• The most cataclysmic outrage about the failure of the Keystone XL Pipeline isn’t so much about its need in the market, or the loss of jobs, or the waste in expended capital – it’s the way the US Government has used the authority it was given to assure “health and safety,” to instead manipulate markets, and advance political agendas against
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  • Because of cooling ag prices and low commodity prices, Montana’s economy so far this year is not shaping up to be as good as last, according to Patrick M. Barkey, Director of the Bureau of Business and Economic Research, in reporting on the mid-year state of the Montana economy. And, Yellowstone County, where commodities and agriculture play a strong economic
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  • There has been a decline in entrepreneurship, and it seems to be an alarming trend. According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Census Bureau, and the IRS — as a share of the relevant population — during the last near-decade there has been a decline in the incorporated self-employed, unincorporated self-employed, employer firms, business startups
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  • Last week Yellowstone County officials were asked to abandon an undeveloped public road right- of -way to make way for the expansion of a Billings area business.Town and Country Supply Association, a cooperative that serves area agriculture producers, has been searching for a location to expand its fertilizer facilities for a number of years, according to general manager, Wes Burley.
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  • In response to concern in the community regarding the level of air service that is available in Billings, a meeting to discuss Billings’ air service will be held on August 24 at the Crowne Plaza, 3d Floor Ballroom.Hosted by the Billings Chamber in partnership with the Big Sky Economic Development and Billings Logan International Airport, the program runs 11:30 a.m.
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  •   Trending right now is a debate about what makes entrepreneurs.It seems that the understanding that entrepreneurship is the basis of building a strong economy is finally being accepted as true, and there is a political interest in finding out where to get more of them. Montana becomes a point of focus because it seems the state has, for decades,
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  • The annual Callan Taylor Fund for Kidney Disease Charity Golf Tournament will hold its fifth event in Billings this year on Sunday, September 11 at Pryor Creek Golf Course. Previous tournaments have been held in San Diego, CA, where the fundraiser was first launched by the family of the little boy, who is its namesake.
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  • The Montana Petroleum Association (MPA) will hold its annual Petroleum Industry Appreciation Day Luncheon on Wednesday, August 31, as part of its annual conference which will begin on August 30.
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  • Registration is now open for the Compete Smart Conference, October 5-7, at Fairmont Hot Springs Hotel and Conference Center.The conference theme is “ 20 Years of Making It Happen Under The Big Sky.”
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  • Visit Billings in conjunction with Rocky Mountain College will once more make a bid to capture the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) National Women’s Basketball Championship Tournament. While an effort to win the event failed in 2013, Visit Billings Executive Director, Alex Tyson is optimistic that the community has a good chance to win the event for two years,
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  • In an effort to enhance the airport experience, Visit Billings and the Billings Chamber of Commerce completed a major upgrade to Billings Logan Airport. As passengers exit the secure area of the airport to head down the stairs to the baggage claim, the concourse is now a vivid and exciting welcome to Billings.
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  • While Montana has lots of its own regulations that curb small business and opportunities for making a living – everything from licensing bartenders and hair dressers to squeezing local food producers out of the market – perhaps there is some comfort in knowing that other states have it just as bad if not worse.Here from Watchdog.com are some recent Nanny
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shape upEntries are now being accepted for the 10th Annual Shape Up Montana program, a three-month team-based project of the Big Sky State Games that encourages Montanans to make healthier nutrition choices and be more physically active.

Since it began in 2003, over 43,000 Montanans have logged more than 10 million activity miles and shed 82,948 pounds! Organizers are working to reverse the progression of obesity and overweight trends in Montana.  This year’s program features a new user friendly website.

The early entry deadline is January 24. 

The “Shape Up Montana” program works with the business community, member organizations and families to engage their employees and members in a team format that spurs increasing physical activity and encourages healthy eating habits.  Past Shape Up Montana teams included businesses, church groups, organizations, friends, clubs, school staff and families.

 The team competition offers two categories:

  Accumulated Activity based on logging miles with the aid of an activity conversion calculator and Weight Loss due to healthful eating and physical activity. 

Teams of 4 to 10 individuals work together for three months (February 1 - May 1) helping each other and their team to either log mileage or lose weight.  Mileage is converted from regular daily activities (yard work, housework) and aerobic activity (swimming, running, walking, cycling, etc.). 

The cost for the three-month program is $15 and $10 for employees of Big Sky State Games (BSSG) program sponsors.  Everyone who enters will receive a Shape Up Montana T-shirt, weekly challenges, exercise videos, nutrition and physical activity tips/articles, access to numerous wellness calculators and free entry into the 27th Annual Big State Games Fitness Walk held July 20, in Billings.  Awards will be presented to the top three teams in each division.

Online registration, entry forms and more information are available at www.shapeupmontana.org or call (406) 254-7426.    Entry forms are also available at the Big Sky State Games Office in Billings (490 N. 31st, Suite 200).  

Shape Up Montana is presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana. Community Sponsors include Billings Clinic, Billings Gazette and Montana’s News Station (KTVQ, KBZK, KXLF, KRTV, KXLH, KAJ18, KPAX). 

Contributing partners include Albertsons, Eat Right Montana, Montana Chamber Choices, TwoMedicine, Montana Beef Council and Wendy’s.

The Big Sky State Games’ Major Sponsors are First Interstate Bank, Kampgrounds of America, and Montana Cycling and Ski.


 

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