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7 Lone Peak seniors granted early admittance to universities around the country


The future is looking bright for Lone Peak High School’s class of 2017. Seven seniors in the 18-student senior class were notified this month that they’ve been granted early acceptance to top colleges around the country.

“Lone Peak High School is delivering on its promise to make students ready to attend universities around the country,” said Big Sky School District Board Chair Loren Bough.

His daughter Dasha Bough learned this month that she was accepted early to his alma mater, Harvard University. She’ll be the first Lone Peak graduate to attend Harvard.

“As a parent, it’s such a relief to have something out of the way in December,” Bough said. “It’s great.”

Other seniors notified of early admittance include Ellie Quackenbush’s acceptance to Emerson University in Boston, Massachusetts; Luisa Locker’s acceptance to Chapman University in Orange, California; Sayler Tatom’s acceptance to the University of Alabama Honors College; Eddie Starz’s acceptance to Carroll College in Helena and University of St. Thomas – Minnesota; and Bridger Babcock’s and Bella Butler’s acceptance to Western Washington University.

Big Sky park planning meeting scheduled for Jan. 10


As the Big Sky area continues to add community services and businesses, it will undoubtedly attract diverse citizens who seek a connection to the outdoors. Surrounded by an abundance of national forest and other lands available for recreation, will Big Sky need traditional parks and open spaces typically found in other communities? The Big Sky Community Organization and the Big Sky Meadow Park District have funded a planning effort to address that question and other related issues.

They hired Peaks to Plains Design, a firm that specializes in parks planning and design, to lead the community in a strategic planning process to define the future for parks and open spaces in Big Sky. They conducted focus group meetings in October and are working with a volunteer advisory committee that’s guiding the planning effort. Additional community input will occur with a public meeting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 10 at the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center.

“We are excited to learn more about what the Big Sky residents feel are important to them with regards to parks during such a critical time of growth for our community,” said BSCO Executive Director Ciara Wolfe. “As our community continues to grow, the parks that are currently developed with traditional park amenities are heavily used. This process will engage the public to help us find ways to program these lands better or identify other areas [where] amenities are needed.”

Both Madison and Gallatin county representatives are participating on the committee, and the intent is to have a publicly supported guiding document by late-summer 2017. Additional public input will be attained throughout this process.

Parents are encouraged to bring their children to the public meeting. Year-round, seasonal and temporary residents of Big Sky are encouraged to attend as well.

Community recycling site returns to Big Sky


After going without for more than a year, a community recycling site located off Highway 191 opened in Big Sky on Dec. 20 thanks to Haas Builders.

The site is located at 47280 Gallatin Road on a frontage road between Gallatin River Guides and the Whitewater Inn off Highway 191. Gallatin Solid Waste Management district will provide the bins, recycling pick up and site cleaning at no charge to the community. Delzer Diversified will plow the site during the winter months as a donation.

The site is only temporary. Community stakeholders will continue to work with the Gallatin Solid Waste Management District to find a viable long-term solution.

The new location will not be able to house as many recycling bins Big Sky’s previous Town Center site, so residents who have access to curbside recycling are encouraged to maintain their current services or sign up with either Republic Waste Service or L & L Site Services. The site is not for commercial use, and businesses should contact Four Corners Recycling for cardboard recycling pick-up services.

The site will be under 24-hour video surveillance to ensure it’s properly cared for and used only for recycling material, which includes cardboard, plastics, paper, and steel and aluminum cans. Garbage disposal and glass recycling is not accepted. This site can be permanently closed at any time if it’s vandalized or improperly used.

MSU’s WTI releases mobile version of real-time traffic tool

By Denise Hoepfner  MSU News Service

BOZEMAN – The Western Transportation Institute at Montana State University has released a mobile version of its award-winning One-Stop-Shop online traffic tool for travelers looking for up-to-the-minute information on weather and road conditions.

Like the desktop version, the OSS mobile version provides road conditions and weather information for 11 Western states, including Montana, and includes enhanced features while putting the information right at the motorists’ fingertips, said Doug Galarus, senior research scientist and manager of WTI’s Systems Engineering, Development and Integration Program.

“The mobile version provides closed-circuit television camera images, electronic sign messages, road incidents, chain restrictions, weather conditions and Google traffic information,” Galarus said.

He added that a big advantage of the user-friendly mobile version is that drivers can find this information in one place, which is especially important with the increased number of motorists and quickly changing road conditions that can occur during the winter holidays.

The systems group at WTI created the mobile version to reach a wider audience, realizing that the traveling public turns to smartphones and tablets for their information. However, Galarus cautions that drivers should not use the OSS while driving.

Last December, the desktop version of the One-Stop-Shop had more than 63,000 user sessions, with 6,190 of those user sessions on Christmas Eve, Galarus said.

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