News

Montana organizations joined an effort to ensure eligible adults are registered to vote in this year’s election as part of National Voter Registration Day, Sept. 27.

Kiah Abbey, deputy director for the Forward Montana Foundation, had been working with the League of Women Voters, student governments, businesses and nonprofits across the state to set up places where people can register to vote.

Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez / MSU

An international team of scientists is a step closer to producing higher protein, better quality wheat and barley.   That’s a potential boon for Montana’s beleaguered farmers, hit by commodity prices so low in recent years many are wondering how they’re going to survive.

It all starts with Dr. Hikmet Budak, Montana State University’s first Plant Sciences Endowed Chair.  His endowed chair is the highest academic award a university can bestow on a faculty member.

 

Clint Peck lives with the mantra of, “Don’t say whoa in the middle of a mud hole.” Peck left cattle ranching to make wine, fermenting the dream at his Yellowstone Cellars and Winery in Billings, Mont. Tucked in a small industrial space on the West End of town, the winery will produce about 3,400 cases of wine this year.

Jackie Yamanaka

The Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Association unanimously endorsed Governor Steve Bullock during its quarterly meeting in Billings. 

Fort Belknap Tribal Chairman Mark Azure says the endorsement comes because of the Bullock Administration’s working relationship with the tribal governments.

“And we want to be recognized as a sovereign nation,” Azure says. “And I think governor Bullock gets that. My fear is the other folks don’t get that. I don’t think we here at the table can afford to see that other party fill those seats.”

Jackie Yamanaka

ExxonMobil Pipeline Company agreed to pay 12-million dollars to the federal government and the state of Montana to resolve claims that stem from a 2011 pipeline break that spilled crude oil into the Yellowstone River in Laurel.

A proposed consent decree was filed in U.S. District Court on September 21, 2016 to address the natural resource damage.

Patrick Williams / University Relations, MSU Billings

Montana’s gubernatorial candidates stuck to familiar campaign themes during last night’s debate in Billings. Much of the event focused on jobs and the candidates painted vastly different pictures of the Montana economy.

Republican challenger Greg Gianforte criticized Governor Steve Bullock for declining state revenues. The technology entrepreneur from Bozeman said he’s running because he’s a proven job creator.

  Montana’s gubernatorial candidates face off in a debate tonight in Billings. 

This will be the second debate this year for incumbent Democrat Steve Bullock and Republican challenger Greg Gianforte.

The public is invited to attend the debate at Petro Theatre on the MSU Billings campus.

The debate will also be broadcast LIVE on the radio and on-line over YPR and Northern News Network stations.

MSUB University Relations

Some members of the public called on the Board of Regents to give MSU Billings more autonomy in what programs it offers.

Higher education officials say they’re listening. As proof, they point to approval of an expanded nursing program in Billings after hearing other public comments strongly supporting the addition.

Montana State University Billings

The Montana Board of Regents is poised to approve a proposal to help nurses with an associate degree (ASN) earn their bachelor of science nurse degree (BSN).

David Trost, president and CEO of St. John’s Lutheran Ministries in Billings, says registered nurses with an ASN have the skills to be excellent nurses.

He says the additional education helps with the transformation taking place in health care.

Jackie Yamanaka

Billings Clinic launched a pilot project to help rural primary care providers deliver mental or behavioral health care to their patients.

“Montana is at the epicenter of a mental health crisis,” says Dr. Eric Arzubi, chair of the Psychiatry Department at Billings Clinic.

He says there aren’t enough psychiatrists, so it falls upon primary care providers in rural areas to help their patients who are struggling with mental and behavioral health issues.

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