MONTANA – Governor Steve Bullock today announced $750,000 in grants to develop and enhance tourism and recreation in 27 Montana communities across the state. The grant funds will support $1.8 million of investments into infrastructure and marketing projects.

“Visitors from out of state add billions of dollars to Montana’s economy, which directly support our communities, small businesses and people,” said Governor Bullock. “By investing in our tourism and recreation resources, we will maximize our ability to attract and serve the visitors who drive one of Montana’s leading industries.”

 The funds are being awarded through the Tourism Grant Program at the Department of Commerce, Office of Tourism and Business Development.

The Tourism Grant Program awards funds to projects that strengthen Montana’s economy through the development and enhancement of the state’s tourism and recreation industry. Eligible projects include arts, culture and heritage preservation; visitor facility upgrades and construction; and niche product development.

Full List of Grant Recipients:

  • Crazy Mountain Museum of Big Timber received $15,500 to move, set up and renovate the historic Fjare Cabin from its current site in Melville to the museum grounds.
  • Jefferson County received $14,984 to create a website to promote tourism and recreation.
  • World Museum of Mining of Butte received $11,560 to preserve the historic St. Helena’s Church by replacing its roof.
  • Blaine County Fair Foundation of Chinook received $22,000 to set up an indoor arena for events and horseback riding year-round.
  • Town of Circle received $14,750 to upgrade Redwater Memorial Park for bicycle tourism with a bench, a shelter wall, playground equipment and additional sand to complete a youth climbing wall area.
  • Cut Bank Area Chamber of Commerce received $4,553 to replace damaged concrete at its visitor information center for accessibility.
  • Southwest Montana Tourism Region of Deer Lodge received $30,450 to purchase, produce content for and place 12 Ultra HD (4K) traveler information displays across the region.
  • Forsyth Chamber of Commerce received $1,300 to update its website content management system to a newer version so the website is easier to update.
  • Missouri River Country Tourism Region of Fort Peck received $28,000 to redesign its website to promote tourism and recreation in northeastern Montana.
  • Yellowstone Forever of Bozeman received $20,000 to restore historical signage at the Roosevelt Arch in Gardiner.
  • Central Montana Tourism Region of Great Falls received $17,000 to redesign the Montana Dinosaur Trail website, including mobile optimization.
  • Ravalli County Museum of Hamilton received $20,000 to upgrade lighting and seating on the second floor of the museum, which includes seven galleries of various sizes and the large Courtroom Gallery with a stage.
  • Kalispell Lakers Baseball Association received $8,000 for upgrades to the Griffin Baseball Field in order to host state tournaments.
  • City of Libby received $85,355 for welcome and wayfinding signage.
  • Big Sky Film Institute of Missoula received $7,898 to upgrade the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival website, including mobile optimization.
  • Missoula County received $105,282 to install an elevator in the historic Commercial Building for accessibility, to improve visitors’ access to and experience of Western Montana Fair exhibits and to expand the number of events held in the Commercial Building.
  • Noxon Senior Citizens, Inc. received $9,150 for its Road to the Buffalo interpretive signage project, which marks the historic byway passing through Sanders County with four signs at designated roadside turnouts along Highway 200.
  • Philipsburg Ice Association received $104,511.50 to improve the quality of the ice surface at the Philipsburg Ice Rink and to allow for a longer, more consistent ice skating season.
  • Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary of Red Lodge received $8,155 to replace the aging deck at the entrance of the sanctuary to be more accessible and visitor friendly.
  • Lake County Community Development Corporation of Ronan received $15,000 to restore the Ronan Arch.
  • Daniels County Museum Association of Scobey received $40,000 to build an attractive metal rod fence to replace a post and wire fence on the east side of Pioneer Town, which is the entrance and the side facing Scobey.
  • Carousel Rest Area of Shelby Inc. of Shelby received $33,000 to complete interior work for the carousel house, including insulation, sheet rocking and completion of the restrooms and kitchen area.
  • Stevensville Main Street Association received $9,200 for a three-panel outdoor visitor information kiosk to be constructed and installed adjacent to the Stevensville Main Street Association office and visitor information center.
  • Evelyn Cameron Heritage of Terry received $40,120 to install a heating system and winterize the facility for changing weather conditions.
  • Yellowstone Historic Center of West Yellowstone received $6,150 to purchase five exhibit display tables and to refinish the hardwood floor in the east wing of the museum.
  • Glacier Nordic Club of Whitefish received $51,000 to purchase a groomer to improve the Nordic (cross-country) skiing on the existing and future Big Mountain Nordic ski trails.
  • Whitehall Chamber of Commerce received $5,720.50 for several facility and grounds upgrades.
  • Jefferson Valley Museum of Whitehall received $17,300 to repair and restore two exterior sides of the barn housing the museum.
  • American Legion Post 20 of Dillon received $4,061 for improvements to camping facilities at Wisdom’s American Legion Memorial Park, which is located on the Adventure Cycling TransAmerica bike route.

Learn more at the Tourism Grant Program website.


Marissa Perry

Press Secretary

Governor Steve Bullock

It wouldn’t be a Montana Winter Fair without a youth beef show.  Kim Vincent has promoted this event for several years and is urging the public to attend the free show on Sunday, Jan. 28 at the Fergus County Fairgrounds.

The fairgrounds will be hosting many Montana Winter Fair activities.  Superintendent Abby Majerus says the Friday and Saturday show at the fairground trade center is open to the public.

Groups condemn attorney's crack down on pregnant drug use
(Information from: The Billings Gazette,
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Advocacy organizations have condemned the Big Horn County attorney's decision to crack down on drug use among pregnant women.
The Billings Gazette reports that the American Civil Liberties Union of Montana and eight other health care, human rights and women's organizations publicly condemned Attorney Jay Harris' plans on Wednesday.

A colorful and friendly assortment of farm animals will be on view at the Montana Winter Fair in Lewistown.  Barn Supervisor Connie Algren has a preview of that special attraction.

On January 12, 2018 Central Montana Dispatch received a 911 call reporting that 2 individuals had been shot at a residence on Meadowlark Lane East of Lewistown.

HELENA – Department of Corrections Director Reginald D. Michael on Tuesday announced the opening of a new chemical dependency treatment program at Montana State Prison.  The Montana State Correctional Treatment Center (MSCTC) today accepted its first 30 inmates. 

The secure, remodeled facility that formerly housed the Treasure State “boot camp” program now provides a 90 to 180-day intensive chemical dependency treatment program for prison inmates approaching their release dates. 

Anyone involved with or interested in fighting range and forest fires is urged to attend a Montana Winter Fair workshop.

Ron Brurud and Jim Hanson with Sons of Norway have an invitation to attend the lodge’s lutefisk dinner this coming Sunday.  For those who might prefer another menu item, how about Swedish meatballs?

Several months ago all Montana land owners received a form to file for Exempt Claimed Water Rights. This is an important opportunity to file on rights for livestock drinking directly from natural water sources, and domestic and stockwater wells put to use before July 1, 1973.  

The meeting will feature Jim Beck, retired from the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation’s Helena Regional Office where he worked in several water resource areas, including water rights. Jim has been a member of the Broadwater Conservation District for 26 years, and for the past 20 years he has been an instructor for the State’s water commissioner training program. Jim will discuss the exempt claim filings in detail and will explain the consequences of the loss of priority date if the filings are not made.  He will also describe how to search for previous water right filings, provide resources for completing the claim forms, and explain what to expect from a consultant.

The fiber arts will be featured during the Montana Winter Fair. Superintendent Marcy Foran has this invitation to enter, and also information about classes being offered.

Court Documents Allege Hundreds of Millions of Pounds of Imported Beef Likely Being Mislabeled as Product of USA Billings, Mont. - In court documents filed Friday, ranch groups R-CALF USA and the Cattle Producers of Washington (CPoW) reinforced their allegation that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is unlawfully helping multinational meatpackers mislabel hundreds of millions of pounds of imported beef as "Products of the USA."

The Montana Winter Fair held during the last week of January in Lewistown has a number of interesting activities and exhibits to enjoy.

This year ghost towns will be explored with Jerry Hanley and the art of quilting will be covered by Gerri Campbell.  

Taking a plunge during the Montana Winter Fair is a refreshing way to to help fund activities for young people with special needs.

Helping to organize and search out volunteers are Fergus County Sheriff Troy Eades and Deputy Philip Picco.



A St. James Episcopal church fundraiser in early February will help fund their youth programs.   Mary Messina says it will be a colorful and fun celebration to attend.

The  annual District 1 school calendar includes an annual audit. Superintendent Peck says this year’s audit was a “good one.”



A presentation at the most recent Lewistown school board meeting indicated there may be some changes for  preschool students.  Superintendent Thom Peck explains:





Washington, D.C. – A bill to honor the life of a Montana conservationist today made another step toward being enacted, passing the House Natural Resources Committee.

Sponsored by Congressman Greg Gianforte and U.S. Senators Steve Daines and Jon Tester, the legislation would name an unnamed 9,765-foot peak the “Alex Diekmann Peak.” The peak is on the western boundary of the Lee Metcalf Wilderness in Montana.

HELENA, MT – The 2018 elections kick off Thursday with the start of candidate filing.  The public is invited to join Secretary of State Corey Stapleton for the ceremonial “opening of the doors,” which will take place at precisely 8:00 a.m. in the front lobby of the Secretary of State’s Office at the State Capitol.  Once the doors are open, candidates may file for any open office for which they are eligible. (Candidates for local offices file at the county election office.)  Voters may also stop by the office any time from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to register to vote, update their existing voter registration, or sign up for absentee ballots.   

MONTANA – Governor Steve Bullock today announced that Montana has received $1,375,218 in supplemental funding to serve more at-risk four-year-old Montana kids with high-quality preschool.

“If we take care of our kids and give them high-quality early childhood experiences, we set the stage for their success in school and in life,” said Governor Bullock. “These dollars will enhance our recent investments in high-quality preschool and create more educational opportunities for the next generation of Montanans.”

BOZEMAN – Data from the U.S. Bureau of Statistics and United States Department of Agriculture show while women constitute less than 1 percent of the nation’s agricultural scientists, engineers and policymakers, they occupy the majority, about 60 percent, of lower-paid agricultural jobs on America’s farms and ranches.

Six female professors at Montana State University and Flathead Valley Community College hope to increase the percentage of women agricultural scientists, engineers and policymakers by way of a $94,000 USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture grant, “Empowering Women in Agriculture.” The grant is funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Women and Minorities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Fields Program, a federal initiative that invests in a diverse 21st century agricultural science workforce and aims to increase representation of women and minorities in American agriculture.

“Representation and participation by women is an incredibly important focus in 21st century agriculture,” said Irene Grimberg, MSU professor of cell biology and neuroscience in the College of Letters and Science, and one of the grant’s six principal investigators. “It’s a privilege to administer the grant with my colleagues so that we can begin to explore how we can elevate and support a diversified agricultural workforce in Montana.”

Groups or individuals interested in constructing or improving a community fishing pond have until Feb. 1 to apply for a Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks for Community Pond Program grant.

Applicants must provide at least 30 percent of the total project cost, which can include contributions such as heavy equipment time, construction materials, labor, engineering services, and more. Anyone wishing to sponsor a project may apply. A total of $33,000 in grant funds is available.

Charrise Jennings with Small Wonder Daycare  is promoting a free care fair that’s set for Saturday, Jan. 27.  

You know the month of January is about over when Winter Fair becomes a hot topic in Lewistown.  The five-day event this year is larger than last year’s. According to Karen Kuhlmann and Chris Cooler:



Some great news!