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BOZEMAN — Montana Shakespeare in the Parks will perform William Shakespeare’s “Richard III” and “The Comedy of Errors” during its upcoming summer tour of 61 communities throughout Montana, northern Wyoming, eastern Idaho, western North Dakota and eastern Washington.
 
The company features 10 professional actors selected from national auditions who tour without technical assistance to bring live theatre to mostly rural communities. This summer, 66 percent of the communities reached by the troupe have populations of 5,000 or fewer.
 
“We are very much looking forward to producing both plays this summer,” said Kevin Asselin, executive artistic director. “This will be the first time in MSIP’s 44-year history that we’ll bring “Richard III” to our stage. “Richard” will fit right into what is already an active political year, reminding us how Shakespeare stays relevant even 400 years after his death.  We are also excited to announce that this season will be dedicated to all of our hard working and dedicated tour coordinators from across the region!”

US EPA says Montana city now meeting air pollution standards

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is reversing a 2013 finding that Montana's largest city was out of compliance with air pollution standards, saying that the closure of a coal-burning power plant has eased the problem....

School, football coach deny negligence in player's injury

HELENA, Mont. (AP) -- The Belt High football coach and the school district are denying any negligence in the injuries that left a 16-year-old football player a quadriplegic who cannot speak or care for himself....

NTSB: pilot's inability to fly in clouds caused crash

SEATTLE (AP) -- Federal investigators say a small airplane that crashed into Washington's Cascade Mountains last July was caused by the pilot's decision to fly during bad weather despite knowing that he was not trained to fly in the clouds....

Brine spills from oil development in western North Dakota are releasing toxins into soils and waterways, sometimes at levels exceeding federal water quality standards, scientists reported Wednesday.

Samples taken from surface waters affected by waste spills in recent years in the state's Bakken oilfield region turned up high levels of lead, ammonium, selenium and other contaminants, Duke University researchers said. Additionally, they found that some spills had tainted land with radium, a radioactive element.

HELENA, Mont. – On May 2-3, 2016, Governor Steve Bullock and the Equal Pay Task Force will host the Third Annual Equal Pay Summit at Montana State University in Bozeman.

“When Montana women succeed, Montana working families succeed. And when Montana working families succeed, our state prospers and our economy grows,” said Governor Bullock. “We know that closing the wage gap in Montana will not happen overnight – but thanks to the efforts of the Equal Pay Task Force and events like the Equal Pay Summit, we are taking active strides towards closing the gap once and for all.”

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Former Montana Sen. Conrad Burns, a former cattle auctioneer whose folksy demeanor and political acumen earned him three terms and the bitter disdain of his opponents, died Thursday. He was 81.

Burns died of natural causes at his home in Billings, Montana Republican Party Executive Director Jeff Essmann said.

"He was a colorful figure who loved people, politics and to serve," Essmann said. "He brought a common-man, common-sense approach to his work in the Senate and returned to his home in Billings when his work was done."

Lions International is back in Lewistown.  The recent announcement brought district governor Richard Gessling to help recruit members.

A good way to end the school year with high school students and Main street businesses working together for community improvements.

Fergus High School’s Yell Club is sponsoring a rural communities assistance project while practicing leadership skills.     

BILLINGS – Female inmates at the Montana Women’s Prison (MWP) spent the last week of April painstakingly sowing approximately 25,000 sagebrush seeds as part of a project to restore sagebrush habitat to benefit Montana’s greater sage grouse population.

The prison’s sagebrush project is a combined effort that involves the prison and staff from the Institute for Applied Ecology (IAE) in Corvallis, Oregon, and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM).  Level 3 master gardener and prison volunteer Sharon Wetsch directed the planting and will oversee daily care of the sagebrush seedlings through the fall.  

Weather has delayed the start of some activities on the Lewistown West Overpass project.  Century’s crews will continue to stage materials for installation, and mobilize equipment in anticipation of construction activities starting back up on May 2nd, 2016.  Initial work will be as described before.  Clearing of vegetation, topsoil, and earthwork operations will commence on the west end of the project adjacent to the overpass.  Crews will also be working off the road at the junction of MT Highway 87 and Airport Road.  Please use caution while driving through these areas.

There’s an active Lewistown group searching for perons with and without experience in small businsess.

Stephen Taylor with Heart of Montana Venture Network is promoting the network’s next quarterly meeting to be held the evening of May 3 at Brooks Market.

Their goal is to develop a thriving community.

The weather has cooled with  rain and snow but Cheri Kilby, Director for Fergus County Disaster and Emergency Service, is warning the public to be prepared for the unexpected.

A Spring Bash Field Day at Fergus High School is coming up in mid-May.  The sponsor is the Yell Group offering an afternoon of fun for the entire family in honor of their home town.  Siri Pederson and Abigail Gatz are uring young and old to get involved.

The Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) wants to honor Montana Centenarians this fall at the 48th annual Governor’s Conference on Aging slated for September 13-15 in Billings at the Billings Hotel and Convention Center.

DPHHS is requesting names to be submitted of Montanans who will turn age 100 or older by the end of the year. The Centenarians will be honored at a noon luncheon on Tuesday, September 13.

News Release from Lions Club:

On April 27 and 28 the Lions from District 37--which is the entire state of Montana--will have dedicated lions from around the state in Lewistown to meet the community and launch a new club.  Lions has already been a strong and resourceful contributor to the community and according to Gus Johnson and Mike Schmit, who were both former members, served many areas including eye glasses and exams for the needy in the community, leader dogs of the blind, installation of the Christmas lights downtown, food booth fundraisers, built and maintained a warming hut at the park rink that also serves as a Lions picnic shelter, and much, much more. Some of these projects have been taken up by other groups but many haven’t and there is a definite need.    

Expansion of the city operated cemetery was the Committee of the Whole topic at Monday night’s City Commission meeting.

It’s spring and crews are preparing the area for Memorial Day, and studying the site for possible changes as City Manager  Kevin Myhre points out.  

Older students helping the young kids - youth mentoring is an established program parents and their children look forward to at the start of school.  Director Cheryl Bannes has strong praise for mentors and mentees.

MISSOULA, MT – All residents throughout Montana are encouraged to participate in Wildfire Awareness Month this May. The purpose is to raise awareness about wildland fire safety, community preparedness, hazardous fuels mitigation, and fire prevention.

Residents in areas with a potential for wildfires can lower the risk and severity of wildfires and reduce deaths, injuries and property losses through their preparedness efforts. Proactive actions from a single individual, or entire neighborhood, contribute to a safer community when wildfires happen.

The annual meeting of the Beaver Creek Cemetery Association will be at 7 p.m. on Monday, May 2 at the Beaver Creek Fire Hall.

There’s a fact sheet Lewistown school officials are using to help inform the public about a Building Reserve Levy.

Randy Barber, district’s Building and Grounds Maintance Director, is reminding voters there’s a real need to fund the issue when they vote during the annual election on Tuesday, May 3.

City's disaster management participation is important when residents try to acquire flood insurance.  City Manager Kevin Myhre continues the city’s interest in being prepared when high water leaves damage.


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