• George A Warmer, CCIM, Managing Partner, Coldwell Banker Commercial CBS, Billings, has been awarded the Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) designation by the CCIM Institute. The designation was awarded during the Institute’s Annual Governance meetings Oct. 29 in Austin, Texas. Warmer was among the 244 commercial real estate professionals who earned the designation by passing the CCIM Institute’s Comprehensive Examination,
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  • When shopping for Christmas, check out local businesses first. Encouraging community support of local businesses is the purpose of “Small Business Saturday”, November 28 in Billings. It’s the time for local Billings businesses to shine!Each year the Billings Chamber of Commerce invites small and local businesses to participate in the Small Business Saturday program and rally communities to support local entrepreneurs.
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  • It was called a “jewel for Yellowstone County” when it was first announced that the Sindelar family is donating 720 acres along the Yellowstone River for public use. And, as one stands on a precipice, rising a hundred feet over the river, gazing across the property, the landscape does seem ethereal, and the river does sparkle like a diamond. Looking
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  • Montana’s new school choice program is scheduled to launch in January, but already it’s running into constitutional problems. Proposed regulations don’t allow faith-based schools to participate in the program, which is discriminatory and unconstitutional, one attorney says.Potential regulations for Montana’s new school choice program would unconstitutionally ban religious schools from participating, an attorney says.“They’re interpreting their own constitution to require
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  • Almost immediately after the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan was posted on the federal register, dozens of states filed a lawsuit challenging the regulations.But North Dakota didn’t join those other states as co-plaintiffs. Instead Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, a Republican who is expected to run for governor in 2016, filed a separate suit against the federal government.The Clean Power Plan
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  •   To open a medical school in the state without first identifying where students can find residency positions is not a plan that he’s “comfortable” with, said Nicholas Wolter, MD, CEO of Billings Clinic, in talking with board members of Big Sky Economic Development.And, to establish a medical school in Montana that the Billings medical community doesn’t support, “with the
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  • Jerry Brown, Governor of California, declared that California was burning because of climate change, and, he said, “We can’t wait for the government to act.”How profoundly perceptive. He has nailed it. Unfortunately, (and this is a head scratcher) he made the statement while at the same time appealing to government for help.If, indeed, the climate changes in ways that are
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  • Wood’s Powr-Grip in Laurel is in the process of moving into a new addition – one that will allow the company to expand to meet a growing market. The company manufactures and distributes vacuum lifting equipment, to markets around the world.“We are fortunate to see sales back on an upward trajectory and we want to make sure we position ourselves
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  • A family business is about hard work and dreams.The family businesses which were honored at the Montana State University Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship Family Business Day were families who know about the hard work and have been successful in achieving those dreams. And, they are on their way to achieving even greater dreams – and embracing more
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  • Three Billings civic organizations are taking steps to expand air service at the Billings airport, by offering to subsidize service from American Airlines for flights to and from Dallas, Texas.Last week, the Big Sky Economic Development Authority’s executive committee voted to recommend that their board commit $25,000 toward a goal of $750,000 in commitments from the community as a source
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  • A Bozeman- based company with locations in Billings, Big Sky, Sidney, Ralston WY; Williston ND, and Dickinson ND, received special recognition at the Montana State University Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship during their Family Business Day awards presentation in Bozeman on October 23.Williams Companies of Bozeman, a business that provides leading-edge plumbing services to the region is the
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  • One of Montana’s outstanding startup businesses came close to being shut down by proposed legislation earlier this year. Fortunately, the bill was “tabled,” and the Garrity family – and independent, family breweries across the state — were able to move forward with their dreams.Michael Garrity has a passion for making beer. He and his wife, Erin, began to dream of
    Read More

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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