Fly fishing is deep in local guide’s DNA

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 By ANDY LINDBERG/Montana State News

“Peaceful, relaxing, intimate… a time to talk, and a time to listen”

That’s how Montana native, guide and river activist Henry Emack describes his life-long affair with fly-fishing.

Ask anyone casting a fly rod around the Rocky Mountain West, and they may tell you the same thing. But for some, especially those living right here in Gallatin Valley, fly fishing is more than a pastime, it’s a tradition rooted in family and state culture.

Made special by its clear, crisp mountain rivers, old growth forests and beautiful surroundings, Montana boasts some of the best fly fishing in the lower 48, with an impressive number of blue ribbon streams, a designation reserved only for rivers of exceptional quality.

“Its a cultural tradition that has really come to define who I am as a person,” Emack says, “and something that is really integral in making this community so special.”   More

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What started as a business became a passion

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By ARINA BILLIS/Montana State News

Bozeman’s downtown is full of businesses that have very special stories behind them. Universal Athletic is no exception.

The story of Universal Athletic began in 1971 with two 24-year-olds — Larry Aasheim and Dick Harte — who decided to turn a hypothetical business into something real. Now, 44 years later, Aasheim, the man who turned his passion into the work of his life, is the president of one of the leading companies selling sporting goods in 10 states.

“I could not have found a better thing for me,“ Aasheim says. The company is growing while Larry is getting ready to pass his presidency to the next generation in a few coming years. More

Campus police officer confronts hard realities

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By BRETT NELSON/Montana State News

Sgt. Det. Mike Stanley lives in a world of facts and reality. Mike Stanley is real. He lives in the present and is constantly scanning his work and surroundings to ensure everything is running smoothly and systematically.

Stanley moved to Montana in the summer of 1999 from Virginia, where he was born and raised. He has been married to his wife Kate for five years. Stanley started with the Montana State University Police Department as a parking officer and was promoted to patrol sergeant in 2009 and in 2011 transferred to investigations as the detective sergeant.

Stanley described the process of his career choice: “I was never a police officer until I moved out here. When we first moved here I just wanted to find some kind of job that paid decent and had insurance. I needed a break. I took a year off work when I moved out here and then I started this thing. I started as a parking officer. I needed to pick a career path; I was already here and I was already established. The position for sergeant detective became available, so I applied. It was an internal transfer; I got hired and have been doing this ever since. It’s very rewarding and there is a lot of heartbreak.” More

Love of sports leads to life’s work

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By JEREMY GOULD/Montana State News

Love where you live.

That’s the mantra of Alex “Papu” Rincon, and he leads by example. Rincon is the founder of four0six, a Montana lifestyle shop located in Helena that promotes outdoor Montana living, local arts and youth culture.

A lifelong resident of Helena, Papu grew up inline skating and snowboarding, saving up his wages from managing the local Footlocker to buy his first board. After that he was hooked, already spending most his time fly fishing, camping and skating, he had now found a way to be outdoors all through the winter as well.

A graduate of Carroll College, Rincon made use of his time at school. Triple majoring in business administration, Spanish language and literature and a multidisciplinary major in visual arts with an interest in graphic design. Growing up, education and a drive for excellence was always close by. His father Alex Rincon maintains a professorship teaching Spanish at Carroll. More

Student learning a lot … as a business owner

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By JORDAN GARCEAU/Montana State News

Owning a business while going to college is a rare event.

When asked about EJ Hanson, co-worker Holly Capp said, “EJ Hanson is the most interesting and down to earth person I have ever met.… Next to the Dos Equis man.”

While working as the Streamline’s latenight director, a 5 Guys employee, freelance photographer and full time Montana State University student, Hanson recently became co-owner of Bozeman’s Zhashki Henna.

Toward the end of 2014, the past owners of Zhashki became too busy to continue the business. The owners then offered the business to Hanson and another employee within the company. Hanson willingly accepted.

With her arms marked in henna tattooing, Hanson states, “Being a 20-year-old business owner was something I never even thought of for my life plan.” More

Student, 21, finds calling as high-end chef

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By LAUREN SHUN/Montana State News

“Cooking isn’t a job for me; it’s my passion,” said Evan Walcher.

While most college students spend time thinking about classes and exams, 21-year-old Montana State student Evan Walcher spends the majority of his time thinking about cuts of meats, seasonings, and proper plating techniques. Evan is the youngest grill cook at the high-end restaurant Open Range in Bozeman.

“The average age of the chefs around me is 28,” Walcher said. “Most are on salary.” This separation of age and experience has never made much of a difference to Evan or to those cooking around him.

Experienced chef Chef Roosevelt, 47, has been in the restaurant industry for over 23 years. Roosevelt works closely by Evan on the line most nights and like many others, Roosevelt is impressed by Evan’s skills at such a young age. “For Evan’s age, no one could be doing what he is doing for this restaurant.” More

Volunteers make Community Cafe work

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By MORGAN BROWN/Montana State News

“Way back, there was nothing here for the homeless. My wife and I started feeding the homeless out of our van, and the food bank let me cook the food in their kitchen,” said Paul Thomas, chef at the Bozeman Community Café.

“The Community Café is part of the HRDC’s Emergency Food and Nutrition Initiative, striving to improve food security throughout the Gallatin Valley.”  According to the Community Café’s website, The Human Resource Development Council also runs the Amos house, a transitional living space that was founded by Thomas.

The Community Café provides free restaurant-style dinner, seven days a week, 365 days a year using a pay what you can model.

“Whatever anyone can leave on the table is great. We don’t expect anyone to leave anything, but any amount of money that someone is able to leave is greatly appreciated,” said Lyra Leigh-Nedbor, the Community Café’s childhood nutrition program coordinator. More

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