News

The Montana Department of Transportation is facing a budget shortfall. The department gets no money from the general fund so their funding come from diesel and gas tax revenues and trucking fees. But those sources are down.

Dave Skinner, RANGE Magazine

Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte announced Phillips County Commissioner Lesley Robinson as his choice for lieutenant governor.

The Bozeman businessman says Robinson has the qualities he’s looking for in a running mate.

Gianforte says Robinson has a strong Montana work ethic. He adds as a rancher in northeastern Montana, Robinson is a fierce advocate for rural Montana and Montana’s number one industry.

“Agriculture needs a voice in Helena which it has sorely lacked,” Gianforte says.

  The warm temperatures and windy conditions that have been part of the Billings area weather forecast can be causing problems for trees and shrubs, especially the evergreens.

Last year a common sight around Billings was the winter burn or winter kill. Those were the brown sections that appeared on lots of evergreens.

The problem is water.  And now is the time to take action to prevent winter kill this season.

Amy Grandpre is the horticulture assistant for Yellowstone County Extension Service.  She says the key is to water the drip line.

Jackie Yamanaka

Billings Senior High School will soon award a varsity letter in Science.

Several school officials say the letter in science is the first of its kind in the state.

There are several components to earning that letter. “Part of that is tied to their grades, classes that they take, and their community involvement in STEM related things,” says Craig Beals, chemistry teacher and faculty advisor to the Senior High STEM Society.

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. 

Jackie Yamanaka

Democratic U-S House candidate Denise Juneau kicked off her jobs tour today in Billings.

Juneau is currently the state school superintendent. She made her announcement in front of Medicine Crow Middle School, which is under construction.

“What better place than a construction site that’s actually building infrastructure for the community where students can learn,” she says.

Juneau says education and workforce training will prepare the workers of tomorrow. She wants them to be able to earn a living wage and raise their families in Montana.

Montana’s Disclose Act Key in 2016 Elections

Feb 25, 2016
Stock photo

A campaign disclosure bill passed by the Montana Legislature and signed into law last year is putting new pressure on independent political committees.

  The Disclose Act requires all of the 122 organizations registered in Montana as independent political committees to report all their contributors and expenses. And they must do it electronically.

Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl says this new act is vital because candidates no long have to report these independent expenditures, which are by definition ,independent of the candidate.

Hospitals and clinics across Montana have long had a hard time recruiting doctors and nurses to serve the state’s needs. That can be true of other healthcare professions, too, like therapists, pharmacists and technicians. A new analysis this year says demand for healthcare workers in Montana is going to grow by 40 percent in the next 10 years.

Jackie Yamanaka

200 elementary school children have signed up to learn more about energy and engineering tomorrow in Billings.

Industry representatives will be leading hands-on activities while members of Billings Senior High’s STEM Society will be there to mentor the K-through-6th graders.

“I’m giving up my Saturday because I have a younger sister and she got really excited when they started having these STEM Saturday’s,” says Junior Grace Ostermiller.

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

Jackie Yamanaka

           U-S Magistrate Carolyn Ostby was the first to welcome 25 people from 16 countries as new U.S. Citizens. Ostby presided over the naturalization ceremony at the James F. Battin Federal Courthouse in Billings, Montana.

She says while the new citizens swore to abandon all allegiance to the government of any foreign state or country, they don’t have to give up their love of the country or the people where they were born.

Jackie Yamanaka

Montana State University Billings is considering how best to spend a one-time injection of 760-thousand dollars.

Chancellor Mark Nook told a gathering of faculty and staff there will not be a spending spree. Rather, he says this money will be for recruiting and retaining students to MSUB and City College.

“Right now we’ve got to stay focused on how do we recruit students for the fall,” Nook says. Last Fall, MSUB saw a drop in enrollment for the fourth straight year. Because state funding depends full-time equivalent students, the campus took a financial hit.

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