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The Flathead County commissioners have voted to purchase the CenturyLink building in Kalispell for extra county office space. The building is located at 290 N. Main St. Many of the Flathead County departments have requested additional space for several years. It is estimated this building would solve the County’s space needs for 15 years.

 

Hunter’s Lair LLC, of  Williston, North Dakota, is proposing to build a restaurant, bar and hotel on property that was once a helicopter tour company just outside of Glacier National Park on U.S. 2. The company is asking permission to build on 36 acres. Only a portion of the property would be developed.

 

Legend Soccer Company in Whitefish, has recently started a partnership with the Forest Green Rovers soccer club in England. The company produces a bamboo shin guard that is high performance and environmentally friendly. Estimates are that plastic shin guards have produced about 200 million pounds of plastic in the recent past. The company aims to offer high quality and environmentally friendly shin guards. With the new partnership, Legend now provides bamboo shin guards to the men’s and women’s professional teams, as well as the affiliated youth teams.

 

Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, a chain based in Texas, will soon have locations in Billings, Bozeman and Missoula and Casper, Wyoming. The fast-casual Mexican restaurant chain will be serving  Baja-style Mexican food. The franchise is owned by John Johnson, of Johnson Restaurant Group Inc., in Casper. Fuzzy’s has close to 150 restaurants in 17 states.

 

Gallatin Import Group has outgrown its location at the intersection of West Main Street and 19th Avenue in Bozeman. They have begun construction on a new dealership on the Frontage Road, east of Bozeman. The 30,000-square-foot building will be ready for occupation in June or July. It is located next to next to Gallatin Motor Company, a Subaru dealership.

 

Recently, the ACLU of Montana, Western Environmental Law Center, and the Bahr Law Offices challenged two Montana state agencies’ refusal to release public records relating to the Keystone XL Pipeline.

 

Early Stage MT is a nonprofit program for Montana based tech companies to get mentorship and connections to financing. The program is planning to select 15 businesses from multiple showcases happening across Montana. These business will be presenting at a statewide showcase  and the first-place winner receives $50,000 in investment funding.

 

FireRoots Spirits of Florence is for sale. FireRoots distillery currently produces and distributes,  Vodka, Gin, and two different Brandies. The distillery was licensed in 2017 and began distribution in 2018. 5 recipes and labels are all approved by the TTB.

 

Montana State University has been recognized as a top global university by a well-known magazine. MSU tied for the 547th spot on U.S. News and World Report’s 2020 Best Global Universities rankings. In addition to its overall rank, MSU tied for No. 239 in environment/ecology, tied for No. 263 in physics and tied for No. 373 in plant and animal science. The University of Montana ranked 736th. UM was ranked No. 103 for environment/ecology, tied for No. 224 in geosciences and tied for No. 276 in plant and animal science.

 

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) approved plans that outline a long-term cleanup process for a large coal ash impoundment outside the Colstrip Power Plant. DEQ has requested $107 million in bonding from Colstrip’s owners to cover the cost of remediation. The plans, submitted to DEQ by Colstrip owner/operator Talen Energy on August 30, propose strategies for how the company will remediate high levels of sulfates, boron, selenium, and heavy metals that have been polluting local groundwater for decades due to leaking coal ash ponds associated with Units 3 & 4 at the plant.

 

The recent string of state-level marijuana legalization continues to impact commercial property demand and residential housing decisions throughout the US, according to the National Association of Realtors. Their study found that in states where prescription and recreational marijuana use is legal, there has been an increase in requests for warehouses or properties used for storage. The demand for storefronts grew, while one-fifth said there was a greater demand for land.

 

Nielsen Commercial, Inc. (NCi), a general construction firm serving the Northwest United States, announced expansion into Montana and a new office location in Great Falls. The company looks to establish a local workforce delivering a diverse collection of construction projects throughout Montana. Jeffrey Nielsen, founder of Nielsen Commercial and former co-founder of BNBuilders, was born and raised in Montana.

 

The State of Montana plans to invest $80 million in community mental health services over the next five years. The Medicaid Severe and Disabling Mental Illness (SDMI) - Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waiver currently provides around $9 million dollars a year for services for people with severe and disabling mental illness. The state is working on expanding the budget to around $16 million a year, which will double the capacity of the program from the 357 current individuals to 750 by 2025.

 

The Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman is featuring an exhibit on reptiles that’s been in the works for three years. Turtles, snakes and lizards brought from Florida are making themselves comfortable as Bozeman’s newest residents. The reptiles are native to places like Madagascar and Australia. “Reptiles: the Beautiful and the Deadly” will be available for visitors to see until Sept. 13.

 

Samples of the Wuhan coronavirus have been sent to scientists at the Rocky Mountain Laboratories (RML) in Hamilton to research to help combat the disease. Because of RML’s Virology Lab experience in researching other viruses, they are being called upon to help in searching for a vaccine to halt the spread of this virus. They will be researching how the virus binds to cells so they can develop therapies; determine how stable the virus is; establish an animal model to study; and, test the safety and effectiveness of treatments.

 

The Northern Ag Network reports some positive news for Montana ag: Beef demand is strong and with U.S. cattle numbers plateauing, prices are likely to be stronger in the year ahead as consumers at home and abroad support industry profitability. That was the message delivered as part of the 2020 Cattle Industry Convention in San Antonio, Texas.

 

A group of Williston, North Dakota, residents is raising money to build a $32 million hockey complex using an airplane hangar at the decommissioned Sloulin Field International Airport. Power Play Project Board Members say the current number of hockey players exceeds the capacity of Williston’s two indoor rinks.

 

The price on entry –level homes in Missoula have increased 33 percent – since 2012 – faster than the increase in higher-end homes at 26 percent, according to the Bureau of Business and Economic Research. The difference is due to supply and demand. There is only currently 3.2 months’ worth of inventory for entry-level homes and 8.6 months’ worth of stock of higher-end homes. Missoula’s median home sales price soared to a  high of $315,000 in 2019, a jump of 8.62% over 2018.

 

 

A public hearing is slated for March 6 in Williston on a proposed natural gas liquids pipeline slated to connect several processing plants in Williams County. Oneok wants to build the 75-mile line to carry natural gas liquids from the Hess Tioga, XTO Nesson and Flatiron Springbrook plants to another pipeline and, ultimately, to markets farther south in the middle of the country and on the Gulf Coast.

 

In Sidney, the Family Dollar had a ribbon cutting on Thursday, Jan. 16 in celebration of their opening on Jan. 23.

 

North Dakota’s eight commercial service airports finished calendar year 2019 with a statewide total of 1,191,569 passenger boardings.  This is a growth of 108,452 passengers or an 10% increase from 2018 numbers.  This also results in the second busiest year on record for North Dakota next to 2014, which occurred during the height of the state’s oil boom.  In 2019, the airports also saw 1,187,533 passenger deplanements for a grand total of 2,379,102 passengers that traveled through the commercial service terminal buildings in North Dakota over the past year.  

 

 Island Kitchens has opened in Sidney. It is located at 430 N. Central Ave., in the Shops at Fox Run. Brian Knight and Cal Gordon are co-owners.

 

In North Dakota, Outrigger Energy II plans to construct, own and operate a new 250 million cubic feet per day cryogenic gas processing plant west of Williston to gather and process production from XTO, as well as from other operators in the area. The exact location has not been determined and there is a possibility that the size of the facility will be increased to 450 million cubic feet per day. Its operation will help reduce flaring in the Bakken. The liquids removed by the proposed plant, planned to open by next December, would travel on an existing Oneok pipeline system.

 

North Dakota’s Tax Commissioner reported that North Dakota’s taxable sales and purchases for the third quarter of 2019 are up 4% compared to 2018.

Of the 50 states reviewed by the American Legislative Exchange Council-Laffer Economic Outlook, North Dakota ranked number three. The report indicates North Dakota’s recent tax changes contributed to its high ranking, as well as not taxing estate or inheritance, low average workers’ compensation costs, low minimum wage, debt service as a share of tax revenue and it being a right-to-work state. North Dakota has consistently ranked in the top five for the past seven years. Utah was No. 1, for many reasons, including a flat-rate income tax of five percent and its lack o an estate tax. Idaho was in second place, due to a low minimum wage, no estate and inheritance tax, and being a right-to-work state. Nevada ranked fourth, and Indiana, fifth.

 

A new hemp plant has opened up in Sidney, called American Hemp. They will produce the whole hemp plant, which is noted as being different than marijuana, although closely related. Hemp does not have any concentration of THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana. The Sidney plant is an extension of ITC grain, a specialty crop business in Glendive handling pulse crops since 2016. With the price for chickpeas and lentils having dropped, ITC decided in 2018 it would expand into hemp, and founded American Harvest.