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News in Brief: Oct. 13, 2017



Bruin bandit on the loose in Big Sky


Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks personnel are still trying to track down a black bear that’s believed to be responsible for six vehicle break-ins in recent weeks.

FWP Grizzly Bear Management Specialist Kevin Frey said the agency recently captured a 2-year-old black bear, but its small size doesn’t match the description of the bruin that’s believed to be responsible for the rash of vehicle break-ins.

He said the sub-adult that was captured has been tagged and relocated.

Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Brandon Kelly said it’s likely that the bear involved in the break-ins is still on the loose. The bear is lucky that it wasn’t injured by the airbags going off in one of the vehicles that it destroyed, Kelly said.

Kelly said black bears are notorious for causing trouble in this area, especially this time of year. “They’re little criminals … when they get into something—a house, a cabin, a car—they destroy it,” he said.

“He’s either going to get caught or he’s going to find his hibernation den and go to bed,” Kelly said. “Right before they go out for their winter siesta, they start causing more problem because they run out of food in the woods.”

Residents are advised to remove food from their vehicles to minimize break-ins and prevents the animals from becoming conditioned to human food, which could result in their death. Two black bears involved in incidents earlier this summer were euthanized by FWP.

Bozeman Health announces new clinic in west Bozeman


Bozeman Health announced Oct. 5 it has recently acquired three commercial land parcels totaling nearly 5 acres for a new neighborhood outpatient care center. The location is on the southwest corner of Huffine Lane and South Cottonwood Road.

“Our goal is to bring high value, convenient health services closer to the communities we serve,” said Bozeman Health President and CEO John Hill.

The new Bozeman Health west campus development will include a partnership with United Surgical Partners International and local physicians. The new facility will include a 40,000- to 60,000-square-foot walk-in style care center that will house an outpatient surgery center, community physician offices, pediatric clinics, urgent care and convenience care.

The new outpatient surgery center will replace the Bozeman Health Same Day Surgery Center now located downtown on Willson Avenue.

Construction of the west Bozeman development is slated to begin in spring 2018 and be open in 12 to 16 months. Bozeman Health and the development partnerships will be committing an estimated $20 million investment in this site.

Big Sky Resort moves up in Ski magazine rankings


On Sept. 22, Big Sky Resort was named the 13th best ski resort in the West by Ski magazine readers.

Big Sky moved up two places in the ranking—over Crested Butte and Breckenridge in Colorado—from last year, when the resort broke into the top 15.

Ski magazine’s 30th annual Reader Resort Survey asked readers and social media followers to rank resorts they had visited over the past two years from one to 10 in 10 different categories. More than 11,000 readers rated everything from grooming and challenge, to snow and kid-friendliness. Lifts, lodging, dining and character were also considered. Big Sky Resort scored highest for variety and challenge of the terrain.

“Big Sky has been inching up in the rankings over the past several years,” said Ski magazine Senior Editor Samantha Berman. “We’re seeing in the reader comments that skiers are craving more off-the-beaten-path adventures with fewer crowds and more untouched powder, and Big Sky serves that up in spades.”

The results are published in the October 2017 issue of Ski magazine and can be found online at

“We’re honored that Ski magazine readers recognize the terrific world-class skiing that Big Sky Resort has to offer,” said Chelsi Moy, Big Sky Resort public relations manager. “Lone Mountain offers a one-of-a-kind ski experience.”

Big Sky Resort is slated to open for the winter 2017-2018 season on Nov. 23, Thanksgiving Day.

James Dean announces campaign to unseat Sen. Tester


James Dean, of Havre, Montana, announced Oct. 6 his candidacy for U.S. Senate against incumbent Sen. Jon Tester in 2018. Dean is running as a Republican, but says his platform is designed to appeal to both parties.

“I am running because I am deeply concerned that 70 percent of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings,” Dean said in a press release. “If we don’t fix this system now before the next crisis, the middle class will have a tough time putting food on the table. Montana needs a new system now. … I know how to reform our institutions and leverage them to solve everyday problems.”

Montana is a deeply divided state, he said, and voters here are losing confidence in the political system.

“The country’s debts have grown so large so fast that the old ideas won’t work,” Dean said. “We need a completely new strategy. Montanans know real change requires both parties working together.”

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