Montana Highlights

Plowing of Glacier National Park’s roads has begun. Crews started on the east side of the pass on March 25 and the west side clearing of Going-to-the-Sun Road should begin during the first week in April. Backcountry reservations opened last week for the 2022 season.

The founders of Alchemy Lounge on Kalispell’s First Avenue, owned by the Costa family, has opened the newly remodeled lounge. Alchemy Lounge is located at 139 1st Avenue West in Kalspell.

West End Farms, a development that would be a mix of high- and low-density housing with various components such as community gardens is asking the neighborhoods around Hellegate Elementary School for their response to the 240 housing unit development.

Montana gained roughly 3,500 construction jobs during the pandemic from February of 2020 to January of 2022. That’s an 11.4% increase, the highest percent increase of any state in the country, according to the Associated General Contractors of America. Almost half the states in the U.S. lost construction jobs during that same time period.

The Higgins Avenue Corridor Plan began last year with efforts aimed at understanding the priorities of residents and business owners for this part of downtown Missoula. With this input  in mind, the project team has developed several alternatives and is seeking comments. The community will have multiple opportunities to view the Higgins Avenue Corridor Plan and provide feedback.

Desert Mountain Broadcasting purchased five radio stations in Bozeman, formerly owned by Reier Broadcasting Co. recently. Desert Mountain Broadcasting is building brand-new studios for the five stations as they come back on the air.

Backcountry, an online retailer of outdoor gear and apparel, plans to move into the Gallatin Laundry Company building in Bozeman, at the corner of East Babcock Street and South Bozeman during the summer of 2022. The Utah-based online retailer has three retail storefronts. Two are in Utah in Park City and West Valley City, and the other in Boulder, Colorado.

Clean up of the Ponderosa building property has remained on hold since the February 13 fire in downtown Glendive. The Glendive City Council recently heard concerns from several business owners about the effects and threat the Ponderosa building has on their businesses. Following the  fire that destroyed the property, two freestanding walls of the Ponderosa building  remain and half of the block is fenced off, preventing traffic in the area.

Acco...

Montana’s unemployment rate hit another record low in February, dropping to 2.6% for the month, down from January’s rate of 2.7%. Montana’s total employment and labor force continued to show strong growth in February, both setting new all-time highs.

The struggle for employers to find employees may be more to do with the increase in the number of jobs and income opportunities than to the co...

By Evelyn Pyburn

Almost a fourth of Montana’s incumbent state legislators in Montana were ineligible to file for re-election this year because of term limits. It’s been over 30 years since Montana adopted term limits, amid much controversy and with lots of contrasting predictions about their impact.
So how have term limits impacted the state legislature and representative democracy?
Not very ...

By Evelyn Pyburn

“It’s such a great expression of freedom,” said Sen. Steve Daines about the Freedom Convoy that remains in Washington DC in protest of government mandates. Sen. Daines made the remarks while visiting with a Montana trucker, Dennis Davies, who drove from Helena to Washington, D.C. as part of the convoy that organized to protest the mask and vaccine mandates, as well as other...

Billings Clinic has announced that it is pursuing Level I Trauma Center designation, which will elevate lifesaving care in the region, create better patient outcomes and ensure 24/7 trauma care is available.

The Billings Clinic Foundation has launched a $30 million campaign to help fund the project. It has already secured $13 million in pledges from three supporters including a gift of $7 m...

Plowing of Glacier National Park’s roads has begun. Crews started on the east side of the pass on March 25 and the west side clearing of Going-to-the-Sun Road should begin during the first week in April. Backcountry reservations opened last week for the 2022 season.

The founders of Alchemy Lounge on Kalispell’s First Avenue, owned by the Costa family, has opened the newly remodeled lounge. ...

Chamber All Stars

Altanta FCU has been named Employer of the Year and Devon Davidson of MARS of Billings has been named Business Person of the Year by the Billings Chamber of Commerce. Other award winners are Virginia Mermel, Ph.D., CNS, of Backpack Meals and Teen Pantries recognized for Customer Service Excel...