Burger maker settles for nothing but the best

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By TYLER BARTON/Montana State News

It’s the end of a busy day. Jonathan Heap is wearing a black chef’s coat, still greasy from the day’s service. A bandana is tied around his forehead to keep the sweat out of his eyes. Athlene Heap is wearing a white coat, along with a tidy chef’s cap. Both are cleaning up after a hard day’s work, scrubbing grills and scouring dishes. The kitchen still sizzles with the residual heat of cooking, signaling only hotter days to come as the summer approaches.

There is not much room to maneuver inside the kitchen. It is, after all, only a school bus that has been refit with cabinets, drawers, grills, and more. Jonathan’s head nearly touches the ceiling as he stands over the stove, cleaning away.

They are tired but satisfied.

Jonathan and Athlene, a married couple and owners of the Heap Burger, have one mission: to make the finest burgers in Bozeman.

The Heap Burger bus is hard to miss. If you’re driving down Oak Street, you can spot it with even the most casual northward glance, resting in the Kenyon Noble parking lot where it permanently resides. It’s big, bold, and unmistakably bright red—a school bus repainted and repurposed into a restaurant. More

Students find escape at Norris Hot Springs

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BY SAMANTHA SUNDLY/Montana State News

Montana’s natural hot springs offer Bozeman college students an escape from the chaos of campus life with some hot mineral water, draft beer and live music. Norris Hot Springs, or the “Water of the Gods,” is located in the Madison River Valley and aims to “provide a safe, relaxing soak in all of Montana’s seasons,” according to Holly Heinzmann, owner of Norris Hot Springs and creator of the Norris Hot Springs website.

Norris Hot Springs is made up of a series of artesian springs, formed when high pressures underground force hot, mineral groundwater to flow to the surface. According to Heinzmann’s website, the pool temperature ranges between the seasons, warming up to 106 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter and cooling down below 100 degrees during the hotter months, and maintains a field pH level of 7.6.

The original Norris Hot Springs pool was built by miners in the 1860s who had come to Alder Gulch in search of gold, and was named after Alexander Norris who founded the town of Norris in 1865. The floor and walls of the pool were made by placing fir planks above the natural springs, causing the hot mineral water to bubble up between the boards and fill the pool. More

Paulie’s Hot Dogs “The Wurst Best Place”

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By VIRGINIA HOLST/Montana State News

When one is driving from the Montana State University campus to downtown Bozeman, it is highly likely that they will take Eighth Street until it ends at the intersection with Main Street. Look straight next time you come to this intersection and directly across Main Street, a red, lit sign will stand out that says, “Paulie’s Hot Dogs.”

Paulie’s is one of a kind. Started by Paul Tarantino, the same guy who started Tarantino’s, it is unique to Bozeman, according to Jake Rothling, one of Paulie’s employees.

“It’s awesome to work at Paulie’s because everyone is super laid back, friendly and happy to be here. The food is good too, so that’s cool,” Jacob Jensen said, an employee at Paulie’s. “I also like how many interesting customers we get.”

Some might say, “why go out for hot dogs?” But Paulie’s is changing the way some people think about this American “staple” food. More

Big Sky bar entertains locals in off season

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By CHELSEA ANDERSON/Montana State News

The Gallatin Riverhouse Grill in Big Sky is hosting its fourth semiannual series of free bingo nights for this upcoming spring off-season.

Twice a year, Montana’s bustling Big Sky Resort closes down for five weeks and transforms the ski destination from a town filled with ski bums and mountain bikers into a quiet, sleepy borough.

When the time comes for the resort to close for the season and the tourist inflow slows to a halt, Big Sky’s population falls drastically. As a result of stagnant business, several stores and restaurants close down for the slow five weeks until the resort re-opens and the tourism picks back up.

While the town is bereft of tourists for those five weeks, the locals remain, and a handful of businesses stay open to service the year-round residents. One such business, the Gallatin Riverhouse Grill, will stay open for the whole off-season to serve the local population. More

Song permeates life of a college student

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By AMANDA GROVER/Montana State News

Walking across campus, you notice music – not coming from your headphones – hanging in the air. You may not know it, but a young woman named April Seymour is around. You can spot her easily blending in with those around her, in hoodies and boots and jeans.  While many would feel self-conscious singing in public, she says “I started – I  think – just singing in church when I was really little, and I’ve always loved doing it so I just kept going.”

Her red hair stands out against her black hoodie when it’s not hidden under her D­­­­­­­­­­­­­eadpool beanie. However, she’s got a voice that hovers naturally in the air as she commutes from class to class. Song choice varies widely, and often has eclectic hints to it. Sometimes, it’s a pop hit, or it can even be an original song she’s written.

Seymour is a part of the on-campus a cappella group. She says that she checked to make sure that Montana State University had an a cappella group before she sent in her application. She got into it four days after arriving on campus freshman year. She said that she knew about the group auditions when she stopped by their booth during Catapalooza. While she wasn’t nervous for the solo round, she was extremely nervous for the round working as a group. So nervous, in fact, that she tried her best to harmonize with everyone. This ended up getting her into the group. More

Sports writer took unlikely route to career

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By JARED MILLER/Montana State News

Just a scant distance down I-90 midway between Missoula and Seattle sits a birthplace. Not only the birthplace of Washington’s Brian Scott but the place in which a very talented columnist was born. It was important to him that I use that term: columnist. “Not a reporter,” he stressed. And right there is where Scott’s story finds its core. A love for sports and a talent for writing met in the middle ground and that middle ground is where he resides today.

Picture a young boy watching the Seattle Mariners and trying his hardest to replicate the swing of the great Edgar Martinez. Or maybe imagine a college grad from Gonzaga entering the big bad, bad world of radio as an intern “playing the hits and poppin’ the zits,” as he put it. This is Scott. Sports and Washington are ingrained in him. It was the gift of writing, though, that would come later and ultimately define his career arc.

“I worked at a radio station during the early 90s,” Scott explained. “During my tenure there the AM station switched formats from old-school country music to an all sports format.” Bingo. The seeds of Scott’s career had been planted. More

Western writer puts down roots in Boston

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By SAMANTHA SUNDLY/Montana State News

Jeremy Soldevilla is a Western writer living in Boston, Massachusetts. He’s a lover of alpacas, horseback riding and the powdery slopes Bridger Bowl, and his two thriller novels highlight the beauty and mysteriousness of the Rocky Mountains, where Soldevilla lived and worked for several years.

Soldevilla ran the Silver Forest Inn Bed and Breakfast on Bridger Canyon Road for two years, even though his initial desire in moving west was to work on a dude ranch. Soldevilla had been working for over thirty years with various publishing companies in Boston, and needed a change of pace in order to focus on writing his novel.

In Soldevilla’s time here in the Gallatin Valley, he has left a lasting legacy for writers and publishers. After the bed and breakfast proved unprofitable and he was struggling to publish his first book, Soldevilla and his wife moved to Belgrade where in 2011, he founded two publishing companies: Christopher Matthews Publishing and Soul Fire Press. More

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