• by Evelyn Pyburn What was behind the Donald Trump presidential victory? While pundits dissect, bisect and analyze every nuance of every issue and every demographic sector, wondering what they missed before, and are now hoping to get it right – there’s not a one who’s mentioned the real underlying theme of it all — the rule of law.The election demonstrated
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  • The Montana Chamber of Commerce will hold a briefing for its members and interested business people regarding its 2026 Strategic Plan on November 30, 12 pm in Billings at the Northern Hotel.
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  •   Following Black Friday comes Shop Local Saturday, November 26. The purpose of the day is to focus on the importance of supporting local businesses.Over the past few years, Shop Local Saturday” has grown in its impact year over year, as communities realize that small local shops are an important part of each community’s economic base. To support them means
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  • Farmers Insurance has launched an innovative insurance policy for food truck owners – a growing market. Farmers have begun to offer licensed food truck owners a single policy that combines commercial automobile coverage for their truck with a restaurant business owner policy.Montana is one of the 28 states where the policy is now available.
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  • The proposed Inner Belt Loop which would connect the Heights to the westend of Billings has been pulled from the back burners by the Billings City Council, and urged forward with the likelihood of being funded by issuing bonds.The plan has been talked about for a long time, said Mayor Tom Hanel, and it’s time to “get serious” about what
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  • The Montana Infrastructure Coalition is working on a non-partisan legislative package that will help address some of the most pressing infrastructure needs in the state – most especially water and wastewater systems for communities. The Montana chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) estimates that the total annual reinvestment by Montana communities, to maintain their $15 billion dollars
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  • Asian Fusion has opened in the food court of Rimrock Mall, the newest venture of the husband and wife team of Howard Shen and Tina Wu.
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  • Associated Employers, a support organization for employers in Montana and Wyoming, celebrated one hundred years in 2016. For any organization to sustain itself for 100 years is a significant achievement in any arena, but for a non-profit service organization, relying on voluntary membership fees from individuals noted for their pragmatism, it is especially noteworthy.
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  • The Billings Chamber of Commerce announce that the Institute for Organization Management, the professional development program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, has appointed Jennifer Reiser, IOM, Chief Operating Officer of the Chamber, to the West Board of Regents. As a member of this Board, Reiser will implement the policies created by Institute’s National Board of Trustees.
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  • Oil in the Bakken may be making a comeback that will surprise many and it may be more than some might wish, Lynn Helms, director of North Dakota’s Department of Mineral Resources, is being reported as proclaiming this past week. While the process is slow, the numbers are building up, according to Helms, who believes that his department’s projections of
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  • To be in business is noble and virtuous.To implement a plan for a good environment in Montana for business will cost Montana Chamber members a million dollars.Business people were called upon by Greg Gianforte to be proud of what they do in the private sector, and to do their part in planting “a spark” of entrepreneurship in young people. Gianforte
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  • Susan Lynch has joined Stockman Bank as compliance lending officer. Her responsibilities include developing and integrating policy and procedure consistent with regulatory requirements for lending functions, as well as developing and presenting training programs for employees on lending compliance procedures in all 34 Stockman Bank locations.
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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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