Friday, May. 20th, 2022

Tram Construction Begins at Big Sky Resort

BIG SKY, Mont.
– Construction on the new tram coming to Lone Peak started off with a blast. Since Big Sky Resort closed for the winter season on April 24, three to four feet of snow have fallen on the summit. While the spring precipitation is welcomed, beginning construction for the new tram required blasting a large cornice overhanging the eastern face from the summit. Ski patrol fired off 56 pounds of explosives, rappelling off the cornice to bury charges in the snow. Burying the charges helps to remove more snow, exposing rock and kickstarting the melting process.  

“This was a special mission in a different way,” said Mike Buotte, Big Sky Ski Patrol’s director of snow safety. “Unlike the work we do during the ski season, this was less about mitigating avalanche hazards, and much more about snow removal from the summit.”  

With the construction platform on the summit safely created, a Chinook helicopter transported equipment that will be used in the construction of the tram’s new upper terminal and tower. The dual-rotor helicopter made five passes to the peak, carrying an 8x8’ toolbox, air compressor, fuel cell, skid steer, and mini excavator. Big Sky Resort’s Lift Maintenance team was on hand at the launch site to rig the equipment to the helicopter, and on the summit to receive each drop. Due to the small construction site and remote location with no service road, much of the construction will be done by hand, with helicopter supply drops happening frequently. 

Snow removal and the installation of safety equipment on the summit will be the next big steps to move forward with construction. At the lower terminal, snow removal and surveying are taking place to prep for groundwork and concrete pouring. 

Follow weekly tram construction updates all summer long. 

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How To Build Financial Security Between Ages 40 and 60

Building or enhancing financial security during middle-age is a lifestyle choice of paramount importance. Whether you're single or married, with or without children, you'll be making some of life's most critical decisions between your fortieth and sixtieth birthdays. For many who are nearing retirement, downsizing is the central area of concern. A huge number of working adults sell their homes when they're around 50 and do so in order to find a smaller place.

Other tactics for upping your fiscal stability include selling unneeded term insurance policies, for which you can get instant cash payouts. Before you retire, be sure to retire those high-interest credit cards that continually eat into savings. Liquidate assets that are earning no interest or just sitting around in the garage collecting dust. Finally, do a thorough revision of the monthly budget to see where you can pare down a few expensive items. Here's how to get started.

Millions of middle-aged adults start thinking about downsizing their living space after kids move out, or they just feel like they need a less costly lifestyle. Selling a house and buying a smaller, more efficient one is at the top of the list for many homeowners who are looking to save money. It's a wonderful and wise way to be a responsible person and build long-term financial security because mortgage payments are the single largest monthly expense for the vast majority of adults.

Sell Your Term Insurance Policy
Most people between 40 and 60 own insurance policies, many of which are term-type coverage. What many do not know is that they can sell term policies for cash through a process called a life settlement. There are companies that will help you to unload an unwanted policy and get instant cash you can use for any purpose you choose. Middle-aged adults often use the money to add to retirement accounts. Other reasons for selling a term life insurance policy include:

• Building up a child's college fund
• Putting a down payment on a second home
• Taking a vacation
• Bolstering savings accounts

Revise the Monthly Budget
You won't need to hire an expert or put in long hours to revise your monthly budget. Set aside some time on a weekend afternoon and focus on combing through all the expense items line by line. You'll likely be surprised to discover at least two areas where you can do some slicing and dicing. Put discretionary spending, like meals out, fast food, and convenience store purchases under the microscope. Most working adults can afford to eliminate most, but not all, of those purchases. Allow yourself some restaurant meals each month as well as an occasional impulse buy at the service station. The goal is to become financially secure, not live like a monk.

Retire High-Interest Credit Cards
One of the biggest monetary drains for individuals of all ages is high-interest credit. If you have cards with higher-than-normal rates or balances, work to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. One way is to make a detailed two-year plan for paying all balances quickly and reaching zero owed and thereafter paying card balances off each month to avoid accumulating any interest.

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Thursday, May. 19th, 2022

Lost Creek State Park to open for season May 20

ANACONDA – The gate and road at Lost Creek State Park will open for the 2021 season on Friday, May 20. The campground will also open at that time.

The park campground is offered on a first-come, first-served basis through October. Visitors should keep in mind that sites that can accommodate camping vehicles more than 23 feet long are limited. The park has one hand pump for potable water, and visitors must pack out their own trash. Please plan your camping stay at the park accordingly.

Lost Creek State Park boasts spectacular gray limestone cliffs with pink and white granite formations that rise 1,200 feet above the canyon’s narrow floor. Lost Creek Falls, in the northwest corner of the park, cascades over a 50-foot drop to provide one of the most scenic and popular spots in the park. This area also abounds with opportunities for hiking, bicycling, and viewing wildlife.

Lost Creek State Park is about 12 miles north of Anaconda. For more information about Lost Creek, visit or call 406-244-0833.

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Mandatory trapper education course available online soon

Course available June 1 online, field days scheduled this summer and fall

HELENA – People looking to get into trapping will have a new, and required, education course available online June 1 from Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.

The course is being developed by the Trapper Education Committee, which has members from the Montana Trappers Association and Montana Fur Harvesters, as well as staff from FWP.

During the 2021 legislative session, Senate Bill 60 passed, which requires trapper education for all trappers who have not been a licensed trapper for at least three previous seasons. The education program will include online course work and a mandatory field day where new trappers can learn from experienced trappers about trapping ethics, humane techniques, avoidance of non-target species, fur management, and safety. This course also includes the mandatory wolf trapper certification for anyone looking to also trap wolves.

“Our trapper education course is really the culmination of years of collaboration to implement mandatory trapper education in Montana,” said FWP Director Hank Worsech. “Trapping has a long-standing history in Montana and is not only part of our outdoor culture, but a critical tool in wildlife management. Alongside our partners from Montana trapping organizations, we’re going to ensure that we’re teaching ethical and safe trapping, that avoids conflicts and maintains the tradition of trapping in Montana.”

Trapping licenses went on sale in April. Trappers who have been licensed trappers for three previous seasons will be asked to list that experience when purchasing a license. All other trappers age 12 and older will need to take the trapper education course before purchasing a license. Wolf trappers who have taken the wolf trapper education course, but haven’t been a licensed trapper for three years, will need to complete the trapper education course to be able to trap wolves in 2022 and beyond.

The online course will be available by June 1. Two field days are already scheduled for July. More field days will be scheduled and advertised in the coming weeks.

For people who are interested in going through the course curriculum in hard-copy format, please call or email Wayde Cooperider, 406-444-9947 or

For more information, on upcoming field days, please go to

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Bozeman Swim Center closes to the public to assess needed repairs

Bozeman, MT— The Bozeman Swim Center will be closed to the public until further notice effective Thursday, May 19th.

Work has begun ahead of improvements to the Swim Center approved by voters in November 2021. One of the major planned improvements is the replacement of the HVAC system to circulate and regulate air within the building. Ahead of the installation of the new HVAC system, ​inspections were conducted within the roof system leading to further structural analysis that identified issues with the integrity of the building.

As a precaution, the building will be closed to the public effective immediately until the facility can be repaired. Additional work is currently underway to inform a process for completing the necessary repairs.

The Aquatics Division will now shift focus to provide extended services to the public at Bogert Pool. Parks & Recreation Director Mitch Overton says, “we recognize the impact of this closure on Swim Center users and groups. Thank you for your patience as we prioritize public safety and gather more information on the needed repairs.”

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2022 Summer Care Grants: Assistance for Working Families

It’s not just the child care shortage that makes summer care difficult. It’s also the expense.

Summer can be a very challenging time for working families with elementary age children who are out of school. These kids are not old enough to stay home alone, and their parents need safe reliable care for them so they can remain in the workforce. This often leads to a patchwork of camps and caregiver at a great expense to many families.

To help, a Summer Care Grant will be available May 20th – June 3rd for working families with children entering K-5th grade in the fall of 2022. Families will be eligible for $1,500 & $2,500 per child in scholarships to pay for summer care including nannies, babysitters, camps, and other relevant expenses.

As a local Child Care Resource and Referral Agency, the nonprofit Child Care Connections (CCC) will administer regional Summer Care Grants on behalf of MT’s Early Childhood and Family Support Division (ECFSD) through the Department of Health and Human Services. ECFSD anticipates a total of 3,200 scholarships to be awarded across the state of Montana. Applications will be awarded following a regional allocation formula based on census information, to ensure equitable access.

 This opportunity is made possible by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA). Additional information and application are available at or (406) 587-7786.
Child Care Connections is a 501(c)3 nonprofit advocating for the well-being and quality care of children by supporting early childhood professionals, families, and the communities we serve. We offer services in Gallatin, Lewis & Clark, Park, Meagher, Jefferson and Broadwater Counties.

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MSU Extension publishes variety of new MontGuide factsheets to aid Montanans

BOZEMAN — Montana State University Extension recently published six new MontGuides on a variety of topics to provide unbiased information for Montana citizens.

As part of their outreach efforts, MSU Extension specialists and agents write MontGuides with information gathered during their research and outreach work throughout the year. The fact sheets are designed for all Montanans, including agricultural producers, home gardeners, families, landowners and other groups.

New and existing MontGuides are located online at, where they can be downloaded for free, or printed copies can be ordered for a small shipping fee. For more information, call the MSU Extension Distribution Center at 406-994-3273 or email

The recently published MontGuides include the following:

Water Quality for Livestock
Livestock water requirements vary greatly depending on several factors, including temperature, animal size, production stage and moisture content of the diet. This eight-page MontGuide provides an overview of common livestock water quality issues in Montana, water testing guidance and a summary of options when water quality is very poor. The MontGuide is available at

Growing Succulents
Succulents are popular plants with indoor gardeners. This two-page MontGuide highlights how to care for and propagate these easy-to-care-for plants, which have water-storing capabilities in their roots, stems and leaves to help withstand drier climates. The MontGuide is available at

Soybean Diseases and their Management in Montana
In the last decade, an increasing number of growers in eastern Montana have experimented with grain soybean. This eight-page MontGuide provides a general description of the symptoms, causes and management of the major soybean biotic diseases that are more likely to occur and become problematic in Montana. The MontGuide is available at

Physical Activity: Different Types, How Much is Needed and Health Benefits
This four-page MontGuide provides guidance as to how much, and what type, of physical activity is needed based on the 2020 National Physical Activity Guidelines. It also provides tips and tricks for increasing physically active time and summarizes health benefits that can be gained from incorporating physical activity into daily life. The MontGuide is available at

What Does Yellowing or Chlorosis Tell Us About the Health of a Plant?
This eight-page MontGuide addresses questions about plant chlorosis and yellowing discoloration and provides some visual examples, with steps to evaluate symptoms and causes of chlorosis. The MontGuide is available at

Water Productivity of Montana Crops
This four-page MontGuide discusses the amount of additional grain or biomass a crop can produce with additional water. This crop water productivity guide describes how to estimate soil water storage and water productivity for various crops in relation to yield potential, which helps growers evaluate crop rotations. The MontGuide is available at

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New municipal water line construction affects Sourdough Road, Triple Tree Trailhead, Sourdough Trailhead traffic

Bozeman, MT— Beginning this week, a portion of Sourdough Road immediately south of the Triple Tree Trailhead to the Nash Road intersection will be fully closed.

Work is underway to complete a new water transmission main line along Sourdough Road between Nash Road and Goldenstein Lane. The project begins on Sourdough Road near the Triple Tree trailhead parking lot where the prior Phase 1 project left off and ends with connection to the Sourdough reservoir and flow control station. This project will increase the capacity between the water treatment plant and the reservoir to match the rated capacity of the plant and will also provide critical redundancy between the two.

CK May Excavating is the contractor for this project, and work will include roadway milling, installing a new water transmission main in the roadway, and roadwork associated with the project.

Beginning on or about Tuesday May 17th, Sourdough Road will be closed for approximately 2 weeks immediately south of the Triple Tree Trailhead to Nash Road. Access to the Triple Tree subdivision and the Triple Tree Trailhead will only be from Goldenstein Lane. No access to Nash Road from Sourdough will be available.

The public is advised to use the detour route on South 3rd Rd. Following this work, Sourdough Road will have road closures to thru traffic for the duration of the project. Please watch for changing detours and delays. CK May Excavating will preserve a single lane of traffic through the work site for emergency and local resident traffic only. Completion of the project is expected to be this fall, please watch for flaggers, road closures, changing detours, and expect delays.

For more information please visit: Please see attached detour maps.

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Wednesday, May. 18th, 2022

Montana Contemporary Arts Collective: Group Show June 1-30,2022

Montana Contemporary Arts Collective, now in its fourth year, is showcasing local Montana artists at their summer exhibition at the Bozeman Public Library’s Atrium Gallery for the entire month of June. The show will be on view through June 30, 2022.

Montana Contemporary Arts Collective consists of local artists whose differing styles, mediums and approaches to art, offer a refreshing and contemplative response and re- flection to living and creating art here in Montana. Artists currently include: Duncan Bullock, Carrie French, Sheri Jarvis, Carol Kimble, Sue McCauley, Sue Moncada, LeeAnn Ramey, Chris Stitton, Melissa Summerfield, Jen Vermeer, Carmen Young.

The mission of the collective is simple: About Art and Artists; this includes supporting each member’s artistic growth, sharing knowledge from experience, and showcasing our work together. The group was founded by Jennifer Vermeer in 2018 and has since had multiple shows across the valley. We are currently looking for new members, if interested in applying or for more information on this show and Montana Contemporary Arts Collective visit:

Follow us on Facebook at or Instagram at https://

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How To Learn Languages in a Fun and Efficient Way

Learning a new language can be a challenge, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun. But can fun and games lead to efficient language learning?


When you enjoy the learning process and get excited about it, it increases the activity of neurons in your brain. These neurons produce hormones that increase positivity, motivation, cognitive function, learning abilities, energy, and attention. So, finding a fun way to learn a new language is great for you, but it works! It doesn’t mean you can throw your textbooks away just yet. Fun learning activities to be supplemental to explicit study. The idea is to incorporate enough fun activities into your study schedule so you don’t get bored or disheartened. And many of the ideas below are easy to incorporate into your schedule every day.

Social Media

Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are full of opportunities to connect with native speakers and practice your reading and writing skills. Find groups that match your interests and are using your target language. You will be reading and writing posts before you know it.

Play Online Video Games

Popular games like Minecraft and Call of Duty allow you to connect with users worldwide. Look up some gameplay videos in the target language to see what language is being used. Connect with native speakers through the gaming community and you will be joining their gaming teams quicker than you can say “surrender”!

Try An Online Class

Ever thought of taking German lessons? Or maybe French? Online language platforms like Preply offer fun, interactive classes that allow you to practice with a qualified, experienced tutor. 

Find Friends Online

Language exchange sites are great for connecting and chatting with native speakers. But interactions can be stiff, scripted, or stunted. Nevertheless, there are plenty of platforms for ex-pats or individuals living abroad where you can connect with speakers of your target language. 

Go On a Date!

Are you a single language learner looking to practice speaking skills with other single language learners? First dates are always awkward. So why not make it a little more so by choosing someone primarily because of their mother tongue! Many dating apps allow you to use filters to choose language and location. And you never know. “The One” may speak your target language!

Change the Language Settings on Your Phone   

Given how much time we spend on our phones, this is a great way to force yourself to use the target language. It also requires zero changes to your schedule to achieve. Just make sure you have the time and space to change it back if you get in a muddle!

Spring Road Trips and Sightseeing

If you live in a country that speaks your target language, taking a trip is a fun way to practice. You will be reading road signs and maps and expose yourself to the culture, architecture, and landmarks.

Recipes, Cooking and Ordering Food

If you’re a foodie who loves to cook, then doing so in the target language is great for extra practice. You can find recipes and instructional videos online that you can follow. If you’re more of an eating type foodie, then you could be the one to read and translate the recipes. Or choose one of your favorite target language speaking restaurants.

Have a Laugh…

Learning a new language doesn’t have to mean sitting with a textbook or in front of your computer the whole time. Evidence suggests that this may not be the most effective method anyway. Some formal training and learning for aspects of grammar and vocabulary will always be necessary. If you team it up with some of the suggestions above, not only will you have fun while learning, but you’ll also be learning more effectively. 

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