• Red Oxx Manufacturing, Inc. and owners Jim Markel and Perry Jones are this year’s Montana Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year, named by the Montana Small Business Administration.Red Oxx was started in 1986 by Jim Markel’s veteran father, Jim Senior. A veteran himself Jim Senior had a passion for fitness and decided to create and sell unique gym workout accessories;
    Read More
  • In such a busy world it is easy to quickly note the Montana businesses which have been recognized with the SBA Small Business awards, and scan on by without giving more than a passing thought, but I would urge readers to take a second look and ponder a moment, that which we all take so very much for granted about
    Read More
  • Lena Wharton of Wharton Asphalt LLC in Billings named SBA’s 2016 Montana Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year.Wharton Asphalt is an asphalt construction and maintenance company based in Billings, specializing in services including patching pot-holes, sealing driveways, crack sealing, paving roadways, and all things in between. Wharton Asphalt also currently does work in Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Idaho and Utah.
    Read More
  • Golden Entertainment, Inc. has purchased substantially all of the assets of Amusement Services, LLC, owned by co-founder, Tim Carson, Billings.Amusement Services is one of the largest distributed gaming operators in the state of Montana and currently operates more than 1,800 gaming devices located in approximately 180 retail locations across the state, including five Native American locations with contracts that comprise
    Read More
  • County Commissioners have asked the Montana Department of Revenue to act more expediently on the CHS refinery’s tax protest and to more accurately set the county’s taxable valuable, so tax jurisdictions in the county can better budget.“This is big stuff,” said Kevan Bryan, County Finance Director, concerned that CHS is seeking more a of reduction than the county guesstimated and
    Read More
  • A team of researchers from universities around the world, including Montana State University have been studying the dialects in the howling behavior of wolves and other canid species.” A recent report from MSU concludes that howling wolves have dialects, one group from another, as well as across species.
    Read More
  • Montana Small Business Person of the Year is Greg Thayer, CEO of Great Falls-based Montana Milling, Inc. Two Billings businesses were also among the honorees announced by the Montana US Small Business Administration.Lena Wharton of Wharton Asphalt LLC in Billings has been recognized with the Montana Woman-Owned Small Business award; and Jim Markel and Perry Jones of Red Oxx Manufacturing,
    Read More
  • The Montana Supreme Court received a 60 percent rating in the sixth biennial review conducted by the Montana Chamber of Commerce. Focusing on its decisions on crucial business cases, the review saw “ just a slight drop from its 63% rating on the 2014 review but much higher than its 41% rating in 2012,” reported the Chamber.
    Read More
  • The Interior Department announced its plans to cancel a decades’ stalled oil and gas lease in the Badger Two Medicine region of Northwestern Montana. This decision followed a hearing [on March 16], wherein U.S. District Judge Richard Leon gave the Interior Department 24 hours to act.
    Read More
  • During a tour of campaign stops and press conferences in the Billings area, a couple weeks ago, Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Greg Gianforte focused on energy issues and the potential impact of the Clean Power Plan (CPP). He urged everyone to “stand united” with Colstrip as its future is threatened with the implementation of the CPP.
    Read More
  • Among Montana businesses that hang in the balance depending on the outcome of the legal issues and implementation of the Clean Power Plan is the Hardin Generating Station.Located near Hardin, the core of Big Horn County, the plant is the state’s cleanest coal-fired plant, generating 119 megawatts of electricity, under the management of Colorado Energy, LLC.
    Read More
  • Montana Chads at 3953 Montana Avenue will become the High Horse Saloon and Eatery under new ownership in April.Partners Reid Pyburn, Scotty Ugrin and Jim Kisling are purchasing the business from Ted Fink, who started the business ten years ago.
    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.

72°
22°
°F | °C
Cloudy
Humidity: 28%
7 mph
Thu
Mostly Cloudy
54 | 84
12 | 28
Fri
Cloudy
54 | 67
12 | 19

Market Update

1 DOW 17,660.71
+9.45 (0.05%)    
2 S&P 2,050.63
-0.49 (-0.02%)    
3 NASDAQ 4,717.09
-8.54 (-0.18%)    
4 MDU 20.57
-0.03 (-0.15%)    
5 SWC 10.38
-0.29 (-2.72%)    
6 EBMT 13.07
-0.15 (-1.13%)    
7 FIBK 26.58
-0.21 (-0.78%)    
8 GBCI 24.98
-0.16 (-0.64%)