Montana State University announced that it has selected Cody Stone to become its next Extension executive director. Stone has been serving as interim executive director of MSU Extension since June 2017. As Extension executive director, Stone will oversee an educational network that stretches into all 56 of Montana’s counties and all seven Indian reservations in the state. Extension applies unbiased, research-based university resources to meet practical needs identified by Montanans in their own communities.
Montana State University has earned a spot on Forbes magazine’s annual list of “America’s Top Colleges,” which ranks universities based on factors important to students, such as finding success in a chosen field and winning scholarships. MSU was ranked 452nd in the listing, which includes 650 public and not-for-profit private institutions. MSU was the highest-ranked Montana institution on the list.
The first week of the fall 2018 semester saw the initial use of the MSU-Northern Teaching Greenhouse classroom. After several years of construction, as well as climate control and growing equipment acquisition, the Greenhouse is now ready for classroom use.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has been awarded $1 million each in Healthy Homes Production grants to the Salish Kootenai Housing Authority, Fort Peck Housing Authority, Blackfeet Housing Program dba Blackfeet Housing Authority, and Northern Cheyenne Tribal Housing Authority to address home health and safety hazards. The grant will help refurbish 1,300 low-income homes with health and safety hazards.
After severing ties with the contractor for their new airport project, the City of Williston, ND has decided that it would be in the best interest of all parties to reinstate the contract with JM Marschuetz. The renewed agreement however includes some caveats. On August 9, the city commission voted to terminate JMMC’s contract, citing a lack of progress and saying that delay could jeopardize the airport’s planned opening of Oct. 10, 2019. A claim for breach of contract was rejected by the surety company and it recommended that the contract be reinstated. Marschuetz claimed that they suffered delays through no fault of their own and that they had a plan on how to still meet the deadline. The renewed effort will include third party oversight by the surety company.
The Padlock Ranch located near Sheridan, Wyoming is celebrating 75 years. Founded by Homer and Mildred Scott in 1943, Padlock runs from Ranchester, Wyoming to Hardin, Montana, and spans around 400,000 acres with about 12,000 cattle. Chairman of The Padlock Ranch Company, John Heyneman, the Scotts’ grandson, oversees operations which employs 36 people. Padlock Ranch CEO and President Trey Patterson said the company mainly sells 800-pound yearling calves to feeders who then place them into feedlots in Kansas, Colorado and Nebraska.
The US International Trade Commission has stopped tariffs on newsprint imported from Canada. The newsprint tariffs are just one of several tariffs President Trump put in place to protect American manufacturers. The newsprint tariffs began in January at 16.8 percent, although they were later lowered to 3.38 percent.
In Columbia Falls a bitcoin mining company has opened. Jeff Russell and Don Kinser are co-owners of Columbia Mountain Holdings, which owns the property and building, and Teakettle Mining, one of two companies leasing space and services in the mining facility. Teakettle Mining has about 384 servers in the space, while the rest are leased by another company.
A new colony of an aquatic invasive species was recently discovered in Holland Lake in the Swan Valley by the Forest Service. The fragrant water lily forms dense mats that crowd out native plants and harm swimming beaches.
In downtown Bozeman, after standing vacant for nearly a decade, a new building will be constructed near the site of the 2009 gas explosion, at 233 E. Main Strett. The new Osborne Building will house a restaurant, rental office space for nonprofits that serve low-income communities, and flexible office space for startups and small businesses. It is being built with funds from the New Tax Credits Program through MoFi, a nonprofit financing company. The project is that of Bryan Klein and Casey Durham.