Sunday, Mar. 12th, 2023

Highland Glen Ski Trail Rescue

On March 11, 2023, at 3:46pm Gallatin County Dispatch received a 911 call for a cross country skier on the Highland Glen Ski Trail who had a possible broken leg.  The patients skiing partner stayed with them and provided updates to responding units but needed assistance getting the patient off the trail.

Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue volunteers from the Valley Section responded to the trail after Bozeman Fire personnel requested their assistance transporting the patient.Search and Rescue volunteers deployed with a tracked Side by Side to the skier’s location.  The patient was transported off the ski trail and transferred to an awaiting AMR ambulance. The patient was ultimately transported to Bozeman Health Deaconess Regional Medical Center for further evaluation.

Sheriff Springer would like to remind recreationalists that accidents can happen anywhere and anytime.  Always recreating with a partner and having a communication device can greatly help emergency responders, should your adventure not go as planned.

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Friday, Mar. 10th, 2023

Bacon Rind Avalanche

On March 9, 2023 at 4:44 pm, Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue was requested to assist Yellowstone National Park with an avalanche search in the Bacon Rind area on Gallatin Road near mile marker 23. The reporting party was concerned that the slide was recent, and someone could be trapped, so they conducted a search from a safe distance with their avalanche beacon. The skier’s beacon picked up a signal indicating a person with a beacon was possibly in the debris.

To assist Yellowstone National Park, Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue (GCSSAR) activated the Big Sky Section, West Yellowstone Section, Valley Section, Heli Team, SAR Dogs, and SAR Comms. A hasty team of National Park Service Rangers and GCSSAR volunteers responded to the avalanche debris field. The hasty team conducted a thorough beacon search and searched the area with a dog trained for avalanche victim detection. An investigation was conducted to identify vehicles in the area and check on the status of the owners. The Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center was contacted for recent avalanche history in the area. The ground search did not find any indicators of buried victims and the investigation determined there weren’t any vehicles with unaccounted for individuals. With all of these factors considered, the search was concluded.

Sheriff Dan Springer would like to thank the reporting party who saw reason for concern and brought the information to the attention of the National Park Service. With the multitude of recreational opportunities in this area, it is often a member of the public who first recognizes a potential emergency and brings those facts to our attention for investigation. Sheriff Springer would also like to thank the Search and Rescue volunteers who were ready and willing to dedicate their time and effort to conducting a detailed search, ensuring a safe conclusion to this event.

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Magic Monster Show Brings Kids’ Ideas to Life

You won’t find anyone pulling a rabbit out of hat, but you will meet furry magic monsters, and experience a zany show created right before your eyes! The only offering of its kind in Montana, Random Acts of Silliness (RAS) presents a delightfully quirky performance that combines the whimsy of puppetry with the high jinks of improv comedy. Each show is hosted by one of RAS’ adorably fuzzy Silly Monster Mascots: Roxy, Boomer and GoGo, with propelled by a team of adult actors who improvise silly scenes and stories inspired by suggestions gathered from the audience.

“In a world where kids’ wacky ideas are sometimes ignored, the Magic Monster Show embraces and delights in them. “Young people love to see adults taking their suggestions seriously, and the results are hilarious,” says director Sarah Henderson.

This storytelling style is freewheeling and spontaneous, not linear — and both children and adults delight in it. In a recent Valentine’s-themed show, suggestions from the audience resulted in a grumpy monkey falling in love with a cupcake, magical dough in a bakery yielding a unicorn, and a timid daisy befriending a terrifying snake-like sprinkler in a garden.

The show regularly hits maximum capacity, demonstrating a clear need for more family-friendly theater experiences in the Gallatin Valley. RAS wants everyone to have access to the show, so tickets are free, with a suggested donation of $10/ticket for those whose budget allows. RAS is able to offer free tickets to more than half of all attendees thanks to generous support from sponsors Dino Drop In and Rialto Bozeman.

“At the Rialto, our mission is to provide a welcoming venue and event space that enhances the adventurous nature of our community. We are thrilled to be able to support Random Acts of Silliness as they make family-friendly theater and art accessible to all members of the community,” says General Manager, Kristen Neithercut. “On top of that, their shows bring lots of laughs from kids and adults alike—and let’s be real—life is better when we’re laughing.”

Each show also features live musical accompaniment by Cody Henderson, with puppeteers Wren and Michael Garverick bringing Roxy, Boomer and GoGo to life. Well-known local performers Naomi Shafer, Hannah Smith, Elizabeth Noonan, Bennett Drozic, Isabel Huston and John Townsend-Mehler make up the cast of silly improvisers.

Intrigued? You can catch an outer space-themed Magic Monster Show at the Rialto on March 25th , a wildlife-themed show at the Earth Day Festival on April 22nd , and an enchanted kingdom-themed show on April 29th, all at the Rialto. These shows are fun for all ages, but best suited for a K-5 audience.

For more information about the Magic Monster Show, Random Acts of Silliness, and to reserve seats, visit 

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Sheriff Springer warns of "Motor Vehicle Division" Scam

The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office would like to alert the public to a mail scam that has been reported by the Gallatin County Motor Vehicle Department.  Residents have received a mailing like the one posted, claiming to be from the “Vehicle Services Division,” that alleges a person’s vehicle coverage is about to expire and includes a “registration fee voucher” that looks similar to a check.   This is a SCAM and a sly way to get you on the phone to sell you something or gather your personal information. Do not respond to the letter! Our motor vehicle department does not send any such vouchers.

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Wellness In Action begins remodel of Counseling Hub

Wellness in Action (WIA) is pleased to announce the start of their building remodel to expand the counseling hub.  The demand for reliable and accessible behavioral health services continues to increase in Big Sky.  To meet this demand, WIA has undertaken a remodel project to add more in person and telehealth counseling rooms, bring the building up to ADA compliance standards and overall increase the capacity for counselors to see more clients.  

“We are so fortunate to have the support of the Big Sky Resort Tax Board to help us fund this much needed remodel as well as the building owner Jeff Helms” said WIA Board President, Michelle Kendziorski.  

Danielle Osti Chenoweth, one of the counselors on the WIA platform, says “It is very exciting to see WIA expand their vision for the overall health and wellness of Big Sky. They have been incredibly helpful and supportive for the community. This expansion will provide even more resources for Big Sky residents and members of the workforce.”

Construction, overseen by Todd Rossier of Two Bear Construction Company, started on February 23rd with an anticipated completion of summer 2023.  If you are interested in touring the site during the remodel process, please send an email to

WIA is dedicated to community well-being by connecting individuals to a network of resources.

WIA is a registered 501c(3) nonprofit. If you would like to learn more about our programs please visit


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Big Sky Resort Unveils First Apartment-Style Employee Housing, Walkable to the Resort 

— Big Sky Resort is proud to announce the opening of Levinski Lodge, the first apartment-style housing for resort team members. Levinski Lodge A is the first of three buildings in the new Levinski Lodge housing campus. Buildings B and C, a mix of dormitory and apartment-style rooms, will open for winter 2023-2024.  

The new units are walkable to the resort, making for a quick commute and easing the burden on local transportation infrastructure.  

“We want our team members to live right here in Big Sky. It enlivens the community, and it’s better for the employee, atmosphere, and climate,” said Troy Nedved, the resort’s general manager. 

Levinski Lodge is the first housing of its kind for team members at Big Sky Resort. Each apartment is fully furnished, and includes a full kitchen, common space, spacious bathrooms, storage closets, and free laundry facilities in the building.  

“Building sustainable housing is not just about location. We’ve included the best efficiency measures to further reduce our environmental impact, including low-flow water fixtures and an energy-efficient HVAC system,” said Amy Fonte, the resort’s sustainability specialist. “The complex will be partially powered by rooftop solar panels, the resort’s first net-metered solar installation, which puts clean energy directly into the grid.”  

Levinski Lodge A will house 35 team members, including some who are moving in with their families.  
“Recognizing that we need more diverse and affordable housing options is crucial to address the housing shortage in the Big Sky community,” said Nedved. “Apartment-style units address a part of the population that has not quite fit in our other housing offerings.” 

The opening of the Levinski Lodge is just one piece of Big Sky Resort’s major investment in team member housing. In the past five years, Big Sky Resort has built and opened more than 350 additional beds in Big Sky, all within walking distance of the resort.  Big Sky Resort currently offers 826 team member beds in Big Sky, more than seven times the ski industry average.  

“Ultimately, our goal is to reach 1,000 beds in Big Sky, which would house approximately half of our team in the winter season. We’re on track to reach that goal by the winter 2023-2024 season,” Nedved said. 

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Wednesday, Mar. 8th, 2023

‘Mavericks’ documentary from Montana PBS receives two prestigious awards

BOZEMAN — “Mavericks,” a documentary about Montana’s freestyle skiing legacy from Montana PBS, recently received two awards.

The film won second place in the National Press Photographers Association Best of Photojournalism awards in the documentary-long form category. In addition, “Mavericks” was named best documentary feature at the Flathead Lake International Cinemafest, which was held Feb. 24-26 in Polson.

“'Mavericks' gives us the opportunity to bring some of Montana’s most interesting untold stories to light and share them across the state and beyond,” said Scott Sterling, director of production at Montana PBS. “I am honored that the hard work and dedication of our Montana PBS production team is recognized with these prestigious awards.”

The filmmakers call Montana freestyle skiers the mavericks of the sport, with multiple freestyle skiers from throughout the state getting their start on homemade jumps before going on to impressive careers. Freestyle skiing is a sport comprising aerials, moguls, half-pipe, slopestyle and more, with skiers often performing aerial flips and spins.

“Mavericks” follows the careers of several Montana freestyle skiers, including Olympic gold medal winner Eric Bergoust of Missoula, Bryon and Bradley Wilson of Butte, Darian Stevens of Missoula, Heather McPhie of Bozeman and Maggie Voisin of Whitefish. Using archival footage and original cinematography, the film captures “the struggles, victories, unsurpassed work ethic and unbreakable spirit of some of the state’s most renowned athletes in a sport where mere seconds determine the outcome of a career,” according to Kelly Gorham, producer and writer. Sterling is the film’s producer, director and editor, and Aaron Pruitt, Montana PBS director and general manager, is the executive producer.

Gorham, who also serves as director of visual media in MSU’s University Communications, said he was proud of both awards.

“I was honored to have ‘Mavericks’ included in such a wonderful festival and deeply humbled by the best documentary feature award considering the breadth of talent on display at the festival,” he said.

Of the NPPA award, Gorham said, “I had to re-read the Best of Photojournalism awards list a couple of times because I couldn’t believe that I was seeing our film among that list of international talent.”

In the NPPA best documentary feature award category, NBC Universal won for its project “Ukraine: The Search for Justice,” while E.W. Scripps received third place and The Washington Post received honorable mention.

The NPPA’s annual Best of Photojournalism competition recognizes the work of visual storytellers around the world. The competition is supported through a partnership with the University of Georgia’s College of Journalism and Mass Communication and presented by Sony as its primary sponsor. More information is available at

The Flathead Lake International Cinemafest presents a broad slate of domestic and international films. The event is held annually, and this was its 11th year. More information is available at

Last year, “Mavericks” also won the Non-Commercial Television Program of the Year award from the Montana Broadcasters Association. More information about the film is available at

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Tuesday, Mar. 7th, 2023

The Benefits Of Infrared Heating Pads For Natural Pain Relief 

Suffering from chronic pain? Looking for a safe, natural way to manage your discomfort? An infrared heating pad might be the answer you’re looking for. Here, we take a look at how an infrared heating pad works and why it could provide you with the relief you need. 

An infrared heating pad offers many potential benefits for people of all ages. Infrared heat is the form of light energy that is found in sunlight and can penetrate 1-3 inches into the skin. This far-infrared radiation warms our bodies from within, providing us with deep tissue warmth that many find to be extremely comforting.

Infrared heating pads have been found to have several positive effects on our health, such as: 

• Improving blood circulation and reducing muscle tension by allowing heat to reach deeper tissues.
• Relief from chronic pain such as arthritis or fibromyalgia by soothing muscles and decreasing
• Stimulating metabolism and improving overall health due to increased oxygenation of cells caused by
   improved circulation.   
• Helping reduce stress levels due to relaxation resulting from warm temperatures penetrating deeply into
   structures like joints, tendons & ligaments which contain nerves responding positively when heated up.

In addition, infrared heat has been clinically tested for its effectiveness in treating eczema, psoriasis, tendonitis and other medical conditions making it a great alternative healing option if traditional methods are not working well..

How Does an Infrared Heating Pad Work? 

Infrared heating pads work by emitting far infrared rays that penetrate deep into tissue to soothe your muscles and joints. This type of therapy is also known as FIR (far infrared ray) therapy or phototherapy. The heat produced by the pad is absorbed by your body and can help improve circulation, reduce inflammation, and alleviate muscle tension. It can also help speed up recovery time after a strenuous workout or injury. 

Benefits of Using an Infrared Heating Pad 

Using an infrared heating pad can provide a range of benefits. It can help relieve stiffness in your muscles, improve circulation throughout your body, reduce inflammation in your joints, relax tense muscles, and promote better sleep quality. Additionally, using an infrared heating pad is a great way to increase flexibility in your body—especially if you’re dealing with arthritis or other age-related conditions that limit mobility—and maximize range of motion during physical activities like yoga or Pilates.    

The Benefits of Infrared Heat Over Traditional Heat Sources 

Traditional heat sources such as hot water bottles or electric blankets don’t emit far-infrared rays like an infrared heating pad does. This means that traditional heat sources don’t penetrate as deeply into tissue—which reduces their effectiveness at relieving pain and promoting relaxation compared to infrared heat therapy. It also means they aren’t as effective at increasing circulation throughout the body to speed up recovery time after injury or surgery either. If you're suffering from chronic pain, stiffness in your muscles or poor sleep quality due to discomfort, exploring natural solutions like an infrared heating pad could provide the relief you need without any unpleasant side effects. By understanding how it works and what its benefits are, you can make an informed decision about whether this type of therapy will be right for you—and experience better health as a result!

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As soil acidity threatens Montana fields, Montana State research explores remedies

Clain Jones examines crops at MSU's Post Farm.
MSU Photo by Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez

– As soil acidification becomes a more pressing issue for Montana farmers, researchers in the Montana State University College of Agriculture are conducting on-farm experiments around the state to help explore precision treatments that fit the conditions measured in individual fields.

Assistant research professor Manbir Rakkar and professor Clain Jones of the Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences are taking a multifaceted approach to managing and preventing increases in soil acidity, which is largely caused by repeated application of nitrogen fertilizers and can be made worse by growing the crops that require those fertilizers on the same land year after year. 

While other states, such as Idaho, Washington, Oregon and the Dakotas, have been grappling with soil acidity for years, the issue was first really discovered in Montana around 2015, said Jones, who has been working on research into the issue ever since.

“We recognized it as something that needed to be addressed,” said Jones. “The majority of farmers don’t have this problem, but those who do can have up to complete crop loss.”

Jones estimates that around 5% of Montana’s cropland is affected by soils with a pH below 5.5, which is the acidity level at which significant problems can begin to emerge. But one of the things that makes it such a difficult problem is that acidic soils are often found only in patches across a field, and in many instances when soil pH is tested, samples from various locations are combined, resulting in an average acidity measurement for a large area. Low pH and high pH patches may cancel each other out, meaning producers often don’t realize they have an acidity problem.

However, testing more soil samples per acre can be too expensive, so MSU researchers are exploring alternatives such as remote imagery and sensing technology, which could save money and provide a more detailed soil acidity data for a field.

To detect acidic spots within a field, Rakkar said a better approach than traditional composite testing is for farmers to scout their fields periodically. Yellow or stunted plants, poor root development or other unexplained crop growth issue could be an indication of a soil acidity problem. Soil samples from such problematic areas should not be combined with other samples, she said.  

The standard approach to correcting low soil pH is to apply lime products such as spent sugar beet lime, said Jones. However, that requires special equipment and can be costly, especially if farmers opt for blanket application across their fields.

Rakkar hopes her work will help producers to make more informed decisions for precise lime application on acidity-affected areas.

“We’re trying something different than just soil sampling to determine soil acidity,” said Rakkar.

One of those approaches has been to use drones to measure NDVI, or normalized difference vegetation index, which measures the biomass, or “greenness,” in a field — a commonly used indicator of plant and soil health. Jones and Rakkar will seek to identify whether NDVI is affected by soil acidity, something they deem likely.

“If we can correlate NDVI and soil pH, it would be much easier to detect soil pH issues over larger acreages in a very time-efficient method,” said Rakkar.

With funding from the Montana Fertilizer Advisory Committee, Rakkar and Jones are also planning to continue partnerships with producers around Montana to conduct on-farm experiments — rather than only working on MSU’s research farms and centers around the state — that aim to monitor the effectiveness and longevity of different lime products.

They’ll also look at whether different crop rotations could help alleviate acidity. Growing perennial crops such as alfalfa grass or other forages may let producers naturally improve soil acidity. Rakkar hopes to expand those investigations to include pulse crops, such as peas and lentils, which are known to naturally increase soil nitrogen content, which is critical for crop growth and often supplies soil nitrogen to the following crop, thus reducing the fertilizer need.

“We’ve looked at mitigation and prevention, but we are also working on adaptation strategies,” said Rakkar. “We want to identify which varieties of pulses or perennial crops can perform better in acidic conditions. That's important knowledge that growers want to know if they end up with soil acidity issues on their farm.”

Most of Rakkar’s and Jones’ investigations are driven by questions posed directly by Montana farmers, and Jones said the on-farm experiments and collaboration with farmers around Montana shortens the distance between research and implementation. He has received feedback from farmers who have seen improvements in their fields because of MSU’s research.

For Rakkar, who joined MSU’s faculty in 2021, watching that research make a difference in real time has been rewarding.

“It’s been a great learning experience, not just for the farmers. I think for me as well,” she said. “It's always great to listen to what they are doing. We share our findings and then we come up with more fruitful results at the end of the day.”

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Monday, Mar. 6th, 2023

Threat Toward Bozeman School District Investigated

BOZEMAN, Montana (March 6, 2023) – Late on the evening of Sunday, March 5, the Bozeman School District received an email that included a school threat.

Based on the specifics of the threat, the Bozeman Police Department patrol division, with the assistance of the joint Special Response Team, systematically checked the schools overnight and verified there were no threats present. 

Early this morning, it was learned that multiple school districts across the state also received the same email threat. At this time, the threat does not appear to be credible. The Bozeman Police Department’s detective division is continuing to investigate the incident.

Our first priority during these incidents is the safety of students and staff. Based on that priority, all threats toward the District are taken seriously and appropriate steps are taken to mitigate any danger.  Our School Resource Officers will continue to be present and visible in the schools and our patrol division will increase patrol as school begins again tomorrow.  

We are grateful for our partnership with the Bozeman School District and also want to thank the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance.  

Thanks for your patience during this unfortunate incident. We encourage anyone who becomes aware of a threat toward a school district to notify school administrators and local law enforcement.    

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