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Lone Peak High School ranked No. 2 in state by national publication




The U.S. News & World Report listed Lone Peak High School as the second-best high school in Montana in their annual high school rankings.

As part of a national ranking process, the news organization orders high schools based on their performance on state-required tests and how well they prepare students for college.

The write-up on LPHS notes that 54 percent of its 77 students participated in Advanced Placement courses or exams during the 2014-2015 school year. The report also noted Lone Peak’s 10-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio and its 92 percent graduation rate.

Based on state-established standards, 100 percent of LPHS students demonstrated proficiency in English, and 67 percent were proficient in math.

Lone Peak was one of seven high schools in Montana to receive a silver medal from U.S. News & World Report out of 168 ranked schools. Gardiner High School, which earned the No. 1 spot, was the only school in the state granted a gold medal.

“I’m really pleased with the result,” said LPHS Principal Alex Ide. “It’s really exciting for us to start putting ourselves on the map and tell our story.”

Ide said the student body’s SAT and ACT scores are steadily improving and he expects that to continue. He noted that last year the ACT scores of LPHS’s juniors were the third highest in the state.

The integration of an International Baccalaureate program is building on Big Sky’s commitment to academic excellence, Ide said.

Tester introduces legislation to prevent mine expansion near Yellowstone National Park


U.S. Senator Jon Tester introduced legislation on April 25 to protect Montana’s outdoor economy and clean water near Yellowstone National Park. 

Tester’s Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act permanently withdraws federal mineral rights on 30,000 acres of public land in the Custer Gallatin National Forest adjacent to the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness and Yellowstone National Park, and it eliminates the ability for proposed mines to expand onto unclaimed public land.

“Hundreds of businesses and local residents support this collaborative legislation because it protects jobs and preserves our outdoor way of life,” Tester said. “Responsible natural resource development plays an important role in Montana’s economy, but there are simply some places where you just should not dig or drill, and the doorstep of Yellowstone Park is one of those places.”

For two years, Tester has met with local residents and small-business owners to build collaborative legislation that prevents mines from expanding onto public land in the region. Mineral rights withdrawals will not impact public access or recreation on public land. 

“Whether you are a rancher, a farmer, a fisherman or restaurant owner, the residents of Park County depend upon clean water for their livelihoods,” said Dan Vermillion, owner of Sweetwater Travel Company in Livingston, Montana, and chairman of the District 2 Fish & Wildlife Commission.

“Agriculture and tourism represent a huge portion of Park County’s economy, fueling small businesses and employing hundreds of people in Yellowstone’s gateway. Industrial gold mining will threaten the clean water that is the foundation of our economy,” Vermillion continued. “Montana’s clean water is too important and too irreplaceable to be threatened by foreign investors looking to make a quick buck at our expense.”

Fix-It Clinic to reduce trash and teach skills held in Bozeman


Gallatin Solid Waste Management District and Bozeman City Sustainability are teaming up to organize the first ever free Fix-It Clinic for Gallatin County. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 6, Gallatin County residents may bring household items and clothing in need of minor repairs to Building 4 at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds where volunteers will offer guided assistance to bring these items back to life.

Everyone is welcome to attend this Fix-It Clinic, especially people who have never before attempted to disassemble—and then reassemble—their household items. Local businesses, nonprofits and individuals will be among the volunteer coaches to help patch clothes, fix zippers, stabilize chairs or get that old food processor spinning again. The Green Darner, The Bozeman Makerspace, The Bozeman Bike Kitchen and Owenhouse ACE Hardware will be on hand to share their
knowledge and represent a small fraction of the repair resources in the area.

It is often easier to fix a broken item than expected, but even failed repairs have educational value for the owner.
“The average American sends 4.5 pounds of trash to the landfill every single day,” said Rob Pudner, Recycling Outreach Educator with GSWMD. “We want to bring that average down while helping residents learn new skills.”

Bring any parts, accessories or special tools that may be helpful and keep everything organized in a box or bag. Some tools will be provided. Repairs are limited to items that can be carried by one person and do not have an engine.

For complete information on the Gallatin Valley Fix-It Clinic visit For information on volunteering contact Rod Pudner at or call (406) 582-2493.

Nonprofits partner for annual Give Big event
Lone Peak Cinema to host kickoff event


Local Big Sky nonprofits are partnering for the annual Give Big Gallatin Valley event, which promotes and encourages philanthropy with a 24-hour fundraising campaign throughout Gallatin County. On May 4, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Lone Peak Cinema will host a kickoff event highlighting many local non-profit organizations, along with youth summer program options. Lone Peak Cinema will feature the legendary summer movie “Heavyweights,” and children are welcome to attend.

The Bozeman Area Community Foundation’s Give Big Gallatin Valley initiative is a 24-hour online and live celebration of giving. The goal is to inspire people to come together, show their pride in their communities, and contribute to support the work of local non-profit organizations in Gallatin County.

The entire Give Big Gallatin Valley event begins at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 4 and donations can be made online. There will be 24 hours to make donations, with all giving ending at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 5.

Participating Big Sky nonprofits include: Arts Council of Big Sky, Big Sky Community Organization, Big Sky Discovery Academy, Big Sky Ski Education Foundation, Gallatin Big Sky Weed Committee, Gallatin River Task Force, Jack Creek Preserve, Montana Land Alliance, Morningstar Learning Center, Thrive and Women in Action.

For more information, or to make a donation during the event, visit You may also call (406) 993-2112.

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