News

Jackie Yamanaka

Billings Senior High School saved taxpayers $85,000 in energy costs over a 4-month period.

Governor Steve Bullock applauds the effort and awarded the school $1,000 for its efforts under the SMART (Saving Money and Resources Today) Schools Challenge. 

During a visit to Billings Senior, Bullock recognized the school for providing a learning environment that’s also energy sustainable.

  Yes For Kids is back.

The local group is making its case to Billings voters to pass mill levies for local students.   

Campaign co-chairman Luke Kobold says passage of the levies will mean the district is responding to the demand from parents and the Billings community for things like STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) offerings, reduced class size, programs for struggling students as well and gifted and talented, and funding for suicide prevention and school safety.

Jackie Yamanaka

Those who provide senior service programs in Yellowstone County are serving more people, and the demand is going to skyrocket.

“We have a silver tsunami happening in Yellowstone County...in the state of Montana,” says Denise Armstrong, the Executive Director of Big Sky Senior Services. She says right now one in five in the county is over the age of 60. That will grow to one in four in the next four years as more the Baby Boomers retire.

Jackie Yamanaka

Many Yellowstone County Employers say they “don’t know” when asked to rate how well education and training providers in Billings are helping them meet their workforce needs.

The finding was from a BillingsWorks survey conducted for the Big Sky Economic Development Authority.

Respondents were asked to rate the numerous programs in Billings. This includes the high schools to adult education to higher education.

ACLU

Debate over new law in North Carolina aimed at civil rights for the LBGT community has become a campaign issue across the country, including Montana’s gubernatorial contest.

Anthony Romero, attorney and executive director of the ACLU, is scheduled to be in Montana April 13 and 14, 2016 to discuss this and other civil liberty issues. 

  Girls-n-Science  is all about getting young girls interested in science, technology, engineering and math…or STEM.

It started with 300 girls. Now this free program brings in some 700 to 900 girls with their parents, grandparents and teachers.

The annual program used to be called Chicks In Science. This year the name has changed and so has some parts of the program.

There’s a special morning event called STEM stars. Organizer Laura Gettings-Carlson says it’s just for middle schoolers.

Jackie Yamanaka

Senator Steve Daines and Congressman Ryan Zinke, say they need a partner in Montana’s statehouse.

That is why the two Republican members of the state’s Congressional delegation endorsed Greg Gianforte’s campaign for governor.

But the campaign manger for Democratic incumbent Steve Bullock scoffed at the “news.” Eric Hyers charges this event was called to distract attention away Gianforte’s support of discriminatory laws passed in states like North Carolina.

Gianforte says his focus is on jobs, especially on keeping coal jobs in Montana.

Montana is rich in wind resources, but the demand currently doesn’t support the high cost, according to wind and utility expert.

Rob Gramlich of the American Wind Energy Association says Texas, Iowa, and California are the top states taking advantage of wind power.

He says even though Montana isn’t in the top five there are opportunities.

Gramlich says Montana is “the biggest expected source of wind power across the west.”

Jackie Yamanaka

One of the owners of Colstrip Units 1 and 2 denies his company is angling for a fast-track closure of the coal-fired power plants.

Steve Secrist, general council for Puget Sound Energy (PSE) told attendees at the Montana Energy Conference the utility is looking to the long-term.

A bill passed earlier this year by the Washington State Legislature sets up a mechanism to fund a decommissioning and clean-up of the two oldest units at the Colstrip power plant.

Jackie Yamanaka

The Crow Tribe moved another step closer to developing its water resources, including a proposed hydroelectric dam project at Yellowtail Afterbay Dam.

Crow Tribal Chairman Darrin Old Coyote says the signing of the Storage Allocation Agreement comes after decades of litigation and negotiation.

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