Controversial play slated for production at MSU

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By ALEX HEIDEMA/Montana State News

The controversial play “Equus” is coming to the Montana State University campus in April with scenes containing nudity and bestiality.

Despite the controversy circling “Equus,” those involved with the production believe it will be a challenging, yet compelling show that will benefit themselves as performers, as well as the community as a whole.

In the MSU production, the main role, Alan Strang will be played by Kyle Downs, who does not doubt “Equus” stirring up the public.

“It’s something very different than what our program has put out recently and, needless to say, something much more controversial than Bozeman is used to,” said Downs. More


Montanans enjoying lowest gas prices in years

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By BRETT NELSON/ Montana State News

The price of gasoline in Bozeman is as low as it has been since 2008. With an average price of unleaded gasoline at around $1.89 a gallon in Gallatin County, many are taking notice and filling up.

The cheapest regular gas available in Bozeman is at Costco for $1.84 a gallon, according to Montana State University student Patrick Wood said, “My car battery dies often, so now that gas is cheap I can afford to let my car run longer.”

“Other factors in the price slide are increased oil production in the United States, which last year passed Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest oil producer; decreased demand from slowing economies in Europe and Asia; and more fuel efficient vehicles,” said Chris Isidore of More

Children’s Museum broadens appeal to teens

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By MORGAN BROWN/Montana State News

The Children’s Museum of Bozeman has extended its programming to teenagers up to the age of 18 with its introduction of high-tech equipment in the recently constructed STEAMlab.

The STEAMlab is a relatively new addition to the Children’s Museum, built to encourage interest in the STEAM fields of science, technology, engineering, arts, and math.

Executive Director Eleanor Barker said, “We’ve been offering STEAMlab programs since August, and what we’ve found is that there is a huge interest among kids in learning how to use these 21st century tools—like 3D printers, microprocessors and microcomputers, various programming languages—but also a tremendous need for parents, who want to support their children’s interest in these fields, but don’t have the expertise to do it themselves.” More

Free preschool proposed for Montana kids


By MOLLY WRIGHT/Montana State News

“Bringing voluntary, high-quality early childhood education to every Montana kid.”

That’s the premise behind Governor Steve Bullock’s proposal for a $37 million budget allotment to fund free early-childhood education to all Montana children.

The proposal, titled Early Edge Action, would provide voluntary half-day education to 4-year-old children statewide. Forty-two states already have free early education programs available. Bullock is requesting state lawmakers to approve the $37 million in state funding to allow local school districts the option to add the program.

According to the Montana Budget and Policy Center, estimates of the return for every dollar spent on pre-K range from $4 to $17. Savings in criminal justice, special education, and higher tax revenue returns have also been shown from investing in free statewide preschool. More

MSU students lobby for Romney improvements

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By  JORDAN GARCEAU/Montana State News

Montana State University students traveled to Helena this week to voice support for a $28 million renovation of Romney Hall on the MSU campus.

House Bill 5 represents the Long Range Building Plan for the Montana University System, with the highest dollar project being Romney Hall. The Romney Hall renovation would allow for additional technology-enhanced classroom spaces, while also housing a new expanded Veterans Center, as well as a collaborative tutoring space for math and writing.

Holly Capp, a junior in the business program at MSU, testified in front of the Education Appropriations Committee reviewing the House Bill 5.

“I urge you to support the renovation of Romney Hall and see it as an investment in today and tomorrow’s society and economy,” Capp said. “The academic support services that the building would house will help keep more students in school beyond the freshman year and earn their degrees more quickly.” More

Lack of snow removal enforcement draws ire

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By ANDY LINDBERG/Montana State News

Andrew Thorson leaves his house on a quiet and cold January morning. On his way to work, he passes by dozens of homes in Bozeman’s historic Bonton district, many with icy and unkept sidewalks, a trend that has many residents asking questions including, what are the repercussions of leaving snow on public pedestrian ways?

People around the community are looking for answers and prodding city officials to keep a closer eye on enforcing the city’s somewhat lenient snow removal code.

Local news source KBZK television reported the city has already received about 1,000 complaints from angry residents regarding snow obstructed sidewalks. “And the season isn’t over,” says Thorson, a resident of Bozeman’s Bonton district.

“It’s become a real problem, not just for us in this neighborhood, but for those who pass through on their way to work or school,” said Thorson. More

Little call for more regs in the wake of oil spill

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By WILLIAM NEVILLE/Montana State News

An oil spill near Glendive that dumped some 50,000 gallons of crude oil into the Yellowstone River will not likely result stricter regulations on pipelines, according to industry watchers.

On Jan. 17, the Bridger pipeline, carrying primarily crude oil from the Bakken oil fields, ruptured at a Yellowstone River crossing. It leaked up to 1,200 barrels of crude oil into the river near Glendive. The spill had a drastic effect on Glendive’s water supply. Residents were told not to drink tap water until environmental agencies ensured the water was safe enough to consume.

Bill Neville, a civil engineer who has worked on several oil pipelines said, “River crossings are always bad because when vector drilling is conducted in order to construct the river crossing, it’s imperative for the pipelines to be installed flat, but there is always an angle in the pipeline. Pressure and angles aren’t good friends, and bursts can happen at any time, with little to no warning. It’s fluid thermodynamics.” More

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