Monday, Mar. 27th, 2023

New Coalition Launches, Calls for Increase in the Media Tax Incentive

Incentive Would Create Jobs Montanans Want, Opportunities Small Businesses Need 

- A bill introduced as HB 897 would increase the media tax incentive in Montana,  provide support and protection for Montana-based film and production companies and create a sustainable industry by Montanans, for Montanans.  HB 897 would create a Montana home for the growing media production industry by strategically reserving incentives for facilities and companies headquartered in Montana, where they will drive tax base growth, unlock new property taxes for local municipalities and create high-paying desirable jobs.  

The bill would: 
 ·      Increase the Media Tax Credit from $12M to $75M per year 
·      Strategically reserve 60% of the $75M to drive lasting investment into Montana 
·      Bring high paying, year-round, sustainable trades jobs by creating in-state infrastructure in the form of media manufacturing facilities to recruit / attract production companies to relocate to Montana 

“We are urging Montana legislators to support a regionally-competitive $75M Media Tax Credit Cap, the needed investment to support a sustainable industry in the state,” said Casey Tippens, Media Coalition of Montana. “The industry delivers the types of jobs and opportunities Montanans want, provides a significant financial infusion to rural communities, and supports local filmmakers. We know Montana does not want to be Hollywood, which is why we are working to ensure we create an industry made by Montanans, for the benefit of Montanans.”  

A petition to Governor Greg Gianforte, in support of increasing the media tax incentive and building a sustainable media manufacturing industry in Montana has already received more than 1,500 signatures.

Add a Comment »

Music teachers’ association names Montana State piano professor its teacher of the year

– Julie Gosswiller began playing the piano as a young child at her grandmother’s house, then graduated at age 7 to “an old, clunky, yellow-painted piano” her parents picked up at a yard sale after she asked if she could take piano lessons.

After taking those first steps, she never looked back, becoming an accomplished pianist, performer, private teacher and associate teaching professor in the Montana State University School of Music. Yet despite her accomplishments, being named Teacher of the Year by the Montana State Music Teachers Association, or MSMTA, caught her by surprise.

“I had no idea that was coming – it feels very good to get that kind of reinforcement from a state organization and to be selected from my college and private studio teacher peers,” said Gosswiller, who has taught at MSU since 2005.

Laura Detrick, immediate past president of MSMTA, said Gosswiller was selected because her focus on teaching and collaborative performance has made a “vast impact” on the Montana music community.

“While her prowess in both is well-known throughout Montana and beyond, she also – very quietly – invests much time in individually mentoring her fellow teachers and musicians throughout the state,” Detrick said. “All of this is done with such joy that one can hardly help but to catch the fire and passion behind her musicality.”

Gosswiller’s colleagues also referenced that joy while celebrating her honor from the organization, whose members are university and private music teachers. MTMSA is an affiliate of the Music Teachers National Association.

“I think the extraordinary thing about Julie is she just makes people become their best selves,” said Elizabeth Croy, professor of voice and music, who often performs with Gosswiller. “She is energetic and joyful, and she can play a wide range of music. She’s an amazing person.”

Professor Greg Young said Gosswiller’s students “rave about her caring nature and ability to help them reach their full potential,” a sentiment echoed by her fellow assistant professor of piano Ken Christiansen, who calls her a “positive force” in the music school and around the state, where she regularly serves as a judge for music festivals and provides encouragement to budding young talents.

Gosswiller was raised in Idaho and said her background helps her relate to her students at MSU, many of whom come from rural areas where there weren’t always opportunities to hear live music.

“We have such a diverse student body who come from all these different backgrounds and are working on different things. I try to meet them exactly where they are,” she said.

She does the same for music students outside of Bozeman, noted Royce Smith, dean of MSU’s College of Arts and Architecture.

“Excellence in teaching is not only about speaking to the student who is laser-focused on a career in piano, but also to the student who doesn’t yet know of their love for the instrument,” he said. “Julie makes both groups feel welcome in her classes and in her outreach activities across the state.”

Gosswiller’s very first piano teacher was an opera singer who would sing at her lessons. Later, her school choir teacher “told me I had to help her teach the choir. She would send me to the practice room, and I had to come out in five minutes ready to play the piece.” While pursuing her master’s degree of music in piano performance at the University of Colorado, she studied under renowned pianist Angela Cheng, whose pure ability to be a vehicle of musical expression inspired her.

“I had so many great teachers, and I think I’ve taken something from all of them,” she said.

When working with her private studio and MSU students, she said, “What’s most important is they play with their natural voice. We discover this through a free technique which enables them to draw a vast palette of sound and musical expression from the instrument.

“The last thing is really teaching them as a human being so that they feel confident enough to express themselves freely in front of an audience,” she said.

Gosswiller decided as a college senior to drop her second major of English and go all in for music because she “couldn’t imagine doing anything else with my life.” It’s a decision she said has been affirmed over the past three years.

“The pandemic made me realize there’s no better job than this,” she said. “I feel like I’m such a lucky human being to go to work with other humans and play music, which brings us together.”

Add a Comment »

Thursday, Mar. 23rd, 2023

The Essential Things to Know When Purchasing and Owning a Murphy Bed

A murphy bed, also known as a wall bed or a fold-down bed, is a type of bed that can be folded up against a wall or into a cabinet when not in use. This type of bed provides an efficient use of space as it allows for an extra room to be used for other purposes during the day. Murphy beds can be used in any type of home, from apartments to condos and even single-family homes. They are not only space-saving but also stylish, with a wide variety of colors and finishes available.

Making the most out of small spaces, Murphy beds can help create more usable living space as well as add convenience and comfort to your living area.

Murphy Bed Categorization by Type

There are several types of Murphy beds available on the market today. Here are some of the most commonly sought in the market.

Vertical Murphy Beds

Vertical Murphy Beds are the most popular type and provide some of the most efficient use of space. They are designed to be mounted on a wall in a vertical position and can be lowered down as a bed when needed. This type of bed is generally more affordable and takes up less overall space than other types of Murphy beds. They also offer a range of features, such as adjustable height settings and integrated storage compartments.

Horizontal Murphy Beds

Horizontal Murphy Beds are designed to be mounted on the floor in a horizontal position. They have the benefit of providing more comfort than vertical beds due to their larger size. They can also fold up into cabinets for extra storage space. The downside to this type of bed is that they take up more overall space and are generally more expensive than vertical beds.

Tilt-Down Murphy Beds

Tilt-Down Murphy Beds are an ideal combination of comfort and convenience, as they allow for a comfortable sleeping experience while taking up minimal space when not in use. This type of bed is designed to tilt downwards from the wall when opening and can be locked into place for added stability. They are usually constructed with a sturdy frame and have adjustable height settings. They are perfect for small spaces, as they can be tucked away when not in use.

Side-Mounted Murphy Beds

Side-Mounted Murphy Beds are an ideal choice for those looking for a space-saving solution and added convenience. This type of bed is mounted on the side of a wall and features multiple height settings, allowing you to adjust the bed to suit your needs. It also takes up very little space when folded up, making it perfect for small spaces and apartments.

Overall, Murphy Beds provide an efficient use of space and can be the perfect solution for adding extra sleeping space to your home without compromising on style or comfort. With a wide range of beds available in various styles, you are sure to find one that suits your needs perfectly. Whether you are looking for convenience or just extra sleeping space, a Murphy Bed can be the perfect solution.

Features of a Good Murphy Bed

A good Murphy bed should be well-constructed and designed for comfort as well as space efficiency. The frame should be made of durable materials that can withstand regular use, such as high-grade steel or other heavy-duty materials. For added convenience, the bed should feature adjustable height settings and easy-to-use controls, which make it easy to adjust the bed to suit your needs. It should also come with integrated storage compartments or other features such as shelves, hooks, or drawers for extra functionality. Finally, the bed should be easy to assemble and have a wide variety of colors and finishes available so you can find one that suits your decorating style.

Murphy beds are an ideal solution for those looking to maximize their living space without sacrificing comfort or style. With a wide range of beds available on the market, you are sure to find the perfect one for your needs. From vertical Murphy beds to side-mounted ones, there is something suitable for everyone and every living space. The key is to look at all the features and find one that is both comfortable and space-efficient. With the right bed, you can create more room in your home without compromising on comfort.

Murphy beds are a great way to maximize space and convenience in any living area. Whether you need extra sleeping space or just want to make the most of your current living arrangement, Murphy beds are sure to be a great addition. With adjustable height settings, integrated storage compartments, and other features, these beds can make any living space more functional and comfortable. So if you want to make the most of your living area without compromising on style or comfort, then look no further than Murphy beds.

Taking Care of Your Murphy Bed

Taking care of a Murphy Bed is relatively easy and straightforward. Here are some important tips to ensure your Murphy Bed looks the same as the day you first bought it:

1. Make sure to regularly dust and vacuum the bed frame and mattress. This will help keep the fabric looking clean and eliminate dust and dirt that can settle into crevices.

2. Inspect the bed regularly for any loose screws, nuts, or bolts that may need tightening. This will ensure the stability and safety of the bed over time.

3. If your Murphy Bed has drawers or cabinets, make sure to periodically remove any items stored in them and give them a good cleaning to avoid the buildup of dust and dirt.

4. To keep the bed in optimal condition, make sure to use mattress-friendly detergents for cleaning any fabric parts of the bed, such as the mattress cover or sheets.

These are just a few tips to help ensure your Murphy Bed looks great and lasts a long time. With proper care and maintenance, you can make sure your Murphy Bed remains a functional and stylish addition to any room.



Add a Comment »

Wednesday, Mar. 22nd, 2023

Shook Twins and Daniel Rodriguez at The Filling Station Thursday April 13th


It just happened.

Perhaps, it could be attributed to cosmic design, good old-fashioned magic, or the unspoken, yet understood bond all twins share. One day back in 2007, identical twin sisters Katelyn Shook [vocals, guitar] and Laurie Shook [banjo, vocals] found themselves writing, recording, and performing as Shook Twins. To their recollection, the pair never hatched a plan or even properly discussed it.

Hundreds of shows, four albums and 2 EPs later, the duo continue to tread this path.

“Neither of us remember a time where we planned things out, it all unfolded naturally,” affirms Katelyn. “We simply started to play out and call ourselves Shook Twins, because that’s simply who we are.”

“We never set specific goals either,” adds Laurie. “We talk about our hopes and dreams, but we’ve just let everything grow organically with the band. We’ll see what happens next.”

Since their 2008 debut You Can Have The Rest, Shook Twins have conjured up dreamy folk with ghostly traces of Americana tradition uplifted by transcendently hummable melodies and lilting cinematic instrumentation. Along the way, legendary New York Times best-selling author Neil Gaiman, USA Today, Langhorne Slim, Mason Jennings, and more fell under their spell and publicly professed adoration.

Simultaneously, they’ve graced legendary stages such as Red Rocks Amphitheatre with Gregory Alan Isakov and Ani DiFranco in addition to sharing bills with The Lumineers, The Head and the Heart, Sarah Jarosz, The Wood Brothers, and many others. Not to mention, they’ve carved a home for themselves after playing Northwest String Summit and Oregon County Fair over ten times each as well as appearing at High Sierra Music Festival, Lightning In A Bottle, Bumbershoot, Hulaween, Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Electric Forest, Summer Camp Music Festival, and beyond. During 2012, the band welcomed multi-instrumentalist and “everything dude” Niko Slice on guitar, mandolin, and bass. Rounding out the sound (and the family) further, keyboardist and bassist Aber Miller joined the fold in 2018. Additionally, they welcome a rotating quiver of dynamic drummers, namely Alex Radakovich, Darren Garvey, and Simon Lucas.

“We essentially morph into different settings,” observes Katelyn. “We can be a mellow duo, folk-rock club band, or weird late-night band. We love this sense of musical diversity.”

Honing their vision like never before yet again, the group reached a critical and creative high watermark with 2019’s Some Good Lives. The standout “Stay Wild” generated nearly 4 million total streams. In addition to praise from Glide Magazine, Relix, and more, Paste praised, “Shook Twins have real sonic versatility,” while Atwood Magazine hailed it as “a record of musical and emotional maturity that goes beyond in nearly every aspect of the word.” Popmatters put it best, “‘Some Good Lives’ is as affirming as it is magical.”

After a quiet 2020, Shook Twins take another step forward in 2021, writing their next chapter. As always, each album, song, and show services a higher calling for the group.

“For us, music is a way to give back,” states Laurie. “It’s wonderful when our songs help someone through something. At each show, we have an offering to give. It’s our way to hopefully bring joy to people.”

“When we play, it’s a night for everyone to escape,” Katelyn concurs. “We all need that as humans—maybe now more than ever.”

Whether or not they plan to, Shook Twins foster a lasting bond with listeners worldwide as familiar and familial as their own.

“When you listen to us, we want you to remember how to feel more comfortable in your own skin,” they agree. “That goes beyond the show. We hope you walk away feeling more like yourself, because we’re fully ourselves on stage. We’re not shy. We have a sense of humor. We don’t ever take ourselves too seriously. We have fun up there. That’s our message through the music.”

Opening the show at 8 pm is Daniel Rodriguez, a singer songwriter from Lyons, Colorado. He was a founding member of the band Elephant Revival, and in 2019 he began touring under his own name and released his first EP, ‘Your Heart The Stars The Milky Way’ (2019). “It’s just got something that you want to hear again, something healing and good at its core. Do yourself a favor and play the whole EP, and do that again. And again.”Wesley Schultz (Lumineers)

Daniel Rodriguez tours as a trio or quartet and is booked for an exciting 2022 with both headlining and support tours. His first full album, ‘Sojourn of the Burning Sun,’  was released in 2020.

Don't miss The Shook Twins with Daniel Rodriguez, Thursday April 13th. Doors at 7 pm and showtime at 8 pm. Tickets at

Add a Comment »

Gallatin County Attorney Discovers Boxes of Unprosecuted Violent Sexual Crime Files in a Closet; Creates Joint Task Force to Address Criminal Justice Crisis

The Gallatin County Attorney’s Office is responsible for reviewing investigations submitted by law enforcement agencies, which are called “Request for Prosecutions” or RFPs.  When an RFP is submitted to the County Attorney’s Office by law enforcement, a prosecutor is supposed to promptly review the RFP, determine whether further investigation is required, and then make a decision about whether to prosecute the case or decline to prosecute the case based on the law and the investigation’s evidence. That is how the prosecution process is supposed to work.

“When I took office in January of this year, one of the first things I did was take stock of the physical office space. In an empty office stuffed under a desk and in a closet, I found boxes filled with unreviewed and unprosecuted RFPs from law enforcement for sexually violent crimes committed between 2008 and 2022. Once I realized what they were, it made me sick to my stomach,” Cromwell said.

The unreviewed RFPs totaled 113 cases: including 53 violent rape cases, 20 sexual assault cases, 14 domestic violence cases, 8 incest cases, and 7 sexual abuse against children cases, among others. One hundred of the victims identify as female. Fifty-two of the cases include some form of sexual violence against children.

“Clearly these cases were deprioritized by the former administration. No action had been taken on any of these cases, with the longest case sitting for the past 14 years,” Cromwell said.

“When I look at a case file, I don’t see pieces of paper; I see a victim whose life is forever altered because of the violence they suffered. I also see an offender who has not been held accountable for his or her actions. Justice has not been served and there has been no closure for victims. This is unacceptable,” Cromwell said.

Of the 113 cases, 42% of stem from investigations by the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office, 37% from the Bozeman Police Department, and 22% from the Belgrade Police Department.

“I want to be clear that law enforcement did everything properly. The failure has been at the County Attorney’s Office, and that stops now. Our community is in good hands with our law enforcement agencies and it should likewise be in the good hands of our county-level prosecutors,” Cromwell said. “I campaigned on a promise to address crimes involving sexual violence and I will.”

Cromwell has worked to create a multi-agency Joint Task Force consisting of experienced attorneys, law enforcement officers, and criminal justice professionals to review each case and pursue those that are still viable for prosecution. The Joint Task Force includes:

  • Audrey Cromwell, Gallatin County Attorney
  • Jane Mersen, attorney at Kasting, Kaufman, and Mersen, and town attorney for West Yellowstone and Manhattan
  • Mike Emens, detective with the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office
  • April Waltee, victim advocate with Gallatin County Victim Services
  • Prosecutors from the Cities of Bozeman and Belgrade

In addition, by working with the Bozeman and Belgrade City Prosecutors, Greg Sullivan and Kyla Murray, their city prosecutors have volunteered to review RFPs from their respective municipal law enforcement agencies and work with the County Attorney’s Office to prosecute them.

“I am proud of my community – that this Joint Task Force with personnel from Gallatin County, the City of Bozeman, and City of Belgrade are all willing to come together in service to our community to review and prosecute these cases and ensure that this never happens again,” Cromwell said.

Many County Attorney’s Offices have written policies or guidelines when reviewing sexually violent cases for prosecution. The Gallatin County Attorney’s Office has never had such a policy. This is something Cromwell would like to remedy. She has disclosed this issue to other prosecutorial agencies in an effort to create best practices and policies in charging, prosecuting, and taking sex cases to trial.

One policy Cromwell will immediately ensure is the prompt review of law enforcement requests for prosecution of sexually violent crime.

“I promise you this – as long as I am County Attorney, I will prioritize prosecution of sexual violence and ensure victims are not forgotten in boxes under a desk or in a closet. My deputies will review all new rape and sexual abuse cases as fast as possible upon receipt by law enforcement from here on forward,” Cromwell said.

Ultimately, Cromwell would like her deputies to review all new cases within two weeks of submission by law enforcement.

“We are currently severely understaffed, so right now we cannot review every submission within two weeks. However, as long as the County Commission funds additional attorney positions, we should be able to reach this goal by the end of my second year in office, if not sooner. I can assure you, though, never again will an RFP involving sex crimes sit in a box for 14 years,” Cromwell said.

“I am heartbroken for the victims of these violent crimes whose trauma was not acknowledged. To the victims in our community, I know you have been further traumatized by the failure of the criminal justice system in our county,” Cromwell said. “You have my word that this will never happen again as long as I am county attorney.”

If you or someone you know has experienced sexual or domestic violence, there are numerous local resources to support you here in our community:

Help Center Sexual Assault Counseling Center 24-hour hotline – 406-586-3333

Gallatin County Victim Services – 406-582-2075

Haven’s 24-hour support line – 406-586-4111

Montana State University VOICE Center – 406-994-7069

National Domestic Violence Hotline – 1-800-799-7233

Add a Comment »

Long-Term Disability: Steps to Take If Your Claim Gets Denied

Long-term disability is a topic that affects many individuals worldwide, and it is crucial to gain an understanding of its implications, coverage options, and the importance of being prepared for such circumstances. Long-term disabilities can take various forms, such as chronic illnesses, injuries, or conditions that limit a person's ability to work and maintain their regular lifestyle over extended periods.

It is essential to address this topic because, despite the unpredictability of encountering a long-term disability, its effects can be physically and financially straining for individual and their families. In this article, we will discuss the significance of having long-term disability insurance, the factors to consider when selecting the coverage most suitable for your needs, and steps to increase your chances of obtaining adequate support should you ever need to rely on it.

Definition and Types of Long Term Disability

Long-term disability (LTD) refers to a condition that prevents an individual from performing their regular work duties for an extended period. LTD is often caused by illness, injury, or accidents that render an individual unable to earn a living.

There are two main types of long term disability insurance policies, group and individual:

● Group policies: Typically provided by employers, these policies offer employee coverage as part of their benefits package. The coverage usually includes a percentage of the individual's salary, typically 40-60%, up to a specific maximum limit per month.
● Individual policies: Purchased independently by the individual, these policies allow for greater customization of coverage amounts and waiting periods for benefits to begin. They are more expensive than group policies but may offer additional features or options.

Long-term disabilities can be categorized into several types, including but not limited to:



Physical disabilities

Caused by injuries, accidents, or chronic illnesses affecting mobility, strength, or dexterity.

Mental disabilities

include depression, anxiety disorders, and schizophrenia which affect cognitive function, mood, or behavior.

Sensory disabilities

Impair one or more senses, such as vision, hearing, or touch.

Cognitive disabilities

impact cognitive functions like memory, attention, or processing speed, such as traumatic brain injury, dementia, or learning disabilities.

It is essential to understand the definitions and types of long term disabilities to determine the appropriate coverage and support needed for individuals with these conditions.

Causes and Risk Factors

Long-term disability can result from various causes, ranging from illness to injury. In this section, we will discuss some common causes and risk factors associated with long-term disability.

Some common causes of long-term disability include:

● Chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes
● Mental health conditions, like depression or anxiety
● Neurological disorders, such as multiple sclerosis or Parkinson's disease
● Autoimmune diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus
● Workplace injuries or accidents
● Accidents or injuries sustained outside of work, like car accidents or falls

Several risk factors can contribute to the likelihood of developing a long-term disability. Some of these risk factors include:

Risk Factor



The risk of developing a long-term disability increases with age, as the chances of experiencing health issues and injuries increase.


Jobs that require heavy lifting, repetitive movements, or exposure to hazardous materials may increase the risk of experiencing a disabling injury or illness.

Family history

Individuals with a family history of certain illnesses or health conditions may be more likely to develop long-term disabilities.

Lifestyle factors

Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and a sedentary lifestyle can contribute to the development of various health conditions that may lead to long-term disability.

Identifying and addressing these risk factors is essential to reduce the likelihood of developing a long-term disability. Medical professionals can often provide recommendations and resources for managing and reducing these risks.

Eligibility for Long Term Disability Benefits

When seeking long term disability benefits, it is important to understand the eligibility requirements. This section will cover Qualifying Conditions, Waiting Period, and Benefit Duration.

Qualifying Conditions

A long-term disability must meet specific criteria to qualify for benefits. These conditions typically include:

● A medical condition that prevents you from performing your job
● Documentation from a licensed medical professional confirming the disability
● An inability to work for a specified period, typically six months or more

Each policy and insurer may have additional requirements for qualifying conditions.

Waiting Period

The waiting period, also known as the elimination period, is the duration between the onset of your disability and the start of your long-term disability benefits. Most policies have a waiting period of:

Short-term Disability

Long-term Disability

7-14 days

90-180 days

It is important to be aware of your policy's waiting period as it affects when your benefits will begin.

Benefit Duration

Benefit duration refers to the length of time that you will receive monthly benefits. Common benefit durations include:

● 2 years
● 5 years
● Up to age 65
● Lifetime

Note that each policy may have different benefit durations and may be influenced by factors such as your age, occupation, and insurance provider.

Applying for Long Term Disability Benefits

Applying for long-term disability benefits can be a complex and time-consuming. Understanding the requirements and deadlines is essential to ensure a smooth application process and maximize your chances of receiving the benefits you need.

Documentation Requirements

When applying for long-term disability benefits, providing thorough and accurate documentation is crucial. This includes:

● Medical records and reports
● Employment and income information
● A completed disability application form
● Any supporting documents, such as a letter from your physician

It's important to gather all necessary documentation before starting the application process to avoid delays and ensure a smoother process.

Filing Deadlines

Filing deadlines for long-term disability benefits can vary depending on the policy and specific situation. Some key deadlines to be aware of include:



30-90 days

Typical timeframe to file a claim after the onset of disability

180 days

Maximum timeframe allowed to file a claim under most policies


Deadline for submitting an appeal if your claim is denied

It's essential to be aware of and adhere to these deadlines to avoid jeopardizing your eligibility for benefits. Reach out to your insurance company or plan administrator for specific deadlines related to your policy.

Long Term Disability Insurance

Long Term Disability Insurance plays a crucial role in securing your financial future in the event of an injury or illness that prevents you from working for a prolonged period. Understanding the different types of policies available and their specific features is essential. This section will cover Group Policies, Individual Policies, and Policy Features.

Group Policies

Group Policies are commonly offered as a benefit by employers, providing coverage to employees at a lower cost than individual policies. The key features of group policies are:

● Lower premium rates due to shared risk among members
● Streamlined underwriting and easier acceptance criteria
● Portability of coverage depends on the employer and policy terms

Individual Policies

Individual Policies are bought directly from the insurer and offer personalized coverage based on your occupation, income, and health status. Highlights of individual policies include:

● Customized coverage tailored to your needs
● Annual premium charges without unexpected rate changes
● The payout period may vary depending on the policy terms
● Portable coverage that stays with you regardless of job changes

Policy Features

While selecting a Long Term Disability Insurance policy, consider these vital features:



Elimination period

The waiting period before benefit payments begin, typically ranging from 30 to 180 days.

Benefit period

The duration of benefit payments, from a few years to the policyholder's retirement age.

Benefit amount

The monthly payment, typically 60-80% of your pre-disability income.

Definition of disability

The insurer's criteria for determining if you are "disabled" and eligible for benefits (own occupation vs. any occupation).

Policy riders

Additional features or benefits that can be added to a policy, often at an extra cost.

Understanding these aspects of Long Term Disability Insurance policies will help you make well-informed decisions.

Managing and Living with Long Term Disability

Living with a long-term disability presents challenges that can impact various aspects of life. This section will discuss the key strategies to manage and adapt to a long-term disability, including financial planning, healthcare, and support services.

Financial Planning

Managing finances is essential to living with a long-term disability. Consider the following steps to ensure financial stability:

● Create a monthly budget to track income and expenses
● Apply for government assistance programs for people with disabilities
● Consult with a financial adviser for long-term planning and investments
● Have an emergency fund for unexpected expenses


Healthcare plays a crucial role in managing long-term disabilities. Ensure you have access to the necessary care and resources:

● Maintain regular communication with your healthcare providers
● Keep detailed records of medical appointments and treatments
● Explore healthcare service options and choose the appropriate insurance plan
● Stay informed about new treatment options and technologies

Support Services

Support services can significantly improve the quality of life for individuals with long-term disabilities. Consider these resources:

● Network with local support groups for emotional and practical assistance
● Seek help from vocational rehabilitation services for employment and training
● Utilize home care services for assistance with daily living activities
● Contact local agencies for accessible transportation options

Legal Rights and Protections

Understanding your legal rights and protections is essential when navigating long-term disability situations. This section covers two fundamental laws: the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The ADA is a federal law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all aspects of life, including employment. It applies to employers with 15 or more employees.

Under the ADA, employers are required to:

● Provide reasonable accommodations for qualified employees with disabilities, such as modifying workspaces or adjusting work schedules, unless it causes undue hardship for the employer.
● Not discriminate against job applicants or employees based on disability in the recruitment process, promotions, termination, or compensation.

For more detailed information on ADA and its implications, visit the ADA website.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

The FMLA is another federal law that provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year for specific family and medical reasons, including serious health conditions that result in long-term disability.

Eligibility criteria for FMLA:



Worked at least 1,250 hours in the past 12 months

Employs 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius

Been employed for at least 12 months with the same employer

Is a public agency or public or private elementary or secondary school

While on FMLA leave, your employer must continue your health insurance coverage under the same terms as before your leave. They must also reinstate you to the same or equivalent position upon your return from leave.

For further information on FMLA, please visit the U.S. Department of Labor website.


Long-term disability insurance is crucial in providing financial security for individuals who cannot work due to an injury, illness, or chronic condition. Considering the potential risks associated with a prolonged inability to generate income, it is essential to be well-informed about the options available in long-term disability insurance.

When selecting a policy, consider factors such as the waiting period, benefit period, and coverage amount. Also, it is worth exploring employer-sponsored plans, individual policies, and government programs, such as SSDI, to determine the best possible combination that meets your individual needs and circumstances.

Having a comprehensive long-term disability insurance policy in place can provide much-needed peace of mind and financial stability for you and your loved ones in challenging times.


Add a Comment »

Saturday, Mar. 18th, 2023

West Yellowstone Snowmobile Crash

On March 17, 2023 at 4:45 pm, the West Yellowstone Dispatch Center received a call for a snowmobiler who crashed into a tree, disabling the snowmobile, near the West Yellowstone Airport. The snowmobiler was uninjured but needed assistance getting out of the woods. Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue – West Yellowstone Section responded to the scene on snowmobiles, assessed the rider at the scene, and returned the snowmobiler to town.

Sheriff Dan Springer would like to remind riders that spring temperatures will create varying trail conditions requiring an extra level of caution in controlling snowmobiles. Be prepared for groomed snow to unexpectedly turn to ice or slush. In this event, the snowmobiler was wearing appropriate “personal protective equipment” which ensured the accident did not result in injury to the rider.

Photo courtesy of the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office.

Add a Comment »

Friday, Mar. 17th, 2023

Montana State music student Jacob Kittleson advances to national competition

BOZEMAN — Montana State University music student Jacob Kittleson won the young artist brass category at the Music Teachers National Association Northwest Divisional Young Artist Performance Competition and will advance to the national competition March 25–29 in Reno, Nevada.

“It's very exciting to get the chance to perform,” said Kittleson, who is from Great Falls. “It’s just an incredible opportunity because they bring in these amazing judges, and the feedback we're able to get from an educational standpoint is so helpful.”  

Kittleson, a tuba player, beat state winners from Washington, Wyoming and Idaho in the regional competition and will now play against students from across the U.S.  

“It’s incredible to see Jake perform at such a high level, competing against undergraduate and graduate students at a national level,” said Jason Bolte, director of the MSU School of Music in the College of Arts and Architecture. “Competing at the MTNA National Competition is a testament to his work ethic, musicianship and the high-quality instruction he has received from our music faculty.”  

Kittleson, a senior majoring in music, said he first got interested in playing tuba in elementary school. 

“It was the largest and shiniest object in the (band) room,” Kittleson said, explaining that he was too small to play the tuba at first, so he played the euphonium until sixth grade. “(The tuba) has such a dark, warm sound that just envelops the room. I've pretty much stuck with it ever since.” 

Kittleson is no stranger to this national competition. In 2021, he competed virtually in the young artist brass category, along with MSU student violinist Cade Fiddaman, who competed in the young artist strings division. 

“I'm excited to finally do (the competition) in person, especially now that I’ve had a couple more years to develop my skills,” Kittleson said. The competition is being held in conjunction with the MTNA conference, and he hopes to attend performances and seminars as well.  

“There are going to be some great players to listen to, so I'm looking forward to that too,” he said. 

MSU associate professor Jeannie Little said Kittleson’s passion for the tuba has deepened through the years and makes him a wonderful musician. 

“Jake is immensely gifted,” she said. “During this upcoming competition, he’s the only tuba in a field of trumpets, horns and euphoniums. The tuba is a big and sometimes very unwieldy instrument. Jake makes it sing.”  

She said Kittleson has been heavily involved with many musical groups on MSU’s campus, including the Spirit of the West marching band and the Montanans choir.  

“He will play in every and any ensemble if you let him,” Little said, noting that Kittleson not only persevered but excelled during remote and socially distanced lessons for his first two years at MSU. “He's so excited and so curious about all things music, and that translates to learning new and difficult pieces.”  

At the competition, Kittleson will play a capriccio by Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki. The piece is designed for an unaccompanied tuba and is “very contemporary,” he said, adding that the piece’s tone is interesting because it has no time signature, a musical element that keeps a song on the proper beat.   

“It offers a lot of freedom to the performer,” he said. “One of the things I like most about it is how it hides in dance figures. There's one part where it's a waltz, but then it leaves off a beat and a dancer will be stumbling – it's always very sneaky with it.” 

Kittleson will graduate this spring and pursue a master’s degree of musical arts in tuba performance from Arizona State University. He credits his success to his teachers and opportunities at MSU. 

“MSU has just provided me so many opportunities for places to perform, and the faculty has just been amazing and supportive,” he said. “They've taught me so much, especially Dr. Little.”  

Add a Comment »

Thursday, Mar. 16th, 2023

MSEA State Major Project

The MSEA State Major Project provides monetary assistance to Rural Volunteer Fire Departments in Montana for the purchase of equipment and training to better serve the community.

Manhattan Volunteer Fire Department

On Tuesday, March 14th, members of Bozeman Elks Lodge #463 presented a check to the Manhattan Volunteer Fire Department to purchase Electronic Flares and Reflective Vests and Clarkston Fire Service Area #16 to purchase Advanced Airway Training Equipment.

Clarkston Fire Service Area #6

Add a Comment »

News Comments