STEVENSVILLE – Bob Gieseke has joined Rocky Mountain bank as the new manager of the Stevensville branch.
Gieseke, originally from Litchfield, Minn., is a graduate of Montana State University with a degree in business marketing and management. As a resident of Corvallis the past five years, he has been involved in the community as past-president of Bitterroot Valley Kiwanis, a board member of United Way of Ravalli County and a Relay for Life team leader.
He has a background in commercial real estate sales and development and has been a commercial banker in Hamilton since 2008.
In addition, Rocky Mountain Bank promoted Jeff Fuller to vice president, retail sales manager.
Mr. Fuller joined Rocky Mountain Bank as vice president and business development officer in 2007 in the Stevensville office. His new responsibilities include leadership, sales management and business development for all 10 offices and communities that the bank serves.
Last Updated on Thursday, 21 March 2013 15:10
HELENA – The Colstrip coal plant is the subject of a federal lawsuit filed this month. The Montana Environmental Information Center (MEIC) and Sierra Club filed the case, alleging the plant emits too much pollution and requesting fines of more than $37,000 a day. The case is based on the federal Clean Air Act.
Anne Hedges, MEIC program director, said the pollution is not new. She explained that when modifications are made to older plants, they are supposed to be upgraded for better pollution control and go through a permitting process.
“This is a case we have been investigating for years,” she said, “finding that all four units at the facility have been modified in a way that required them to go through a permitting process, and they did not do so.”
The owners of Colstrip have stated that changes at the plant were routine maintenance, and therefore it was not required to be upgraded for pollution control under the Clean Air Act.
According to Hedges, the intent of requiring pollution controls is not only to protect public health, but also to even the playing field with newer coal plants that have to, by law, install pollution controls.
Last Updated on Thursday, 21 March 2013 15:04
Whether a traditional Cheyenne courting flute or a bamboo fly-rod, the work created by the most recently endorsed Montana Circle of American Masters reflects its Montana connections and helps to deepen an awareness of what it means to be Montanan.
In December, the Montana Arts Council added to its distinguished roll of Montana’s Circle of American Masters (MCAM) in the Visual Folk and Traditional Arts by endorsing a bamboo fly-rod maker, a leather artist, a creator of traditional Cheyenne flutes, a Crow beadworker, and a bowyer. These five artists join the roll call of other Montana folk and traditional artists whom the program has honored.
Jay Old Mouse, of Lame Deer, is considered by the Northern Cheyenne people to be the designated keeper and maker of the Cheyenne courting flute. The Cheyenne courting flute was handed down to him through the lineage of known keepers, from Turkey Legs in the late 1800s, to Grover Wolf Voice, then to his grandfather Black Bear and now to Old Mouse. The honor and the flute-making skills were bestowed on him when he was in his early 20s by his grandfather with a long list of cultural protocols to follow.
Old Mouse was a certified carpenter at the time he became the keeper and to this day, he uses the historical methods and protocols in making and playing the flute. The courting flute was originally used by a male suitor to attract a mate. It is also used in prayer, as a source of social entertainment, to honor individuals at events like funerals and birthdays, and as a tool to alleviate suffering. Old Mouse follows his grandfather’s teachings and plays when asked at funerals, graduations, in schools, in church and at weddings.
Because of his commitment to the protocols handed down to him and to providing comfort to his community through his performances, Old Mouse is highly regarded in his community. He is also concerned about teaching both natives and non-natives about the significance of the Cheyenne courting flute.
Last Updated on Saturday, 16 March 2013 16:09
RiverStone Health and Unified Health Command partners Billings Clinic and St. Vincent Healthcare are seeing a decline in the number of reported influenza cases in recent weeks and have lifted visitor restrictions in hospitals; however, restrictions in the neo-natal intensive care units (NICU) remain in place.
Restrictions were implemented after the first of the year as part of a community effort to prevent and control the spread of respiratory disease.
“While it’s too early to say definitively that the influenza season has peaked, we have noticed a significant decline in reported influenza cases in recent weeks. Because of this decline, we have lifted visitor restrictions in hospitals,” said John Felton, Yellowstone County Health Officer and RiverStone Health president and chief executive officer. “This year’s influenza season has out-paced last year’s with more than 750 reported cases of influenza compared to last year’s total 119 reported cases.”
Visitors under the age of 18 years will now be permitted in hospitals. However, it is always a good idea to refrain from visiting individuals in healthcare facilities when visitors are experiencing symptoms and signs of illness.
Last Updated on Thursday, 14 March 2013 15:43
This question came from Ed in Billings during a recent AARP Driver Safety course:
Q: My 83-year-old father and I have an ongoing “friendly feud” about whether or not we should be changing our oil every 3,000 miles. Do you have any info that can help settle this once and for all?
A: Many widespread beliefs about safe driving rules are tried and true, such as buckle up, always come to a complete stop and use your turn signal. But some of the best driving practices are trickier. For example, how often do you need to change your oil? Is it really every 3,000 miles as many of us have been told time and time again?
Over the years, technological advances, crash simulators and expert analysis have debunked many common driving myths. However, many of us are still operating under the assumptions we learned when we first got behind the wheel.
AARP Driver Safety sheds light on three common driving myths and mistakes, to help you stay safe on the road – and save on unnecessary expenses.
• Myth 1: Change your oil every 3,000 miles. While vehicle maintenance is critical to driver safety, you no longer need to change your oil diligently at the 3,000-mile mark.
Modern engines and synthetic motor oils have changed the frequency with which you need to change your oil. Most cars need a change between 5,000 and 10,000 miles. Check your owner’s manual to determine how long your vehicle should go between changes.
• Myth 2: Warm up your car before driving. When the weather outside is frightful, many of us crank on our car engines for a few minutes before getting on the road.
Although it may make the interior of your car nice and toasty, “warming up” your car in winter has no technical benefits. According to the Discovery Channel, modern vehicles are equipped to start in cold temperatures, and idling for less than a minute before driving is sufficient. Idling for longer wastes fuel and can cause unnecessary wear and tear on your engine.
• Myth 3: Fill up with premium every once in a while. While most of us stick to unleaded fuel, some may believe that it is a good idea to fill up your tank with a higher octane fuel every now and then because it is cleaner and will make your car run more smoothly. But thanks to mechanical advancements, using high octane fuel is an unnecessary expense for most modern vehicles. Engines run based on the controlled explosion of gasoline and, back in the day, gasoline would occasionally explode at the wrong time. According to the Discovery Channel, this caused the car to have poor timing and run irregularly.
Higher octane fuel was invented to overcome this problem, but modern cars have gone a step further. Nowadays, a knock sensor prevents gasoline from combusting at the wrong time, so depending on your vehicle’s make and model, you may no longer need to fill up with more expensive fuel ... ever!
Myth 4: Red cars get more speeding tickets. There are many rumors about car color and its effect on things like car accidents and speeding tickets. For example, black cars are thought to be more likely to be involved in accidents at night because they are harder to see, and drivers with red cars supposedly get pulled over more often than others — perhaps because they are more eye-catching or because the color incites speeding. According to a study by Snopes.com, drivers of gray cars actually garnered more speeding tickets than other vehicle colors. White cars received fewer speeding tickets than they should have based on vehicle population, and red cars received no more speeding tickets than any other group.
For more tips on how to stay safe on the road, consider taking a driver improvement course, such as the AARP Driver Safety course, available in a classroom or online. In Montana you are eligible for an insurance discount upon completion of the course.
For more information, visit www.aarp.org/safedriving or call 1-888-AARP-NOW (1-888-227-7669).
Last Updated on Thursday, 14 March 2013 15:42
The Montana Department of Revenue provides assistance on individual income tax matters through its Internet website, call center, and statewide local offices. But did you know that they also have an income tax specialist who will offer state side training for the volunteers that enter tax returns?
Brian Olsen has been traveling the state of Montana for eight years, meeting with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) folks and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) to train the volunteers who assist the primarily elderly and/or lower income citizens of Montana with their tax returns.
In addition to training the volunteers on tax preparation, Mr. Olsen also meets with paid tax preparers and accountants to go over law changes, rule changes and any recent legal decisions.
He typically trains in Helena, Billings, Butte, Missoula, Great Falls, Kalispell, and Bozeman, but has been known to make a side trip to a smaller area if he happens to be nearby, such as stopping in Stevensville after providing training in Missoula.
When asked why he performs this onsite training, he said, “I like that it brings questions to us that the tax preparers see. The face-to-face interaction is great!”
Last Updated on Thursday, 14 March 2013 15:40
(StatePoint) Selling a home in today’s aggressive marketplace can be challenging. The good news is there are a few tweaks that can give homeowners a serious leg up on the competition.
With the warmer months being the most active time of year to buy and sell real estate, it’s important to ensure your home is seen in the best light possible.
“Despite the influx of homes for sale this season, the process of buying and selling a home can be simple, efficient and enjoyable,” says Wendy Froehlich of Homes.com, one of the nation’s top online real estate listing and lifestyle resources.
According to Homes.com, the top five projects that improve home equity are:
• Bathrooms: If adding an additional bathroom isn‘t an option, upgrade existing ones.
Last Updated on Thursday, 28 February 2013 18:10
(StatePoint) Whether you’re making a fast trip to the store or leaving on a two-week vacation, are you confident that locking your doors is enough to keep your home safe and secure?
You can go a step further by investing in impact-resistant laminate glass in your windows, according to experts. Engineered to deter forced entry by intruders, these energy-efficient windows also resist high winds and flying debris during severe storms and reduce unwanted outside noise from entering your home.
Similar in design to impact-resistant glass found in code-driven coastal area homes, special laminated glass known as SafePoint glass offers extra protection for homes, 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
“This glass is designed to help make a home a safe haven,” says Ken Kubus of Simonton Windows. “In addition to helping protect the home, laminated glass provides excellent energy efficiency and serves as a barrier against heat transfer. It also plays a role in lowering heating and cooling costs while keeping interiors comfortable. And it screens out much of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays that can damage carpets, furnishings and artwork.”
There are several other things homeowners can do to help keep their families safe at home — especially when it comes to windows:
Last Updated on Thursday, 28 February 2013 18:09
The 37th annual MATE Show and Home & Health Expo will kick off on Thursday, Feb. 14, at MetraPark in Billings and run through Saturday, Feb. 16.
Doors are open each day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., except for Saturday when the show closes at 5 p.m. More than 350 exhibitors will be displaying their products in over 700 booths covering over 100,000 square feet, making it the largest show of this kind in Montana.
The MATE Show is the flagship component of the event. It features the latest farming and ranching equipment, products and services.
This year’s featured product will be the UTV or “Side-by-Side.” Demonstrations from a variety of vendors selling UTV’s will offer brief demonstrations on their respective products.
Other added events include the Bull Pen Preview presented by Northern Ag Network and KGHL Radio as well as the MATE Theater with a variety of educational classes eligible for applicator certification.
Last Updated on Thursday, 14 February 2013 19:51
CPR Saturday will offer free CPR training classes on Feb. 16 at the Exhibit Hall (arena floor level) at MetraPark.
CPR training classes will be offered throughout the day between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. Certification courses will be offered at 8:30 a.m. and 12 p.m. for a $40 fee.
CPR is an emergency lifesaving procedure used to revive someone who has stopped breathing or whose heart has ceased functioning. CPR uses heart massage and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to get the heart or lungs working again.
Between 75 percent to 80 percent of all sudden cardiac arrests happen at home, so being trained to perform CPR can mean the difference between life and death for a loved one.
• Sudden cardiac arrest results in the deaths of more than 650 adults and children each day in the United States.
Last Updated on Thursday, 14 February 2013 19:50