaking under the Big Sky,” and an HO scale model layout of Livingston’s rebuild shops and roundhouse alongside the majestic Depot and even the Teslow Grain Elevator.

Operated by the Livingston Depot Foundation and located at 200 West Park Street, the Depot is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.  There is a nominal admission, and group visits are also welcome by special arrangement. Additional information can be obtained by contacting the Depot office at (406) 222-2300 or visiting

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Rethinking Suicide Prevention – Montana-Based Public Lectures and Professional Workshops with Dr John Sommers-Flanagan

Public Lecture, Workshop Series Aims to Rethink Suicide Prevention

Despite focused efforts in suicide prevention the past two decades, the number of suicides in the United States has increased by more than 60% over the past 17 years. 
In the coming months, a University of Montana professor with more than 30 years of suicide prevention experience will offer a novel approach to understanding suicide through public lectures and professional trainings across the state. The first two events will be held Thursday and Friday, May 16-17, in Bozeman. 

Dr. John Sommers-Flanagan, a UM professor in the Department of Counselor Education, said suicide deaths are increasing even as federal, state and local suicide prevention efforts have multiplied.

“Even in the face of vigorous and well-intended suicide and intervention efforts, per-capita suicide rates continue to rise at an average of 2% per year,” he said. “The needle keeps moving in the wrong direction.” 

In raw numbers, national rates have gone from 29,180 deaths from suicide in 1999 to 47,173 deaths in 2017. Sponsored by Big Sky Youth Empowerment, the lectures and workshops emphasize strengths, resilience and a debunking of problematic myths about suicide.

Sommers-Flanagan will present the first public lecture from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, May 16, at Montana State University, SUB Ballroom D. The first professional workshop training will follow from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday, May 17, in MSU’s Norm Abjornson Hall Room 165. 

The public lectures are free. Professional training workshops cost $100 for 6.5 hours of continuing education and $50 for students and unlicensed participants. Additional public lectures are planned for Billings, Great Falls and Missoula.
For more information visit


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Friday, Apr. 19th, 2019

Summit Aviation Sends a Record 16 Staff to ACSF’s Annual Safety Symposium

Washington, DC, April, 2019 — When the Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF) holds its annual safety symposium, it’s typical for aviation companies that are ACSF members to send one—maybe two—representatives. So, this year, when Summit Aviation, a Bozeman, Montana-based air charter company, showed up for the meeting with 16 of its staff—including its president—ACSF President Bryan Burns did a classic double-take.

“Any meeting or symposium planner would agree, when you experience this kind of exceptional interest in and commitment to an event, you have to assume you’re doing something right, and the first thing you want to understand is why,” Burns said.

Burns didn’t have to ponder his question very long. Shortly after the event, Ben Walton, President of Summit Aviation, got in touch with Burns, and shared a letter with him written by Janine Schwahn, who is both the Director of Operations and Director of Safety for Summit.

Schwahn’s letter explained why she insisted to her boss that nearly everyone on the Summit team should attend the ACSF safety event. “I told him that change happens from the inside out—and that all pilots, schedulers and our director of maintenance should be there,” Schwahn wrote.  

Burns thinks that the increasingly high level of interest in ACSF is because, as an open topic, safety is hitting its stride. As Schwahn said in her letter, “Within hours of the symposium being finished, safety and anomaly reports began trickling into our online reporting system—and none of them were anonymous. Everyone understood the importance of information and knew there was not to be retribution. We’re all in this together.”

The symposium opened up topics of discussion and ideas among the crews, schedulers and mechanics that previously might have been cringe-worthy. As Schwahn reported, “Active discussion of safety issues, such as Flight Operational Quality Assurance (FOQA) and SOPs were talked about in taxis, hotel lounges and even the KCM [known crewmember] checkpoints as we traveled home.”

Schwahn added: “One week later, I’m still getting texts, phone calls and emails from captains, first officers, mechanics and our schedulers with suggested changes to procedures and processes to make the operation safer. Likewise, we are removing procedures that just added workload and didn’t improve safety."

Burns says he’s highly gratified by Summit Aviation’s extraordinary commitment to safety, and he hopes to make the annual symposium even more topical and interesting based on Summit’s feedback.

Burns noted: “As Charles Lindbergh said, ‘Isn’t it strange that we talk least about the things we think about the most.’ With that in mind, I sincerely hope that many more ACSF members take Summit’s sterling example of commitment to the cause of safety, and that we can open up this topic even further to help bring about greater and more effective safety measures in this industry.”

About ACSF
The ACSF has developed the Industry Audit Standard, an all-inclusive audit tailored for Part 135 and 91K operators that acts as a detailed gap analysis of an operator’s management practices. The audit program consists of a thorough review of an operator’s processes, procedures and regulatory compliance and the operator’s implementation of and adherence to a safety management system.

About Summit Aviation
The Rocky Mountain Northwest's premier aviation service company, Summit Aviation began, humbly, in 2003, with one pilot, one aircraft and one small hangar. Now, 18 years later, Summit boasts a fleet of state-of-the-art aircraft, a full staff of charter and corporate pilots, highly-qualified flight instructors, and aircraft sales professionals. Its services include aircraft brokerage, flight training, on-demand private charter and aviation management.

Pictured left to right - Front Row: Dan Barnes, Ben Walton, Janine Schwahn, Carlos Bolognini and Charlie White. Back Row: Delbert Beachy, John Marks, Jason Grafel, Davide Cavallotto,
Derrick Erickson. The rest of the crew had already headed to the airport.

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