Montana Highlights

Watercraft inspection stations are opening up across Montana for the 2021 season. Just which inspection stations are open can be seen on a FWP website map. FWP officials claim inspection stations are the state’s first step in preventing the movement of aquatic invasive species (AIS), which can have devastating impacts on Montana waterways. A report on activities from the 2019 season show the agency performed over 113,000 watercraft inspections and intercepted 16 mussel-fouled vessels.

Senate Bill 379 has raised some eyebrows of the Montana PSC and environmental groups as it would allow owners of coal-fired power assets to recover costs for any underappreciated value and expenses from energy consumers. The bill would allow the utility to recover market value for new ownership of a coal power asset.

Watercraft inspection stations are opening up across Montana for the 2021 season. Just which inspection stations are open can be seen on a FWP website map. FWP officials claim inspection stations are the state’s first step in preventing the movement of aquatic invasive species (AIS), which can have devastating impacts on Montana waterways. A report on activities from the 2019 season show the agency performed over 113,000 watercraft inspections and intercepted 16 mussel-fouled vessels.

Canadian coal company Teck Resources has paid a $60 million fine after pleading guilty to pollution discharges that have killed nearly all the fish in nearby waters. Canadian investigators found the mining company discharged hazardous amounts of selenium and calcite into the Fording River from two coal mines in the Elk Valley, just north of Eureka, Montana. Some of that selenium has been connected to fish damage in Montana Koocanusa Reservoir and the Kootenai River. The decision came in a Canadian federal court in Fernie, British Columbia. The fine is 10 times as large as any previous punishment imposed under Canada’s Fisheries Act.

 The city of Williston, North Dakota has negotiated a contract with Delta Airline to bring flights back to Williston. The one-year agreement promises to subsidize SkyWest Airlines which has partnered with Delta for flights to Minneapolis. If passenger numbers fail to make it profitable the city will reimburse losses to the airlines on a quarterly basis.

Revolving Loan Fund.  In February, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) awarded a $1.2 million CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to the Northern...

The Center Square

Startups are a significant driver of the U.S. economy. Each year, thousands of entrepreneurs launch new businesses that create jobs and spur innovation and efficiency across the market. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 420,000 startups accounted for 2.2 million new jobs in 2018.

Unfortunately, entrepreneurship in the U.S. has been declining for decades. In...

Montana’s unemployment rate dropped in February to 3.9%, after falling to 4.0% in January. The unemployment rate for the U.S. was 6.2% in February.

Yellowstone County is ranked 23rd among counties for the lowest unemployment rate at 4.4 percent, which is about .6 percent higher than a year ago. There are 76,274 people employed in the county which is 2400 less than last year.

McCone Count...

A new report reveals that the Rocky Mountain region’s middle market businesses are experiencing faster economic recovery and stronger business performance than the national average. 

In 2020, 49% of Rocky Mountain middle market businesses experienced year-over-year revenue growth and 30% added new jobs. This compares to the national average of 46% of middle market businesses that experience...

by Evelyn Pyburn

In the coming decade there is much that is going to change about travel through the Billings I-90 corridor.  Interchanges will change, highways broadened and bridges reconstructed – all are projects in the planning stages, with some already underway.

While much has been heard about the improvements planned to the I-90/ Johnson Lane Interchange as part of the Billings Byp...

Watercraft inspection stations are opening up across Montana for the 2021 season. Just which inspection stations are open can be seen on a FWP website map. FWP officials claim inspection stations are the state’s first step in preventing the movement of aquatic invasive species (AIS), which can have devastating impacts on Montana waterways. A report on activities from the 2019 season show the a...

Liberty Named Head of Foundation

Adam Liberty has been named President of the Billings Catholic Schools Foundation (BCSF). He will work closely with the Board of Directors to establish long-term goals, strategies, plans and policies and serve as a liaison between the BCSF, the Billings Catholic Schools and the community. He mos...