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News in brief: Dec. 22, 2017

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Dick Allgood receives Montana Congressional Veteran Commendation


On Nov. 30, U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte announced the recipients of the 2017 Montana Congressional Veteran Commendation, a unique recognition of Montana veterans who served the country and continued to serve their communities.

Big Sky’s Dick Allgood, a U.S. Air Force pilot during Vietnam and then a helicopter rescue pilot, was one of the recipients. The former owner of Allgood’s Bar and Grill (now the Broken Spoke Bar and Grill), has been a member of the American Legion, a veteran service organization, for more than 20 years.

In October, Gianforte asked Montanans to help identify nominees for the special award. The 14 recipients will receive a special flag that was flown over the U.S. Capitol in their honor on Veterans Day.

“I am humbled to represent a state with such a large veteran population, and I am honored to recognize 14 exemplary veterans with the 2017 Montana Congressional Veterans Commendation,” Gianforte said. “Their service and sacrifice for our country as well as their continued dedication to improving our communities merit special recognition in Congress. On behalf of all Montanans, I thank them for their selfless service to country and community.”

Fate of groomed Town Center trails uncertain


The Big Sky Town Center trails, typically groomed for cross-country skiing in the winter, will not be maintained with classic Nordic tracks this season, and it’s uncertain how often they will be groomed at all. Typically conducted by Lone Mountain Ranch, access to the Town Center trails has been impeded by construction that makes them difficult to access with a groomer.

The Big Sky Community Organization is working with Lone Mountain Ranch to ensure the trails are maintained, at least with a snowmobile and roller, but LMR cannot make a commitment as to how often they’ll be able to do so.

BSCO is looking into training its own staff to fill in the grooming gaps, but as of EBS press time on Dec. 20, was still waiting until there was enough snow on the ground to start.

“Adam Johnson, our project manager, has really been spearheading the advocacy for the winter trails and working with LMR to figure out a sustainable network, inclusive of some walking [and] not just skiing trails, even as our community grows and develops out Town Center,” wrote BSCO Executive Director Ciara Wolfe in an email to EBS. She added that Johnson has visited Bozeman, as well as Jackson, Wyoming, and Driggs, Idaho, for input on winter trail management and is working on a long-term plan for Big Sky.

“This season I think will raise awareness for the community about how important these trails are, and that we have to plan and partner to ensure they continue,” Wolfe wrote.

LPHS Booster Club hosts New Year’s Eve party at resort


The Lone Peak High School Booster Club presents the inaugural “Rockin’ New Year’s Eve” celebration on Sunday, Dec. 31, from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. The “dress to impress” event will be held in the Talus Room at Big Sky Resort’s Summit Hotel. Live music will be provided by Paige and the People’s Band, and refreshments, including a champagne toast, dessert and a cash bar, will be available.

All proceeds from the event will support the athletics and extracurricular activities for the 160-plus Lone Peak High School and Ophir Middle School students.

Tickets can be purchased through the Lone Peak High School Booster Club Facebook page.

Montana vehicle registration fee increase


Car owners in Montana will pay a little more when it comes time to renew vehicle registrations next year.

The Montana Standard reported that starting Jan. 1, a new statewide administrative fee of 3 percent will be applied to all portions of registration costs except on the county option fee.

State lawmakers increased registration fees during the last legislative session in hopes of raising about $25 million over the next two years to fund the Division of Motor Vehicles and the Montana Highway Patrol.

An annual tax on luxury vehicles also kicks in on Jan. 1. The tax adds an $825 fee to register newer vehicles valued at $150,000 or more.

Owners of newer motor homes valued at $300,000 or more will have an additional $800 fee.

Copyright 2017 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Forest Service map prices set to increase Jan. 1


For the first time in nearly a decade, increasing costs of production, printing and distribution are driving the U.S. Forest Service to increase the price of its maps. Prices of Forest Service paper and plastic-coated maps will increase from an average of $10 to $14 on Monday, Jan. 1.

The Forest Service continually updates its maps and looks for ways to enhance them. The agency expects to shorten the revision cycle as cartographers continue to apply new digital technology to the map revision process.

The Forest Service is also working to increase the availability of digital maps for mobile applications, which can be downloaded at Digital maps cost $4.99 per side.

In an effort to help offset the pricing increase for volume sales, starting Jan. 1 discount pricing will be made available on sales of 10 or more maps of the same title. Discounted maps are only available when purchased through the National Forest Map Store.

Maps can be purchased at national forest offices throughout the state, and can also be ordered in advance. To order maps, visit, call (406) 329-3024 or mail inquiries to USDA Forest Service, National Forest Store, P.O. Box 7669, Missoula, MT 59807.

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