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Montana State guarantees admission to nursing bachelor’s program, Montana will get its first Whole Foods Market, University system to explore ‘sprint degrees’...and more

Montana State guarantees admission to nursing bachelor’s program, Montana will get its first Whole Foods Market, University system to explore ‘sprint degrees’...and more

Montana State guarantees admission to nursing bachelor’s program for qualifying Montana high school graduates

Beginning in the fall of 2023, aspiring nursing students from Montana high schools will be guaranteed admission into the nursing bachelor’s degree program in the Mark and Robyn Jones College of Nursing at Montana State University. In an update to its admissions system last month, the college announced the Montana Nursing Direct Entry Program. Montana high school students expecting to graduate in the spring of 2023 — and beyond — can apply for admission to the college of nursing under the new standards. Graduates of Montana high schools who apply to the college's professional program will receive guaranteed admission, provided they remain in good standing as MSU students and maintain a GPA of 3.0 or greater in their prerequisite coursework. “Nursing is typically a gated program, so normally students start as a pre-nursing student and then apply for admission and placement into the nursing program,” said Susan Raph, associate dean for academic affairs for the nursing college. “We wanted to give Montana high school graduates who want to become nurses assured admission into our program.” [Bozeman Magazine]

Great Falls baker turns her hobby into a business

In 2007, Amanda Brooks began baking banana bread for her friends to enjoy. It was such a hit amongst her crowd, that she had people asking to purchase the bread from her. Brooks, who’s been baking for years, decided to add more recipes to her repertoire. With these recipes, she began to complete special orders for her friends and beyond. Today, the high demand for her services has caused her to outgrow her home kitchen. The relocation is a stepping stone for Brooks to test her business model while she hopes to propel herself into a life devoted to baking. Brooks works another full-time job from Monday to Friday, so it’s currently impossible to operate her bakery as a full-time job, but she says she’s hopeful that she can eventually open up her bakery business for good. [KRTV]

Missoula’s Chick-fil-A announces opening date

On North Reserve Street in Missoula, a new Chick-fil-A restaurant is set to open on November 10th. The multi-lane drive-through will be open until 11 pm on Friday and Saturday. Jonathan Lovette, who began with Chick-fil-A in 2003, is the independent franchised owner and operator of the Missoula restaurant. A news release notes that Chick-fil-A will have approximately 125 full-time and part-time employees. In honor of the opening, the restaurant will donate $25,000 to Feeding America which will be distributed to organizations in the Missoula area to help fight hunger. [KXLF]

‘Ocean to table’ seafood company lands at Flathead Valley’s Shores 

Molly and Steve are the owners and operators of Worthy Seafoods, a family fishing business dedicated to delivering fresh, sustainably caught Alaskan halibut to dinner tables throughout the U.S. While the couple has lived and worked out of Juneau, Alaska since the early 1990s, their Montana ties recently brought them back to Whitefish, where they are expanding their fresh halibut market to the greater Flathead Valley. Steve has years of Alaska fishing experience, and after the couple arrived in Juneau, fishing became a way of life, not just for the couple, but also for their two children, Corey and Nikki. Both kids had a hand in the fishing experience from early on, accompanying their parents on boat trips through Alaska’s pristine waters. Since Worthy Seafoods’ official founding in 1997, all members of the Box family have been involved in the business, from catching the fish to marketing the products to handing off filets to customers. “It’s just been a huge privilege to work with my family,” Steve said. [Flathead Beacon]

Pinky and the Floyd + the Elm = super Saturday 

Pinky and the Floyd, one of the best Pink Floyd cover bands in the country played a show earlier this month at the Elm in Bozeman. The all-ages show features a group of professional working musicians, who assembled from various genres to create a successful musical venture. In total, there are over 20 bands that the members of Pinky and the Floyd are a part of, in genres such as Americana & Vintage Swing, Hip Hop, Jazz, Country, Salsa, Funk, Blues, and more. [Moose Radio

University system to explore ‘sprint degrees’

A new pilot program at MSU Billings is looking to meet healthcare workforce demands by accelerating academic timelines. Stemming partially from ongoing staff shortages in Montana’s healthcare industry, the Montana University System is exploring ways to condense the academic timeline for certain degrees to usher students into the state’s workforce at a faster pace. A pilot program is currently under development, with a target launch date in 2023, which would shrink the time required to obtain a traditional four-year bachelor’s degree to ~seven semesters over two calendar years. These degrees would effectively make higher education a full-time undertaking for participants. [Explore Big Sky]

Pearl Jam’s Jeff Ament helps open skateparks in Hardin and Lodge Grass

Hardin and Lodge Grass each have brand new skateparks courtesy of the rock and roll hall of famer, Jeff Ament. He saw an opportunity to give back to his home state more than 10 years ago and has been helping develop skateparks ever since. "I helped build a (skate) park in Missoula, Montana and that was really the beginning of it and then about 13-14 years ago, we built a bowl in Big Sandy where I grew up. At the time I thought that was going to be it, I thought then my philanthropy would start to go other places. And then the state started to have a little momentum in terms of towns wanting to have skate parks and I just kind of saw the need," said Ament, co-founder, and bassist of Pearl Jam [KXLF]

Forum highlights business growth in Great Falls

Major development continues in downtown Great Falls, ranging from storefronts that continue to thrive to future development. Invest Downtown is an annual event hosted by the Great Falls Development Authority. Great Falls Development Authority Downtown Business Development Officer, Christian Leinhauser organized the event. He said, "Invest Downtown was visioned about three years ago to celebrate the successes that we have downtown, to highlight some opportunities and show there are spaces that can still be developed, and also to get people excited about the things going on downtown." [KRTV]

Montana will get its first Whole Foods Market at a made-over Bozeman mall

Montanans will finally get access to Berry Chantilly Cake and 365 Cauliflower pizza crust when Gallatin Valley Mall gets transformed into Gallatin Crossing. The $50 million makeover of the 315,000-sq.-ft. center in Bozeman will be anchored by Whole Foods and a 45,000-sq.-ft. medical pavilion.  Demolition of much of the mall is underway to make room for these tenants, as well as for new landscaping and parking. Directing the redevelopment is the property’s owner, Billings-based Corning Companies, along with the Situs Realty Group, Grossman Development Group, and Boston Realty Advisors. Corning CEO Steve Corning said his company’s goal is to establish the re-made property as a comprehensive lifestyle center in Bozeman, whose opportunities for outdoor recreation have helped make it the fastest growing “micropolitan” city in the nation for the past six years, according to United States Census Bureau statistics. Bozeman makes up nearly half of the population of Montana’s Gallatin County, which holds 126,000 residents. [chainstorage.com]

Story Mansion gets makeover with help from non-profit 

The Story Mansion is one of Bozeman’s longest-standing pieces of history. It has recently undergone a much-needed makeover that wasn’t necessarily cheap. That’s why a non-profit stepped in, but they say there is still work to be done. Jackson Thorn is a Junior at Montana State University and a Bozeman native. He walks by Story Mansion almost every day. He says he’s done his research on the mansion and it makes him happy to see it still serving a purpose and bringing the community together. “Ever since Sigma Alpha Epsilon left, it’s served as a park for the community and they always host events, like last night they had their trick or treating event,” said Thorn. “The only thing I noticed is the peeling paint and stuff on the exterior. I’ve never been inside of it before though.” The mansion was built in 1910, home to the famous Story family. Nelson Story, who led a herd of cattle on a 1,500-mile drive from Fort Worth to the Gallatin Valley became the basis for the novel "Lonesome Dove". [Newsbreak]

Company Spotlights

Montana State University

Digital Media Specialist

The Digital Media Specialist (“Specialist”) of the Montana State University Alumni Foundation (“Alumni Foundation”) is a key member of the Communications team, supporting all Alumni Foundation units in social media and web content. This position supports the development and implementation of social media strategies, advancing brand awareness, generating traffic, and encouraging engagement. The Specialist collaborates with all Alumni Foundation units, the Communications team (content creators, editors, designers, analysts), and campus partners to create and leverage content that advances the Alumni Foundation mission. Some weekend work and/or travel may be required. The Specialist reports to the Director of Communications, Design. If you are interested in this position, click here to apply on our website.