News

 Montana’s gubernatorial candidates are scheduled to debate in Billings in September. The campaigns are working to confirm other debate offers.

Eric Hyers, campaign manager for incumbent Steve Bullock, says the Democrat looks forward to showing Montanans the contrasting visions each candidate has for Montana.

“Mr. Gianforte fundamentally wants to change all that makes Montana great,” Hyers says. “We think that’s a contrast that’s very apparent to anyone who watches these debates.”

  

The U.S. House candidates announced an agreement to face-off in a series of 4 debates in Montana.

The candidates agreed to debate in Frazer on the Fort Peck Reservation, Billings, and Great Falls.  The campaigns want to hold a debate on the Crow Reservation, but the details have yet to be finalized.

Heather Swift is the deputy campaign manager and spokeswoman for Incumbent Ryan Zinke. She said the Republican is excited to bring debates to Eastern Montana, particularly on the reservations.

The public is invited to ask questions and direct comments to Yellowstone County’s top law enforcement officials Monday night, Aug. 1, in Billings.

Sheriff Mike Linder will join Police Chief Rich St. John at the latest “Chat with the Chief.”

St. John said it is an open forum.

Grown in Montana products will be showcased for the first time at the Montana State Fair in Great Falls.

Cody Shick with Montana’s Agriculture Department put together the store.  It’s an effort by the agency to promote value added agriculture.

“They really wanted to take some of these smaller companies that use Montana crops and process in Montana and really help market and promote," said Shick. 

Nineteen companies will offer 1 to 5 of their products for sale.

Jackie Yamanaka

 

One of the owners of Action Electric says he can’t train electricians fast enough.

Max Griffin says he currently has 15 apprentices. He says under the proposal unveiled this week by Governor Steve Bullock he would love to add up to 10 more. He says it would help meet the demand.

“Right now if you need an electrician, a journeyman electrician, try to hire one. It’s impossible,” he says. “There’s that big of a demand, that big of a shortage out there.”

The Billings-based business has an apprenticeship program with  scholarships that pay 100% of the cost.

Pasture to Plate

Jul 18, 2016
Lynn Donaldson

What is the beef about steak? At the table, with fork and knife in hand, do we really know and appreciate the food before us? In this program, we journeyed to the American Fork Ranch in Two Dot, Montana located under the Crazy Mountains to travel from pasture to plate.

With my producer Jackie Yamanaka, I attended the inaugural Raising the Steaks: 2016 Environmental Stewardship Ranch Tour. About 40 people, mostly ranchers, learned about how the health of rangeland, streams and creeks, and wildlife interplay and influence successful cattle ranching.  

Jackie Yamanaka

Montana produces an abundance of food but the journey from pasture to plate faces challenges, especially for restaurants.

The menu at Montana Ale Works in Bozeman points out the dishes made with local ingredients.

Aaron Brittingham, executive sous chef at Montana Ale Works, says that includes beef.

“We get all of our burgers through Montana Wagyu Cattle Company,” he says.

Team USA

Two time Olympic gold medalist  Dot Richardson will light the torch at tonight’s Big Sky State Games’ opening ceremonies. Richardson was part of the 1996 and 2000 Olympic softball teams.

Karen Sanford Gall, executive director of the state games, says this year they have added 2 new sports, lacrosse and curling, and have expanded some sports, including shooting. 

Jackie Yamanaka

For the first time since the Montana Environmental Stewardship award was first handed out in 1992, ranchers and others got a chance to tour a winning ranch to learn more about strategies be economically viable while conserving the land, water, and wildlife.

Jed Evjene co-manages the American Fork Ranch in Two Dot, Montana with his wife Annie.

Jackie Yamanaka

 Governor Steve Bullock projects Montana taxpayers could save about $25 million dollars because of the way it manages medical costs for its state employees.

Under the old system, providers could charge the state of Montana’s health plan different amounts for the same service. Under a new transparent pricing model Allegiance, the state’s third party administrator, is contracting with facilities. Allegiance is using Medicare as a national point of reference for costs. It then pays hospitals a multiple above that.

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