County takes over energy company building
BUTTE, Mont. (AP) — Butte-Silver Bow County is taking ownership of the former NorthWestern Energy building after buyer couldn’t be found, costing taxpayers about $1,000 a month for upkeep until it can be sold.
The city agreed to take the building if NorthWestern couldn’t sell it in an agreement to keep the company’s Montana headquarters in Butte.
According to the Montana Standard , the power company built a $25 million office building in Butte and more than 200 employees moved to it.
The county agreed to assume ownership of the old building if a buyer could not be found in 18 months.
Wyoming conflict between wolves, livestock up sharply
JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — Federal officials say the number of conflicts between wolves and livestock in Wyoming is up sharply.
Wildlife managers say wolf-killed sheep and cattle have been found in the Upper Gros Ventre area, in the Salt and Wyoming ranges and other areas of the state.
The number of wolves killed last year was the second highest in the state since they were reintroduced to the Northern Rockies 21 years ago.
This year, the number of kills already has exceeded the 54 kills for all of last year.
The Jackson Hole News and Guide reports the problems will increase in late summer and fall when pups have grown and demand lots of food, trying to put on fat for the winter.
AT&T adding about 100 customer service jobs in Missoula
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — AT&T is adding about 100 customer service jobs in Missoula.
The company bought DirecTV, including its local call center, last summer and says it needs 100 customer service representatives in Missoula.
According to the Missoulian , it could bring the number of AT&T employees in Missoula to about 750.
Company spokeswoman Suzanne Trantow says the company has been adding about 160 more jobs locally and 180 more statewide since the ownership transition.
Native communities get help with health disparities
BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — Montana State University and its partners have received $20 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to address health disparities facing Native communities in Montana and Alaska.
University officials say the new American Indian-Alaska Native Clinical and Translational Research Program includes collaborators from Blackfeet Community College, the University of Montana, the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, the University of Alaska-Anchorage, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium and the Southcentral Foundation.
Montana and Alaska both have large Native populations and they have disproportionately high Native health disparity rates.
According to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle , the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention determined that American Indian and Alaska Native death rates were nearly 50 percent greater than non-Hispanic whites between 1999 and 2009.
Advisory group recommends gasoline tax hike
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — An advisory group is recommending a 2-cent per gallon hike in gasoline taxes in Lewis and Clark County to pay for transportation projects.
The Helena Citizens Council has sent its recommendations to the city commission asking commissioners to ask voters to approve the proposal.
County administrative officer Eric Bryson says the county commission’s top priority has been to get funds to reduce overcrowding at the county’s detention center.
According to the Helena Independent Record , one county commissioner wants voters need to consider both proposals separately.
Memorial in Montana for Forest Service firefighter
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — A memorial service was held Saturday in Missoula for a U.S. Forest Service firefighter who was killed battling a wildfire in Great Basin National Park in eastern Nevada.
The Missoulian reports Hotshot firefighting crews lined a lane to honor Justin Beebe, who died Aug. 13 when he was struck by a tree while fighting a 7-square-mile blaze ignited by lightning Aug. 8 about 200 miles northeast of Las Vegas.
Beebe was a member of the Lolo Hotshots based in Missoula, Montana — one of a number of elite Forest Service crews called for the most dangerous wildfires in the West.
Beebe will be buried in his home state of Vermont.