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SoClean, an international medical supply company, is opening its second North American location in Kalispell next month. SoClean anticipates having a workforce of 250 employees or more. The Kalispell facility will include sales, customer service, technology support, marketing, and human resources. SoClean makes and sells automatic cleaning devices for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machines. (CPAP)

 

Attorneys for the Trump administration want a U.S. judge to disallow a lawsuit from Native American tribes trying to block the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline. Tribes in Montana and South Dakota say President Donald Trump approved the pipeline without considering potential damage to cultural sites from spills and construction. U.S. District Judge Brian Morris will preside over hearing on the government’s attempt to dismiss the case. Pipeline sponsor TC Energy, formerly known as TransCanada, is also seeking dismissal of the tribes’ lawsuit.

 

Consumer Direct Care Network was chosen last week by the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services for the Missoula-based in-home health care company to administer $500 million in spending to oversee providers of in-home personal care and respite

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Butte’s economic development team has hired the Texas-based analytics firm, Buxton, to help local leaders recruit retailers to Butte.  The BLDC was awarded $31,000 in grant funds for the project from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Butte’s Tourism Business Improvement District. The official launch date of Buxton’s services begins Oct. 1, at which time the BLDC and other members of the economic development team will have access to detailed information on the local market. Buxton will provide 20 leads on companies, retailers especially, that Buxton believes would do well in Butte.

 

Montana’s Supreme Court has reversed a lower-court ruling that struck down a water pollution permit for a large coal mine near Colstrip. District Judge Kathy Seeley in 2016 ordered the state Department of Environmental Quality to reconsider the permit for the Rosebud strip mine, which fuels the nearby Colstrip power plant. She said regulators showed errors of judgment in allowing reduced monitoring. The ruling states  regulators have the flexibility to allow pollutants to be released into ditches that run dry for the majority of the year.

 

On average, Lewis and Clark County’s residential property values increased by 7.3% following the Montana Department of Revenue’s latest biennial valuation. The valuation is primarily determined by market value as of Jan. 1, 2018. While the 7.3% increase in Lewis and Clark County may seem high, it is much lower than the 19% average increase for residential property in Gallatin County. 

 

American Airlines has announced plans to add a direct flight to Philadelphia on Saturdays beginning in summer 2020. The airline will also add flights to LaGuardia Airport on Saturdays and Los Angeles daily.

 

The restaurant, Bisl, has been closed in downtown Bozeman. Owners Kierst and Davey Rabinowitz  point to high overhead and an unreliable customer base as reason for the closure.

 

The federal judge overseeing a tribal lawsuit against the Dakota Access Pipeline is allowing nine groups including the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Congress of American Indians to weigh in on whether federal officials who permitted the pipeline properly consulted tribes. Texas-based pipeline developer Energy Transfer Partners unsuccessfully opposed the groups’ request, arguing that the issue of tribal consultation has already been resolved.

 

The Bureau of Reclamation has selected the Huntley Project Irrigation District to receive $75,000 for small-scale water efficiency grants. The grants will help the water entities use water more efficiently and improve water supply reliability. “This WaterSMART program improves water conservation and reliability for communities throughout the West,” said Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman. The Huntley Project Irrigation District in Ballantine, will install three permanent flow measurement stations to provide real-time flow measurement data. This will allow the District to monitor flows in its three major canal systems and monitor lift station efficiency. The project is expected to reduce spills and provide the start of a comprehensive water measurement network, leading to better overall water management.

 

A pair of new winter wheat varieties soon to be released by Montana State University breeders are designed to help address two issues that plague wheat farmers across the state, sawflies and stripe rust fungus, while improving crop yields. The Bobcat and Flathead varieties will be released this fall from the Montana Foundation Seed Program. The new varieties will be used to produce registered and certified seed through certified growers across Montana and should be available for purchase by the public between the 2020 and 2021 growing seasons. Two varieties released in 2018, Ray and Four0six, are now available for purchase statewide.

 

Eric and Keri Brown have teamed up with Cheryl Olson to offer smoked brisket and pulled pork sandwiches in the Sidney area. Located at the Elks Lodge, 123 3rd St. S.W., is open to everyone from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.

 

Williston Basin International Airport will hold its grand opening on Saturday, October 5 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Tours of XWA, a new $270 million regional airport will be given and the facility will be on display for one day only. The airport begins operation on Thursday, October 10.

 

Morton Buildings is making its way out west establishing a location in Sidney as of January. With a salesman on the ground and several buildings up, Morton knows one thing for sure - it’s economic boom in the area is just beginning. “If you’re only looking at the oil activity, sure you could say we’re a little late,” said Tom Janke, area manager for the Northern Plains North region of Morton. “But farming is still farming. If the oil wasn’t there we would still be really attracted to the area.” The employee-owned company sells a variety of buildings, from suburban garages to large shops, warehouses, dealerships and homes. Morton is looking to provide five jobs in Sidney.

 

Business for Montana Outdoors reports more than $7 billion was spent on Montana outdoors activities, creating 71,000 jobs and with well over 80% of Montanans surveyed calling themselves “outdoor recreation enthusiasts.” 68% of those polled say a loss of wildlife habitat is a “serious problem” in the state.

 

The Wise River Club , a quintessential small-town café, and a favorite stopping point for tourists who travel to Highway 43 in Big Hole Valley, is for sale. It is a historical site for Wise River, a region known for world-class fly fishing, river rafting, mountain biking hunting, snowmobiling, etc.

 

The Montana Department of Transportation is proposing to seal and cover about 1.38 miles of Airport Road, in Lewistown, Fergus County. The project begins at the intersection of Main St. and Airport Road and extends southeasterly for 1.38 miles ending near the airport terminal. The project is tentatively scheduled for construction in spring of 2021.

 

The Montana Department of Transportation is also proposing to resurface 11.5 miles of US-212 east of Busby, Bighorn County. The project begins approximately 1.5 miles east of Busby, at reference post (RP) 27.15 and extends east for 11.5 miles, ending at the Rosebud County line. The project is tentatively scheduled for construction in 2020, depending on completion of all project development activities and availability of funding. No new Right-of-Way or utility relocations will be needed.

 

Developers are proposing to move forward with an $18 million mixed-use  redevelopment of the riverfront Buffalo Crossing property and True Brew plans to open a second Great Falls location.

 

Stacey Indergard, RN, CPCP  has started a business in Sidney providing permanent makeup. Indergard completed her training at Simply Body Art Studio in Phoenix and has become certified as a professional.

 

Over the past year, Missoula County employers created more jobs than any other county in the state.

 

Great Falls Tourism has created a new event grant of up to $100,000 for a group of people to create a multi-day event for Great Falls on a Thursday-Friday anytime between the months of September and May. Applicants must submit a proposal by the end of the month.

 

The Great Falls City Commission approved the zoning and annexation of the Love’s Travel Stop location, a $12 million project that will include up to two fast food options and employ 30-40 people. 

 

The combination of two Helena-based companies will create one of the largest technology service providers in Montana. Anderson ZurMuehlen announced that it will purchase Information Technology Core. The agreement will expand Anderson ZurMuehlen Technology Services, an information technology consulting division. TC has offices in Helena, Missoula and Salt Lake City. It provides hardware and software services for businesses and public agencies. AZ currently has about 200 employees in seven cities around Montana. In addition to technology consulting, it provides public accounting and business advisory services.

 

A portion of the Going-to-the-Sun Road between Avalanche Creek and Logan Pass in Glacier Park will close temporarily from Sept. 16 until Sept. 29 to allow pavement preservation crews to complete remaining work in the alpine section of the road. Logan Pass will remain accessible from the St. Mary entrance during the closure.

 

 report in Forbes magazine reminisces about the movie “A River Runs Through It,” saying it still – after 30 years – is having an impact on the fly-fishing industry and visitation to Montana. The movie was based upon a book by the same name by Norman Maclean, a Montana author.  “…travelers (both fly-fishers and land-lubbers alike) are still making a pilgrimage to Montana to find out if that river will give them the same transcendent experience that lifts the family in the film and haunts the sole surviving brother years afterwards,” writes the article’s author, Gretchen Kelly. After the film’s debut, the fly-fishing industry exploded, increasing 60 percent in both 1991 and 1992. She reports that because of that impact “The river in the book and the film has benefited as well. Today, the Blackfoot River is back as a fly-fishing destination. Thousands of dollars of contributions have helped the River recover and brown and rainbow trout fishing are booming.”