• Entrepreneurship and self-employment endeavors – the nucleus of new business and future business growth — are at record lows, according to many analysts. The decline has long term consequences, which has Ray Keating alarmed. Keating is the Chief Economist for the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council. The SBE Council has been reporting on the weak state of entrepreneurship in the US for
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  • The American shale gas boom has the potential to revitalize domestic manufacturing, and a new report from a University of Michigan-led panel recommends steps to make that happen in a responsible manner. Those steps include increasing public trust of hydraulic fracturing; monitoring and reducing methane emissions; and using shale gas profits to advance renewable energy technologies, among other efforts. The
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  • Manufacturers and suppliers will gather to celebrate the magic in manufacturing and the many ways it enriches lives during the biennial Compete Smart Manufacturing Conference to be held Oct. 9 and 10 at the Holiday Inn Grand Montana in Billings. The event, co-hosted by the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center (MMEC) and NorthWestern Energy, will feature speakers, local plant tours and
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  • Wood's Powr-Grip is celebrating 50 years in business. Theirs is the quintessential entrepreneurship success story – all the more amazing given their worldwide presence and yet, so low-key, locally, that many people in Yellowstone County don't even know they exist. The organization is a third generation, family-owned manufacturing company whose name is most readily recognized in the glass industry. They manufacture
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  • As long as there is common acceptance of the claim that use of fossil fuels is an addiction, there will be no success by the petroleum industry in changing the "hearts and minds" of people, said Alex Epstein, founder of the Center for Industrial Progress, who presented the "Moral Case for Fossil Fuels" at the Montana Petroleum Association's Annual luncheon
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  • The news is, Burger King for all practical purposes is moving its headquarter out of the country in order to avoid onerous corporate taxes in the US. President Obama has called companies wanting to "domicile" in other countries un-American and unpatriotic, and wants to stop them. Such an amazing stance from a President who in all other regards has suggested
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  • To celebrate "The Magic of Manufacturing," the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center is creating a 100-ft Showcase of products manufactured across the state, as part of its signature Compete Smart Manufacturing Conference on Oct. 9 and 10. Any Montana manufacturer is invited to provide samples of their production for display in the Showcase. There is no cost involved. This special area
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  • The Environmental Protection Agency's proposal to expand the scope of "navigable waters" subject to Clean Water Act jurisdiction was drafted, according to the agency, to reduce uncertainty. And that it does. It's very clear the proposed rule is designed to allow the federal government to regulate every place water flows when it rains, including small and remote "waters" and ephemeral
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  • The long-awaited Northend Bypass which will connect the Billings Heights and Lockwood with a bridge across the Yellowstone River has been given a Record of Decision regarding the preferred route and sets the project in motion for eventual completion. The Montana Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration released the decision on Monday, identifying the preferred route as the
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  • Montana's economy seems to be slowing. The Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) at the University of Montana is projecting a 2.4 rate of growth for Montana in 2014, after readjusting their 2.7 percent rate in 2013 to 2.2 percent. BBER's lead economist, Dr. Pat Barkey explained during their mid-year update on the state's economy, that the newer data
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  •   Tricia Hansen has been promoted to assistant vice president, marketing department manager for Stockman Bank. She will oversee and manage the marketing department for Stockman Bank’s 32 locations. Her responsibilities include implementing the overall marketing strategies, public relations, sponsorships and advertising campaigns, and working directly with the Billings and Southwestern area markets.
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  • The remodeled and revamped "Granary" will open during the first week after Labor Day as "Bistecca at the Granary," under the ownership and management of Jim Bos and his son, Kevin. "Bistecca" means "steak" in Italian, which reflects the vision held by Jim and Kevin of continuing the operation of the landmark Billings restaurant as an Italian steak house, serving
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Land Board Announces Funds for Schools

The Montana Land Board holdings generated almost $120 million for Montana public schools over the past year.

The Board manages more than 5 million acres of land, and a slightly larger area in mineral rights. The board is run by the five statewide elected officials, including the governor, attorney general, state superintendent of schools, state treasurer and secretary.

 

The land is held in trust to fund schools in the state. Annual revenues have increased from about $80 million in 2004.

The Department of Natural Resources and Conservation said the holdings are now worth roughly $2.6 billion. It said the value of its agricultural land has been increasing in recent years.

About 8 percent of state school budgets come from the land trust.

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