• Bakken energy processing developer Quantum Energy, Inc. (OTC PINK: QEGY), in conjunction with its joint venture partner, Native Son Refining, LLC, announced the filing of a minor source air quality construction permit application today with the North Dakota Health Department, Division of Air Quality.Quantum Energy is the company whose officials visited Billings over a year ago seeking other potential locations
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  • The purported gender gap in wages is real, according to economist Barbara Wagner of the Bureau of Business and Economic Research. Several factors contribute to the gap which in Montana means women are paid about 33 cents less per dollar than men. But, the reason for about 40 percent of that gap is not identifiable and leads to the conclusion
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  • Total taxable property value in Yellowstone County is eleven percent higher than last year.The Montana Department of Revenue notified Yellowstone County that the certified taxable valuation of property in the county is $345 million.
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  • The Billings Chamber of Commerce was designated as the top Chamber of Commerce in its category in the United States, according to the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE). The Chamber of the Year designation puts the Billings Chamber on the map as the best chamber among some 7000 comparable chambers nationwide.
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  • Employment in Montana’s manufacturing sector has grown at a faster rate than national manufacturing employment during a five year period between 2009 and 2014, according to the latest annual report from Montana State University’s Montana Manufacturing Extension Center.From the second quarter of 2009 to the third quarter of 2014, Montana manufacturing employment grew by 8.6 percent, while national manufacturing employment
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  • The annual Northern Livestock Video Summertime Classic Sale, at the Public Auction Yards in Billings on July 20-22, was the biggest sale ever – selling over 100,000 of cattle with receipts in excess of a $150 million.Prices were generally good, reported Bill Cook, General Manager for Northern Livestock, “It was very favorable for the market that we have had —
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  • The Annual Petroleum Industry Appreciation Day Luncheon will be held at the Crown Plaza Hotel, in Billings, on September 2 at noon. The event is part of the Montana Petroleum Associations Annual Conference which will begin at the Crown Plaza on September 1.Keynote Speaker will be Don Hrap, President, Lower 48, ConocoPhillips. The public is invited to the luncheon which
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  • First Interstate BancSystem, Inc.’s Board of Directors approved the appointment of Kevin P. Riley as President and CEO, effective September 23. Riley will replace President and CEO Edward Garding, who is retiring after 44 years with First Interstate BancSystem.
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  • When it comes to brewing quality beer, Montana is very important to Anheuser-Busch. Montana is one of three states which the company greatly relies upon for the barley they use in making their well-known Budweiser beers.Depending on the year and what they need, Anheuser-Busch contracts with some 150 to 250 barley producers in the Golden Triangle Area of Montana –
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  • Others have discovered what Montanans have known all along – Montana leads the nation in entrepreneurship. On a per capita basis, Montana has more new start-up businesses than any other state.The Kaufmann Foundation and The New York Times recently proclaimed that Montana is “a hotbed of entrepreneurship,” because of its ranking in the Foundation’s annual analysis of start-up activity in
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  • Projections for Montana’s economy in 2015 are being revised slightly upward as economists take a mid-year look at the factors that impact economic growth. Growth is being projected to end near three percent, slightly higher than the 2.8 percent earlier predicted.Yellowstone County is also projected to finish the year on a stronger-than- expected note.
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  • Montana is a state rich in natural energy resources. The eastern part of the state has greatly benefitted from the American energy revolution reports the US Chamber of Commerce’s Energy Institute on its new webpage. The webpage — http://www.energyxxi.org/states/ — measures how states compare on energy, showing where each state ranks in energy production (Montana ranks 21st) and facts about how the
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Montana State University set an enrollment record this fall, with 12,764 students attending classes, MSU officials announced.

MSU has set enrollment records in three out of the last four years. The 2009 headcount is 395 more students than the previous record, set in 2008.

Significantly, the university has a record number of freshmen enrolled, 2,281. The previous record of 2,225 was set in 2005.

"A big freshman class is a vote of confidence. Both Montana residents and out-of-state students are choosing us," said MSU President Geoff Gamble.

A 20 percent increase in Native American freshmen helped set the record. The number of Native American freshmen rose from 54 students in 2008 to 65 students this fall. Overall, Native American enrollment is at a historic high of 377 students - a 79 percent increase since Gamble took office in 2000. Increasing Native American enrollment has been one of his primary objectives.

"All our students receive a great education here, with hands-on opportunities to do cutting-edge research or explore creative endeavors in the humanities - both preparing them well for their careers after college," Gamble said.

Not only is it MSU's largest entering freshman class, but on average, it is also the brightest.

The average ACT score of this fall's, full-time, entering freshman is 25.14. A common measure of a student's academic accomplishment in high school, the ACT scale is from 0 to 36.

This fall's full-time freshmen have an average ACT score 0.7 higher than the university's previous record holders, the entering class of 2008. Since 1998, the university has never seen a jump in ACT scores greater than 0.3 from class to class.

 

"This is remarkable. MSU is seeing an unprecedented jump in the quality of its entering, full-time freshman," said Allen Yarnell, vice president of student affairs.

Additionally, 58 entering freshmen scored in the 99th percentile on the ACT. One freshman had a perfect score. Together, they make up the largest group of top-scoring ACT students ever in an MSU freshman class.

"We have committed staff; we have superb faculty; and we prepare our students for great success. Quality students recognize that," Yarnell said.

Since 2006, MSU has been the only university in the five-state region of Montana, Wyoming, Idaho and North and South Dakota to meet the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching's criteria for the highest research classification. Since 2000, research funding earned by the university has grown 61 percent, from $61 million to $98.4 million in fiscal year 2009.

Last year, MSU's research directly provided $7.76 million in undergraduate and graduate salaries, benefits, scholarships and fellowships. Additionally, two MSU students won Goldwater Scholarships last year, the nation's premier scholarship for undergraduates studying math, natural sciences and engineering. MSU is ranked 11th nationally for Goldwater winners, just behind Yale and MIT.

"On top of all we have to offer academically, MSU students get to live in this beautiful setting that is the Rocky Mountains. That's part of our message and we believe it's being heard," Gamble said. "We are Trout U and the University of the Yellowstone. That's very appealing to students."

In the past six years, MSU has been ranked No. 1 in the country by Fly Rod & Reel magazine for undergrads angling for an education near trout streams; No. 5 in Outside magazine's "40 Best College Towns;" No. 4 ski town by Skiing magazine, and in the top 10 hunting and fishing universities by Outdoor Life magazine. Bozeman was named one of top three cities for an adventurer to start a family in the October 2009 issue of National Geographic Adventure.

MSU also has a good reputation among employers, which translates into opportunities for graduates, Gamble said.

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