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MSU researchers collaborate with Nature's Fynd to send microbe to space to test as astronaut food, International Balloon Rendezvous a success, Great Falls College - MSU set to launch CDL program...and more

MSU researchers collaborate with Nature's Fynd to send microbe to space to test as astronaut food, International Balloon Rendezvous a success, Great Falls College - MSU set to launch CDL program...and more

Image by: Lauren Kemp

Thousands gather for Anaconda's annual Art in the Park

Food vendors, live music, and countless art forms adorned Anaconda's Washoe Park earlier this month for their annual Art in the Park weekend. During the three-day event, over 10,000 people from nearly every state made the trip to Deer Lodge County to see the show that showed art from woodworking to jewelry and photography. Many of the vendors are local, meaning the funds raised from the event go directly back into the community. [Montanarightnow.com]

Bozeman Public Library hosts Meet a Police Officer Event

The Bozeman Public Library held an event with Officer Marek Ziegler of the Bozeman Police Department in an effort to share the importance of getting to know law enforcement around the community. "It is very important to me that children know if they need help for any reason, there is someone who will help them, and they can always ask for help. Anytime we can partner with our colleagues at the police department and build that relationship between children and the police department is really valuable and important." Shared department head, Ellie Newell. Both children and adults could ask Ziegler questions about the lifestyle of law enforcement officers. [NBC Montana]

2022 Big Sky International Balloon Rendezvous a success

The Big Sky International Balloon Rendezvous event was successfully held once again this year. The event has been happening for almost three decades, with pilots attending from across the country, Canada, and Europe. "When you get up early in the morning to watch balloons in flight, there must be something interesting about it," shared Sarah James, a balloon fest spectator. Nineteen pilots participated in this year's event at Amend Park in Billings. The annual event is free and open to the public. [KBZK]

Thunderbirds delight crowd at Great Falls air show

The military air show, "Flight Over The Falls," kicked off earlier this month in Great Falls, headlined by the United States Air Force Thunderbirds aerial demonstration team. This was the first Thunderbirds show in Great Falls since 2017, with thousands of spectators watching performances and static displays. Lt. Col. Darren Damiani, commander of the Operational Medical Readiness Squadron at Malmstrom Air Force Base, served as the medical director for the event and shared, "This is a joint effort between the 120th Air Guard and the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom, so it's pretty important with the 75th anniversary of the Air Force. What's really neat about this show is it really highlights the jointness between the Guard and the active duty within Great Falls and Montana." [KBZK]

Bozeman's Bridger Orthopedic designated first 'Center of Excellence in Montana

Bridger Orthopedics has been around for several decades. The practice began with spine, joint, and sports medicine physicians. It has expanded and recently was named a Center of Excellence, the first in Montana to receive this designation. Dr. Martin Gelpke shared that "Focusing on optimizing patients beforehand and making sure that their entire path through surgery is nice and smooth" is what sets their business apart. Improving the quality of the services they provide is always at the forefront of the company, which is why they chose to expand into a new wing at the hospital. Having its own wing will be a game changer for the company, as it will include larger rooms, an area for physical therapy, a gym, and a Bobcat Room for MSU fans. [KBZK]

History being uncovered in Downtown Bozeman

Since 1920, a building on the corner of Black and Main Street in Bozeman has stood four stories high, but recently, construction is taking it back to its original exterior. The original bank was renovated in the 1970s, and to Randy Scully, there seemed to be great potential: "These historic buildings are timeless, you look at downtown Bozeman, and you look at all of these historic buildings that line Main Street. There is a piece of Bozeman that we need to maintain." Upon completion, US bank will move into the first floor of the bank building. Several photos have been discovered of the 1920s building to reference and use as a guide, and during initial construction, a colorful original sign was discovered. The completion date for the building is during 2024, with hopes of the bank utilizing the first floor in the spring of 2024. [KBZK]

Bison mural underway in downtown Billings

"This is one of the greatest things that's happened to me for sure. It means the world to me," shared Rilie Zumbrennen, artist and teacher at Elysian Elementary School. Downtown Billings has 15 murals, with three more on the way. According to the Downtown Billings Association, the idea is to showcase artists, create gathering spaces, and deter undesired activities by cleaning up otherwise dark and unclean areas. [KBZK]

Code Girls United incorporating summer programs

In Kalispell, a statewide after-school program that teaches girls coding and app-creating skills recently expanded to include a summer program. Brenda Reiter, Code Girls United Program Director, shared, "After they create their first app, I can't even describe the excitement you see come across their face. When they've done all their design for the phone screen, they've done their block coding, and we connect it to an Android phone, there's nothing that can describe that confidence." The program is statewide and accepts girls from fourth through eighth grade. The program started in 2016 and, beginning this fall, will have 17 different programs throughout the state. Participants also learn business skills and compete in the Northwest Regional Challenge. [KPAX

Great Falls College - MSU set to launch CDL program

After receiving $388,000 in ARPA funds, Great Falls College MSU will officially commence its CDL program in August 2022. GFC-MSU Lifelong Learning Interim Director Tammie Hickey shared, "With the phone calls we get from people interested in getting this training to have this career, we'd love to expand to maybe offering dual enrollment down the line for those seniors to get them thinking about this as a possible career, so I think the sky's the limit, really." Classes will be offered monthly, with the next session beginning August 15th. [KRTV]

Preparing for the 'Back 2 School Blast' in Great Falls

More than a dozen organizations are joining the Great Falls Rescue Mission for the first combined "Back 2 School Blast" to bring food, fun, and school supplies to the community as the school year approaches. They aim to get 2,000 backpacks full of school supplies to distribute to students for the upcoming school year. Lynne Staigmiller, a volunteer coordinator at the Rescue Mission, said they filled ~750 backpacks during her first year with the program, but through the combined efforts of several organizations, this year's event is more streamlined and packed with fun for all. The program partnered with hairdressers and other organizations to provide haircuts, sports physicals, and wellness checks to prepare kids for school. [KRTV]

CMR Museum hosts annual 'Saddles and Spurs' event

The CM Russell Museum in Great Falls hosted its annual "Saddles and Spurs" event a couple of weeks ago. The event is free and tailored to all ages to give the community a chance to experience the best of cowboy culture in advance of the National Day of the Cowboy. Activities at the event included painting, quilting, rawhide rope tying, knot tying, panning with the Central Montana Prospectors, and more. The event has happened annually for over 15 years to celebrate the west and is made possible by donors. [KRTV]

Montana State University researchers collaborate with Nature's Fynd to send microbe to space to test as astronaut food

When future astronauts heading to Mars sit down to eat dinner in their spaceship, they may dine on a nutritious, meat-like product made from a microbe that Montana State University scientists discovered in a Yellowstone National Park hot spring. Earlier this month, a group of small bioreactors arrived at the International Space Station aboard a SpaceX rocket to test how well the Yellowstone microbe can be grown in an environment similar to what would be experienced during long-duration space travel. It is believed that chances of success are quite high for growing the protein in space, despite radiation emissions, lack of gravity, and differences in the behavior of air and liquids in space. [Montana.edu]

MSU ecologist Jay Rotella receives a $1.4 million NSF grant to continue Antarctica research

With a five-year, $1.4 million grant from the National Science Foundation, an MSU ecologist will continue what is likely the longest marine mammal study in the southern hemisphere. Jay Rotella, a professor of ecology at MSU, will continue a five-decade-long research project to study Weddell seals of Antarctica's Ross Sea. The new research phase will incorporate new population modeling and DNA testing to learn more about the environmental influences on seal populations while attempting to determine the geographic origin of immigrant seals and their role in the local population. [Montana.edu]

King Lear on the Main Street Garden

The Montana State University Shakespeare in the Park's presentation of King Lear was viewed by over 100 people in Whitehall. The event, brought to the community by Gold Junction Presents and the Whitehall Chamber of Commerce, was a hit. Fortunately, strong winds pushed the sudden smoke out of the area and brought a gorgeous evening right as the play began. [Whitehall Ledger]

Company Spotlights

GL Solutions is seeking employees with a drive to succeed at their new headquarters in Kalispell , Montana. Their company offers enterprise software to clients nationwide.  View additional information about GL Solutions at: www.glsolutions.com or on The Work Spot MT website.

The company is seeking four positions:

1) A Quality Assurance Specialist who has a logical mind, attention to detail, and a desire for a career in IT. The ideal candidate will be able to clearly convey your findings to clients and coworkers. 

2) An Application Developer who has problem solving and analytical abilities to develop an advanced software application framework. Software developers participate in all aspects of the software development lifecycle to build a highly scalable web application. The application development team completes challenging projects on time, through anticipating problems, building robust solutions and doing things right. 

3) An Account Manager to guide a portfolio of high value clients through complex and challenging software projects. Account managers perceive client needs and build engagement by delivering consultative solutions. This position leads the company's market position as a trusted partner to our clients. 

4) A Quality Assurance Manager who will coach 7 to 10 team members to execute consistently and improve continuously. Take pride in helping the company check the details and ensure the highest quality software for its clients. If you accept the challenge, expect opportunities to develop professional management, leadership and technical skills.