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Glacier Bancorp Inc. has signed an agreement to acquire Inter-Mountain Bancorp Inc., the bank holding company for First Security Bank of Bozeman. First Security Bank provides banking services throughout Montana with 11 offices located in Bozeman, Belgrade, Big Sky, Choteau, Fairfield, Fort Benton, Three Forks, Vaughn and West Yellowstone. Upon closing of the transaction First Security Bank will become a new bank division of Glacier, and will be headquartered in Bozeman.

 

Glacier Brewing Company in Polson was listed for sale at the beginning of the summer for $875,000 and was recently reduced to $750,000. The price includes the property, $250,000 worth of equipment, recipes, distribution deals and even head brewer Dave Ayers. Ayers started the brewery in 2002  before many newer craft breweries came to the area. He developed all the recipes, beer names and character the place embodies. The market share for craft beer in America more than doubled between 2011 and 2016, according to data from the Brewers Association.

 

U.S. farms are producing more food per acre because of genetically modified crops than farmers in Europe where genetically modified organism are banned. Gary Brester, an MSU Ag specialist told attendees at the Montana Farm Bureau Federation convention in Billings that farmers are producing more crops per acre because of biotechnology. Brester said news reports that GMOs hadn’t improved production missed the point that farmers produce twice as much food today than they did 60 years ago, but use the same amount of fertilizer and other growth-enhancing products.

 

An appeals court ruled recently that a federal judge in North Dakota was correct in not barring police from using harsh methods against Dakota Access pipeline protesters. There have been no protests since February, but the decision will allow a lawsuit to proceed in which pipeline opponents allege they were subjected to police brutality and their civil rights were violated. The plaintiffs sued last year seeking to stop police from using tactics against protesters such as chemical agents and water cannons. U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland refused the request and they appealed.

 

Work is underway on a historic building across from the Yogo Inn in Lewistown which will house the Big Spring Brewing Co., which plans on opening in summer 2018. The Lewistown Mercantile Company will be the home of the new brewery.

 

After 24 years in business the Bozeman Angler will be shuting its doors at the end of the year. The guide service will continue to operate. Rod and Pamela King, with the help of the couple’s children eventually expanded to include guided trips, from Montana to Patagonia.

 

Simms Fishing Products will lay off more than a dozen warehouse workers over the next five months as it transitions warehouse operations from Bozeman to a company in Seattle. The move comes as a result of the company’s growth. Land prices and the difficulty of shipping freight to and from the state also factored into the decision. The decision will not affect the company’s manufacturing operations.

 

The Springdale Project Wind Farm will include 31 turbines created by Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy. The turbines will be connected by below-ground wires to a substation, which will connect directly to the existing NorthWestern Energy transmission line on the property. The Stillwater project main construction is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2018. Delivery of the turbines will take place next June and July, and the goal is to begin generating power by the second half of September 2018.

 

By January 2018, the Two Rivers Detention Facility in Hardin should be ready to take prisoners once again, according to Bureau of Indian Affairs Director Bryan Rice.  Rice said the BIA plans to prepare a contract and reopen the 464-bed facility in 90 days. The re-opening is due to overcrowding in other Montana and Wyoming facilities that house Native American inmates and allow detainees to be located closer to Crow Tribal Court.

 

Montana Stockgrowers Association has signed a $200 million deal to sell its beef on the Chinese market. The agreement will also come up with $100 million investment in a processing plant in the state. The deal between JD.com, one of China’s largest retailers, and the Montana Stockgrowers Association was announced last week.

 

Gally’s Brewing Co. in Harlowton is having a grand opening on December 15. The brewery is a brother-sister project at the former Montana Bar, a 104-year-old landmark in the town. Founders Drew Galahan and Shanda Speed are part of a third-generation Harlowton family.

 

 Allegra Marketing – Print – Mail in Bozeman, a business owned by David Dickey, has acquired area print shop, Bozeman Printing Company. The two businesses will operate under the Allegra name at 39 S. Tracy Avenue.

 

The Montana Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) Young Farmers and Ranchers (YF&R) Committee presented a check for $7000 to the Montana Food Bank Network (MFBN) at the MFBF YF&R luncheon, Nov. 13 in Billings. The donation came from proceeds raised during YF&R Hoofin’ It for Hunger Race Oct. 7 at Fort Keogh in Miles City.

 

On Oct. 26 at the Annual Meeting of the Montana Chamber of Commerce, Greg Thayer was elected chair of the Board of Directors. Thayer is the CEO of Montana Milling, an ingredient supplier to the baking industry based in Great Falls. They produce certified organic and conventional whole grains, flours, flakes, cracked grains and specialty mixes.

 

The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) is planning to resurface about 11.3 miles of Interstate 94 east of Hysham in Treasure County.  The project is scheduled beyond 2022.

 

Leonard Higgins, 65, who closed the emergency valve on the Spectra crude oil pipeline in Coal Banks Landing, Montana as part of a climate change protest, went on trial Nov. 21, in Fort Benton. He was one of four activists who acted simultaneously to close the safety valves in four states that stopped the flow of Canadian oil. He faces felony charges in Chouteau County District Court in Fort Benton. The action of the men was primarily to draw publicity to their cause but Higgins could face up to a decade in jail.

 

Hans McPherson, a diversified rancher from Stevensville, was re-elected as president of the Montana Farm Bureau Federation during the organization’s annual convention Nov. 12-15 in Billings. Cyndi Johnson, a Conrad small grains farmer, was re-elected as vice president. Newly elected to the Montana Board of Directors was Craig Blevins, District 1, a cattle rancher from Ronan and Scott Stoner, District 9, a hay and equine producer from Clancy.  Re-elected to the board were Jennifer Bergin, District 3, a cattle rancher from Melstone; Gary Heibertshausen, District 5, a sheep rancher from Alzada and Tom DePuydt, District 7, a cattle rancher from Saco. Gretchen Schubert from Huntley was re-elected as the MFBF Women’s Leadership Chair with Gil Gasper, from Circle, re-elected as the MFBF Young Farmer and Rancher Chair.

 

Rio Tinto, the world’s second-largest miner, is backing out of the coal mining business. It recently announced it is seeking buyers for its coal mines in Australia – that are the last of its coal mines. Rio Tinto has been steadily backtracking from coal to focus on better assets. It’s now looking for buyers for its remaining coal mines in Australia, and a sale will mark a complete exit from the fuel.

 

The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) is planning to resurface about 9.58 miles of Interstate 90 between East Laurel and West Billings in Yellowstone County. The project begins at the East Laurel (Mossmain) Interchange bridges at reference post 437.12 and extends east for 9.06 miles, ending at reference post 446.16 at the east end of the bridges of the West Billings Interchange. The project is tentatively scheduled for construction in 2019, depending on completion of all project development activities and availability of funding.