Bone marrow donation saves a life

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BY MICHELLE BURGER/Montana State News

Christian Lapp knew he would be serving his country when he joined the Marine Corps in March 2009, but Lapp had no idea he would be donating his bone marrow to save someone’s life.

Lapp, 26 and born and raised in Bozeman, joined the Marine Corps right out of high school.

“In high school, I was a horrifically bad student and my options were kind of limited. A couple schools wanted to give me scholarships for mountain biking. When it came time for me to choose, I realized (joining the marines) was that thing in the back of my head where since second grade. I was like, ‘I’m gonna go be a marine’,” said Lapp.

Many of Lapp’s family members joined the army, including two cousins and his uncle. Joining the military “was in my culture,” said Lapp.

Lapp’s uncle had the greatest influence on his choice to join the military. Lapp saw his uncle, who had a troubled upbringing, transform after joining the army and decided it was a dream of his as well. Around 10 years old is when he fell in love with this destiny. 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

Many rally for ‘Take Back the Night’

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By CULLAN STAACK/Montana State News

One out of three women and one out of every six men have been beaten, forced into sex or otherwise abused in their lifetime by someone they know or are in a relationship with, according to Montana State University’s website. Less than 50 percent of assaults are ever reported to the police, leading the organizers of Bozeman’s “Take Back the Night” event and rally to try and make a change.

“Take Back the Night” is an international event and non-profit organization with the mission of ending sexual, relationship and domestic violence in all forms and for all genders. Hundreds of events are held in over 30 countries annually. Events often include marches, rallies and vigils intended as a protest and direct action against rape and other forms of domestic violence. More

20 years of research behind VOICE methods

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By TIM STOVER/Montana State News

The mission of the Montana State University VOICE center is simple: “(The) VOICE Center is committed to the belief that all people have the right to live free from violence and the fear of violence.”

While their message is simple, their abilities and resources go far beyond what would be expected.

They offer a variety of services, from a confidential support line, to counseling, support groups, and in general, someone to talk to.

The VOICE Center is staffed by peer advocates who have been “trained to provide information, crisis intervention, and support services to anyone affected by sexual assault, relationship violence, and stalking.”

Peer advocates go through rigorous training across the spectrum of support. More

MSU students work to fight HIV with in Zambia

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By RANIA AMPNTEL CHAFINT/Montana State News

She was seven months pregnant and infected with AIDS when she was found living in a bus terminal in Lusaka, Zambia. Nearing birth, the woman was taken to Dr. Tim Meade, who helped deliver the baby with the help of a few volunteers. As a sign of gratitude, the woman named her baby Tim, which laid the foundation for Tiny Tim & Friends.

Meade, who has since adopted “tiny” Tim, now runs the organization with the help of a team of student volunteers from Montana State University. The nonprofit organization is committed to providing medicine to children and families who are in need of HIV/AIDS medication in Zambia, according to the Tiny Tim & Friends website. More

Berkeley Pit on track to overflow soon

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By EMILY SCHABACKER/ Montana State News 

Toxic water levels approach maximum capacity in Butte’s Berkeley Pit, potentially threatening the city’s groundwater system by 2023. Montana’s environmental advocacy groups have started looking for clean up or containment methods for the abandoned copper mine.

After the mine closed in 1982, rain and groundwater flooded underground shafts, forcing contaminated water to accumulate in the pit. The acidic pond stretches one mile long by a half mile wide and reaches down more than 1,700 feet.

Current water levels reach 5,336 feet above sea level, 74 feet below maximum capacity as determined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Act, according to the website Pit Watch: Berkeley Pit News and Info. More

Medical marijuana restrictions contested

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By ADAM SCHREUDER/Montana State News

Unlike the 23 states and the District of Columbia that have legalized medical marijuana, Montana maintains its illegality.  The efforts to keep medical marijuana available to patients have been ongoing since 2011, when legislators restricted caregivers to a three patient maximum.  This tight restriction forced many caregivers out of business and sent many patients back to pharmaceutical remedies.

“I just don’t know if I can deal with those side effects again. I don’t feel like myself when I’m on a constant cocktail of Oxycontin and Valium, or whatever antibiotics they think works these days,” said Trevor Swahn, a victim of Crohn’s disease.

Although legislators technically restricted the availability of marijuana in 2011, activists continually delayed the restriction through legal  appeals until .  Medical marijuana supporters were not shocked that the procrastination tool of appeals was eventually defeated by the legislature, but they are now faced with the reality of taking the now illegal industry back underground.

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