City scrambles to head off tree-killing beetle

By ABRAHAM FEIGENBAUM/Montana State News

On Wednesday night a town hall meeting addressed the outbreak of the emerald ash borer, a green tree-eating beetle that is slowly making its way across the country, approaching Montana.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the nearest signs of emerald ash borer to Bozeman are present in northern Colorado, while the bulk of the outbreak of beetles is in the Midwest.

Scott Makoutz, owner of Gallatin Tree Care and member of the Bozeman Tree Board, delivered a presentation on the impending threats to Bozeman’s urban forest, while outlining his plan to hire a full-time urban forester who would spearhead a community powered tree-planting campaign.

According to Makoutz, it is necessary to begin diversifying our trees now before the disease gets here.  Diversifying the tree population in the Bozeman area, where Ash trees are very popular, is the best way to defend against the little, green tree-killing beetles. Continue reading “City scrambles to head off tree-killing beetle”

Student objections delay conduct code vote

By NICOLE DUGGAN/Montana State News

The MSU University Council vote to approve the updated student code of conduct was pushed back on Wednesday, as University administrators decided to extend the public comment period on the document.

Leslie Taylor, MSU legal counsel, said that she and Dean of Students Matt Caires made the decision to extend the comment period after hearing many “strong opinions” from students about the proposed changes to the code. The pair have been meeting with many student groups on campus, including ASMSU and representatives from Residence Life, and have been hearing  “good feedback” from the students, she said. Continue reading “Student objections delay conduct code vote”

Outages hit west side of town twice

By DAVID CRAWFORD/ Montana State News

The west side of Bozeman was plunged into darkness twice over a recent weekend when a series of equipment failures plagued NorthWest Energy. Though inconvenient for those affected, no harm was reported due to the outages.

Jena Mathers, 26, a resident of the area thought it was like any other power outage. “I went to go reset my breaker. Then when the power didn’t come back on I started to worry, so I called NorthWestern Energy and the hold times were up to 30 minutes.  I just decided to sit by candlelight and chat with my roommate.”

Cole Schram, a supervisor at Costco, said, “We were worried about the customers; as soon as the lights went out, we got out flash lights and started escorting the customers to the registers.  Fortunately, 95 percent of the people were still able to make their purchases and there was no sense of real panic.” Continue reading “Outages hit west side of town twice”

Opinion split over campus gun bill

By JEREMY GOULD/Montana State News

A bill to allow students to carry concealed firearms on Montana college campuses is facing dissent from both students and government officials.

“Statistically, firearms in a dorm are more likely to result in suicide than hypothetical situations,” said Kevin McRae, deputy commissioner of higher education, referring to events like mass shootings. He sees a “peculiar double standard” in the Legislature outlawing firearms in state buildings but working to approve them on college campuses.

“Common sense dictates that guns and college campuses do not mix,” said Gov. Steve Bullock after vetoing a similar bill in 2013.

Students have also expressed their distaste for the bill.

“With more guns come more problems,” said Montana State University student Isaac Miller on Wednesday. “I can’t see any way that would help things,” Continue reading “Opinion split over campus gun bill”

Change in tip policy riles service workers

By LAUREN SHUN/Montana State News

A new tip policy adopted recently by the food service on the Montana State University campus, is creating a division between some employees and managers.

The new tip policy gathers the tips at the end of each business day, taxes them, and distributes the tips monthly among employees depending upon the amount of hours they worked.

This new system, although legal, is seen as unfair to some employees. The distribution of tips depending upon the amount of hours worked takes money away from others who work harder at customer service. Now that employees do not get tips daily, the motivation to provide good customer service could be affected. Continue reading “Change in tip policy riles service workers”

Lack of snow frustrates locals

By ERIC JOONDEPH/Montana State News

This winter has been tough financially for many businesses in and around the Gallatin Valley due to the lack of snowfall. The beautiful sunshine, a spectacular sight Bozeman doesn’t normally see in the wintery months, has left many of its residents wondering if the ski season is dripping away.

“It’s on everyone’s mind. It’s just a matter of staying positive, everything tends to work out,” said Andy Haynes, a sales associate at Roundhouse Ski and Sports.

The last storm that swept through the state left some cities with 10 inches of snow or more yet left Bozeman with nothing. Continue reading “Lack of snow frustrates locals”

Guns-on-campus proposal advances

By IAN THOMPSON/Montana State News

A bill that would stop the state Board of Regents from barring students from carrying firearms on campus was narrowly passed by the state Senate Thursday on a 25-24 vote.

Opinions on Senate Bill 143 are sharply divided.

“It should be up to the university to decide but, personally, I think it would turn into trouble in the dorms if people were carrying firearms,” said Montana State University graduate Dan Hurst. “I think it should be treated just like any business.”

Current Montana State student Alex Reynes said, “I’m for it. People who think of carrying out a school shooting may think twice.” Continue reading “Guns-on-campus proposal advances”

Streamline marks 2 millionth rider

By ERIN MURDOCK/Montana State News

The Streamline Bus Service celebrated its 2 millionth rider on Feb. 3. Providing free public transportation, the Streamline has become a widely used resource for Bozeman residents.

The Streamline, which began in 2006 through the Human Resource Development Center (HRDC), serves the greater Bozeman area. Five different routes run during the week as well as a Saturday schedule and a late-night downtown schedule that runs Thursday through Sunday evenings.

Associated Students of Montana State University (ASMSU) Latenight Streamline Director EJ Hanson said that bus drivers track the number of Streamline riders using a tablet to record each individual that enters their bus. As the number of patrons grew closer to 2 million, Hanson and others began to plan for the celebration of the 2 millionth rider. Continue reading “Streamline marks 2 millionth rider”

MSU students’ satellites launched

By RYLEY WALKER/Montana State News

Two satellites built in part by Montana State University students rode into orbit on a Delta II rocket from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Jan. 30.

David Klumpar, director of MSU’s Space Science Engineering Laboratory, said that the most important job for the satellites is, “gathering more information about the loss of electrons from the Van Allen Radiation Belts… Radiation in space affects Earth in a variety of ways, including interference with communication systems and power grids.”

MSU students built the satellites along with University of New Hampshire students and in collaboration with NASA.

Klumpar also said, “The opportunity our MSU students have to design and build sophisticated space flight hardware, get it launched on a NASA mission, and then actually operate their own satellite once it’s in space adds an incredibly important element to their education not available at most universities.”  Continue reading “MSU students’ satellites launched”

Call goes out for actors for spring productions

By PETER HOAG/Montana State News

Six Montana State University student films are calling for students to come and audition starting Feb 4. and continuing through Feb. 15. The 10-minute films are produced as part of a course offered by the MSU School of Film and Photography, and are considered to be the culmination of the students’ time in the program.

The six separate auditions start Feb. 4 at 7 p.m. for the film “Encore!” directed by Eric Tuten. The last audition takes place Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. for “Sugar & Spice,” directed by Stormy DuBois.

The fiction films vary in genres and subjects, with lead, supporting, and background parts available. Films range from a story of the legendary pirate Anne Bonny and her female lover Mary Read, to a musical of a young man who can only sing. Continue reading “Call goes out for actors for spring productions”

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