News

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.

The Yellowstone Kelly Interpretive Site is close to becoming a reality. The group raising money to build an interpretive center at Luther Sage  Kelly’s gravesite  in Sword Rimrock Park announced Tuesday major donations that puts them within $20,000 of their goal.

Bill Cole is the chair of  the Yellowstone Kelly Interpretive Site (YKIS) Committee, the group  raising money to build the site.  He said he’s been surprised but pleased by the response to honor Yellowstone Kelly and revitalize the gravesite, that this goes far beyond Yellowstone Kelly.

Tony Smith

 The 2016 MSU Billings Wine and Food Festival Winemasters Symposium brought together winemakers Marc Mondavi of Charles Krug Winery and Divining Rod Winery along with Joy Merrilees of Shannon Ridge Family of Wines, and Executive Nick Steen of the Northern Hotel. For the symposium, Chef Steen created a menu that partnered with the wines provided by the festival’s winemasters.

Jackie Yamanaka

  The staff and supporters of the Alberta Bair Theater are going to celebrate the tenure of William “Woody” Wood the way many theater goers remember him: on the stage, welcoming the crowd, and reminding them to turn off or silence their cell phone.

Wood is leaving Billings in July to join the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts and the Albert L. Lorenzo Cultural Center in Michigan as its director of cultural affairs.

Wood has been executive director at the ABT for nearly a decade.

“Shortly after I arrived the economy tanked,” he says.

Red Lodge Songwriter Festival

Aspiring songwriters and country music enthusiasts are invited to the inaugural Red Lodge Songwriters Festival the end of June.

Mike Booth and Cory Johnson are the organizers. Johnson says he came to Red Lodge and fell in love with it, thinking  it would be a great place to hold a songwriters festival. He said he met Booth and they starting discussing his idea one night over a beer.

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