Burger maker settles for nothing but the best

By TYLER BARTON/Montana State News

It’s the end of a busy day. Jonathan Heap is wearing a black chef’s coat, still greasy from the day’s service. A bandana is tied around his forehead to keep the sweat out of his eyes. Athlene Heap is wearing a white coat, along with a tidy chef’s cap. Both are cleaning up after a hard day’s work, scrubbing grills and scouring dishes. The kitchen still sizzles with the residual heat of cooking, signaling only hotter days to come as the summer approaches.

There is not much room to maneuver inside the kitchen. It is, after all, only a school bus that has been refit with cabinets, drawers, grills, and more. Jonathan’s head nearly touches the ceiling as he stands over the stove, cleaning away.

They are tired but satisfied.

Jonathan and Athlene, a married couple and owners of the Heap Burger, have one mission: to make the finest burgers in Bozeman.

The Heap Burger bus is hard to miss. If you’re driving down Oak Street, you can spot it with even the most casual northward glance, resting in the Kenyon Noble parking lot where it permanently resides. It’s big, bold, and unmistakably bright red—a school bus repainted and repurposed into a restaurant. Continue reading “Burger maker settles for nothing but the best”

Anger at United Airlines misplaced

By TYLER BARTON/Montana State News

David Dao, a paid passenger of United Airlines Flight 3411, screamed and struggled as he was forcibly pulled from his seat by security officers recently. Dao sustained considerable injuries, including a significant concussion, two broken front teeth, a badly broken nose, and injury to the sinuses.

David Dao, a 69-year-old Vietnamese doctor, said he was on his way to see patients the next morning. It did not matter. Security officers boarded the plane, and forcibly removed Dao. The company later accused him of being “belligerent and disruptive.”

But here’s the catch: The whole incident was caught on video by a nearby passenger. The footage clearly shows Dao remaining calm until the moments of the violent altercation.

The video was uploaded to Twitter the same day, with the caption reading:

@United overbook #flight3411 and decided to force random passengers off the plane. Here’s how they did it:”

The video quickly went viral, gaining headlines in the mainstream news and being shared around the world. And people got angry. Continue reading “Anger at United Airlines misplaced”

Paulie’s Hot Dogs “The Wurst Best Place”

By VIRGINIA HOLST/Montana State News

When one is driving from the Montana State University campus to downtown Bozeman, it is highly likely that they will take Eighth Street until it ends at the intersection with Main Street. Look straight next time you come to this intersection and directly across Main Street, a red, lit sign will stand out that says, “Paulie’s Hot Dogs.”

Paulie’s is one of a kind. Started by Paul Tarantino, the same guy who started Tarantino’s, it is unique to Bozeman, according to Jake Rothling, one of Paulie’s employees.

“It’s awesome to work at Paulie’s because everyone is super laid back, friendly and happy to be here. The food is good too, so that’s cool,” Jacob Jensen said, an employee at Paulie’s. “I also like how many interesting customers we get.”

Some might say, “why go out for hot dogs?” But Paulie’s is changing the way some people think about this American “staple” food. Continue reading “Paulie’s Hot Dogs “The Wurst Best Place””

Local mall exception to grim national trend

By CULLAN STAACK/ Montana State News

Shopping malls are losing some of their most valuable tenants—department stores—at an alarming rate. Retailers like Sears, JCPenney and Macy’s have been closing hundreds of locations over the last several years, leaving dead or dying shopping malls in their wake as they try to remain profitable amid the growing threat of e-commerce.

The slow death of the American shopping mall is not evenly distributed. A disproportionate number of recent high profile store closure announcements have been in communities that are already struggling, according to Conor Sen, a Bloomberg View columnist and portfolio manager for New River Investments. Bozeman does not fit the profile of a struggling community, and as a result, the Gallatin Valley Mall is not currently exhibiting any signs of future foreclosures. Continue reading “Local mall exception to grim national trend”

Big Sky bar entertains locals in off season

By CHELSEA ANDERSON/Montana State News

The Gallatin Riverhouse Grill in Big Sky is hosting its fourth semiannual series of free bingo nights for this upcoming spring off-season.

Twice a year, Montana’s bustling Big Sky Resort closes down for five weeks and transforms the ski destination from a town filled with ski bums and mountain bikers into a quiet, sleepy borough.

When the time comes for the resort to close for the season and the tourist inflow slows to a halt, Big Sky’s population falls drastically. As a result of stagnant business, several stores and restaurants close down for the slow five weeks until the resort re-opens and the tourism picks back up.

While the town is bereft of tourists for those five weeks, the locals remain, and a handful of businesses stay open to service the year-round residents. One such business, the Gallatin Riverhouse Grill, will stay open for the whole off-season to serve the local population. Continue reading “Big Sky bar entertains locals in off season”

Mystery Ranch develops paratrooper backpack

By TYLER BARTON/Montana State News

For decades, technology for parachute deployment has remained relatively stagnant. However, thanks to the efforts of local backpack manufacturer Mystery Ranch, that has changed. In March, Mystery Ranch released a new line of high-altitude jump packs that significantly reduce the baggage on military parachutists.

Mystery Ranch employee Liz O’Brien said, “The design for jump packs hasn’t changed much since Vietnam. This is the first major shift since then.”

With the inclusion of several carefully placed loops, Mystery Ranch’s efficient new design supplants the need for additional equipment that ensures lines connecting the chute deploy properly.

The new design will make U.S. military parachutist operations smoother and will free up space for mission-critical items.

Though the U.S. military has contracted Mystery Ranch packs for over a decade, beginning with Navy SEAL prototypes in 2004, they produce a variety of backpack styles for many different situations, including mountaineering, climbing, hunting, everyday use, and even heat-resistant packs designed especially for firefighters. Continue reading “Mystery Ranch develops paratrooper backpack”

Computer-generated news on the increase


Algorithms are quickly taking the place of traditional human journalists in many news sources across the industry.

According to a case study done by Automated Insights, an industry leader in producing algorithms for news organizations, the Associated Press is now generating quarterly earnings reports at twelve times the rate previously achieved without employing the use of algorithmic journalists.

The same report states that AP generated only 300 earnings reports per quarter before utilizing the new computer generating journalist bot. After using this new technology, AP started generating 3,700 earnings reports each quarter using the new software developed by Automated Insights called Wordsmith.

Wordsmith, along with similar products produced by competitors such as Narrative Science, are algorithms that scan massive amounts of communication on a given subject to replicate human language within the context required. Continue reading “Computer-generated news on the increase”

Reactions mixed to MSU beer-branding proposal

By JARED MILLER/Montana State News

A new proposal to brand local microbrews with Montana State University on local has caused controversy and mixed feelings throughout campus.

Recently, the idea to permit the school to put its logos and trademarks on various alcoholic beverages has been suggested.

If the proposal passes, the university would have to change its standing policy of prohibiting the use of school trademarks on firearms, tobacco, recreational drugs, and alcoholic beverages, according to MSU’s website.

The proposal has caused mixed feelings among students and community members alike. While several view the potential policy change as associating the school with alcohol in a negative way, some don’t see any issue. Continue reading “Reactions mixed to MSU beer-branding proposal”

Workforce housing efforts considered in Big Sky

By MICHELLE BURGER/Montana State News

A brand new housing opportunity for the workforce in Big Sky may just be the answer to the employee-housing crisis.

The new proposal, Penny for Housing, conquers employee-housing head on. This new bill outlines three major options Big Sky could go with in order to succeed, according to the Chamber of Commerce in Big Sky.

The first, allocating a sum of money every year from the 3 percent resort tax to pay for the new housing, is already in the works.

Second, a single lump sum of the funds goes directly to the new housing project.

Third, raising the resort tax to 4 percent and allowing 1 percent to go towards employee housing every year.

As information on this proposal arises, there are some who wish to stop it right away. Businesses already having to pay with the 3 percent resort tax are against the tax increase of 1 percent. Continue reading “Workforce housing efforts considered in Big Sky”

Demand drives up liquor license prices

By EMMA HAMBURG/Montana State News

 The cost of liquor licenses have skyrocketed in the last five years, prices have averaged anywhere from $320,000 to $800,000 in Bozeman city limits.

According to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, the growth in Bozeman, increasing demand, and low supply of licenses is creating a secondary market for buying and selling license.

 In light of recent issues, multiple conversations have taken place regarding liquor distribution in the Gallatin County.

Obtaining a license is becoming increasingly difficult, especially for those looking to start a business on a smaller budget. In comparison, according to the Idaho Press, a liquor licenses in Boise, Idaho on average goes for $140,000.

A recent remodel of a historical downtown building, The Taproom on the corner of Rouse and Mendenhall, has again brought attention to the licensing scene in Bozeman. Continue reading “Demand drives up liquor license prices”

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