Category: Montana Economy


Employment Hits High, But Child Care Services and COVID Keep Some Workers Out | 406 Politics



Montana’s economy has in many ways fully recovered from the pandemic-induced recession, the state’s Department of Labor chief economist said on Tuesday, although several factors like child care and concerns about COVID-19 continue to exclude some workers from the workforce.

Employment estimates released by the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the number of employed Montanais reached a record high in September, while unemployment fell to its lowest rate since 2007.

Compared to the relatively slow recovery of 500 jobs created per month during the Great Recession, the state created an average of 2,900 new jobs per month during the COVID recession, said Barb Wagner, chief economist for the Department of Labor and State Industry. in committee Tuesday. The state’s gross domestic product, or GDP, which returned to its pre-pandemic level in the first quarter of 2021, also continues to grow this year.

Montana has also ranked No. 1 nationally for personal income growth over the past year, Wagner said. Growth in average wages has also skyrocketed.

“During 2020 our actual number of jobs was declining, but our wages continued to rise, meaning that the wage gains paid to workers who continued to work during the pandemic exceeded the wages lost as a result. jobs lost during the pandemic, ”Wagner said. “It’s a little shocking there.”

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Labor force participation, which is the percentage of the state’s population aged 16 and over who is working or actively looking for work, remains 1.3% lower than before the pandemic, Wagner said. . This represents more than 11,000 potential workers.

Wagner noted that because of the high population growth in Montana, “we can have this decline in labor force participation and also have more Montanais employed at the same time.”

More than 10,000 Montanais shun the workforce either because they are concerned about exposure to the coronavirus or because they are caring for a COVID patient, Wagner said, although she noted that the data has a high margin of error. This group also includes older people who previously held part-time jobs to stay in touch with their community, but who are at a higher risk of becoming ill with COVID.

Research indicates that more Montanais are also out of work caring for children or the elderly than before the pandemic.

“When we look forward to how we’re going to fuel our growth in the future, solving this problem with labor market participation is a big deal,” Wagner said.

She noted that as more young people become eligible for COVID vaccines, she hopes to see more parents return to the workforce. She also said that despite closings of many child care providers in the state over the past two years, the total number of providers has now returned to pre-pandemic levels.

“It’s a big achievement, but we weren’t very good before the pandemic either,” Wagner said.

As of September 2020, the state was meeting only 47% of its estimated demand, according to the Department of Labor and Industry – although this has fluctuated significantly statewide, with several rural counties accounting for less than 10% of Requirement.







The Largest Native American Tribes In The United States Today Characteristics



It is commonly believed that Native American origins can be traced back to the end of the Ice Age, when the first humans ventured through the Bering Strait and into what is now North America. Over time, they dispersed across the continent and into South America, creating distinct tribes, territories and cultures. Some Native American tribes believe humans have always been there, and many researchers believe waves of people have arrived at different times and by different means.

When Christopher Columbus and other explorers sailed to North America, they sought to colonize Native American territory and claim it as their own. Through decades of wars and treaties, Native Americans have had a complicated and painful history with European settlers. Experts of the North American landscape and its resources, the Amerindians have built a strong economy based on trade with Europeans. But as the colonial presence increased and “Manifest Destiny” rhetoric took hold, Native Americans found it difficult to live on the land they had known for generations in the face of widespread westward expansion. In 1830, President Andrew Jackson passed the Indian Removal Act, which forced many tribes to leave their ancestral lands and move west to reservations. Although some customs and traditions have been lost due to colonization, war and missionary efforts, many tribes still retain a unique identity that honors their rich ancestral history.

To celebrate the solid history of the ancestral peoples of North America, Stacker used estimates from the 2019 Census, the most comprehensive recent demographic report on the Native American population of the United States, to compile a list of 42 of the largest tribes. Native American women of the country. today. At the 2010 census, there were approximately 1.6 million Native Americans living in the United States. Tribes are categorized based on the number of people who identify as a member of that tribe alone or in any combination. For example, someone who is Cherokee and white would be included in the Cherokee population. The list also includes people who identify as each tribe in combination with other Native American groups (eg, Apache and Navajo) as well as people who identify only as a member of a Native American tribe. Native American groups unrelated to specific tribes (e.g. American Indians from Mexico, American Indians Canadian and French) are not included in this list. Read ahead to immerse yourself in the rich culture of the country’s most important Native American tribes.

You may also like: How America Has Changed Since the First Census in 1790


How are car tire supplies affected by the rubber shortage?



The U.S. auto industry has been plagued with plant closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a global shortage of semiconductor chips. Now the raw material for rubber is scarce. Rubber producers are battling climate change, the pandemic, a destructive fungus, shipping container shortages and port disruptions.

The global natural rubber market was valued at nearly $ 40 billion in 2020, and the demand for rubber is only expected to increase.

The world is heavily dependent on Asia, on which it depends for 90% of the supply of natural rubber. In March 2021, the United States imported $ 140 million worth of natural rubber alone, according to census data.

Analysts predict the natural rubber market could be worth nearly $ 68.5 billion by 2026 due to increased demand for car tires.

Tire manufacturers are responding to rising raw material prices caused by growing demand and supply chain issues by increasing the cost of their tires.

According to Kelly Blue Book, tire prices had risen before reports of a shortage, mainly because Americans were buying more trucks and SUVs than cars, which have bigger tires. The looming threat of a rubber shortage could push these prices even higher.

“Pirelli, like the rest of the industry, has seen sequential price increases and, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, in September, tire prices in general were up 6.2% from the previous year, “said Andrea Casaluci, General Manager of Operations. at Pirelli.

Car tires, personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves, and 40,000 other everyday commercial products depend on rubber.

Pará rubber, more commonly known simply as hevea or rubber plant, grows in humid countries like Thailand and Indonesia. Natural rubber is a white sap that bleeds from rubber trees and has unique properties that make it essential for tires and auto parts.

Rubber prices have increased over the past year due to flooding and leaf diseases ravaging the supply. This problem is likely to be a multi-year problem, as new trees take seven years to mature.

A representative of Bridgestone Corporation, the world’s largest tire and rubber company, said News week that “although it is a difficult time, we are very focused on business continuity and ensuring the integrity of our operations. We continue to monitor the situation closely but do not anticipate any impact on our supply at this time. Our team also remains open lines of communication with all of our key stakeholders to ensure adequate supply as the situation continues to evolve. “

Last year, China, the world’s largest consumer of natural rubber, began making big purchases to replenish its reserves as its economy opened up after the pandemic. According to a Bloomberg report, as the rest of the world stalled and prices for consumer goods fell in April 2020, China embarked on a shopping spree buying massive amounts of valuable goods, including copper, petroleum, steel and rubber.

Synthetic rubber has its uses in the tire industry and alternatives to rubber for tires have been researched by tire manufacturers. But natural rubber, due to its rather unique properties, is still used in all tires.

Michelin intends to rely less on the production of new rubber. It has set up several facilities dedicated to creating a model for the development and production of sustainable tires with a target of total tire transformation by 2050.

Today, Michelin tires have more than 200 components constructed from a variety of different families of materials, including natural rubber, synthetic rubber, metal, textiles, reinforcing agents and resins as well as elements such as sulfur for vulcanization.

Representatives of Pirelli and Bridgestone said News week that the rubber shortage is not yet a crisis. However, that does not stop the growing concern for the auto industry as it makes strategic moves to ensure sufficient supply.

“Consumer demand is expected to be better than in the previous year, when the effects of blockages and purchase delays were still visible. Pirelli is well prepared for the coming season, pre-stock orders with our dealers have been delivered on time, ”said Casaluci.

“And, the newly introduced products, as well as the new sizes for burgeoning electric car registrations, have been protected to ensure premium service to our customers.”

Across the country there has been talk of a shortage of winter tires. Reporters from ABC’s KOLO Nevada branch interviewed a tire store owner who advised customers to buy their snow tires early and make an advance appointment to put the tires on hold. In Montana stores, stores are already feeling the first effects of reduced inventory with back orders on 50 styles of Michelin medium truck stops, according to an NBC Montana report.

Experts advise winter tire buyers to be prepared to call Head and venture outside their regular tire stores to find their seasonal, racing, agricultural, and specialty tires. Buyers should also consider purchasing a spare to have on hand, just in case their vehicle does not have a full-size spare.


US Average Long-Term Mortgage Rate Declines This Week | national news



SILVER SPRING, Maryland (AP) – The average long-term mortgage rate in the United States edged down this week after several weeks of increases.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average rate on a 30-year mortgage fell to 3.09%, from 3.14% last week. Last year on this date, the long-term rate stood at 2.78%.

The rate on a 15-year loan, a popular option for homeowners refinancing their mortgages, fell to 2.35% from 2.37% last week.

Rates remain historically low, although limited inventory and rising prices leave many potential buyers on the sidelines.

Last week, the government announced that the median price for a new home hit a record $ 408,800 in September, up 9.5% from a year ago. The median price of an existing home jumped to $ 352,800, a 13.3% increase from September last year, according to the National Association of Realtors.

“As mortgage rates have fallen after several weeks of increases, we expect future increases due to stronger economic data and as the Federal Reserve withdraws its stimulus measures,” said Sam Khater, chief economist of Freddie Mac.

As expected on Wednesday, the Federal Reserve announced that it would keep its main borrowing rate close to zero, but would begin to scale back the extraordinary stimulus it has provided since the pandemic erupted last year. The Fed said it would start cutting its $ 120 billion monthly bond purchases in the coming weeks, from $ 15 billion per month, citing an improving economy and growing concern about the persistently high inflation.

The Fed’s announcement came as higher prices for just about everything – food, rent, heating oil, cars and other necessities – weighed on households.

Also on Thursday, the government announced that the number of Americans claiming unemployment benefits fell to a pandemic low last week, another sign that the labor market is healing after last year’s coronavirus recession. Overall, 2.1 million Americans were collecting unemployment checks the week of October 23 – up from 7.1 million a year earlier, when the economy was still reeling from the coronavirus outbreak.

Last week, the government reported that the US economy had slowed sharply to an annual growth rate of 2% during the July-September period, the smallest quarterly expansion since the recovery began after the pandemic recession. Last year. Rising COVID-19 cases and supply shortages have been cited as factors hampering growth.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


Daines congratulates Youngkin in the Virginia Gov Race



Although some news outlets had not yet announced the race before 8 p.m. Tuesday night, Montana Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) congratulated Republican candidate for governor Glenn Youngkin in Virginia.

Senator Daines: The people of Virginia have been clear tonight: Americans want leaders who stand up for our country, our freedoms and our parents, not the far-left agenda – that’s exactly what @Glenn youngkin it will be fine. Congratulations on the BIG victory, Governor-elect Youngkin.

Glenn Youngkin is the Republican candidate taking on former Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe (D-VA). McAuliffe was expected to walk away with the race early on, but the subject of education – mask mandates, transgender bathroom policies and critical race theory – tipped the scales towards Youngkin.

Earlier on Tuesday, Montana Governor Greg Gianforte was very optimistic about the news coming out of the Commonwealth of Virginia. He told us on the radio Tuesday morning that the polls were looking good for the Republican candidate.

Governor Gianforte: I think this will be sent. Based on the polls, it looks like Glenn Youngkin is in pretty good shape. But it will send shockwaves across this country. And it’s just a repudiation of the socialist agenda coming from Washington

Earlier Tuesday, I also made a remark about the poor outlook for the McAuliffe campaign in the final two days of the election. Why would you want to invite Randi Weingarten from the American Federation of Teachers on the stage with you? And why would you attack white female teachers in a move that has also been criticized by African American civil rights leaders?

WATCH: Here are America’s 50 Best Beach Towns

Each beach town has its own set of pros and cons, which got us thinking about what makes a beach town the best to live in. To find out, Stacker took a look at WalletHub data, released on June 17, 2020, which compares US beach towns. Ratings are based on six categories: affordability, weather, safety, economy, education and health, and quality of life. The towns had a population of 10,000 to 150,000, but they had to have at least one local beach listed on TripAdvisor. Read the full methodology here. From these rankings, we have selected the top 50. Readers who live in California and Florida won’t be surprised to learn that many of the cities featured here are in one of these two states.

Read on to see if your favorite beach town has made the cut.



Major Wall Street Stock Indices Set New Records | national news



Stocks ended a wobbly day up slightly on Wall Street, enough to hit all-time highs for major indices. The S&P 500 rose 0.2% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.3%. The Nasdaq rose 0.6%. Small company stocks have largely overtaken the broader market. Energy stocks made solid gains on the rise in oil prices. Bond yields also rose. This week, traders will attend another policy meeting of the Federal Reserve, which is examining how to end its extraordinary support measures for the economy. More and more companies are publishing quarterly profits and the government is releasing its monthly employment report on Friday.

THIS IS A CURRENT UPDATE. AP’s previous story follows below.

Stocks faltered in afternoon trading on Wall Street on Monday and hovered around the records they set last week.

The S&P 500 was up 0.1% at 3:27 p.m. EST after fluctuating between small gains and losses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 48 points, or 0.1%, to 35,867 and the Nasdaq rose 0.4%. All three indices are set to hit other all-time highs.

Smaller company stocks largely outperformed the market as a whole, a sign that investors were confident about economic growth. The Russell 2000 rose 2.4%.

More than 65% of S&P 500 shares rose, led by energy companies as the price of U.S. crude oil rose 0.6%, adding to a gain of more than 75% so far this year. Exxon Mobil rose 1.8%. A mix of companies that depend on direct consumer spending for goods and services accounted for a large part of the index’s gains. Tesla jumped 7.1% and Starbucks gained 3.6%.

Losses at tech, communications and healthcare companies helped contain the S&P 500’s gains. Microsoft fell 0.9%, parent company of Google Alphabet slipped 2.9%, and UnitedHealth Group slid fell 1.5%.

Bond yields have risen and have helped banks make gains as they rely on higher yields to charge more lucrative interest rates on loans. The 10-year Treasury yield fell from 1.55% Friday night to 1.57%. Capital One rose 1%.

Each major index hit record highs on Friday to cap the broad market’s best month in nearly a year. Stocks have been gaining ground for weeks as investors examine a steady stream of mostly encouraging corporate earnings.

More than half of the companies in the benchmark S&P 500 have already published results. Analysts expect overall profit growth of 36% by the end of the report. 167 other companies in the index will publish their results this week.

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer will release its results on Tuesday and CVS Health will release its results on Wednesday.

Investors will also follow another policy meeting by the Federal Reserve, which is currently considering how to end its extraordinary measures to support the economy. The central bank will issue its latest press release on Wednesday.

Rising inflation remains a concern and is likely to be persistent, but will likely moderate through the end of the year, said Rod von Lipsey, chief executive of UBS Private Wealth Management. Meanwhile, investors have focused on earnings and other fundamental metrics as they overcome the uncertainty of COVID-19.

“Obviously, we are waiting to see what the Fed has to say, but there is still a lot of room and capacity for the markets to continue this recovery,” he said.

Wall Street will receive several more economic updates this week.

The Institute for Supply Management will release its service sector index for October on Wednesday. This will give investors a glimpse of how the sector, which accounts for the bulk of economic activity, is recovering from the surge in COVID-19 cases over the summer.

Investors will also receive another job market update when the Labor Department releases its jobs report for October on Friday.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


Letter to the Editor: Daines takes the Clearwater Act hostage | national news



Senator Steve Daines is holding the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act (BSCA) hostage. The BCSA, a bill introduced by Senator Jon Tester, seeks to strengthen the protection of public lands while ensuring public access to outdoor recreation and the resulting economic benefits to Montana’s economy.

The BCSA is an outstanding example of what can happen when Montanais work together, as the act stems from collaborative conversations between recreationists, logging companies and conservation advocates that began in 2005. According to Missoula Current, Daines refuses to support the BCSA without its corresponding legislation that seeks to remove wilderness study status from approximately 300,000 acres of land being considered in tandem.

Nature study status protects our lands from endemic development activities, such as logging and motor vehicle use, which will disrupt our natural ecosystems. Daines’ upcoming legislation serves as a tactic to undermine the BCSA, given that only 8% of Montanais support the legislation proposed by Daines, according to a 2020 UM poll. Selfish actions have no place at the table with BCSA legislation that focuses on the greater good of Montana, keeps current and future generations in mind, and avoids placing political gain on good -being of our ecosystems and our population. I hope Senator Daines can put aside his failed legislation and do what is right for Montana by passing the BCSA.

Alexandra Berna

Missoula


Texas, 10-state coalition sue Biden’s vaccine mandate for federal contractors



By Amy Simonson, Rebekah Riess and Katelyn Polantz, CNN

(CNN) – Texas filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration on Friday over its Covid-19 vaccine mandate for federal contractors, calling it unconstitutional.

The move followed an announcement hours earlier from the Missouri attorney general’s office that a coalition of 10 states had filed its own lawsuit against the administration for imposing a vaccine mandate on federal contractors and federally contracted employees. .

The legal challenges are the last of the Republican-led states to sweeping and strict new vaccine rules on federal workers, large employers and healthcare workers that President Joe Biden announced in September. Biden has elevated vaccination mandates as an important tool in containing the deadly pandemic and preventing future outbreaks.

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson jointly led Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming in filing their complaint, according to a statement from the Missouri attorney general’s office.

Lawsuit, filed in US District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, argues Biden’s order “violates purchasing law, violates purchasing policy law, unlawful usurpation of police powers States, violates anti-commander doctrine, is a procedural violation of the Administrative Procedures Act, is a material violation of the Administrative Procedures Act, is a material violation of the APA as an action of the agency not in accordance with the law and exceeding authority, constitutes a material violation of the ABS as an agency action which is arbitrary and capricious and which violates the notification and comment requirements, violates the separation of powers, violates the Tenth Amendment and federalism, and constitutes an unconstitutional exercise of spending power, ”the statement said.

Separately, Republican Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said on Friday that he and officials from Alabama, Idaho, Kansas, South Carolina, Utah and West Virginia had the intends to file a complaint against the same warrant, according to a statement from the governor’s office.

“Besides being overly illegal and unconstitutional, this vaccine mandate on federal contractors will only further divide Americans and cripple our economy,” Kemp said. “We will not allow the Biden administration to circumvent the law or force hard-working Georgians to choose between their livelihood or this vaccine.”

The challenges come a day after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced his state had formally filed a new trial in Tampa against the Biden administration over the president’s same order, which is expected to take effect on Dec. 8.

The White House responded to DeSantis’ announcement Thursday by saying that “the vaccine requirements are working” and that Biden has the power to mandate them.

“This is a one-time pandemic in a generation that has claimed the lives of more than 700,000 Americans, and the president is committed to pulling all possible levers to save lives and stop the spread of the virus. Vaccine requirements are working: they’re good for workers, good for the economy and good for the country, “a White House official told CNN on Thursday. “The President has the power to protect the federal workforce and promote the efficiency of federal contracting in this manner.”

The official said the Justice Department and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission previously determined that Covid-19 vaccines may be required by employers.

The-CNN-Wire
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Large Equity Gains Push S&P 500 and Nasdaq to Record Highs | national news



A large rally in stocks on Wall Street sent the S&P 500 and Nasdaq to new highs on Thursday, as the market more than made up for the previous day’s modest losses.

The S&P 500 rose 1%, posting its third all-time high this week. Over 80% of the benchmark stocks closed higher. Tech stocks, banks, and a mix of companies that rely on consumer spending accounted for a large chunk of the gains.

The Nasdaq rose 1.4%, pushing the tech index above its previous record set on September 7. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.7%, leaving it just below the all-time high set on Tuesday.

Smaller stocks have outperformed the market as a whole, a sign that investors are more confident about economic growth. Bond yields rose and energy futures were mixed.

The latest market milestones come as investors greeted another encouraging batch of corporate earnings reports from companies such as Ford and Caterpillar. With just over a third of S&P 500 companies reporting results for the July-September quarter so far, around 66% of them have posted profits and revenues above Wall Street estimates, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Low interest rates and growing corporate earnings are among the reasons investors remain in the mood to buy, said Sameer Samana, senior global markets strategist at the Wells Fargo Investment Institute.

“If you look at the economics and earnings, even though we’ve probably exceeded what might be considered peak growth rates, they’re still growing at very healthy levels,” he said.

The S&P 500 Index gained 44.74 points to 4,596.42. The index is on track for its fourth consecutive weekly gain. The Dow Jones gained 239.79 points to 35,730..48. The Nasdaq gained 212.28 points to 15,448.12 points.

The Russell 2000 Small Business Index climbed 45.49 points, or 2%, to 2,297.98.

Tech stocks helped fuel much of the S&P 500’s gains. KLA, which makes equipment for semiconductor manufacturing, rose 4.3% after beating Wall Street’s earnings forecast for the first time. trimester. Apple fell 3.9% in after-hours trading after the company’s fourth-quarter tax revenue fell below Wall Street estimates. Amazon.com also fell 3.6% in after-hours trading after its third-quarter results missed analysts’ forecasts.

Bond yields edged up. The 10-year Treasury yield fell from 1.53% to 1.57%. Banks, which rely on higher bond yields to charge more lucrative interest on loans, have made solid gains. Bank of America rose 1.6%.

Ford jumped 8.7% after posting earnings that easily beat analysts’ forecasts and raised its outlook for the full year. Heavy equipment maker Caterpillar also advanced 4.1% after posting strong results.

The broader market gained ground as the latest batch of corporate newsletters show companies performed well in the last quarter, despite an increase in COVID-19 cases and inflationary concerns weighing on the recovery economic.

“Right now the market is saying that I think six months from now the economy will be good, but not great,” said George Ball, president of financial services firm Sanders Morris Harris.

Outside of earnings, investors received a mixed set of economic updates on Thursday.

Hindered by increasing cases of COVID-19 and persistent supply shortages, the US economy has slowed sharply to reach an annual growth rate of 2% during the July-September period, according to the Commerce Department. . This is the weakest quarterly expansion since the recovery began after the pandemic recession last year.

The Labor Department released a more optimistic report on the unemployment situation in the country. The number of Americans claiming unemployment benefits fell to a pandemic low last week, another sign that the job market and the economy continue to recover from last year’s coronavirus recession.

“There is a cocktail of strong and positive economic news, but in some cases lackluster,” Ball said. “This combination, in total, is probably good for the sustainability of the economy.”

The pace of economic growth and the state of the job market are worrying investors as they prepare for the Federal Reserve meeting next week to see how it moves forward with its plans to cut back purchases of ‘bonds and its position on interest rates. Slowing economic growth and rising inflation have prompted more concern on Wall Street about the impact of easing central bank support to the economy and markets.

Rising energy prices have also raised concerns about the cost to consumers as they pay more to fill gas tanks and heat homes. U.S. crude oil prices rose 0.2% on Thursday and have jumped more than 70% so far this year.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


Former NYT Columnist Kristof Announces His Candidacy for Governor of Oregon | national news



SALEM, Ore. (AP) – Former New York Times reporter and columnist Nicholas Kristof announced Wednesday that he is running for governor of Oregon, the state where he grew up on a rural farm.

Kristof, who left the newspaper earlier this month, has frequently written about the economic and social problems of people he grew up with in Oregon as the region’s manufacturing and forestry economy collapsed.

The political newcomer will run as a Democrat.

“It was hard to leave a job I loved, but it’s even harder to watch your home country struggle when you feel you can make a difference on issues like homelessness, education and the right jobs, “Kristof, 62, said on Facebook.

It faces a crowded Democratic field, with Oregon House President Tina Kotek and State Treasurer Tobias Read already among the gubernatorial candidates for the 2022 race.

A dozen Republican candidates have also said they will run.

Oregon Democrats have an overwhelming majority in the legislature, and the party has served as governor since 1987.

Outgoing Governor Kate Brown, a Democrat, cannot run for office due to term limits.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


Plentywood Montana Group seeks to “save our deposit”



When I grew up on the Hi Line, I have fond memories of stations. My brother and I boarded the Amtrak train in Glasgow, boarded the Empire Builder through the Hi Line wheat fields and beyond Glacier National Park, before descending to Whitefish for Christmas and skiing. at Big Mountain.

There is something nostalgic about old stations, isn’t there?

During our Hometown Handshake tour of northeastern Montana, we met a native of Plentywood, MT who is working to save the old Plentywood railroad depot.

Jennifer Hackler recently returned home to Plentywood and was in a meeting at the library. It was then that she found out that BNSF Railway was going to demolish the old railway depot within a week.

Jennifer Hackler: My heart has completely collapsed. I said, no, they can’t. And so I started to look for how I could save him. I imagined myself standing in front of a team of wreckers. You know, I’m I was adamant about saving this building.

Hackler ran to get his hands on BNSF and was able to stop the demolition of the depot.

BNSF has given us a year to remove the building, however, we need to get the transfer of ownership and a letter of support from them to continue. There are a lot of grants there. There are many preservation committees, the Montana History Foundation, the Montana State Historical Preservation Office, Preserve Montana – these are just a few of the companies that support the safeguard and preservation of train yards. And I know there have been a lot of these deposits saved across the state, which is super exciting.

If you’d like to help out, here’s what you can do.

Jennifer Hackler: We opened a bank account at Rocky Mountain Bank here in Plentywood. It is the responsibility of the Sheridan County Historical Association, and the memo of any donation must include “For Deposit”.

His complete:

Photo credit compilation Heather Shoal
Photo credit compilation Heather Shoal

How many in America: from guns to ghost towns

Can you guess how many public schools there are in the United States? Do you have any idea how many billionaires might reside there? Read on to find out, and learn a thing or two about the cultural significance and legacy of each of these selections along the way.


Money stays on top



Recently, Senator Greg Hertz, R-Polson, wrote his opposition to increasing corporate taxes. He argued that the costs of corporate tax are ultimately passed on to workers and consumers, that is, if companies pay higher taxes, they will pay their employees less and charge more for their employees. clients.

Do we want to be where we were 100 years ago, when Anaconda Copper Mining Company was paying a pittance in taxes, despite the phenomenal amount it was making? The history of Anaconda is a black mark in the history of Montana. He had a stranglehold on the government and the economy at the expense of a decent and secure livelihood for their workers. Workers and consumers have not taken advantage of Anaconda’s favorable tax deal.

Hertz’s argument for the trickle-down economy is wrong because money doesn’t end up flowing, and historically it has never brought better lives to citizens, only businesses. The goal should be for everyone to pay their fair share.

Last year, 55 of the country’s largest corporations paid no federal income tax on more than $ 40 billion in profits. Does it sound like they paid their fair share? Did any of their tax savings reach you? No. In 2020, the CEO to typical worker pay ratio was 351 to 1. In 1989, the ratio was 61 to 1. This money remains at the top.

Stephanie Brancati
Big arms


Great Falls businesses ready to reopen Canada-U.S. Border



GREAT FALLS – Great Falls hotels are starting to see more traffic and business, but that’s about to change in the coming weeks with the Canada-U.S. Border reopening, which means even more business for Great Falls hotels and more cars in their parking lots.

There are many reasons people come to Great Falls and stay in hotels, and soon more people will be able to do so once the border officially reopens, allowing more tourism in the city and bringing more people to the areas. hotel rooms.

Most parking lots are unlicensed in Alberta and other states in Canada, but that should change once the border opens.

Days Inn owner Scott Shull said the past 18 months have been devastating for his hotel. He says 15 to 20 percent of his business is from Canada, and reopening the border will not only help him, but a lot of hotels and businesses in Great Falls as well.

“Until this summer, we didn’t have much. Things have stopped. Little movement except for construction type activities. It was devastating for our employees. We have wasted hours. Fortunately, we resisted well. We look forward to bringing our Canadian friends back to our community, ”said Shull. “They mean a lot to our businesses. “

Without the additional tourism from Canadians, the Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce noticed a general impact on the economy and general business operations.

They say they have worked since its closure to reopen it and allow more business in the state and are delighted it is reopening.

House Speaker Shane Etzwiler said the House is busy opening the border to Montana and is happy to see it finally open.

“Everyone is excited. We have been on the front lines with a few other organizations that have sent a letter to President Biden asking him to open the border, ”Etzwiler said. “It couldn’t have come at a better time. I mean, sooner would have been a lot better obviously with the summer season, but as the holiday season approaches which is the season that usually puts retailers in the dark for the year and having it open is great. and we are thrilled for it.

The border is expected to reopen in November, with no specific date set at this point.


Yellowstone Plans to End Winter Wildlife Watching | Outside



Six years of monitoring the wildlife of Yellowstone National Park during the winter showed that bison and elk are quite accustomed to the use of snowmobiles and snowmobiles, prompting managers to recommend ending the surveillance.

“The animals have gotten used to the tours and vehicles in the park, but it’s a much more controlled situation today than it used to be,” said Ray McPadden, environmental equality chief at Yellowstone.

Since 2013, the park has restricted the use of snowmobiles and snowmobiles in the winter in the park, resulting in a significant reduction in traffic and visits.

The park is taking comments on its proposal until November 1. If approved, the workload would be removed from the staff task list starting this winter.

Yellowstone’s winter season begins December 15th with limited services.

The recommendation is based on a recently compiled summary report which found that 95 percent of wildlife within 500 feet of the park’s groomed roads exhibited “no response or a ‘look and resume’ response” to snowmobiles and snowmobiles. . During the 2014 and 2019 study period, more than 1,100 groups of wild animals and 6,700 animals were observed. Park regulations require that all snowmobiles and snowmobiles stay on groomed roads.

The fact that animals have little reaction to winter use will not be a green light for the park to allow more snowmobile and snowmobile tours, McPadden said.

Winter is a stressful time for wildlife, which is magnified by the lack of nutritious food and the cold.

Similar monitoring before the change in winter operations revealed that about 91 percent of the wildlife showed no response or a “look and resume” response.

“In the future, the park may explore other methods of monitoring impacts on wildlife,” the Park Service said in its press release. McPadden explained that it may be a more sensitive technique to measuring an animal’s response rather than simply visualizing a physical reaction.

The old methods may not be able to detect a biological response from an animal, he said.

“Yellowstone will renew the winter wildlife monitoring program if unexpected changes occur in wildlife populations or if significant adjustments are made to winter operations and use,” the Park Service said.

The report was composed from monitoring that was implemented after Yellowstone embarked on a more restrictive winter use policy – a controversial limit on snowmobile and snowmobile use that also required vehicles to have a cleaner technology to minimize exhaust fumes and noise, known as the best technology available.

Yellowstone adopted its winter use plan in 2013, basing the change on an environmental scan sparked by 15 years of planning and litigation. The adopted winter plan limited the use of slush to 110 daily transport events distributed between four of the five entrances to the park. The change also required snowmobilers to travel with guides or unguided snowmobilers to pass a test before they could lead their own group of up to 10 people in Yellowstone. All vehicles must now have the best technology available.

Prior to arriving at the current plan, Yellowstone had considered clearing the road from West Yellowstone to Old Faithful and banning all snowmobiles from the park in the winter.

The 2013 change had an economic impact on the surrounding entrance communities, particularly West Yellowstone – at the western entrance to the park – which has long billed itself as the snowmobile capital of the world.

In the winter of 2003, before the restrictions came into effect, the park as a whole welcomed more than 48,500 visitors by snowmobile and snowmobile. By 2014, this figure had been reduced by more than half to reach around 19,800 winter tourists.

West Yellowstone suffered the most, dropping from about 34,400 snowmobile and snowmobile visitors in 2003 to about 11,400 in 2014.

A 2013 estimate from the University of Montana put the average travel spending of non-residents at $ 161.19 per day. Although winter travelers spent less than their summer counterparts, tiny West Yellowstone’s lost revenue has cost the community millions of dollars, a blow to a city of less than 1,000.

A 2016 study by Montana State University student Carl Hamming detailed some of the impacts on West Yellowstone, noting the decline in winter visits reflecting a decline in the city’s annual income. This despite an increase in summer visits which started during the same period.

Yet the report also highlighted other factors that complicated the community’s woes, including ‘resortification’, absentee business ownership, second home ownership, and low-quality service jobs. .

Hamming defined resortification, also referred to as the “Aspen Effect” in reference to the ski town of Colorado, as: “the process of converting a small town into a resort destination with many vacation properties, an increase in absent business ownership, a highly seasonal economy and escalating house prices.

With fewer jobs in the winter, Hamming found that West Yellowstone’s economy has become more seasonal, accelerating employee turnover from year to year.

In his report, Hamming quotes historian Hal Rothman who “spoke out vehemently against tourism as an economic lifeline and called a community’s move to embrace tourism as” the devil’s business. “. Rothman saw tourism, rather than the salvation of a struggling economy, as a way to provide low-paying jobs, high real estate prices, urban sprawl, and the erosion of a well-connected community.

The end result is a “fabricated resort town in which traditional residents can no longer afford to live and function.” West Yellowstone, he noted, is different from some other resort communities because it was built “by tourism for tourism,” while other similar cities may have shifted from a resource-based economy. like mining, ranching or logging to tourism.

Snowmobiling in Yellowstone dates back to around 1963, when machines were relatively basic and few existed. “In the late 1980s, over 100,000 people visited Yellowstone in the winter,” Hamming noted.

Before the advent of snowmobiling, most of the shop owners in West Yellowstone closed their doors and went elsewhere during the winter.

This year, Yellowstone National Park is on track to record a record number of visits, possibly nearly 4.6 million tourists. It will be helpful to remove staff from monitoring animal reactions to snowmobiles and snowmobiles to prepare for summer tourism, McPadden said.

“More and more we’re focusing on summer,” he said, including paying more attention to resource impacts when millions of people are in the park.


Asian shares mixed after the cancellation of the Evergrande sale agreement | national news



Actions are mixed in Asia after leading Chinese real estate developer Evergrande said a plan to sell its property management arm to a smaller rival failed.

Shares fell in Hong Kong and Tokyo, but rose in most other regional markets.

Shares of China Evergrande Group fell almost 12% while shares of Evergrande Property Services fell 6.8%. In a notice to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Evergrande said it was having difficulty selling assets to resolve its lack of liquidity.

Hopson Development Holdings shares rose 5.2% after saying they were unable to complete the purchase. Trading in the shares of the three companies had been suspended pending a resolution of the transaction.

The Hong Kong Hang Seng Index fell 0.1% to 26,110.15 while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.5% to 3,603.62.

Some “verbal assurances from government officials and the easing of home loans for some of its major banks suggest authorities are monitoring housing market risks, in hopes of reassuring markets of the ripple impact on the economy. “said Yeap Jun Rong, a market strategist at IG in Singapore.

Japan’s Nikkei benchmark slipped 0.5% in morning trading to 29,121.33, as the world’s third-largest economy headed for national elections to select a new prime minister.

The ruling party’s candidate in Japan, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, has given mixed messages about his “new capitalism” policies and measures, which include promises to reduce income disparities. This has done little to reassure the markets so far.

The Australian S & P / ASX 200 gained 0.3% to 7,434.60. South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.2% to 3,019.15.

Bond yields have increased. The 10-year Treasury yield fell from 1.65% Wednesday night to 1.67%.

The price of Bitcoin slipped to $ 64,795 after crossing $ 66,000 for the first time on Wednesday. The gains came a day after the first exchange-traded fund linked to Bitcoin futures attracted significant interest from investors looking to enter the burgeoning cryptocurrency arena.

Strong healthcare company earnings on Wednesday helped push stocks up on Wall Street.

The market has gained ground as investors focus on the latest round of corporate earnings. Stocks have been volatile for weeks as rising inflation and lackluster economic data raised concerns about the way forward for the economic recovery.

The S&P 500 rose 0.4% to 4,536.19, its sixth consecutive gain. This puts it less than a point from the all-time high reached on September 2.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.4% to 35,609.34. The Nasdaq fell less than 0.1% to 15,121.68.

“The reason we’re seeing this rally over the past week is that corporate earnings look really good,” said Sylvia Jablonski, chief investment officer at Defiance ETF. “Most businesses manage inflationary pressures and pricing issues, which helps alleviate concerns about overvaluation and inflation.”

Wall Street applauded the strong earnings of a variety of healthcare companies. Abbott Laboratories, which manufactures infant formulas, medical devices and drugs, rose 3.3% after significantly beating analysts’ third-quarter profit forecasts. Health insurer Anthem rose 7.7% after also posting strong financial results. Tech stocks have been lagging behind the broader market.

Netflix fell 2.2% after forecasting profits for its current quarter below analyst estimates.

PayPal fell 4.9% on reports it plans to buy a digital bulletin board and Pinterest shopping tool, which jumped 12.8%.

Investors are busy reviewing the latest corporate newsletters as they try to better understand how rising inflation and the lingering threat of COVID-19 will affect the economy.

A major concern remains supply chain disruptions and rising material costs reducing profits for many companies. Higher costs for businesses could mean higher prices for consumers, which could threaten spending that supports the recovery.

Several large companies are yet to publish their results this week. American Airlines, Southwest Airlines and Union Pacific will report on Thursday.

In energy trading, benchmark US crude gained 13 cents to $ 83.55 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international standard, fell 3 cents to $ 85.79 a barrel.

In currency trading, the US dollar fell to 114.22 Japanese yen from 114.27 yen. The euro cost $ 1.1665, compared to $ 1.1651.

———

AP Business Writer Damian J. Troise contributed.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


Why more hospitals are using bedside Rx delivery



The connected and bring it to me savings overlap in hospitals, pharmacies and facilities now teaming up to deliver medications to a patient’s room before discharge.

Publix Pharmacy announced Monday, October 18 that it is partnering with Sarasota Memorial Hospital-Venice of Florida for bedside prescription delivery to improve patient experience and save additional trip to the pharmacy after a hospital stay.

In an announcement, Publix Vice President of Pharmacy Dain Rusk said, “Publix Pharmacy is always looking for ways to provide top notch service to its customers, whether in our stores or through through collaborations with local hospitals. Bedside delivery at Sarasota Memorial Hospital-Venice will make it easy for patients to get the medications they need before they leave the hospital.

Opened in November, the Sarasota Memorial Hospital-Venice is looking for other ways to improve the patient experience as the pandemic has made providers more competitive.

“The bedside benefit program helps ensure a smooth transition of care from hospital to home,” said Sharon Roush, president of Sarasota Memorial Hospital-Venice Campus, in the announcement. “Delivering prescriptions directly to patients at the hospital allows them to go straight home, rather than stopping at a pharmacy, reducing the risk of delays and missing a dose at home. “

Convenient, bedside prescription delivery aligns with PYMNTS data, revealing patients think and act like paying customers now more than ever. Hospitals are at the center of radical change.

For example, The Payment Cure: How Improving Billing Experiences Impacts Patient Loyalty, a collaboration between PYMNTS and CareCredit, said: “Today’s patients see themselves as consumers – independent ‘buyers’ with a range of choices. regarding how they access, experience and pay for health care. Patients, like other consumers, are empowered by their ability to compare and choose among providers and services, both online and offline.

Read more: How improving billing experiences impacts patient loyalty

A turnkey remedy to relieve health problems

In the case of Publix and Sarasota Memorial, the ad stated that “When the hospital opens in November, patients will be able to choose to have their prescriptions filled and delivered to their hospital room, a free service designed to facilitate transition from hospital to home ”.

The nearby Publix Pharmacy takes care of the insurance authorizations, filling and delivering the order “directly to the patient or to the care unit.” Patients can make cash on delivery and get future refills at any Publix pharmacy.

Measures to improve the hospital experience have occupied a prominent place in the era of the pandemic.

According to the Healthcare Payment Experience report from PYMNTS, a collaboration of Rectangle Health, “Physicians and healthcare systems lost billions in revenue in the first months of 2020, and barriers to positive consumer experiences, such as heavy payment, or handwritten registration procedures, can decrease patients. “Loyalty to their health care providers. “

See more : The Healthcare Payment Experience Report

Bedside delivery is growing

The Publix-Sarasota Memorial Hospital Agreement is not the premier bedside prescription delivery service. Other hospitals and health systems also offer to travel this last mile.

St. Peter’s Health, based in Helena, MT, introduced its Meds 2 Beds plan last October.

In a statement, St. Peter’s Clinical Pharmacy Director Tom Richardson said: “With Meds 2 Beds, patients no longer have to go to the pharmacy after their hospital stay. And, with individual medication counseling, our patients are more likely to take their medication as prescribed after discharge.

MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center in Baltimore touts its bedside drug delivery service.

“Filling prescriptions can be a challenge when patients leave the hospital,” he said. “They can get their prescriptions filled but forget to pick them up or have to queue at a pharmacy. Our program allows patients to easily access their medications without leaving their bed.

As The Bring-It-To-Me Economy: How Online Marketplaces And Aggregators Drive Omnichannel Commerce, a PYMNTS and Carat collaboration from Fiserv learned, “Getting ahead in this new ‘bring it to me’ economy means meet consumers’ higher expectations than ever for easy and convenient shopping experiences, whether it’s shopping for groceries, ordering food or doing other retail purchases. “

Add bedside prescriptions to the ‘bring it to me’ list as healthcare adds new connections.

Read more: The economics of bring it to me

——————————

NEW PYMNTS DATA: DIGITAL BANKING STUDY – THE BATTLE OF BREWING FOR WHERE WE WILL BANK

On: Forty-seven percent of U.S. consumers avoid digital-only banks due to data security concerns, despite considerable interest in these services. In Digital Banking: The Brewing Battle For Where We Will Bank, PYMNTS surveyed over 2,200 consumers to reveal how digital-only banks can boost privacy and security while providing convenient services to meet this unmet demand.


End of mixed actions on Wall Street ahead of busy earnings week | national news



Stocks faltered to a mixed end on Wall Street on Monday as market momentum slowed after its best week since July. The S&P 500 Index rose 0.3% but the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.1%. The gains of several large tech companies helped push the Nasdaq up 0.8%. Healthcare stocks ended broadly lower and energy prices ended mixed. More stocks fell than rose in the S&P 500 index. The yield on the 10-year Treasury bill stood at 1.58%. Investors are in another busy week with earnings reports from companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Netflix and United Airlines.

THIS IS A CURRENT UPDATE. AP’s previous story follows below.

Stocks faltered in afternoon trading on Wall Street on Monday as market momentum slows after its best week since July.

The S&P 500 was up 0.2% at 2:45 p.m. EST, with slightly more stocks rising than falling. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 76 points, or 0.2%, to 35,217 and the Nasdaq rose 0.7%.

Tech stocks and companies that rely on direct consumer spending made big gains, but were tempered by losses from healthcare and other companies. Chipmaker Nvidia rose 1.8% and Target rose 2.8%. Medical device company Medtronic fell 5.3%.

Energy stocks managed their gains as US crude oil prices went from small gains to losses. Prices have climbed almost 70% so far this year. Occidental Petroleum rose 3.3%. A mix of retailers and other businesses that rely on consumer spending has also grown.

The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 1.58% from 1.57% on Friday night.

The market as a whole has been turbulent for weeks as investors try to figure out the way forward for the economy as COVID-19 remains a lingering threat as businesses and consumers face an increase in inflation. The S&P 500 rose 1.8% last week for its best week since July, although it lost 2.2% just two weeks earlier.

The S&P 500 is still around 1.2% of its all-time high set on September 2, even with broad market fluctuations. Much of the attrition is due to different sectors, such as tech stocks, going from top gains to top losses on any given day.

“For now, we will maintain this type of rotational correction,” said Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab. “It’s just that when each pocket goes through times of weakness, there are pockets of strength that level it out.”

Investors are busy examining the latest round of corporate earnings to get a better idea of ​​how companies weathered the surge of virus cases in the last quarter and how many are facing the impact of the rising market. inflation on costs.

A wide range of businesses have warned that supply chain issues have crippled operations and could hurt their finances for the rest of the year. Wall Street fears that companies facing higher costs will pass them on to consumers, potentially hampering spending and the broader economic recovery.

Health giant Johnson & Johnson will release its latest results on Tuesday, as will streaming entertainment service Netflix. Investors will have a better idea of ​​the airline recovery when several major carriers release their results this week. United Airlines will release its latest results on Tuesday, while American Airlines and Southwest Airlines will release their results on Thursday.

A mix of news outside of earnings impacted several stocks. Broadcasting company Sinclair Broadcasting fell 3.5% after reporting a data breach. Toyota rose 1% after announcing plans to build a $ 1.29 billion plant in the United States to manufacture batteries for gas-electric and fully-electric hybrid vehicles.

Investors also have several economic data to review this week. The Federal Reserve announced a surprisingly large drop in industrial production on Monday. Almost half of the 1.3% drop was caused by the lingering effects of Hurricane Ida.

Wall Street will also get more information on the health of the housing market this week with the Commerce Department’s housing starts report for September on Tuesday and the National Association of Realtors report Thursday on sales of previously occupied homes in. September.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


Passenger rail service on the southern route would benefit all Montanais | Chroniclers



Montana Senator Jon Tester added, “Passenger rail transportation creates jobs and grows the economy throughout Montana and is essential to keeping families and businesses connected across our state. The benefits of passenger rail are clear, and as we work to meet the infrastructure needs of the 21st century, I will continue to fight to expand affordable and accessible passenger rail service throughout Treasure State.

Of course, the positive economic benefits of restoring the southern route are significant, but there are many more benefits than taking advantage of tourists traveling between Chicago and Seattle.

As the Montanais know, we still have winter here. Despite earlier springs and longer summers brought on by global warming, howling snowstorms with zero visibility, highways covered in black ice, and freezing temperatures are common for months.

Since the vast majority of Montana’s population lives along the Southern Highway, being able to take a beautiful and relaxing trip between our major cities instead of a car ride is a no-brainer. The Montanais have used the southern rail line all the time in the past and if given the opportunity to do so again you can bet our aging population will be on board.

The simple truth is, the Southern Highway follows some of Montana’s most iconic rivers on its way through the state. You can’t go wrong cruising in the observation car along the Yellowstone River – which happens to be the longest damless river on the Lower 48 – from Glendive to Livingston. A quick trip over the Bozeman Pass and you are suddenly in the mountain-lined Gallatin Valley, following the river that gave it its name, where the confluence of the Gallatin, Madison and Jefferson rivers gives rise to the mighty Missouri River. Once on the Continental Divide, you follow the Clark Fork from its source at Butte to its exit from Montana as our largest river – and not a mile along the route is anything but spectacular mountains. , forests and lush valleys for which the Big Sky State is rightly known worldwide.


To Avoid Armageddon, Don’t Upgrade Missiles, Eliminate Them



The best option for reducing the risk of nuclear war is hidden in plain sight. The media do not talk about it. Experts ignore it. Even progressive and peaceful members of Congress tiptoe around it. And yet, for many years, experts have called for this act of common sense that could save humanity: the stopping of all intercontinental ballistic missiles in the country.

Four hundred ICBMs dot the rural landscapes of Colorado, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota and Wyoming. Loaded in silos, these missiles are only – and dangerously – on capillary trigger alert. Unlike nuclear weapons from submarines or bombers, land-based missiles are vulnerable to attack and could present the commander-in-chief with a sudden choice of whether to use them or lose them. “If our sensors indicate enemy missiles are en route to the United States, the president should consider launching ICBMs before enemy missiles can destroy them. Once they are launched, they can no longer be recalled, “warns former Secretary of Defense William Perry. “The president would have less than 30 minutes to make this terrible decision. ”

The danger that a false alarm on either side – of the type that has occurred repeatedly on both sides – could lead to a preemptive attack stems almost entirely from the existence of ground missile forces on both sides. , each vulnerable to attacks from the other. ; each is therefore kept in a high alert state, ready to be launched a few minutes after the warning. The easiest and fastest way for the United States to reduce this risk – and, indeed, the global danger of nuclear war – is to completely dismantle its Minuteman III missile force. Gen. James E. Cartwright, former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who had served as commander of strategic command, joined former Minuteman launch officer Bruce G. Blair to write in an opinion piece in 2016: “By removing the vulnerable ground missile force, any need for launch on warning disappears.”

But rather than face the reality that ICBMs – all ICBMs – are such a serious threat to human survival, the most concerned members of Congress have chosen to focus on shutting down new ones to replace existing ones. A year ago, the Air Force awarded Northrop Grumman a $ 13.3 billion “engineering and manufacturing development” contract to replace current Minuteman III missiles with a new generation of ICBMs called Ground Based Strategic Deterrent. Current projections put the overall cost over the next five decades at $ 364 billion. Northrop Grumman calls the GBSD “the modernization of the earth branch of the nuclear triad”. But if reducing the dangers of nuclear war is a goal, the top priority should be to remove the land branch of the triad, not to modernize it.

Many proponents of arms control, while understanding the dangers inherent in ground-based nuclear missiles, have largely resisted opposing the GBSD. Instead of outright challenging the ICBMs, a coalition of organizations focused on a tax argument on Capitol Hill, calling the GBSD program a “money pit” that would waste vast sums of taxpayer money. But the powerful chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Adam Smith, skillfully executed this strategy in early summer when he said that “the Minuteman extension, as we’re being told now, is actually more expensive than the construction of the GBSD. . ”

The same Congressman Smith said less than a year earlier: “I honestly think our [ICBM] the current fleet is motivated as much by politics as by political necessity. You know, some states in the Union apparently like to be a nuclear target. And you know, it’s part of their economy. This is what they do.

Senators from several states with ICBM bases or major development activities – Montana, North Dakota, Wyoming and Utah – continue to maintain an “ICBM coalition” dedicated to thwarting any serious consideration of land weapons. Coalition members have systematically blocked efforts to reduce the number of ICBMs or explore alternatives to building new ones. These are just a few of the lawmakers captivated by ICBM’s mega-profiteers. In a report released this year by the Center for International Policy, nuclear weapons expert William Hartung gives readers a detailed look at “Inside the ICBM Lobby,” showing how ICBM entrepreneurs get their way while throwing away millions of dollars. dollars on politicians and by deploying lobbyist battalions on the US Parliament. As the recipient of the sole-source contract to build the proposed new ICBMs, Northrop Grumman has partnered with other leading contractors to block efforts to reduce spending on these dangerous and unnecessary systems, or even simply to suspend their development.

When opponents of the GBSD refuse to challenge the currently deployed Minuteman III missiles, the effects are counterproductive if their ultimate goal is to get rid of the ICBMs. The tacit acceptance of the Minuteman missile force while trying to block the GBSD sends a message that the ICBM status quo is not that bad. Such a tactical path may seem eminently pragmatic and realistic. But sooner or later, the extraordinary dangers of keeping any ICBM in place must be faced, exposed, explained to the public, and directly challenged.

Getting caught up in an argument over the cheapest way to keep ICBMs up and running in their silos is ultimately a dead end. The history of nuclear weapons in this country tells us that people will spare no expense if they believe that spending money will really make them and their loved ones safer, we have to show them that ICBMs actually do. opposite. Unless arms control and disarmament groups, as well as allied members of Congress, change course and take seriously the reasons why ICBMs need to be eliminated, they will end up implicitly strengthening the land side of the world. triad.

“First and foremost,” wrote former Secretary of Defense Perry five years ago, “the United States can phase out its [ICBM] force, a key facet of Cold War nuclear policy. The removal of ICBMs would save considerable costs, but not only budgets would benefit. These missiles are among the most dangerous weapons in the world. They could even start an accidental nuclear war.

Contrary to unfounded assumptions, the elimination of all ICBMs could be accomplished unilaterally by the United States without inconvenience. Even if Russia chose not to follow suit, dismantling potentially cataclysmic ground missiles would make the world a safer place for everyone on the planet. Frank von Hippel, former president of the Federation of American Scientists and co-founder of Princeton’s program on science and global security, wrote this year:. The error is human. To start a nuclear war would be unforgivable.

Sooner rather than later, members of Congress will face the gruesome realities of intercontinental ballistic missiles. They won’t do it unless the peace, arms control, and disarmament groups go far beyond the current boundaries of congressional discourse – and begin to point out, on Capitol Hill and at the grassroots, the crucial truth. on ICBMs and the imperative to eliminate them all. .


Plans Announced for Western Legacy Center in Whitehall | Local



• Animated exhibits focusing on Native American culture and Montana’s role in the evolution of the West.

• Integration of a 3-D visual center that allows virtual participation in rodeo events.

Jefferson County Commissioner Leonard Wortman said in a press release that the center will provide a “unique experience for visitors.”

“This is the perfect time and place for an exciting and inclusive sightseeing experience that will showcase the vibrant appeal of the Treasure State,” he said.

Harrington said he was excited about the center.

“I think this is a great project,” he said, adding that it would be a benefit to the community and allow local contractors to capture the high traffic from the highway.

Linderman said the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame and the Western Heritage Center were approached to join the Whitehall effort, but did not participate.

Christy Stensland, its executive director, said a presentation was made to the board, but they decided to follow her plan for the Charles M. Russell Museum in Great Falls, where they have now set up an area .

She said the partnership was more supportive of the council’s vision.

The Cowboy Hall of Fame have failed to find a permanent location after failed attempts at Wolf Point and Big Timber. Efforts to move to Big Timber were halted after five years of work and over $ 800,000 invested.


Border residents rejoice as US says it will lift travel ban



SAN DIEGO (AP) – Business owners and besieged families separated by COVID-19 restrictions rejoiced on Wednesday after the United States announced it would reopen its land borders to non-essential travel next month, putting end to a 19 month freeze.

Travel across the land borders of Canada and Mexico has been largely restricted to workers whose jobs are deemed essential. New rules will allow fully vaccinated foreign nationals to enter the United States for any reason starting in early November, when a similar easing of restrictions is set for air travel. By mid-January, even essential travelers seeking to enter the United States, such as truck drivers, will need to be fully immunized.

Malls and big box stores in U.S. border cities whose parking spaces had been occupied by cars with Mexican license plates have been hit hard by the travel restrictions.

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria said the economic impact was difficult to quantify, but can be seen in the low presence of shoppers at an upscale mall on the city’s border with Tijuana, Mexico. The decision comes at a critical time ahead of the holiday shopping season.

In Del Rio, Texas, Mexican visitors account for about 65% of retail sales, said Blanca Larson, executive director of the chamber of commerce and visitors’ bureau for the city of 35,000.

“Along the border, we are more of a community than two different communities,” she said.

The ban has also had a huge social and cultural impact, preventing family reunions when relatives live on different sides of the border. Community events have stalled even as cities far from the U.S. borders have moved closer to normalcy.

In Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, where hockey and ice skating are rooted, the Soo Eagles haven’t played a home game against a Canadian opponent in 20 months. The players, aged 17 to 20, have been traveling to Canada since border restrictions were lifted two months ago. Now the US team can accommodate.

“I almost fell in when I read it,” said Ron Lavin, part owner of the Eagles. “It’s been a frustrating long journey for people on a lot more serious fronts than hockey, but we’re really, really happy. It’s great for the city.

The border closure has severely affected northwestern Montana, particularly Lincoln County and the town of Eureka, where Canadian visits are a key economic driver.

State Senator Mike Cuffe, R-Eureka, told Western News in Libby it was high time to reopen the northern border.

“We have already missed another tourist season… It has hurt our economy in the Northwest, Lincoln County as well as Flathead County,” Cuffe said.

“The guy who lives less than a mile north of the border will be able to come back for coffee at the First and Last Chance Saloon,” he added. “The guy who wants to buy his tires from Eureka should be able to rush in and do it. That kind of business will be welcome. Family trips should become a lot easier.”

Cuffe said he still had questions about visitation requirements, saying it had to be “achievable.”

“I hope we have some common sense,” he said.

Republican U.S. Senator Steve Daines released a statement Wednesday saying he believes the United States should lift all restrictions and fully reopen the northern border. Daines had co-sponsored a bill to reopen the northern border which was blocked in the Senate last week.

“Families, small businesses and communities in Montana will finally be able to feel some of the relief they have been seeking for months now that the northern border is partially reopened. While I am happy to see President Biden take this first step to reopen the US-Canada border for vaccinated Canadians, I urge him to end all restrictions and fully reopen the northern border – the Montanais depend on it ” , Daines said.

Democratic Senator Jon Tester was also part of a bipartisan push to reopen the northern border and called Biden’s ongoing closure myopic.

“Montanais depend on cross-border trade and travel to support our businesses and keep our communities connected, and the Biden administration’s decision to keep the northern border closed has needlessly hurt our economy,” Tester said in a statement Wednesday morning. . “I am happy that the Biden administration has listened to me and the thousands of Montanais who fought against this short-sighted policy, and I will continue to push for the northern border to reopen as quickly and safely as possible. so that families and businesses on both sides of the border can continue to fully recover from this crisis. ”

FULLY VACCINATED US citizens and permanent residents have been allowed to enter Canada since August, provided they have waited at least two weeks since receiving their second dose of vaccine and can prove a recent COVID test -19 negative. Mexico has not enforced COVID-19 entry procedures for ground travelers.

The latest move follows last month’s announcement that the United States will end travel bans to countries for air travel and instead require vaccination of foreign nationals seeking to enter by air.

The new rules only apply to legal entry. Those who enter illegally will still be subject to deportation under a public health authority that allows for the swift removal of migrants before they can seek asylum.

Travelers entering the United States by vehicle, train, and ferry will be asked about their vaccination status as part of standard U.S. Customs and Border Protection inspection. At the discretion of officers, travelers will have their proof of vaccination verified during a secondary screening process.

Unlike air travel, where proof of a negative COVID-19 test is required before boarding a flight to enter the United States, no testing will be required to enter the United States by land or sea. , provided that travelers meet the vaccination requirements.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States will accept travelers who have been fully vaccinated with any of the vaccines approved for emergency use by the World Health Organization, not just those used in states. -United. This means that the AstraZeneca vaccine, widely used in Canada, will be accepted.

Officials said the CDC was still working to formalize admission procedures for those who received doses of two different vaccines, as was fairly common in Canada.

US Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said he was “happy to take steps to resume regular travel in a safe and sustainable manner” and praised the economic benefits.

Mexico, Canada and elected officials in border regions with the United States have been pressuring the Biden administration for months to relax restrictions.

“This is a victory for the families who have been separated and for the businesses and tourism industries whose operations have been blocked since the start of the pandemic,” said US Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, echoing the reactions of ‘other federal, state and local officials.

Cross-border traffic has dropped since the pandemic, according to figures from the US Department of Transportation.

The number of vehicle passengers entering the United States at Niagara Falls, New York – the busiest land crossing at the Canadian border – fell 83% to 1.7 million in 2020 and has remained low this year.

“The loss of these customers over the past 18 months has been one of the main reasons our hotels, restaurants and attractions have suffered,” said Patrick Kaler, president and CEO of Visit Buffalo Niagara, the agency’s tourism of the region.

The decision to restore regular travel comes as COVID-19 cases in the United States fell to around 85,000 per day, the lowest level since July, following a spike in the more transmissible delta variant virus. Per capita case rates in Canada and Mexico have been significantly lower in both countries than in the United States during the duration of the pandemic, amplifying frustrations over U.S. restrictions on travel.


Computer professor put on paid leave as UM investigates controversial blog | New








A University of Montana computer science professor was put on paid leave on Tuesday while UM investigates its controversial blog posts, according to the university’s communications director.

Rob Smith, a full professor in the Department of Computer Science at the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, was put on leave from his classes and campus after the Kaimin posted the content of his now-deleted blog “Upward Thought,” which featured his thoughts on gender, biology, religion and more.

“The university’s goal is to make this transition with as little disruption as possible for students in the computer science department,” said Dave Kuntz, director of communications at UM.

The investigation will involve Title IX of the University and legal offices. Administrators will be examining Smith’s blog, his YouTube channel, and any student allegations made against him in light of Kaimin’s Monday article, Kuntz said.

Smith’s blog denigrated women, Muslims, the LGBTQ + community, and other groups. He said the age of consent was a “social construct” and that the way women can feel fulfilled is to have children before their body clock expires – something which he defines as happening. produced between 13 and 25 years old.

In a blog post, “Isaiah 3 part 2: The problem with the women,” Smith writes, “This will sound like wacky propaganda, but did you know women peak physically at 16? It is interesting to note that, on the one hand, modern society has made it taboo for a man to marry a woman of around 16, suggesting that it is inappropriate to find a woman of around 16 attractive, while simultaneously designing all kinds of makeup products and twisted linen to make older women look as much like women around 16 as possible. [I use the word woman because historically people used to base a woman’s physical maturity on–you know, her physical maturity, instead of on an arbitrary age.]”

In another blog post, Smith writes: “Men and women are different when it comes to production, even in a service / information economy. Testosterone creates dynamism and aggressiveness, which translates into professional performance. For this reason, a production graph for the entire population would be a Pareto distribution, and you would find many more males on the right than females.

While Smith is on leave, another teacher will be teaching. Kuntz said UM does not have a definitive timeline for the investigation, but the university will work as quickly as possible to limit disruption on campus.

Kuntz explained that the University was paying Smith during this leave because of Smith’s collective agreement, terms he agreed to when he was hired as a faculty member.

Kaimin’s original story on Smith’s blog dives deeper into more posts. Although Smith deleted the blog, the Kaimin uploaded 48 entries, all of which can be found here.

This story will be updated.


Cyber ​​attacks affect most of the United States: Pearson / AP-NORC poll | national news



RICHMOND, Virginia (AP) – Most Americans from all parties are seriously concerned about cyber attacks on American computer systems and see China and Russia as major threats, according to a new poll.

The Pearson Institute and Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll shows that about 9 in 10 Americans are at least somewhat concerned about hacking involving their personal information, financial institutions, government agencies or some utilities. About two-thirds say they are very or extremely concerned.

About three-quarters say the Chinese and Russian governments are major threats to the US government’s cybersecurity, and at least half also see the Iranian government and non-governmental organizations as a threat.

The broad consensus highlights the growing impacts of cyber attacks in an increasingly connected world and could spur efforts by President Joe Biden and lawmakers to force critical industries to step up their cyber defenses and impose reporting requirements on companies that are. hacked. The poll comes amid a wave of large-scale ransomware attacks and cyber espionage campaigns over the past year that have compromised sensitive government records and led to the shutdown of operations of energy companies, hospitals, schools and others.

“It’s pretty rare these days to find issues that the vast majority of Republicans and Democrats” see as a problem, said David Sterrett, senior researcher at the AP-NORC Center.

Biden has made cybersecurity a key issue in his young administration, and federal lawmakers are considering legislation to strengthen public and private cyber defenses.

Michael Daniel, CEO of the Cyber ​​Threat Alliance and a former senior cybersecurity official under the Obama administration, said the survey shows the public is firmly aware of the type of online threats cybersecurity experts insist on. For years.

“We don’t need to do a lot more outreach,” he said.

The explosion over the past year of ransomware, in which cybercriminals encrypt an organization’s data and then demand payment to decrypt it, has underlined how extortionist hacker gangs can disrupt the economy and take lives. and livelihoods at risk.

One of the most serious cyber incidents this year was a ransomware attack in May on the company that owns the country’s largest fuel pipeline, which resulted in gas shortages along the east coast. Weeks later, a ransomware attack on the world’s largest meat processing company disrupted production around the world.

Victims of ransomware attacks range from major US agencies and Fortune 500 companies to small entities like Leonardtown, Maryland, which was one of hundreds of organizations affected around the world when software company Kaseya was hit. by ransomware over the weekend of July 4.

“We were very lucky, but it definitely opened our eyes to the fact that it could happen to anyone,” said Laschelle McKay, city administrator. She said Leonardtown’s IT vendor was able to restore the city’s network and files after several days.

The criminal syndicates that dominate the ransomware industry are mostly Russian-speaking and operate with impunity from Russia or countries allied with Russia. The US government has also blamed Russian spies for a major breach by US government agencies known as the SolarWinds hack, so named after the US software company whose product was used in the hack.

China has also been active. In July, the Biden administration formally blamed China for a massive hack into Microsoft Exchange mail server software and claimed that criminal hackers associated with the Chinese government had carried out ransomware attacks and other illicit cyber operations.

“The number of Chinese cyber actors eclipses the rest of the world, combined,” Rob Joyce, director of cybersecurity at the National Security Agency, told a recent conference. “The elite of this group is really an elite. It is a law of large numbers.

Russia and China have denied any wrongdoing.

Seniors are much more likely to view Russia and China as serious threats. A large majority of adults over 60 say the Russian and Chinese governments are a big threat, but only about half of those under 30 agree.

Democrats – at 79% – are slightly more likely than Republicans – at 70% – to say the Russian government is a big threat. Former President Donald Trump, a Republican, has consistently downplayed Russian aggression. In his first comments after discovering the SolarWinds hack in December, Trump contradicted his secretary of state and other senior officials and suggested without evidence that China was behind the campaign.

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The AP-NORC survey of 1,071 adults was conducted from September 9 to 13, using a sample drawn from NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak Omnibus, which is designed to be representative of the American population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


Building back better by investing in workers and communities



America is already in the midst of a transition to a new, cleaner economy. This evolution of our national energy systems has a lot of benefits for our nation, but not everyone sees them. There are communities in every state that are facing dramatic changes in their economy for various reasons. In parts of the country – from the mining country of West Virginia and Montana to communities powered by coal plants for decades – workers and communities are feeling real pain. We need Congress to step up and make sure that by rebuilding better, we leave no one behind and that we build a better future for all.

A just transition for workers and communities is not something that will happen organically. We must choose to invest in the economic diversification of communities. We must choose to invest in workers. We must choose to modernize and strengthen the industries and sectors at the heart of the US economy.

This is why we are supporting a new bill unveiled this week and drafted by Sens. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownUS On The Way To Miss Debt Payments As Of October 19: On The Money Analysis – Presented By NRHC – Democrats Break Rubicon Debt Ceiling Democrats Insist They Will Not Back Down debt ceiling PLUS (D-Ohio), Bob caseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseyBarletta holds big lead over GOP rivals in first Pennsylvania governor race poll Democrats downplay deadlines for Biden’s sweeping spending plan Democrats scramble for strategy to avoid default (D-Pa.), Sheldon White HouseSheldon Whitehouse Hillicon Valley – Brought to you by American Edge Project – Americans Blame Politicians, Social Media For Spread Of Disinformation: Poll Democrats Urge Federal Agencies To Combat Use Of Cryptocurrency For Ransomware Payments Tax new plastic is the cheapest way to reduce its environmental impact MORE (DR.I.), Tina smithTina Flint SmithOvernight Energy & Environment – Biden set to restore national monuments canceled by Trump Markey: Senate must pass reconciliation package ahead of global climate summit Senate Democrats seek information from PSPC, handing over in question the “misaligned incentives” MORE (D-Minn.), Michel BennetMichael Farrand BennetBiden Signs Bill to Help Victims of ‘Havana Syndrome’ Colorado Remapping Plan Creates New Competitive District Overnight Energy & Environment – Presented by American Petroleum Institute – PennEast Abandons Pipeline Plans Despite the victory of the Supreme Court MORE (D-Col.), Elizabeth warrenElizabeth WarrenSenate to Avoid Debt Crisis (D-Mass.), Tammy duckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy Duckworth LIVE COVER: Senators lobby Afghanistan’s military leaders. (D-Ill.), And Tammy baldwinTammy Suzanne Baldwin The Hill’s Morning Report – Brought to you by Facebook – Senate Approaches Surprise Deal To Raise Short-Term Debt Ceiling Defense And National Security Overnight – Pentagon Leaders In Congress: Do Not default The Senate is on the verge of avoiding the debt crisis MORE (D-Wis.) Called the American Energy Worker Opportunity Act. The bill is to be part of the Build Back Better plan currently being debated in Congress. It would provide a minimum investment of $ 32 billion over 10 years to help laid-off workers as the country shifts to cleaner and cheaper renewable energy sources. This funding would provide replacement or supplemental wages, pension contributions and health care benefits, and provide scholarships and training for workers terminating employment at a coal mine, power plant coal, a coal transport or an oil refinery. In addition, the bill would guide scholarships for the children of displaced workers.

It’s the kind of investment Congress can make in people and communities to rebuild a middle class and allow people to stay in the communities they call home.

This must go hand in hand with efforts to develop and maintain quality jobs throughout the economy, including in the clean energy sectors. Making clean economy jobs well paying, unionized jobs and making sure they are where jobs are lost, in communities of color and in frontline communities, is essential. If we don’t, in addition to the economic pain that would result, we will not maintain the political will to tackle climate change and we will continue to see workers and environmentalists playing against each other by corporate interests and politicians. .

It must also go hand in hand with a real and solid investment to bring our infrastructure into the 21st century, investment in clean technology manufacturing, strict job quality standards and an increase in workers’ rights and power, as well as other policies aimed at creating good jobs. These are the kinds of investments included in the Build Back Better plan and the bipartisan infrastructure bill. Both are necessary and urgent.

As coal-fired power plants, coal mines and oil refineries close across the country, Congress has a responsibility to ensure that the burden of meeting emission reduction targets does not fall disproportionately. about the communities that have helped keep the lights on for generations. President Joe bidenJoe BidenMcConnell promises GOP won’t help raise debt ceiling in December after Schumer Ilhan Omar’s ‘tantrum’ to Biden: ‘Keep your promise to cancel student debt’ vaccine for children MORE said we must fulfill “our obligation to the workers and communities that have fueled our industrial revolution and decades of economic growth.”

We agree. And now Congress has the opportunity to deliver on that promise and build back better by investing in the workers and communities who need it most. They can start by making sure that the American Energy Worker Opportunity Act is part of the budget that will build back better.

Jason Walsh is Executive Director of the BlueGreen Alliance.


Stock Indices Close Lower as Jobs Data Stirs Uncertainty | national news



Wall Street closed a wobbly trading day with a large drop in equities on Friday, after a weak employment report raised questions about the Federal Reserve’s timetable to reduce its immense support for markets.

The S&P 500 fell 0.2% after fluctuating between small gains and losses for much of the day. The modest drop ended a three-day winning streak for the benchmark. Despite that, he managed a 0.8% gain for the week, less than half of the index’s loss last week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 8.69 points, or less than 0.1%, to 34,746.25, while the Nasdaq composite slipped 74.48 points, or 0.5%, to 14,579, 54.

Wall Street reacted with uncertainty and disappointment to the highly anticipated September jobs report. US stocks fluctuated throughout the day, as did Treasury yields.

The 10-year Treasury yield climbed to 1.60% from 1.57% Thursday night after initially falling to 1.56% immediately after the jobs report was released.

Small business stocks fell more than the overall market. The Russell 2000 Index lost 17 points, or 0.8%, to 2,233.09.

Much of Wall Street assumed that the job market had improved enough that the Fed soon began to cut back on its monthly bond purchases meant to keep interest rates in the long term. Investors had also asked the central bank to start raising short-term interest rates at the end of next year. The current ultra-low interest rates have been one of the main forces pushing stocks to record highs.

But Friday’s jobs report showed employers created just 194,000 jobs last month, well below the 479,000 economists were expecting. Many investors still expect the Fed to stick to its timetable, but the numbers were low enough to at least raise the question of whether it could wait longer to cut its bond purchases or possibly raise short rates. term.

“The lack of jobs is not pretty – there is no way around it,” said Mike Loewengart, managing director of investment strategy at E-Trade Financial, in a statement. “And many may think that will cause the Fed to pause in terms of the reduction strategy. But the jury is out on how the market will interpret the data.”

Below the surface, the numbers don’t offer much clarity. The unemployment rate fell to 4.8% from 5.1%, and the government has revised upward the hiring figures of recent months. But last month’s hires were still the lowest since December 2020. Average wages also rose a little faster than expected compared to August, helping workers but adding to concerns about inflation.

“This gives the Fed a bit more leeway on cutting and tightening in general,” said Cliff Hodge, chief investment officer for Cornerstone Wealth.

Inflation remains a big concern for investors after hitting its highest level in at least a decade, in part due to booming supply chains as the global economy reboots after its pandemic-caused shutdown. These supply chain issues will be a key focus for investors as they review the next round of quarterly corporate financial reports.

“Profit season is really going to be the next catalyst for the market to figure out where to go until the end of the year,” Hodge said.

Rising energy prices also contributed to inflation, and benchmark US crude for November delivery briefly exceeded $ 80 a barrel early Friday. This is the highest the first-month contract for U.S. oil has been since 2014.

This helped push S&P 500 energy stocks up 3.1%, by far the biggest gain among the 11 sectors that make up the index. Exxon Mobil rose 2.8% and Pioneer Natural Resources 4.6%.

About three in five companies on the S&P 500 closed lower, with losses at tech and healthcare companies accounting for much of the decline. Citrix Systems fell 5.7%, while Bristol-Myers Squibb closed down 3%. Only energy stocks and banks recorded gains.

Friday’s choppy trading continues an already volatile run since the S&P 500 set its record on September 2. A rapid rise in interest rates and the prospect of less support from the Fed has forced investors to reassess if stock prices have risen too expensive. Concerns about rising interest rates have also combined with political unrest in Washington, DC.

The S&P 500 had four consecutive days until Tuesday when it alternated between a 1% gain and a 1% loss. In recent days, the market has been more stable amid relief that Congress appears to be delaying at least one disastrous default on US federal debt.

Overseas exchanges closed unevenly on Friday. In Europe, the German DAX lost 0.3% and the French CAC 40 fell 0.6%. London’s FTSE 100 rose 0.2%.

Asian markets were stronger. Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 1.3%, South Korea’s Kospi added 0.6%, and shares in Shanghai gained 0.7%.

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AP Business Writer Joe McDonald contributed.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


A ship anchored near the pipeline made unusual movements | national news



HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (AP) – A huge freighter made a series of unusual movements while anchored at the closest spot to a Southern California pipeline that ruptured and sent crude stranded on the beaches, according to data collected by a marine navigation service.

The Coast Guard is investigating whether a ship anchor may have snagged and bent the pipeline owned by Amplify Energy, a Houston-based company that operates three offshore oil platforms south of Los Angeles.

The Associated Press has examined more than two weeks of data from MarineTraffic, a navigation service that tracks radio signals from transponders that broadcast the locations of ships and large boats every few minutes.

These data show that the Rotterdam Express, a German-flagged vessel nearly 305 meters in length, was assigned to the SF-3 mooring, the closest to where the pipeline ruptured off Huntington Beach. The vessel made three unusual movements over two days that appear to put it above the pipeline.

In a statement to AP, Hapag-Lloyd, the shipping company that operates the Rotterdam Express, denied any role in the oil spill.

A US official told AP on Wednesday that the Rotterdam Express had become the focus of the spill investigation. The official warned the vessel was just an ongoing lead in the investigation, which is still in its early stages.

Investigators are looking to collect tracking and navigational information from the vessel that could help them identify its exact movements, the official said. They are also looking for preliminary interviews with at least some crew members.

The official was unable to publicly discuss the investigation and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.

Petty Officer Steve Strohmaier, a spokesperson for the Coast Guard, declined to comment on the Rotterdam Express, but said the agency was scanning its vessel traffic service’s electrical mapping systems to see which ships were anchored or were moving through the spill area.

Data from MarineTraffic shows that the Rotterdam Express arrived outside the port of Long Beach in early September 22 and anchored about 2,000 feet (610 meters) from the pipeline.

The next day, at around 5 p.m., data from the vessel’s locator beacon indicated that while anchored, she had suddenly moved thousands of feet to the southeast, a track that would have brought her to- above the pipeline resting on the seabed approximately 100 feet (30 meters) below. The vessel then appears to have engaged its engines to regain its anchorage approximately 10 minutes later.

The vessel then moved again around midnight and a third time shortly before 8 a.m. on September 23, each time returning to its assigned anchorage, according to its online whereabouts data. The Rotterdam Express remained at point SF-3 until Sunday, when it entered the port to unload.

The first report of oil in the water near the pipeline was made on Friday evening. Amplify said the pipeline was closed early Saturday morning, but did not say how long it believed oil had been flowing from it.

Amplify CEO Martyn Willsher said Tuesday that divers had determined that a 4,000-foot (1,219-meter) section of the pipeline had been dislodged 105 feet (32 meters), bent like the rope of a bow. Oil escaped through a thin crack.

The amount is not clear. Amplify publicly stated that there was no more than 126,000 gallons (98,421 liters) of leakage, but told federal investigators it was only 29,400 gallons (11,129 liters).

AP first contacted Hapag-Lloyd on Tuesday evening, seeking an explanation for the vessel’s movements on September 22 and 23.

Nils Haupt, a spokesperson for its headquarters in Hamburg, Germany, denied in an email on Wednesday that the ship had ever left the anchor at point SF-3 during that time. He stated that the transponder data displayed by MarineTraffic is incorrect.

“We have proof from the logbook, which is updated hourly, that the vessel has not moved,” Haupt said. “MarineTraffic in this case is false and the position is indeed incorrect.”

Haupt said Hapag-Lloyd will cooperate with any investigation.

On Wednesday morning, AP sent an email containing a screenshot of the movements of the Rotterdam Express, as reported on MarineTraffic, to the Joint Information Center of the Unified Command for state and federal agencies responding to the oil spill. Chief Petty Officer Lauren Jorgensen said the command was unable to discuss matters involving an ongoing investigation.

Nikolas Xiros, professor of marine engineering at the University of New Orleans, said it would be highly unlikely for data from a ship’s transponder, which operates through a global network called an automatic identification system, to be lagged. of several thousand feet.

“AIS carriers are very precise and the whole system is also very precise,” Xiros said after examining the Rotterdam Express locator track. “I think the ship has probably moved, that’s what I think. And with the anchor down, which was a big deal.

Xiros, who spent more than two decades teaching maritime navigation and electronics to future captains and crews of ships, said the only alternative explanation he could think of was that someone had hacked into the AIS system to make appearing the Rotterdam Express moving or that the ship’s transmitter somehow detached from its mast, fell into the water and drifted before being picked up by the crew, and then detach it two more times.

Xiros said he could not provide any reasonable explanation as to why the ship could have strayed so far from its assigned station. The records show relatively calm weather and seas on the days in question.

“There is a series of peculiar things and everything that needs to be explained,” Xiros said. “It could very well be some sort of accident, but not necessarily human error. We’ll have to see. But… I think the most likely explanation is that the ship with the anchor down went back and forth and maybe damaged the pipeline.

If a ship’s anchor becomes entangled with an underwater obstacle such as a communications cable or an oil pipeline, the operator is required by federal law to notify the Coast Guard. The locations and movements of vessels are also regularly monitored by AIS and radar, according to the Coast Guard.

Xiros said if he investigates the cause of the oil spill, he will seek to examine digital logs for locate and engine operations aboard the Rotterdam Express.

According to data from MarineTraffic, the ship left Long Beach on Monday for the Port of Oakland, where it was moored at a dock Wednesday evening.

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Associated Press writer Michael Blood in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

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Follow AP investigative reporter Michael Biesecker on http://twitter.com/mbieseck

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Contact the AP Global Investigation Team at [email protected]



Crapo, Risch and Western Caucus members unveil conservation master plan



06 October 2021

“Western Conservation Principles” to serve as an alternative to President Biden’s “30 by 30” initiative

Washington DC–U.S. Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch (both R-Idaho) joined members of the Senate Western Caucus and members of the Congressional Western Caucus in revealing a holistic and results-oriented conservation proposal titled “Principles of Conservation from West “. The proposal, which serves as an alternative to the Biden administration’s “30 by 30 initiative” and America the Beautiful report, is a blueprint for responsible and effective conservation supported by rural communities across the United States.

“We have the responsibility to preserve, maintain and improve our natural environment”, Senator Crapo said. “The best policies for solving environmental problems must be science-based, protect our quality of life, and deliver the greatest benefit to both the environment and people without unintentionally harming our economy. The results of a locally driven collaborative and consensus approach are better for the environment and Idaho’s natural resource-based economies.

“Idahoans know all too well that those who live and work on the land are more invested in its conservation than anyone else,” said Senator Risch. “Conservation can work in tandem with – and not in opposition to – our agricultural and natural resource industries. These Western principles provide common sense insight into how we can conserve our natural environment and our Western way of life. ”

Members of the Western Senate Caucus leading the introduction include Senators Steve Daines (R-Montana), John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyoming), James Lankford (R-Oklahoma), Jerry Moran (R-Kansas), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), John Hoeven (R-North Dakota), Deb Fischer (R-Nebraska), John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska).

The Western Conservation Principles were introduced with the support of Congressional Western Caucus Chairman Dan Newhouse (R-Washington), Vice-Chairs Kevin McCarthy (R-California), Bruce Westerman (R-Arkansas), Pete Stauber (R-Minnesota) ), John Curtis (R-Utah), Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado), Chris Stewart (R-Utah), Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming), Mark Amodei (R-Nevada) and Garret Graves (R-Louisiana) as well as Western Caucus Member Representatives Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Iowa), Ken Calvert (R-California), Yvette Herrell (R-New Mexico), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Washington), Blake Moore (R-Utah) , Adrian Smith (R-Nebraksa), Tom Tiffany (R-Wisconsin), Jay Obernolte (R-California), Mike Bost (R-Illinois), Ralph Norman (R-South Carolina), David Joyce (R-Ohio) , Brian Babin (R-Texas), Rick Crawford (R-Arkansas), Cliff Bentz (R-Oregon), Kelly Armstrong (R-North Dakota), Fred Keller (R-Pennsylvania) and David Valadao (R-California) .

Western Conservation Principles have been endorsed by the following groups: American Exploration and Mining Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, American Forest Research Council, American Sheep Industry, Family Farm Alliance, National Association of Counties, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Endangered Species Act Reform Coalition, National Mining Association, National Stone, Sand, and Gravel Association, Public Lands Council and Western Energy Alliance.

To read the Western Conservation Principles, Click here.

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Guest Opinion: GOP’s failed state on workforce housing | Chroniclers



MARY ANN DUNWELL

This summer, I heard from small business owners about how the housing shortage in Montana is slowing our economy. It’s a story I keep hearing, that Main Street wants to hire, and the Montanians want to go to where the jobs are, but they can’t find a house or an apartment that they can afford. to allow. The typical price of a home in Montana has increased by more than 10% over the past year, which shows us that housing issues located in some of our communities have spread to hamstring communities in that state. .

It is unacceptable that hard-working Montanais increasingly have to ask themselves whether they can build the life they want in their country of origin. Montana has the resources to help people buy their first home, try to rent, or find space for their growing family. Unfortunately, we are wasting the opportunities available to us.

During Montana’s 2021 legislative session, Gov. Gianforte joined with Republican lawmakers to give tens of millions of dollars in tax breaks to the wealthy, while refusing to pass sensible proposals to fight the hike. housing costs. They said we can wait to resolve this issue after the session, when we decide how to spend the resources the state receives through the American Rescue Plan Act, or ARPA.

Well, decisions are currently being made on how to use ARPA funding, and those decisions fail to provide solutions to the people who are billed for housing. The US bailout is expected to present an unprecedented opportunity to invest in infrastructure that drives a thriving economy, such as housing for our workforce. It should be an opportunity to find creative solutions to big problems like rising housing costs. But again, the Republicans are lagging behind.


MP McClintock: Who pays for the wake-up call?



During the Trump administration, Republicans passed one of the biggest tax cuts in American history and the biggest regulatory relief of all time. The result has been the greatest economic expansion of our lives. Before lockdown disrupted our economy, Americans were thriving with the lowest unemployment rate in 50 years – the lowest poverty rate in 60 years – and the fastest wage growth in 40 years. For the first time in decades, the income gap was narrowing.

Joe Biden and the Democrats reversed these policies with reckless abandon. It is no coincidence that the real wages of Americans have fallen every month since he took office.

History is crystal clear on this point: No country has ever taxed, spent, and walked its path to prosperity – but many have done so to their ruin.

Brian Riedl counted the total cost of the Democrats’ new spending bills for the New York Post and estimates $ 8 trillion in new spending over the next ten years, or roughly $ 60,000 per family. Joe Biden and the Democrats tell us it won’t cost you a dime. Everything will be paid for by someone else.

Here’s the dirty little secret of government spending: The government can’t put a dollar in the economy that it didn’t take out of the same economy first. Every dollar he gives you has to be taken from you and there are only three ways to do it: current taxes which rob you of your current purchasing power; borrowing, which robs you of your future purchasing power; or print money, which steals from you every time you shop by reducing the value of your income, while it silently drains your savings and retirement funds.

And don’t fall for their lie that their taxes will only fall on businesses. Businesses do not pay business taxes. YOU pay business taxes: as a consumer through higher prices; as an employee thanks to lower wages; and as an investor through lower income. It’s your retirement fund.

You know they prey on working families – because they want to hire 87,000 new IRS agents. It’s every man, woman and child living in Miami Beach, Florida. Or Ogden, Utah. Imagine the entire population of one of these cities going on a rampage to attack all American taxpayers!

The Democrats’ so-called “American Family Plan” will require your bank to report each of your private transactions over $ 600 to the IRS. Does this sound like the pursuit of the Biden family? No, they are going after YOUR family. And if you’re typical, you’ve already paid more taxes last year than you paid for food, clothing, healthcare, and entertainment combined. According to Democrats, this is not enough.

What else do you get for your $ 60,000 in new taxes, inflation and tax-induced price increases?

Amnesty, legal permanent residence and fast track to citizenship for eight to ten million foreign nationals who have entered our country illegally and ask to stay there. Eight million is the entire population of Wyoming, Alaska, Vermont, South Dakota, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Montana and Maine – put together. This at a time when real family incomes are declining, crime is increasing, homelessness is rampant and growing debt is killing the American dream of a better future for our children.

How are American workers helped by flooding the labor market with low-wage labor?

Of course, the enlightened ruling class is doing very well. The $ 60,000 taken from your earnings over the next decade will be used, for example, to pay bonuses of up to $ 50,000 each for journalists and bloggers across the country who are so brazenly auctioning off Democrats. There are lavish giveaways to Ivy League universities and the fashionable elite who buy Teslas $ 82,000.

There’s even a new Civilian Climate Corps, presumably filled with unofficial little climate pioneers always eager to report whose chimneys are smoking, watering their lawns on a bad day, and spreading forbidden climate misinformation.

The gist comes down to this: What makes Democrats think socialism will work better here than anywhere else it has been attempted?

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governor of New Mexico thanks oil and gas and applauds hydrogen plan | national news



SANTA FE, NM (AP) – The Democratic governor of New Mexico is seeking legislation to help jumpstart the production of hydrogen from natural gas in his state, a process that generates harmful greenhouse gases but could one day be exploited to provide environmental benefits.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham briefly described the effort at an oil industry leaders convention Monday in a speech that recognized the state’s reliance on industry tax revenues while also committing to to apply environmentally friendly regulations.

This is the latest tightrope walk for the governor who has pledged to act on climate change while working to protect the state’s oil and gas producers from a federal moratorium on drilling on the public lands issued by fellow Democratic President Joe Biden.

Lujan Grisham’s first message to leaders was to put on their masks, citing his own emergency regulations issued weeks ago in response to the surge in the delta variant of the coronavirus.

She paused as some 300 attendees complied, before launching into a 20-minute speech thanking oil and gas producers for their contributions to the economy and to the tax revenues that form the backbone of the public funding of education.

She pledged to launch the hydrogen industry in New Mexico with legislation in February.

“We are working on it as we speak,” said Lujan Grisham, adding that it is part of an effort to turn New Mexico into a hydrogen fuel “hub”.

The bill could include taxes and incentives for energy producers to produce hydrogen, legal frameworks to facilitate production and storage, fuel lanes for truck traffic, and training programs for workers in industry.

“The Hydrogen Hub Act will continue to help us meet our ambitious climate goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 45% by 2030 – and boost our economy in the process,” said New Mexico Department of Environment spokesperson Kaitlyn O’Brien said.

Like electric car batteries, hydrogen fuel cells do not emit carbon dioxide when in use. But electric cars, like the growing number of hydrogen-powered vehicles, including forklifts, are only as “green” as the energy used to power them.

Most of the energy used to produce hydrogen currently comes from natural gas, according to the US Department of Energy, and directly contributes to the pollution it causes. But proponents of the technology, including Biden, see it as a way to cut carbon emissions as it becomes safer for the environment.

New Mexico’s first large-scale hydrogen project describes itself as “blue”: it harnesses natural gas to split water to create hydrogen. A recent study by Cornell and Stanford found that the process generates 20% more carbon emissions than burning natural gas or coal for heat.

In what could have been a line of applause for an industry with few friends in the White House, Lujan Grisham said she stood up for them at the highest level.

“We continue to have conversations with the Biden administration to make sure they understand the critical importance of this industry to our state,” the governor said.

But like most speeches, it was greeted with a silent buzz of overhead lights and an occasional cough.

In March, Lujan Grisham wrote to Biden asking to exempt New Mexico from an executive order ending production of gas and oil on federal lands. She argued that the move would push oil extraction into Texas, which shares an above-ground border and the oil-rich Permian Basin below.

But Lujan Grisham describes himself as a “stakeholder” in the industry, not necessarily a friend.

It is committed to limiting methane emissions at mine sites and to continuing to enforce regulations requiring reduced use of fresh water and deep clean-up of environmental spills.

The speech made no mention of an oil spill currently covering the California coast, nor of record fires aggravated this summer by global warming.

Producers say methane rules will cost billions.

The governor will have to walk another tightrope in February when pro-environment lawmakers in the state’s growing progressive wing have a chance to weigh in on hydrogen legislation, and New Oil and Gas officials. -Mexico will too.

For many environmentalists, the governor’s rules on methane and support for hydrogen don’t go far enough, fast enough, to curb global warming. Student protesters began picketing outside the events and the governor’s office.

A handful of student climate activists have blocked hotel doors after the governor left Monday’s event. They sang and held a sign saying “Which side are you on?”

Back in the convention hall, most oil and gas executives removed their masks immediately after the governor’s departure.

———

Attanasio is a member of the Associated Press / Report for America Statehouse News Initiative corps. Report for America is a national, nonprofit service program that places reporters in local newsrooms to cover undercover issues. Follow Attanasio on Twitter.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.



President receives Israeli ministers in the West Bank | national news



RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) – The Palestinian president welcomed two Israeli cabinet ministers for an overnight meeting on Sunday, in a further sign of slow improvement in relations between the parties.

Israeli Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz and Regional Cooperation Minister Esawi Freij were the second group of Cabinet members to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas since the new Israeli government took office in June. Defense Minister Benny Gantz also met Abbas at his West Bank headquarters in August.

Israel’s new government is made up of eight parties spanning the Israeli political spectrum, from hard-line far-right supporters who oppose a Palestinian state to conciliatory parties who support a two-state solution. Horowitz and Freij were joined by other members of their Meretz party, the coalition’s most conciliatory faction. Horowitz heads the party.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett came from a small, hard-line religious party, and he ruled out the creation of a Palestinian state under his watch. But he called for reducing friction, mainly by taking measures to stimulate the Palestinian economy.

According to the official Palestinian news agency Wafa, Abbas “stressed the importance of ending the Israeli occupation and achieving a just and comprehensive peace.” Abbas’s self-government government seeks to establish a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, territories captured by Israel in the Middle East War in 1967.

Horowitz posted a photo of himself and Abbas on Twitter. “We have a common mission: to preserve the hope of peace, on the basis of a two-state solution,” he said.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


Three Yellowstone Wolves Killed in Montana



MAMMOUTH HOT SOURCES – Yellowstone National Park wolf biologists report that the park’s Junction Butte Pack (27 wolves) lost three wolves to Montana hunters in the first week of Montana wolf hunting season. The Junction Butte Pack transcends Yellowstone’s northern range and is the most watched wolf pack in the world.

Numerous recent overflights by the park have confirmed that the pack size has been reduced from 27 to 24 animals, losing two female puppies and a one-year-old female. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) confirms that three wolves were killed outside of Yellowstone near where the Junction Butte Pack was traveling in mid-September.

Yellowstone Wolves in the northern range spend about 5% of the time outside the park, usually in late fall. For more than a decade, the state of Montana has limited the number of wolves collected from Montana Wolf Management Units 313 (Gardiner) and 316 (Cooke City), which are immediately adjacent to the northern boundary of the park. Ninety-eight percent of Montana’s wolves are found outside of units 313 and 316. Recent changes to hunting and trapping have lifted restrictions within these units, making the wolf population of Yellowstone in the extremely vulnerable northern range. Montana has also authorized baiting from private property. Over 33% of Yellowstone’s border stock with Montana is within a mile of private property where baiting is now permitted.

“Yellowstone plays a vital role in wildlife conservation efforts and Montana’s economy. These wolves are part of our balanced ecosystem here and are one of the special parts of the park that attracts visitors from all over the world, ”said Yellowstone National Park Director Cam Sholly. “We will continue to work with the State of Montana to advocate for the reinstatement of quotas that would protect Yellowstone’s main wolf population as well as the direct economic interests of Montana derived from the hundreds of millions spent by park visitors each year. “

Visitor spending in communities 50 miles from Yellowstone exceeds $ 500 million per year, of which tens of millions are spent by visitors coming to wolf-watching and supporting Montana businesses in Gateway Communities.

The Junction Butte Pack was formed in 2012 in the northern part of the park. They are the most observed pack in Yellowstone, as they are found close to the northeast entrance road and the road to Slough Creek Campground, providing visitors with thousands of views daily. The pack numbered eight puppies in 2021.


FWP secures federal funds for new state park, proposes erosion mitigation strategies



The two U.S. senators from Montana announced this week that a grant of more than $ 1.3 million from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) will be made to Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks to help create a new state park. along the north shore of Flathead Lake.

Last December, the Montana Land Board approved the state’s proposal to acquire a half-mile, 106-acre sandy expanse along the lake’s north shore to codify access to the popular recreation site. and permanently conserve wildlife habitat and create a new state park.

In April, the proposal received the nod from the state legislature, with HB 5 giving FWP the power to acquire the property from the Sliter family for around $ 3 million.

“People from all over the world come to western Montana to enjoy our unique landscapes, and this is great news for our economy and for anyone who cares about our public lands,” said Senator Jon Tester D -Mont., In a press release. “I look forward to continuing our work to ensure that these lands – and the outdoor recreation economy that depend on it – will remain open to the public for generations to come. “

Tester, along with Senator Steve Daines R-Mont., Were instrumental in securing full and permanent funding for the LWCF under the Great American Outdoors Act which was enacted in 2020. The LWCF , first created by Congress in 1964, is funded by offshore oil and gas royalties rather than taxpayer dollars and provides hundreds of millions of dollars in funding to protect public lands and increase access to outdoor recreation.

“This is great news and all thanks to the bipartisan Great American Outdoors Act,” Daines said in a press release. “Now more Montanais and visitors will be able to enjoy the natural beauty of Flathead Lake and Montana.”

In addition to the LWCF grant, the Sliter family will donate up to $ 125,000 in a fundraising campaign with the Montana State Parks Foundation to help cover daily operations and long-term maintenance.

On October 7, the Montana State Parks and Recreation Board will discuss a capital improvement project for the newly acquired Somers Beach State Park.

Decades of operating the dams to maintain pool water levels have resulted in constant shoreline loss due to erosion along the new park’s lakefront, according to the projects backgrounder.

The council proposes to create a 6,000-foot-long 3D dynamic gravel beach system to stop the loss of the existing shoreline and provide a natural transition from the shoreline to the fringing wetland, as well as create a more usable shoreline for visitors. during the full pool.

3D dynamic range uses washed rocks and large woody debris to absorb wave action and mitigate erosion. Similar erosion control methods have been used with success along other parts of Flathead Lake, including Finley Point.

Public participation will be solicited when an environmental assessment is published pending council approval of the proposal, which is estimated to cost $ 565,000.

Flathead Lake currently has only 13 public access sites along approximately 185 miles of shoreline, 89% of which (excluding islands) are long stretches of private land.

The Somers Beach site will be the seventh unit of Flathead Lake State Park, joining Wayfarers, Yellow Bay and Finley Point on the east side of the lake, and West Shore, Big Arm and Wild Horse Island on the west side.

Last year, FWP reported total attendance among six units approaching half a million, and in the first half of 2021, the parks attracted around 147,003 visitors, making it the third most visited park in the state. .


Corps plans more Montana dam releases to help sturgeon spawn | Montana News



By BRETT FRENCH, The Billings Gazette

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) – A plan designed to test whether increased water discharge from the Fort Peck Dam in the spring could help the endangered Pale Sturgeon spawn successfully has been approved.

The US Army Corps of Engineers released its environmental impact report on September 24, outlining the proposed way forward as well as the expected economic impacts.

As part of the chosen alternative, when reservoir water levels permit, the Corps will ask the Fort Peck Dam to start increasing discharges in April to see if the imitation of the spring runoff will attract the pale sturgeon. in the Missouri River.

The concept is not new, noted Pat Braaten, a fish biologist with the US Geological Survey. In the early 2000s, fishermen and biologists worked on Fort Peck flow tests to collect data, but the surge evaporated around 2007 when water levels plummeted due to drier weather.

Political cartoons

Mother Nature eventually provided proof of concept during the high-water years of 2011 and 2018, Braaten said, as the female pale sturgeon made their way up the river below the dam. Without managed flows like the tests offered by the Corps, such opportunistic runoff scenarios offer the best chance for fish to successfully spawn in the wild, he added.

According to the Corps’ proposal, the tests would cause the barrage outputs to fluctuate between April and July.

Starting April 16 – only when the Fort Peck reservoir elevation is 2,227 feet and other downstream and runoff factors align – flows would increase by 1,700 cubic feet per second each day until peak flow at the Wolf Point gauge reached 16,000 cfs. This flow would be maintained for three days, then gradually reduced before being increased at the end of May to 28,000 cfs. The peak flow would be maintained for three days, then would gradually decrease to 8,000 cfs and would be maintained there until mid-July.

“It’s built around a whole cascade of processes,” said Braaten, each of which has to work.

Despite the work of Corps scientists to develop models to design the best possible scenario, the agency covered its EIA by noting that whether the fish “will successfully spawn immediately below the Fort Peck Dam remains a significant uncertainty” in due to the unpredictability of weather, water temperatures and predation which “are highly variable, difficult to quantify or otherwise uncertain”.

“You can think everything will work a year and then the fish will throw a curve at you,” Braaten said, making predictability an uncertainty.

The financial impacts of performing such tests are estimated at millions of dollars due to a loss of irrigation water for some Missouri River farmers later in the summer, a drop in production. electricity when the water is discharged through weirs rather than turbines, as well as a blow to the recreation economy on the Fort Peck Reservoir as the lake runs out. The Corps is also concerned that the flows could damage the Fort Peck spillway.

Governor Greg Gianforte spoke out against the plan earlier this year, despite biologists at Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks long advocating that the Corps release hotter water over the spillway. Warmer flows increase the growth rates of pale sturgeon larvae, shorten the drift distance and thus decrease mortality by allowing the fish to mature before they reach Lake Sakakawea.

The pale sturgeon was listed as endangered in 1990. It is believed that around 100 wild fish still live under the dam, although federal and state agencies have cooperated to stock hatchery-reared pallids to ensure that the species does not disappear. An estimated 16,000 of the stocked fish are still alive in the Missouri and Yellowstone rivers, some of which live above the Fort Peck Reservoir.

Dams are the main obstacle to spawning river fish. Their larvae need eight to 14 days of drift after hatching to mature, instead, they die before that in the oxygen-deprived environments found at the head of reservoirs like Sakakawea and Fort Peck.

“We know they can happen again,” Braaten said.

On the Yellowstone River, a tributary of Missouri, the Bureau of Reclamation is rebuilding the inlet dam – an irrigation dam – to include a two-mile-long diversion channel in the hope that the pale sturgeon and other native fish will have access to an additional 165 miles of river above the dam to successfully spawn. The canal is expected to be operational by spring 2023.

“It’s a good thing, it increases the chances of getting spawning and recruiting from one of the rivers,” Braaten said.

Predictions of a drier climate, including less moisture falling as snow, complicate whether the runoff is man-made or natural.

“We’ll really have to see where Mother Nature is going with this,” Braaten said.

DETAILS ON ECONOMIC IMPACTS

Details on the economic contributions of the Fort Peck, Sakakawea and Oahe reservoirs can be found in the US Army Corps of Engineer environmental impact statement.

In 2018, the three reservoirs were estimated to have over 5.6 million recreational visits.

On an annual average, Fort Peck, Sakakawea and Oahe support respectively $ 14 million, $ 140 million and $ 32 million in recreational benefits.

In the highest attendance year, the top three reservoirs were shown to support approximately 535, 2,791, and 1,283 jobs at Fort Peck, Sakakawea and Oahe, respectively.

In an average year, recreation-related jobs associated with Fort Peck Lake represent approximately 55% (378/687) of tourism jobs (retail sales; arts, entertainment and recreation; food and drink; and accommodation) in host communities. .

The benefits for sightseeing and recreation would decline at Fort Peck Lake during the free-flow years, ranging from a decrease of 14,000 to 16,000 visitors and a decrease in regional spending of $ 211,000 (-1.2 %) to $ 450,000.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Opinion: Montanais deserve the truth | Chroniclers



Shortly after taking the oath of office as Home Secretary, Ryan Zinke slashed the Bears Ears National Monument, an American monument established through historic and collaborative efforts between federal, Indigenous and local leaders. It was a pride of the Western Mountain.

As a Montanais deeply committed to the preservation of our public lands, I immediately got down to work collaborating with the organizers on the ground to keep these public lands in the hands of the public, in direct opposition to Zinke and his actions.

Working with farmers and ranchers, indigenous leaders, conservationists, hunters and anglers, and local communities, we formed a coalition that lobbied for the restoration of Bears Ears and sensitized the whole country to the value of public lands. We have worked to share the importance of public lands and the real impact they have on the economy and on the future of this country. And we have supported the Women of Bear’s Ears in their leadership role in restoring and preserving this land and culture.

Let’s be clear, I’m not a politician. But I have spent my entire career delivering results for rural and underserved communities, improving access to health care, and protecting our public lands. I will do whatever it takes to get things done, and I fight hard for the communities I serve.

Zinke’s mission as Home Secretary was to benefit as much as possible from our common heritage, the lands and rivers that nourish and sustain us. Zinke was wrong for our public lands then, and he is wrong for them now. It is our duty as Montanais to protect these lands for our children and for generations to come.


Customer opinion: Montanais deserve the truth | Chroniclers



Shortly after taking the oath of office as Home Secretary, Ryan Zinke slashed the Bears Ears National Monument, an American monument established through historic and collaborative efforts between federal, Indigenous and local leaders. It was a pride of the Western Mountain.

As a Montanais deeply committed to the preservation of our public lands, I immediately got down to work collaborating with the organizers on the ground to keep these public lands in the hands of the public, in direct opposition to Zinke and his actions.

Working with farmers and ranchers, indigenous leaders, conservationists, hunters and anglers, and local communities, we formed a coalition that lobbied for the restoration of Bears Ears and sensitized the whole country to the value of public lands. We have worked to share the importance of public lands and the real impact they have on the economy and on the future of this country. And we have supported the Women of Bear’s Ears in their leadership role in restoring and preserving this land and culture.

Let’s be clear, I’m not a politician. But I have spent my entire career delivering results for rural and underserved communities, improving access to health care, and protecting our public lands. I will do whatever it takes to get things done, and I fight hard for the communities I serve.

Zinke’s mission as Home Secretary was to benefit as much as possible from our common heritage, the lands and rivers that nourish and sustain us. Zinke was wrong for our public lands then, and he is wrong for them now. It is our duty as Montanais to protect these lands for our children and for generations to come.


Office of US Senator Jon Tester joins stakeholders in panel discussion | State



BILLINGS, Mont., September 29, 2021 / PRNewswire / – With an impending vote on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, once in a generation, natural resources experts and the staff of the US Senator Jon Tester joined Montana business leaders at a digital roundtable where stakeholders applauded the senator for supporting the infrastructure package, voicing the benefits it will bring to the state, its residents and the renewable energy industry .

“My bipartite infrastructure package will make critical investments in the future of clean energy in Montana, and create well-paying jobs in the process “, said the senator Jon Tester. “These resources will ensure that our grid is ready to handle the energy of tomorrow while protecting our clean air and water and growing our economy.”

Watch a recording of the event here.

“Investments in renewable energies do not only have an impact on the energy industry”, Jack McBroom, said the commercial director of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers LU 233 (IBEW 233). “With investments like this, families across the state will have more stable means of accessing electricity in the future. The IBEW has worked on numerous renewable energy projects in the state.

Congress is currently reviewing the budget reconciliation bill, which would help level the playing field for renewable energy companies with a long-term clean energy tax platform. In addition, the budget reconciliation bill and infrastructure package would help accelerate the growth of a clean energy workforce and provide economic benefits to communities across the country.

“Thanks to from Montana leadership in renewable energies, working families Montana will have an increased opportunity to earn a living wage ”, Kim rickard, business manager of LiUNA Local 1686 said.

“We haven’t spent any of the funds available yet, but it’s been a great relief on a rainy day to know that when we need it for an emergency, we have it there. spirit is worth a lot for small rural schools “, Christina barbachano, superintendent at Harlowton Schools said.

The state has 1,137 megawatts of renewable energy capacity, which is enough to power 366,000 Montana houses. According to the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), the renewable energy industry broke records in 2020, with the sector already on track to surpass those levels this year.

Montana ranks 22nd in the United States and obtains a

“More renewable energy means more high-quality jobs for Montanais. With the right policies in place, the renewable energy industry can put millions of Americans back to work by achieving reductions in gas emissions. greenhouse effect necessary to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. ” noted Gregory Wetstone, President and CEO of ACORE.

About ACORE:

For more than 20 years, the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) has been the nation’s premier pan-renewable nonprofit. ACORE unites finance, politics and technology to accelerate the transition to a renewable energy economy.

For more information, please visit www.acore.org.

Cision View original content to download multimedia: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/office-of-us-senator-jon-tester-joins-stakeholders-in-roundtable-discussion-301388272.html

SOURCE American Renewable Energy Council (ACORE)


Global equities mixed after large fall on Wall Street | national news



Stocks rose in Europe on Wednesday after sharp declines in Asia followed a large drop on Wall Street amid nervousness over rising prices and surging US government bond yields.

A rapid rise in Treasury yields is forcing investors to reassess whether prices have been too high for stocks, especially the more popular ones. On Tuesday, the 10-year Treasury yield jumped to 1.54%, its highest level since late June. This is up from 1.32% a week ago.

By early Wednesday, it had fallen back to 1.50%.

“What we have here is the stock market finally looking vulnerable as Treasury yields rise, oil prices could easily hit $ 90 a barrel, and supply chain issues show no signs. sign of release, ”said Edward Moya of Oanda in a comment.

The German DAX gained 0.7% to 15,358.67 and the CAC 40 in Paris also gained 0.7% to 6,551.59. The UK FTSE 100 gained 0.7% to 7,079.21.

US futures also rose, with the Dow Industrials contract up 0.5%, while the S&P 500 futures contract was up 0.6%.

In Asian trade, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 fell 2.1% to 29,544.29 and Seoul’s Kospi fell 1.2% to 3,060.27. The Shanghai Composite Index lost 1.8% to 3,536.29. In Sydney, the S & P / ASX 200 lost 1.1% to 7,196.70.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index reversed earlier losses, gaining 0.7% to 24,663.50 after struggling real estate developer Evergrande Group announced it was selling a stake in Shengjing Bank for $ 9.9 billion yuan ($ 1.5 billion) – a step towards solving its cash flow shortage.

Hong Kong-traded Evergrande shares jumped 15%.

In Japan, the choice by the ruling Liberal Democrats of former Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida to lead the party and thus become the next prime minister came after the markets closed.

Kishida, 64, is considered an establishment figure, although he has called for measures to tackle growing inequalities in Japan, the world’s third-largest economy.

On Tuesday, the benchmark S&P 500 fell 2%, its worst drop since May, and the tech-rich Nasdaq fell 2.8%, its worst drop since March. Descenders outnumbered New York Stock Exchange advances 4 to 1.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.6% and the Russell 2000 index fell 2.2%.

The benchmark S&P 500 is down 3.8% since the start of the month and on pace with its first monthly loss since January after gaining nearly 16% since the start of 2021.

Bond yields started rising last week after the Federal Reserve sent the clearest signals yet that the central bank is moving closer to start pulling back the unprecedented support it has provided to the economy throughout throughout the pandemic. The Fed has indicated that it may start raising its benchmark interest rate over the next year and will likely start slashing the pace of its monthly bond purchases before the end of this year.

Higher yields mean Treasuries pay more interest, causing investors to pay less high prices for stocks and other things that are riskier bets than super-safe US government bonds. . The recent rate hike has hit tech stocks particularly hard, as their prices appear to be more expensive than the rest of the market, relative to their earnings.

Companies warn that supply chain issues and rising prices could hurt sales and profits. The Federal Reserve has maintained that the rise in inflation is temporary and linked to these supply chain disruptions as the economy recovers from the pandemic.

In other exchanges, US benchmark crude oil fell 58 cents to $ 74.71 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It lost 16 cents to $ 75.29 a barrel on Tuesday.

Brent crude oil, the standard for international prices, fell 60 cents to $ 77.75 a barrel.

The US dollar slipped to 111.30 Japanese yen from 111.48 yen. The euro fell to $ 1.1663 from 1.1683.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


Train Derailment Response Highlights Spirit of Rural Montana | Business and Economy



Those who were not seriously injured were loaded onto school buses and the senior citizen bus and taken to a school gymnasium and community center in Chester, where residents helped them charge their cell phones to call emergency services. families and health workers assessed them. Some took showers and the passengers were offered food.

Ricky Maan, owner of the Chester supermarket, said he provided water and ice, made pizza and allowed residents to take everything passengers needed, including towels, wipes and bandages.

“I told my cashier not to charge them,” said Maan, whose family bought groceries five years ago. “We can help people who have already suffered. “

He added, “We like to help all the time. It’s our community. . . . We lived in a big city, you never see like that. But in a small town, everyone’s like, once something happens, it’s all together. “

A religious group brought in ingredients for making sandwiches. Some people drove passengers to Great Falls or Kalispell that night to reunite them with hospitalized family members, and others took passengers to Great Falls to catch a flight home, officials said.

“I just want to say the response through the Hi-Line has been fantastic,” said Robbin, the disaster and emergency services coordinator. “We can’t thank our partners enough, who came from all over and did what they needed to do, and it will be just one of those things that I don’t know we’ll ever be able to pay back, but just know that when ‘they will make the call, we will be there for them.


In the middle of the airline reset, make sure we are transported to – not finished



Amid the ups and downs of post-Covid aviation activity, a disturbing constant has taken hold on ever-changing route maps: In Flyover Country, we are still at risk of losing many of our aviation lifelines. for each other and for the rest. of the country and the world. Among other effects, countering this problem will be a great boon for private aviation.

As they contracted severely at the start of the pandemic, US airlines cut service to many small towns, especially across the heart of the country. Admittedly, these were some places that were only viable destinations under the so-called federal Essential Air Service program, which provided continuous air service to small communities that would normally see no commercial airline.

“Central America is going to lose regional jet service,” Craig Picken, managing director of Northstar Group, a private aviation executive search company, told me. Take a mid-sized city like Lincoln, Nebraska, he says. “Regional jet service is starting to be limited, which means it’s getting expensive. Flight schedules do not work.

Or Butte, Montana. In 2019, airline flights were subsidized there as part of the Essential Air Service program. But during Covid, airline access was reportedly restricted and many travelers had to travel to Bozeman, MT, an 85-mile drive away.

The need to visit

This proves to be a particular tension for the business leaders who make the economy run in our region. “The interior of the country can be extremely difficult to navigate, but there are a lot of manufacturing, heavy industry and agriculture industries where executives just have to go to pay attention to their operations,” said Sean Lancaster. , Vice President of Bristol Associates, a privately held air brokerage and services agency.

One symptom of the backlash will be growth in the business of NetJet and other private aviation charter services, which will take over from the airlines. “Now,” Lancaster said, “companies that have flown privately maybe once a year will be required to do so five or 10 times a year. The CEO of a Central American company cannot charter a jet. only once a year. Now if he can’t get air service and on a good schedule, and it can cost him a fortune, he might as well charter a jet and take a few people with him. Or buy it. a plane.

These first-time private jet passengers, high net worth individuals and private business owners contributed to the rise of business aviation.

“With the challenges of using commercial aviation, it makes sense for US companies to build or renovate their private fleets to transport executives from point A to point B, because people feel more secure. ‘comfortable having face-to-face meetings, ”said Pavel Chudzicki. , aviation partner at Miller Canfield law firm.

Read the rest of this article on Flyover Coalition.


Dale buss is Founder and Executive Director of The Flyover Coalition, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping revitalize and promote the economy, businesses and people of the region between the Appalachians and the Rockies, the Gulf Coast and the Great Lakes. He is a longtime author, journalist and editor of magazines and newspapers, and contributor to General manager, Forbes, the the Wall Street newspaper, the New York Times and many other publications. Buss is originally from Wisconsin who lives in Michigan and has also lived in Texas, Pennsylvania, and Florida.

Photo: Courtesy of Flyover Coalition



AP Top News at 11:42 p.m. EDT



Updated Sunday September 26, 2021 | 8:43 p.m.

Social Democrats defeat Merkel’s bloc in German elections

BERLIN (AP) – Germany’s center-left Social Democrats won the largest share of the vote in a nationwide election on Sunday, narrowly beating the center-right bloc of outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel in a close race that will determine who will succeed the long leader of the time at the head of Europe’s largest economy. Social Democrat candidate Olaf Scholz, the outgoing vice-chancellor and finance minister who brought his party out of a multi-year slump, said the result was “a very clear mandate to now ensure that we put in place good pragmatic government for Germany. ”Despite achieving its worst result in a federal contest, the Union bloc said it would also contact small parties to discuss forming a government, while that Merkel remain in a guardian role until a successor is sworn in.

Investigators Investigate Fatal Amtrak Derailment in Montana

JOPLIN, Mont. (AP) – A team of National Transportation Safety Board investigators were at the site of an Amtrak derailment in north-central Montana that left three people dead and seven others hospitalized on Sunday, officials said. The westbound Empire Builder was en route from Chicago to Seattle when it rolled off the tracks around 4 p.m. Saturday near Joplin, a town of about 200 people. Trevor Fossen was the first on the scene. The Joplin resident was on a dirt road near the tracks on Saturday when he saw “a wall of dust” about 300 feet high. “I started looking at this, wondering what it was, then saw the train tip over and derailed,” said Fossen, who called 911 and started trying to get people out. .

Haitians returning to a far from welcoming homeland

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) – Deported from the United States, Pierre Charles landed a week ago in Port-au-Prince, a more dangerous and dystopian capital than the one he had left four years earlier. Unable to join his family, he left the airport on his own, on foot. Charles didn’t know how to make his way to the Carrefour neighborhood through a city shrouded in smoke and dust, often marked by gunfire from gangs and police. On the way to the airport, the 39-year-old worker tried unsuccessfully to wave over crowded buses. He asked motorcyclists to take him, but was told over and over again that the trip was too risky.

‘Red Mill! Home of the musical sashays with 10 Tony Awards

NEW YORK (AP) – “Moulin Rouge! The Musical, ”a jukebox adaptation of Baz Luhrmann’s hyperactive 2001 film, won Best New Musical Crown at the Tony Awards on a Sunday night when Broadway looked back to honor shows closed by COVID-19, mourning its downfall and also looking forward to welcoming the public again. The show about the events at a turn-of-the-century Parisian nightclub, updated with tunes like “Single Ladies” and “Firework” alongside the hit “Lady Marmalade”, won 10 Tonys. The record is 12, won by “The Producers”. Producer Carmen Pavlovic said after what Broadway has been through for the past 18 months, it feels strange to be considered the best.

Pelosi pledges to pass 1T dollar bill and move forward to greater extent

WASHINGTON (AP) – As President Joe Biden’s broad national agenda risks collapsing, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday pledged Democrats to pass a bipartisan infrastructure bill this week and push forward the biggest social safety net of 3.5 trillion dollars and the climate change bill while recognizing that the total amount will decrease. Biden spoke to lawmakers over the weekend about the way forward, according to a White House official who requested anonymity to discuss the private conversations. Considerable work was being done behind the scenes to build support. When asked on Sunday if Pelosi had the votes to pass the $ 1,000 billion infrastructure bill, Biden told reporters at the White House: “It’s going to take most of this week.” Pelosi had initially pledged that the House will moderate a vote on infrastructure legislation by Monday, but she said in a letter to colleagues on Sunday that the vote will now take place on Thursday.

The United States Has Enough COVID-19 Vaccines for Childhood Boosters and Injections

MADISON, Wisconsin (AP) – With more than 40 million doses of coronavirus vaccines available, U.S. health officials have said they are confident there will be enough for skilled older Americans looking for booster vaccines and young children for whom initial vaccines are expected to be approved in the not-so-distant future. The peak in demand – expected in the wake of last week’s federal recommendation on booster shots – would be the first significant jump in months. More than 70 million Americans remain unvaccinated despite the lure of lottery prizes, free food or gifts, and calls from exhausted healthcare workers, as the average number of deaths per day has risen to more than 1,900 in recent weeks.

Liz Cheney: “I Was Wrong” In Opposing Same-Sex Marriage In The Past

WASHINGTON (AP) – Representative Liz Cheney says she was wrong to oppose same-sex marriage in the past, a position that once divided her family. Cheney, R-Wyo., A fierce critic of fellow Republican Donald Trump, also told CBS News’s “60 Minutes” that she sees her re-election campaign as the most important House race in the country as the forces aligned with the former president are trying to overthrow her. She voted to impeach Trump for his role in the Jan.6 riot on the U.S. Capitol. In the interview broadcast on Sunday night, Cheney said she had little affection for President Joe Biden, who she said adopted policies that were harmful to the economy and national security with the withdrawal from Afghanistan. .

The Rolling Stones open US tour, pay homage to drummer

ST. LOUIS (AP) – The Rolling Stones are on tour again, this time without their heartbeat, or at least their backbeat. The legendary rockers kicked off their pandemic-delayed “No Filter” tour on Sunday at the America’s Center Dome in St. Louis without their nearly six-decade drummer. From the start, it was clear how much the band members – and the fans, missed Charlie Watts, who passed away last month at the age of 80. With the exception of a private show in Massachusetts last week, the St. Louis concert was their first since Watts. death. The show opened with an empty stage and only a drumbeat, with photos of Watts flashing on the video board.

So close ! Iceland nearly won a female-majority parliament

REYKJAVIK, Iceland (AP) – Iceland briefly celebrated the election of a female-majority parliament on Sunday, before a recount produced a result just below that benchmark for gender parity in the nation island of the North Atlantic. The initial vote count saw female candidates win 33 seats in Iceland’s 63-seat parliament, the Althing, in an election that saw centrist parties make the biggest gains. Hours later, a recount in western Iceland changed the result, leaving women candidates with 30 seats, a tally previously reached in Iceland’s second most recent election in 2016. Yet at nearly 48 % of the total is the highest percentage for women legislators in Europe.

Americans win Ryder Cup in rout, send message to Europe

SHEBOYGAN, Wisconsin (AP) – Steve Stricker hoisted the Ryder Cup, golden and glorious, for all to see. Then he quickly regrouped his young American team to make sure all 12 players had a hand on it. Nine of them had never touched the 17 inch trophy in a moment of celebration. They also don’t expect it to be the last time. More than just winning back the Ryder Cup on Sunday, the youngest American team in history has handed Europe its worst loss and delivered a strong message about the importance of changing the tone of these matches. Daniel Berger won the last hole of the last game for the last point in a 19-9 victory, breaking the record margin by half a point since Europe entered the Ryder Cup in 1979.


Ifanse and McKay lead Montana State over Portland State 30-17 | National / World



PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Isaiah Ifanse ran for 217 yards, Matthew McKay threw a pair of second-half touchdowns and Montana State beat Portland State 30-17 on Saturday in the Big Sky Conference opener. for both teams.

McKay threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Lance McCutcheon to give Montana State (3-1, 1-0) a 23-17 lead at the end of the third quarter. McKay added a 9-yard touchdown pass to Jaharie Martin who topped the scoring with about nine minutes left.

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Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


Top 4 Reasons The Arnica Montana Market Boomed In 2021 – Bulk Solids Handling



Synopsis of the global Arnica Montana market:

Today’s companies choose the market research report solution such as Montana Arnica Market report because it helps improve decision making and generate more income. The report also helps in prioritizing market objectives and achieving profitable business. Industry trends, increasing proportion of major producers, and production analysis are the segments included in the global growth trends chapter of the Arnica Montana business report. While studying the market size by application covers the analysis of the market consumption by application while the study of the market size by type includes the analysis of the value, product utility, percentage of the market and production market share by type.

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Wall Street opens mostly lower, clinging to weekly gains | national news



Stocks got off to a weak start on Wall Street on Friday, losing momentum after a two-day rally. The S&P 500 was down 0.2% at the start and barely clinging to a gain for the week. Tech companies have helped lead the way to the downside. Nike fell 6% after reporting revenue for its last quarter below what analysts were looking for. European markets were also trading lower and Asian markets mostly closed lower. The yield on the 10-year Treasury bill hit 1.44%, up sharply from the 1.31% level it traded on Monday.

THIS IS A CURRENT UPDATE. AP’s previous story follows below.

TOKYO (AP) – Global markets were mostly down on Friday, although Japan’s benchmark surged as it caught up after a holiday.

Shares fell in Paris, London, Shanghai and Hong Kong but climbed 2.1% in Tokyo. US futures also fell.

Concerns over struggling Chinese real estate developer Evergrande and the pandemic weigh on sentiment, analysts said.

Some Chinese banks on Friday revealed what they were owed by Evergrande, seeking to allay fears of financial turmoil as it grapples with debt of less than $ 310 billion. Evergrande’s announcement that she was making a payment due on Thursday helped allay some concerns.

The French CAC 40 lost 0.9% at the start of the session to 6,641.43, while the German DAX lost 0.7% to 15,531.38. The UK FTSE 100 lost 0.3% to 7,059.54. US stocks are expected to fall with the Dow futures down 0.3% to 34,558.00. The S&P 500 future lost 0.3% to 4,423.25.

In Asian exchanges, the Japanese benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 609 points to 30,248.81. South Korea’s Kospi lost nearly 0.1% to 3,125.24. The Australian S & P / ASX 200 slipped 0.4% to 7,342.60. The Hong Kong Hang Seng lost 1.3% to 24,192.16, while the Shanghai Composite lost 0.8% to 3,613.07.

Mizuho Bank’s Masayuki Tsunashima warned that there were still risks to the markets due to the potential problems of Evergrande. Protracted coronavirus outbreaks also pose risks, he said.

“So one cannot rule out that optimism remains fragile or, at the very least opportunistic, because the underlying risks have simply not been addressed, let alone put to bed,” he said. “And this is consistent with the fact that markets remain subject to volatility and negative shocks.”

Hong Kong-traded shares in China Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group, its EV unit, fell 22% and shares in China Evergrande Group fell 11.6% on Friday.

Investors were waiting to see if Evergrande will make payments of $ 83.5 million on the foreign currency-denominated debt and also waited to see what the Chinese government could do, if any, to prevent a wider impact of a possible fault.

Traders felt uneasy about how quickly the US Federal Reserve might choose to curb some of the support measures it has given to markets and the economy. Those concerns were allayed on Wednesday, when the Federal Reserve signaled that it would not start considering such a decrease in support until at least November, and indicated that it could start raising its benchmark interest rate on next year.

The Fed has said it will likely begin to slow the pace of monthly bond purchases made throughout the pandemic to help keep borrowing costs low “soon” if the economy continues to improve.

In energy trading, benchmark US crude oil rose 15 cents to $ 73.45 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gained $ 1.07 to $ 73.30 a barrel on Thursday.

Brent crude, the international standard, added 29 cents to $ 77.54 a barrel.

In currency trading, the US dollar rose from 110.30 yen to 110.42 Japanese yen. The euro cost $ 1.1738, little change from $ 1.1740.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


Opinion: I have never sold and will never sell your public lands | Chroniclers



• Authorize the BLM to manage land as recreational shooting ranges;

• Repeal of the ban on affordable lead ammunition;

• Save Montana guides and outfitters from costly government mandates for federal contractors; and

• Open up access to hunting and recreation to millions of acres of landlocked public land.

Nowhere is outdoor recreation a more powerful economic driver and way of life than Montana. According to the governor’s office on outdoor recreation, “Montana’s outdoor recreation industry accounts for $ 7.1 billion in consumer spending and over 71,000 jobs.” This does not even take into account the tens of thousands of jobs supported in the livestock, timber and energy sectors.

Infrastructure is one of the keys to public access to public lands. People need passable roads and trails, functioning campgrounds, boat ramps and safe bridges to use the land. Unfortunately, when I took office, the National Park Service’s infrastructure backlog was over $ 10 billion and access to many places was limited.

As Home Secretary, one of my greatest accomplishments has been to gain overwhelming bipartisan support to rebuild the infrastructure of National Parks and the U.S. Forest Service using federal energy revenues. I also led the charge on the permanent and full re-authorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund.


Teton County and Vaughn Community Host Karhu Koski Distillery | ABC Fox Great Falls



Great Falls – This weekend, Teton County is hosting a groundbreaking ceremony, welcoming its first distillery to the area.

The distillery will be built near Gordon, MT and will include a 10,000 square foot production facility and 7,000 square foot warehouse.

Joel Almeida, founder and CEO of Karhu Koski Distillery, believes the project will expand employment opportunities for residents of Teton and Cascade County, as well as boost the local economy.

“We will also be able to attract tourism. It will be a destination that we advertise not only in the state of Montana, but in other western states and in Canada. We will therefore seek to attract tourism to the region. and bring value to the region for sure, ”said Almeida.

Almeida is looking to hire nearly thirty employees who all share the same vision.

“We want to build a world famous brand, that’s the first thing. We also want to do white labeling and manufacturing for other established distilleries and we want to be a favorite place for people traveling along. from 15. “

Although unemployment has been severe in surrounding areas like Vaughn, one resident says that’s exactly what they need.

“I think it would help a lot not only with unemployment… but you know with tourist stuff like that… I think it… it will help us,” said Diane Woods.

The ceremony will take place on Saturday September 25e at 11 o’clock.


Breaking News: Ethnic tensions threaten the integrity of Bosnia | national news



The latest news on the United Nations General Assembly:

———

The president of the presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina called on the United Nations to respect its commitment to human rights, citing ethnic inequality within his own country.

Željko Komšić is the Croatian member of the presidency of the Western Balkan country, which is shared between Croats, Muslims from Bozniak and Serbs.

KomÅ¡ić on Wednesday praised bilateral and regional cooperation during the pandemic, saying neighbors provided aid before multilateral institutions. But later in his speech, he spoke of neighbors’ intentions to annex parts of his country by fomenting ethnic tensions inside.

Bosnia was the scene of a bloody civil war in the 1990s that ended with the Dayton Peace Agreement. KomÅ¡ić says the international agreement has created complex institutions that make it difficult for the country to reach a political consensus that would allow it to move towards “a functioning state”.

He lambasted the conditions that created political, electoral and social inequalities within his own country on ethnic and religious grounds. In a speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, the Croatian president also called for electoral reform in Bosnia, saying his Croats were marginalized.

Komšić lamented the population exoduses, saying that a significant segment of the population, including those of working age and with young families, left Bosnia for better business and human rights opportunities. At the same time, Bosnia has welcomed economic migrants from elsewhere. He says this combination created additional social problems.

———

The presidents of Argentina and Colombia have warned the United Nations General Assembly that increasingly constrained emerging markets could default on their foreign debts and called on multilateral lenders to push for changes that relax debt obligations. conditions.

Argentinian Alberto Fernández said in a video message that there was clearly “a risk of widespread foreign debt debacle for developing countries,” and said there should be a “reconfiguration of the financial architecture world “.

Hours earlier, his Colombian counterpart Iván Duque told diplomats meeting in New York that governments had increased their debt and budget deficits to deal with COVID-19, but rating agencies are still assessing them with “prejudicial eyes. -pandemic ”. He called on multilateral lenders to create a new consensus on minimum acceptable risk criteria that reflect the post-pandemic restart period.

“Otherwise, in the short term, in the face of demand for debt and the widespread increase in the cost of capital, it could precipitate a debt crisis,” Duque said.

He also proposed to exclude all spending and investments devoted to climate change from the assessment of budget deficits.

Standard & Poor’s rating agency downgraded Colombia’s sovereign bond rating to junk in May, and Fitch Ratings did the same in July. Duque did not explicitly refer to his country’s downgrades.

Fernández, for his part, called Argentina’s debt to the International Monetary Fund “toxic and irresponsible”. His predecessor, Mauricio Macri, arranged a $ 57 billion loan that Fernández had previously declared non-repayable. His country received $ 45 billion of the total, and the president refused to accept the rest.

———

NEW YORK – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has hailed “the mood very different in Washington” about the urgency to tackle climate change since President Joe Biden replaced Donald Trump.

Johnson, who is due to meet Biden at the White House on Tuesday, said the US government was “passionately committed to tackling climate change.”

Johnson is due to host a UN climate conference in Glasgow in November and took advantage of a visit to the UN General Assembly in New York this week to urge countries to do more to help poor countries cope to the crisis.

Britain welcomed Biden’s announcement on Tuesday that the United States would double its contribution.

Johnson downplayed the likelihood that a US-UK trade deal would soon be concluded, saying this week that Biden had “a lot of fish to fry.”

Johnson, a longtime Brexit supporter, has often cited the possibility of a deal with the United States as one of the main benefits of leaving the European Union. But talks have stalled and the US has warned there will be no trade deal unless Britain resolves post-Brexit tensions with the EU over Ireland of the North, fearing that some will undermine the peace process in that country.

“I have many reasons to be optimistic about (a trade deal),” Johnson said in talks in New York on Tuesday with UK broadcasters. “But the Americans are negotiating very hard.”

———

NEW YORK – President Joe Biden meets with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, days after unveiling a new partnership that would see Australia acquire at least 8 US nuclear submarines, which led to a diplomatic split with France.

The new agreement which also included the United Kingdom led Australia to cancel previous acquisitions of submarines from France, which then recalled its American ambassador. The deal was widely seen as an effort by the United States, Britain and Australia to counter an increasingly assertive China.

The two men meet on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

Morrison did not directly address the issue of submarines, but thanked Biden for his leadership in the region. Biden says their goal is a “free and open” Pacific region and points out that the United States has “no closer or more reliable ally” than Australia.

Biden says their conversation will continue on Friday in a meeting with Japan and India, the other two members of a separate partnership known as the quad.

———

UNITED NATIONS – Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih called hope “a highly desirable commodity in these difficult times” in his address to the United Nations General Assembly.

Solih’s Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid chairs the UN General Assembly. Addressing him, Solih said on Tuesday it was appropriate that his term be called “the presidency of hope.” But he warned that hope without action is ineffective.

The Maldives depend heavily on tourism for their economy and have therefore been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic. As its borders reopened, Solih said the virus remains a threat until it is defeated everywhere. He touted the merits of vaccines, claiming that 85% of all Maldivians are vaccinated.

Climate change threatens to wipe out the tiny island nation in the Indian Ocean, and Solih has brought with him written appeals from young children to protect their home. He said that 56 years after the Maldives “rushed” to apply for UN membership, he still believes the world body is humanity’s best hope.

———

UNITED NATIONS – President Joe Biden calls on delegates to the United Nations General Assembly to act on climate change. He says the situation is at a “code red for humanity”.

Biden said the world is “quickly approaching a point of no return” on extreme weather events that claim lives and cost billions of dollars in damage. He says every nation must “bring their highest possible ambitions” to an upcoming global climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, which he plans to attend.

Biden says he’s working with the US Congress on climate investments and has encouraged other leaders to work with their governments as well, saying it would help create well-paying jobs for their citizens.

The address is Biden’s first at the United Nations General Assembly.

Biden said the United States was eager to have recently turned the page on 20 years of war in Afghanistan.

———

UNITED NATIONS – President Joe Biden delivers his first address to the United Nations General Assembly.

Biden opened by addressing the challenge and loss the world faces from COVID-19 and called on delegates to tackle climate change.

Biden delivers the speech at a difficult time in his new presidency after the chaotic US withdrawal from Afghanistan and a new deal with Australia and the UK that angered France, one of the oldest European allies of the United States.

Biden told delegates he would explain how the United States intends to work with partners and allies to help lead the world to a more prosperous future for all.

“To be of service to our own people, we must also engage deeply with the rest of the world. ” he said.

———

UNITED NATIONS – The head of the United Nations warns world leaders that the world has never been so threatened and divided and “we are facing the greatest cascade of crises of our lives”.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres sounded the alarm in his annual State of the World address at the opening Tuesday of the United Nations General Assembly’s annual high-level meeting for the leaders of its 193 member countries .

“We’re on the brink – and we’re headed in the wrong direction,” he said.

Guterres pointed to the “glaring oversized inequalities” triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, climate alarm bells “ringing at its worst”, upheavals from Afghanistan to Ethiopia and Yemen thwarting world peace, a wave of mistrust and disinformation “polarizing people and paralyzing societies” and human rights under fire from criticism.

The secretary general said that the solidarity of nations to face these and other crises “is lacking in action, just when we need it most”.

And he lamented that “instead of humility in the face of these epic challenges, we see pride.”

Guterres said people can lose faith not only in their governments and institutions, but also in core values ​​when they see their rights curtailed, corruption, the reality of their hard lives, no future for their children – and ” when they see billionaires traveling through space while millions go hungry on earth.

Despite all these crises and challenges, the UN chief said he had hope.

Guterres urged world leaders to bridge the gaps to promote peace, restore confidence between the richer north and the developing south in the fight against global warming, reduce the gap between the rich and the poor, promote the gender equality, ensure that half of humanity without internet access is connected by 2030, and tackle the generational divide by giving young people a place at the table.

Last year, no leader showed up in person because of COVID-19, but this year, despite the still raging pandemic, more than 100 heads of state and government and several dozen ministers are expected to attend. ‘voice from the podium of the General Assembly at the high-level meeting which ends on September 27.


Asian Shares Most Fall After Mixed Trading on Wall Street | national news



Asian stocks were mostly down on Wednesday after major indices ended mixed on Wall Street.

Benchmarks fell in Tokyo, Shanghai and Taiwan, but rose in Sydney. The markets in South Korea and Hong Kong were closed for holidays.

The Bank of Japan kept its ultra-support monetary policy unchanged, as expected.

Investors are waiting to see the Federal Reserve’s latest assessment of the economy and are keeping an eye on struggling Chinese developer Evergrande, which is struggling to repay debt.

A late-afternoon buying explosion on Wall Street faded into the closing minutes of trading on Tuesday, leaving major stock indexes mixed. The S&P 500 ended down just under 0.1% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.1%.

The Tokyo Nikkei 225 Index lost 0.6% to 29,665.42, while the Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.8% to 3,585.24. The Australian S & P / ASX 200 gained 0.5% to 7,310.10. Shares fell 2.4% in Taiwan and also fell in Singapore. But benchmarks have increased in Indonesia and Malaysia.

The 10-year Treasury yield edged up to 1.33% from 1.32% on Tuesday night.

The Federal Reserve is expected to send out its clearest signal yet this week that it will begin to curb its ultra-low interest rate policies later this year, the first step towards unwinding the extraordinary support it has provided. to the economy since the pandemic hit 18 months ago.

Wednesday’s Fed policy meeting could lay the groundwork for a November pullback announcement.

Global investors are also anxiously watching Evergrande, one of China’s largest real estate developers, facing a possible default of tens of billions of dollars in debt, fueling fears of possible wider shockwaves to the financial system. .

Chinese regulators have yet to say what they might do with the Evergrande group. Economists expect them to step in if Evergrande and lenders fail to agree on how to handle its debts. But any formal resolution is expected to result in losses for banks and bondholders.

On Tuesday, nerves appeared to stabilize after a massive sell-off on Monday.

The S&P 500 lost 3.54 points to 4,354.19, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 50.63 points to 33,919.84. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.2% to 14,746.49.

Small business stocks also managed gains. The Russell 2000 Index rose 0.2% to 2,186.18.

Healthcare stocks led the winners on Tuesday. Johnson & Johnson rose 0.4% after reporting that a booster of its unique coronavirus vaccine provides a stronger immune response months after people received a first dose.

Several companies made solid gains after giving investors encouraging financial updates. Rideshare company Uber jumped 11.5% after telling investors it could post adjusted earnings this quarter. Equipment rental provider Herc Holdings rose 6.7% after a strong long-term growth forecast.

Supply chain issues, which have plagued a wide range of industries, have weighed on several companies. Homebuilder Lennar fell 0.5% after third-quarter home deliveries fell below analysts’ expectations due to supply chain issues.

Universal Music jumped 35.7% when it debuted on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange.

In other exchanges, benchmark US crude oil gained 54 cents to $ 71.03 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. He won 35 cents to $ 70.49 on Tuesday.

Brent crude oil, the standard for international prices, added 42 cents to $ 74.78 a barrel.

The US dollar climbed to 109.42 Japanese yen from 109.23 yen on Tuesday night. The euro was unchanged at $ 1.1726.

———

AP Business Writers Damian J. Troise and Alex Veiga contributed.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


Wall Street advances a day after the biggest drop since May | national news



Shares edged higher in morning trading on Wall Street on Tuesday, making up for some of the ground lost in a sharp pullback a day earlier.

The S&P 500 was up 0.2% at 10:13 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 135 points, or 0.4%, to 34,099 and the Nasdaq rose 0.2%.

Healthcare companies have helped drive the broader market up. Johnson & Johnson rose 1.2% after reporting that a booster of its single-injection coronavirus vaccine provides a stronger immune response months after people received a first dose.

Tech companies also made gains in a reversal from Monday when the industry collapsed.

The 10-year Treasury yield held steady at 1.31%.

European markets were also higher, and Asian markets mostly increased. Chinese markets have remained closed for a holiday.

The market liquidation on Monday was prompted in part by concerns about heavily indebted Chinese real estate developers and the damage they could cause if they default and spill over into the markets. This has added to a wide range of concerns hanging over investors, including the highly contagious delta variant as well as higher prices squeezing businesses and consumers.

Wall Street is also assessing the impact of the slowing recovery on Federal Reserve policies that have helped support the market and the economy. The central bank will issue a policy statement on Wednesday, which will be closely watched for any signals on how the Fed will ultimately cut its bond purchases that have helped keep interest rates low.

Several companies are making solid gains after giving investors encouraging financial updates. Rideshare company Uber jumped 7.7% after telling investors it could post adjusted earnings this quarter. Equipment rental provider Herc Holdings rose 4.9% after a strong long-term growth forecast.

Supply chain issues, which have plagued a wide range of industries, have weighed on several companies. Homebuilder Lennar slipped 1.4% after third-quarter home deliveries fell below analysts’ expectations due to supply chain issues. KAR Auction Services fell 1.2% after withdrawing its financial guidance for the year due to computer chip shortages that hurt the auto industry.

Universal Music jumped 37% when it debuted on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


US Stocks Fall Amid Fears of Contagion in Chinese Real Estate | national news



Stocks slumped in morning trading on Wall Street on Monday in a broad sell-off that extends an already weak streak for major indices.

Concerns about debt-engulfed Chinese real estate developers – and the damage they could do to investors around the world if they default – are spilling over into the markets.

The S&P 500 fell 1.5% at 10:03 a.m. EST. The benchmark index has not fallen more than 1% since mid-August. It also just suffered two weeks of losses and is on track for its first monthly drop since January.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 495 points, or 1.4%, to 34,086 and the Nasdaq fell 1.7%.

Tech companies have led the market as a whole to the downside. Apple fell 1% and chipmaker Nvidia lost 2.7%.

Banks suffered heavy losses as bond yields fell. This impairs their ability to charge more lucrative interest rates on loans. The 10-year Treasury yield fell to 1.32% from 1.37% on Friday night. Bank of America fell 3.1%.

Oil prices fell 1.3% and weighed on energy stocks.

Utilities and other sectors considered less risky have held up better than the rest of the market.

Concerns about Chinese real estate developers and debt have recently focused on Evergrande, one of China’s largest real estate developers, which appears to be unable to repay its debts.

Many analysts say they expect the Chinese government to prevent an explosion severe enough to cause cascading losses in the markets. But any hint of uncertainty may be enough to upend Wall Street, after the S&P 500 has surged higher almost uninterruptedly since October.

“While the Evergrande situation is in the foreground, the reality is that stock valuations are exaggerated and the market has enjoyed too long a pause from volatility and Monday’s stock declines are not surprising “, David Bahnsen, director of wealth investments. management company The Bahnsen Group said in a research note.

The Hang Seng, Hong Kong’s main index, fell 3.3% for its biggest loss since July. Many other markets in Asia have been closed for the holidays. European markets fell around 2%.

Investors are also watching the Federal Reserve’s reaction to shocks from the broader economic recovery. The central bank has indicated that it will eventually cut back on bond purchases, which has helped keep interest rates low. The timing of this move remains unknown.

The Fed is due to release its latest update on economic policy and interest rates on Wednesday.

Other investor concerns include a potentially messy political fight in Washington over the US debt ceiling. House Democrats said on Friday they plan to decide this week to suspend the government’s borrowing power cap, and the White House has stepped up pressure on Republicans by warning state and local governments that severe cuts were to come if the measure failed in the Senate.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


Hong Kong stocks lead Asia down; Tokyo and Shanghai closed | national news



Shares fell more than 3% in Hong Kong on Monday in thinned trading during the Asian holiday, with other major markets in Tokyo and Shanghai closed.

Other regional benchmarks also fell after Wall Street ended last week with another drop.

Investors are watching to see if the Federal Reserve will take action to deal with the impact of rising prices on businesses and consumers.

Hong Kong real estate companies and banks lost ground amid lingering concerns about the potential spillover effects of Chinese developer Evergrande’s financial woes.

The company was expected to pay no interest as rating companies predict it could default on its debt.

The Hang Seng in Hong Kong was down 3.5% to 24,035.30 and the Australian S & P / ASX 200 was down 1.6% to 7,287.90. Markets were closed in mainland China, South Korea, Japan and Malaysia.

The Fed is due to release its latest update on economic policy and interest rates on Wednesday. The central bank said higher costs for raw materials and consumer goods will always be temporary as the economy recovers, but analysts fear higher prices will persist and hurt corporate results while slashing prices. expenses.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury bill slipped to 1.37% from 1.38% on Friday.

Shares closed lower on Wall Street on Friday, marking a weak end to a checkered week of trading. The S&P 500 Index lost 0.9% to 4,432.99, for its second consecutive weekly loss.

About 80% of the benchmark S&P 500 stocks fell and all sectors except healthcare were in the red.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.5% to 34,584.88 and the Nasdaq fell 0.9% to 15,043.97.

The biggest bottlenecks in the market have been technology and communications companies.

The Russell 2000 Small Business Index recovered from an initial decline, rising 0.2% to 2,236.87.

Quadruple witchcraft, the simultaneous expiration of four types of options and futures, has contributed to market volatility. The phenomenon occurs four times a year and forces traders to sort out the details of the contracts they hold. More than 750 billion individual stock options were due to expire on Friday, McKnight said.

In Monday’s other trading, US benchmark crude oil fell 65 cents to $ 71.32 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Friday, it fell 64 cents to $ 71.97 a barrel.

Brent crude, the standard for international prices, fell 57 cents to $ 74.79 a barrel.

The US dollar slipped to 109.90 Japanese yen from 109.95 yen. The euro fell to $ 1.1716 from 1.1731.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


Climate change, logging collide – and a forest is shrinking | State and regional



In the Black Hills, centuries-old ponderosa pine stands have been thinned over the past two decades and then thinned again. In some areas, most of the remaining older and larger trees are cut down, leaving the hills almost bare.

“Eventually you won’t have big trees all over the forest,” said Dave Mertz, who worked as a government natural resources officer overseeing Black Hills logging until his retirement in 2017. “L he lumber industry is pulling the strings now. The Forest Service has lost its way.

Disastrous predictions

In the western United States, more and more trees are dying as climate change dramatically alters the landscape and makes forests more vulnerable. Forest fires, insects and disease are the main killers, researchers say.

A broad government review of forest health surveys since 1993 found that tree mortality rates have increased during this century and exceeded new growth in all eight states examined – Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada , New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. Timber harvested from Forest Service lands over the past two decades has also increased.

In the Black Hills, these two trends collided. With more trees cut down and even more killed by beetles and fires in recent years, government scientists say the forest cannot grow fast enough to keep up.


TM companies and hospitals face dilemma with fed vaccine mandates



HELENA – Montana hospitals and large businesses across the state prepare to wrestle on the horns of a Covid-19 dilemma, as they face two upcoming federal rules designed to force vaccines from employees – and state law prohibiting such warrants.

“It just raises a lot of questions, a lot of concerns, and it’s something that the business world is really trying to figure out how they’re going to comply,” said Montana Chamber of Commerce president Todd O’Hair. , to MTN News this week. .

MTN News

Todd O’Hair, president of the Montana Chamber of Commerce.

The Biden administration is preparing a rule requiring all businesses with 100 or more employees to require their employees to be vaccinated against Covid-19, or to undergo weekly testing.

And, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will soon require vaccination of all staff in hospitals and some other health care facilities that receive federal funding – or they will not be paid under these coverage plans. .

“There isn’t a hospital in this state that could survive financially, not receiving Medicare and Medicaid payments,” said Rich Rasmussen, president of MHA, the lobby group representing hospitals in Montana.

Rasmussen-Rich2.jpg

MTN News

Rich Rasmussen, President of the MHA.

At the same time, Montana may be the only state in the country to have a law essentially prohibiting employers from requiring employees to be vaccinated or discriminating against those who do not.

The state’s Republican majority in the legislature passed the law in April and Republican Governor Greg Gianforte signed it. All Democrats in the legislature voted against.

Anthony Johnstone, a law professor at the University of Montana, said on Friday that the 100-plus employee business rule, enforced by the Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration, should trump state law – if it withstands legal challenges.

The authority of the CMS rule over state law is less clear, as it ties compliance to Medicare and Medicaid payments, he said.

Still, Montana hospitals and businesses say they’ll figure out how to comply – in the hopes that lawsuits from all sides could complicate the situation.

“Businesses are caught in the middle of this kind of tussle that’s going on right now, and a lot of it will have to be resolved in court,” O’Hair said.

He said some companies are also considering challenging Montana law in court. The Montana business community and hospitals would prefer that the decision on vaccinations be left to each private company and their unique concerns.

“There are companies that have these unique situations where they would like to be able to force their employees to get vaccinated,” O’Hair said. “If you are a physiotherapist, for example, or if you are a restaurant very concerned with being able to vaccinate your employees. “

And while many hospitals wish they could require vaccinations for employees, in some circumstances others cannot, Rasmussen said.

“In some communities, it may be wise for a facility to require the flu shot, or, certainly, to require the vaccinations recommended by the CDC,” he said. “And in some communities, they may think that a requirement was not necessary. “

Most Montana hospitals also have more than 100 employees, Rasmussen said, putting them under both rules.

O’Hair questioned whether the business rule would meet the goal of an increase in vaccination in Montana, because the state has so few companies with 100 or more employees.

O’Hair did not have exact numbers, but census data indicates that around 100,000 Montanais work for large companies, less than a fifth of the state’s total workforce.

Businesses are also concerned about the impact of the rule on the workforce and the ability of large companies to hire, in the face of labor shortages, he said. If an employee doesn’t like the vaccination mandate, he or she can leave for a smaller, unregulated company, he said.

Rasmussen said hospitals also have many questions about how the rules will be enforced, such as when the compliance deadline will be, whether the rules apply immediately to new hires or how they would apply to itinerant nurses who are brought into the state to reinforce the overworked staff.

“It just creates a lot of questions that we don’t have answers to at the moment,” he said.

Attorney General Austin Knudsen has said he will challenge any federal vaccine mandate in court, likely joining other Republican state GAs.

The two Republican members of the Montana congressional delegation – Senator Steve Daines and Representative Matt Rosendale – have also said they oppose federal mandates on vaccines.

Tester-Jon Infra.jpg

Mike Dennison-MTN News

US Senator Jon Tester, D-Mont.

Still, Democratic Sen. Jon Tester told MTN News on Thursday that while he was not a fan of terms of office, he felt President Biden needed to take action, to fend off the virus and prevent the economy from falling. collapse.

“We have filled our hospitals to the brim with people dying from Covid,” he said. “I would just beg people, if you haven’t been vaccinated, please come out and get vaccinated. It is the right thing to do for you and your neighbors.

“If we don’t, we’re going to end up where we were a year ago, and that’s not what we want our economy to be. … I wish the president didn’t have to, but I think the president had to.


Guest Opinion: Congress must invest in natural infrastructure | Chroniclers



The bills include funds to clean up orphaned oil and gas wells and abandoned mines. Every fisherman knows the transformation that can happen in our rivers when you clear abandoned mines: think Clark Fork and the Blackfoot.

Less obvious but equally important, unplugged oil and gas wells in Montana – and across the country – release thousands of metric tons of greenhouse gases each year as toxins seep into groundwater and aquifers.

Key to eastern Montana, the infrastructure bill also has funding that can help repair the coal seams, which were the source of our state’s biggest fires this summer. All of these clean-up and restoration projects will create millions of jobs across the country to help fuel our country’s economic recovery.

Congress also plans to invest in new technology in places where fossil fuel workers have been hit hardest as the country shifts to a clean energy economy. At the same time, the law brings long-awaited reforms to the national oil and gas leasing system by requiring oil and gas companies to pay their fair share for the use of our public lands. The revenues generated by these reforms will be used to finance many of these investments in natural infrastructure.

We are pleased to see Congress taking such a responsible approach to investing in the lands and waters that support the wildlife we ​​care about.


In Helena, Tester Highlights Biparty Infrastructure Gains For Lewis & Clark County Alongside Local Officials | Jon Tester



After the Senate passed his bipartisan infrastructure package last month, US Senator Jon Tester today visited Hill Park in Helena to chat with business and community leaders about the way whose landmark legislation will invest in Lewis & Clark County’s aging infrastructure, create well-paying jobs and grow the economy.

Tester was joined by Heather O’Loughlin, Commissioner of Helena City, Tim Burton of the Montana League of Cities & Towns and Geoff Feiss of the Montana Telecommunications Association.

“All roads lead to the capital, and it is essential that Helena has up-to-date infrastructure. “ said Tester. “I am proud to have worked across the aisle to negotiate this two-party infrastructure package that will improve aging roads and bridges, increase high-speed Internet access, and ensure people have reliable access to the Internet. Of drinking water. I will continue to work hard to get this legislation to cross the finish line so that we can create well-paying jobs, grow the economy of Lewis & Clark County, and help our country maintain its economic advantage over China.

The tester had a number of victories for Montana in legislation, including:

Transport

  • About $ 2.82 billion for highways in Montana.
  • Montana will also receive about $ 225 million in additional funding for a new bridge initiative to replace and repair poor bridges.
  • About $ 164 million for Montana over five years to strengthen transit infrastructure, an increase of about 30%.
  • The share of funds earmarked for buses for rural areas has been increased.
  • Funding for road safety and motor carrier safety has been significantly increased, allowing Montana to save lives and reduce injuries on our roads.
  • About $ 144 million for Montana airports.
  • A part of the Agricultural Transporters and Livestock Safety Act, 2021 (HAULS), which reduces tedious hours of service that can prevent agricultural and livestock hauliers from doing their jobs safely, and gives them the flexibility to ensure that more of Montana’s world-class products can be put on the market.
  • Tester DRIVE Safe Act, which creates a pilot program that lifts federal regulations that prevent Montana truck drivers under the age of 21 from transporting goods across states and establishes a new training initiative for truck drivers ages 18 to 20.
  • Tester Right Track Act and Blocked Level Crossings Bill, which improve safety at rural train crossings and address cases of blocked freeway-track crossings across the United States
  • $ 15 million to study Amtrak long-haul passenger rail. This includes funding and authorizing the formation of working groups, such as the Greater Northwest Passenger Rail Working Group, to study and advocate for increased access to long-distance passenger rail transport.

The water

  • $ 1 billion to complete all rural water supply projects authorized through the Bureau of Reclamation, including the rural water systems of Fort Peck / Dry Prairie, Rocky Boys / North Central and Musselshell-Judith.
  • About $ 198 million for Rocky Boys / North Central.
  • Around $ 56 million for Musselshell-Judith.
  • About $ 17 million for Fort Peck / Dry Prairie.
  • Up to $ 100 million for the reclamation of the Milk River project.
  • $ 2.5 billion to complete all authorized Indian water rights settlements, including settlements for Montana tribes.
  • Clarifies that state and local tax recovery funds from the US Rescue Plan can be used for the state or federal government’s share of costs to rehabilitate the Bureau of Reclamation’s water infrastructure.
  • $ 3.5 billion for the Indian Health Services Sanitation Construction Program, meeting all outstanding program needs nationwide.
  • This includes roughly $ 40 million in water, sewer and sanitation projects for the Blackfeet Tribe.
  • $ 11.2 billion in grants to states and tribes to reclaim abandoned mining lands. Montana is expected to receive at least $ 20 million, more than six times the annual federal distribution of the state’s abandoned mining land.

Broadband

  • Grant program of $ 42.45 billion for the deployment of broadband in regions of the country without access to Internet service. The program will be distributed as follows:
  • Of which $ 4.2 billion is earmarked for high cost and geographically difficult areas in which it is particularly difficult and expensive to deploy broadband infrastructure.
  • Allocation of $ 100 million to each state distributed during planning and proposal phase. Up to $ 5 million in funding to support state broadband office activities, including grant planning, coordination and administration.
  • Additional funding allocated to each state using a formula based on that state’s total unserved population.
  • $ 2 billion for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) Tribal Broadband Connectivity program, which will help tribal entities deploy broadband, digital inclusion, workforce development, telehealth and distance learning.
  • $ 2 billion to programs of the United States Department of Agriculture, which provide loans and grants to finance the deployment and maintenance of broadband services in rural areas.
  • $ 14.2 billion for the Affordable Connectivity Program, which builds on the existing Broadband Emergency Benefit (EBB) program by expanding eligibility and including consumer protection safeguards to prevent upselling. As of August 2, 2021, 6,181 households in Montana have signed up for this program to get help with their Internet bills.
  • Includes additional consumer protection provisions that protect against digital redlining and price increases.
  • Senator Tester fought to ensure that participating households could apply the benefit to any Internet service plan they chose.
  • The Telecommunications Skilled Workforce Development Act, which will help meet the workforce needs of the telecommunications industry to increase the human resources required to deploy broadband infrastructure effectively and efficiently.

Border security

  • $ 3.85 billion for land ports of entry to modernize and secure the northern and southern border.

Fire

  • Test-Moran bill to extend IRS tax reporting deadlines in fire management assistance grants for areas after major fires.
  • $ 3.37 billion to reduce the risk of forest fires, including:
  • $ 500 million for Forest Service Community Defense Grants to support community efforts to improve community forest fire preparedness, action planning and vegetation removal.
  • $ 500 million for prescribed burns to reduce fuel loads and major fire hazards.
  • $ 500 million for mechanical thinning and timber harvesting to promote fire-resistant stands.
  • $ 500 million to develop fire control posts, in particular through the creation of firewalls.
  • $ 200 million to remove flammable vegetation for the creation of biochar or innovative wood products, with a note for agencies to consider working with youth and conservation bodies, and engage with tribes and elders fighters.
  • $ 200 million for post-fire restoration activities.
  • $ 100 million for Interior and Forestry Department for staff training and planning work to support forest fire and vegetation treatment operations.
  • $ 100 million for Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program projects.
  • $ 20 million for the Joint Fire Science program (which supports research at UM and MSU).
  • Includes the bipartite REPLANT law release additional Forest Service funds for reforestation activities and provide $ 450 million to rehabilitate and restore burnt areas.

Resilience (floods, drought)

  • $ 7 billion for Army Corps of Engineers infrastructure priorities to improve flood mitigation.
  • $ 350 million of this amount for Army Corps CAP funding, which includes Section 205 seawall projects. Senator Tester secured a $ 100 million increase for the CAP program and was awarded a provision allowing the Army Corps to waive cost-sharing requirements for economically disadvantaged communities.
  • $ 3.5 billion for FEMA’s Flood Mitigation Assistance Program.
  • $ 1 billion for the FEMA Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program. This is a pre-disaster mitigation program, which supports states, local communities, tribes and territories that undertake risk mitigation projects to reduce the risks they face in the event of disasters. and natural disasters.
  • $ 2.2 billion on behalf of aging infrastructure, including the Bureau of Reclamation for water infrastructure projects in the West that need to be upgraded or replaced.
  • $ 500 million for the Western Area Power Administration’s power purchasing and transmission activities.

The bill is expected to go to a final vote in the House of Representatives by September 27, 2021.

Recently, Senator Tester spoke in the Senate to urge his colleagues to quickly adopt the bipartite package. And in June, after months of negotiations, Tester and the bipartisan group of nine other senators went to the White House to announce that they had reached an agreement on the framework of a historic, bipartisan infrastructure package for create well-paying jobs by creating urgently. investments needed in Montana’s roads, bridges, broadband, water and more.


Utah House Republicans terrorized by technology



Good Thursday morning Utah! Thanks for reading “The Rundown”.

Hit me ! I enjoy reading your story ideas, your news tips, your comments on this newsletter, and your general thoughts on the news. Email me or find me on Twitter @SchottHappens.

Get this newsletter delivered to your inbox every morning of the week. Sign up for free here.

House Republicans terrorized by technology

An informant tells “The Rundown” that House Republicans navigated a technological nightmare Wednesday morning as Representative Nelson Abbott’s Outlook malfunctioned, sending them hundreds of email invitations to the Majority Caucus lunch. the Wednesday House. Electronic calendar items flooded inboxes, arriving at a rate of several per minute, causing productivity to plummet as inboxes overflowed.

Home staff finally stopped the digital deluge of Republican Orem’s email before lunchtime.

Here’s what you need to know for Thursday morning

Democrats and Republicans are heading for a showdown over raising the debt ceiling. If they do not approve of an increase in the debt ceiling, it could cause considerable damage to the economy. [NYT]

💉 Utah lawmakers aren’t sure if they can block a federal vaccine requirement for businesses, but they seem eager to try. [Tribune]

💉 President Joe Biden is asking big companies like Disney and Microsoft to help get Americans vaccinated against COVID-19. [Reuters]

  • The FDA has not taken a position on booster shots for the Pfizer vaccine, citing a lack of data. [CNBC]

🏥 Representative Paul Ray said that Intermountain Health Care exaggerates the capacity issues of its intensive care units. The Republican lawmaker said some of the difficulties could be blamed on poor business decisions. [Tribune]

🏛 Several American gymnasts have testified before Congress about how the FBI botched an investigation into allegations of abuse against Larry Nassar. [CNN]

Regulators say it could take years to resolve the pollution problem along the Wasatch Front. [Tribune]

Utah lawmakers are grappling with a Utah Supreme Court ruling allowing transgender Utahns to register their gender identities on state records. A legislative committee has considered how the state should handle gender on birth certificates. [Tribune]

🚰 Ogden warns residents who use potable water to water lawns could face criminal penalties. [Tribune]

✈️ Utah will host 765 Afghan refugees from the first wave of evacuees from the country after the withdrawal of US forces. [Tribune]

🦠 The rapid increase in the number of children infected with COVID-19 is sounding alarm bells among authorities across the country. The number of coronavirus cases in children rose 240% in July. [CNN]

The Department of Justice has banned the use of strangles by federal law enforcement officials. [CNN]

👀 Former President Donald Trump fears this weekend’s rally in Washington, DC in support of jailed rioters on January 6 may be a “cut” designed to embarrass him. [NYT]

🚀 SpaceX launched 4 civilians into orbit. The four amateur astronauts will spend three days orbiting the Earth. [AP]

🦬 A record number of visitors came to Yellowstone National Park in August. [NYT]

🎤 No, someone in the White House did not press a “button” to prevent President Biden from speaking. [FactCheck]

Shut up and take my money! Taco Bell is testing a monthly taco subscription. The “Taco Lover’s Pass” offers subscribers one taco per day for 30 days. [CNN]

Your turn: what about the employment situation in Utah?

Earlier this week, I asked readers to share their thoughts on why Utah’s unemployment rate hasn’t budged much despite Governor Spencer Cox’s decision to end unemployment benefits earlier. improved.

I have had tremendous responses. I share some of them below. A few have been changed for length.

I have no sympathy for the employers and I don’t believe their crocodile tears about not finding employees. I was fired 18 months ago because of COVID-19. I have 2 master’s degrees and have sent hundreds of resumes for jobs that match my experience like a glove. All I get (if I get a response at all) is that I haven’t made the cut. And I am not an isolated case. I personally know several others who are going through the same experience. The “labor shortage” is a myth! – Reed combes

Utah had more jobs than people before the pandemic according to the SLC Chamber. This is true for several states.

In the past 18 months, 660,000 people have died, straining an already tight labor market. In addition, there are more jobs available than before the pandemic. Restaurants, health care, etc. need MORE workers. It is not a question of people who rub shoulders with unemployment benefits and it never has been. By ending the benefits earlier (before the federal government), Utah and other states continued to hurt the most vulnerable in our communities. – Megan Daigneau

I believe that many employees who were unemployed during the COVID pandemic took the time to improve their education and skills to get better jobs that were not affected by the work disruptions.

I also think some workers, seeing the Utah GOP push through laws protecting businesses from COVID-related lawsuits, have chosen to stay safe until the situation improves. Why risk your health for a low paid job where you are underestimated? If I walk into a business and find that they don’t take care of their employees, I take my money elsewhere. – Carl Stark

Baby boomers are retiring at a faster rate than they can be replaced. More home care services are needed, increased demand for food delivery and other unskilled workers.

Retirees remain retired. Since Covid is not under control, many Utahns of retirement age are retiring early or not taking post-retirement jobs like we did in the past. Two of my friends in the early seventies who regularly barked samples at Costco don’t work. Likewise, I will not play Santa Claus, score, or other high school sports sales because COVID is still out of control. The Covid stimulus checks helped us make these decisions.

Health industry exhaustion: No longer wanting to work in hospitals, many trained nurses seek other opportunities as there is a high demand for home nurses in both rural and urban areas. – Fred bonyea

I never expected extended unemployment benefits to be the reason people did not work. Shortly after returning to Utah in 2014, I was listening to a presentation by a state economist (I wish I had remembered his name). She shared something that I thought was fascinating and I think we are seeing it unfold now.

Even then, Utah had a low unemployment rate, but our wages were not increasing, which is not normal. She believed, from the data models, that Utah had a “hidden” workforce (not your typical hidden workforce by definition). The shared idea was that we have a large group of people who are not looking for work on a regular basis, but who will take a job if they are interested and maybe add a little extra money to the household income (that is – (i.e. stay-at-home parent with children in school most of the day, recent parent with empty nest or retired). With this group entering and exiting the workforce, jobs were always filled, so wages did not need to rise with such a low unemployment rate. Many in this group did not use the income to support an entire household, just extra income, so they did not have to worry about the “living wage” and could take lower wage jobs. vital.

Think about who became most “stuck” at home because of the pandemic – children were at home or could be sent home anytime during school hours; people over 65 are at higher risk of dangerous COVID results. etc ;. These “hidden workers” don’t need to work OR can’t return to work until the pandemic is really in the rearview mirror. I believe it will be some time before this group feels that life has settled enough to be tempted to return to the workforce. – Jen nibley

Thanks for the thoughtful responses. If you have a suggestion for a discussion topic that we could use in a future newsletter, please email me at [email protected]

Thursday’s Utah News Roundup

Utah

  • Moab files detail the “domestic problem” reported prior to Gabby Petito’s disappearance. [Tribune]

  • Utah’s parole board has not increased compassionate care releases during the pandemic. [Tribune]

  • Take a tour of the historic homes of Salt Lake City’s first suburb. [Tribune]

  • The lamb lost at the University of Utah becomes famous as “U’s sheep”. because it escapes animal control. [Tribune]

  • Hip-hop stars Drake, Killer Mike and more join a man from Utah in asking for pardons for cannabis. [Fox 13]

COVID-19[feminine

  • 11 autres Utahns meurent de COVID-19 et près de 1 900 autres contractent le virus. [Tribune]

  • Here’s how many more children have tested positive for COVID-19 after testing to stay at two Utah schools. [Tribune]

  • Utah man awaiting kidney transplant faces delay as COVID-19 cases fill hospitals. [Tribune]

Politics

Education

  • The TikTok “Devious Lick” challenge that causes thefts and vandalism in schools across the country has hit Utah. [Deseret News]

Religion

In the review pages

– Jordan Miller of the Tribune contributed to this report.



Biden Presents Spending Plan As Key To Tackling Climate Change | national news



ARVADA, Colorado (AP) – President Joe Biden tried to push forward his domestic spending plans in Colorado on Tuesday by warning of the dangers of climate change while stressing how his clean energy proposals would also create jobs though paid.

The trip to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Flatirons Campus outside Denver capped the President’s two-day shift to the West and offered Biden the opportunity to continue to tie the need to pass his spending program to the urgent threat posed by climate change.

“Here’s the good news: Something that’s caused by humans can be fixed by humans,” Biden said. He said the need for a clean energy future was “an economic imperative and a national security imperative” and said there was no time to waste as the impact of climate change appeared to worsen from year to year.

Biden said extreme weather events will cost more than $ 100 billion in damage this year and stressed his goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050 while using only carbon-free energy 15 years earlier.

“We can do it, we can do all of this in a way that creates good jobs, cuts costs for consumers and businesses and makes us world leaders,” said the president.

Biden spoke of “more jobs for the economy” on a previous tour as he checked out a giant wind turbine blade on the ground outside the lab and got a demonstration of the wind turbine technology.

And, keenly aware of the delicate work underway in Washington to work out the details of its infrastructure and spending program, he waved to Democratic lawmakers for the tour and said, “They’re the ones who are making it all happen. Congress.”

Biden had spent Monday in Boise, Idaho, and Sacramento, Calif., Receiving information about the devastating wildfire season and seeing the damage the Caldor fire caused to communities around Lake Tahoe.

“We cannot ignore the reality that these wildfires are supercharged by climate change,” Biden said, noting that catastrophic weather does not strike on the basis of partisan ideology. “These are not red or blue states. These are fires. Just fires.

Throughout his journey, Biden has presented the wildfires in the region as an argument for his $ 1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill and an additional spending package of $ 3.5 trillion. The president said every dollar spent on “resilience” would save $ 6 in future costs. And he argued that reconstruction must go beyond simply restoring damaged systems and instead ensuring that communities can withstand such crises.

“At the end of the day, these are not red states or blue states. A drought or a fire doesn’t see a property line, ”Biden said. “It doesn’t matter what party you belong to… yes, we are facing a crisis, but we are facing a crisis with unprecedented opportunities. “

The climate provisions of Biden’s plans include tax incentives for clean energy and electric vehicles, investments to shift the economy from fossil fuels to renewable sources such as wind and solar power, and the creation of a civilian climatic body.

Biden has set a goal of eliminating fossil fuel pollution in the electricity sector by 2035 and the U.S. economy as a whole by 2050.

The president’s two-day Western swing comes at a critical time for a central part of his legislative agenda. Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are scrambling to piece together the details of the more infrastructure plan – and how to pay for it, a concern that isn’t just for Republicans.

With a unified Republican opposition in Congress, Biden must overcome the skepticism of two key centrist Democrats in the heavily divided Senate. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona have expressed concerns about the size of the $ 3.5 trillion spending envelope.

In California, Biden appeared to respond to people concerned about the size of the plan, saying the cost “could” reach $ 3.5 trillion and would be spread over 10 years, a period during which the economy is expected to grow. He also insisted that when it comes to tackling climate change “we have to think big”.

“Thinking small is a prescription for disaster,” he said.

The 100-member Senate is split equally between Democrats and Republicans. Given the strong opposition from the GOP, Biden’s plan cannot pass through the Senate without the support of either Manchin or Sinema. The legislative push comes at a crucial time for Biden, who had seen his poll numbers drop after the United States’ tumultuous exit from Afghanistan and an increase in COVID-19 cases due to the highly contagious Delta variant.

———

Lemire reported from Washington. Associated Press editor Darlene Superville contributed to this report.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


Democrats plan to tax share buybacks and partnerships



The finance committee is also looking at changing the rules that large business partnerships have used to avoid taxation and evade Internal Revenue Service audits. Congress wrote the rules when partnerships were dominated by small businesses, such as doctor’s offices. But increasingly, partnerships are large companies or subsidiaries of large companies, arranged in complex overlapping configurations to allow their owners to shift profits, losses and deductions to evade tax.

Some 70 percent of partnership income now goes to the richest 1 percent of wage earners, and tax minimization methods have become so complex that ordinary IRS agents are not allowed to perform certain audits without it. assistance from senior IRS attorneys.

“The constant theme running through our tax code is that paying taxes is compulsory for workers, but optional for wealthy investors and mega-businesses. This is especially true when it comes to midsize businesses and partnerships, the preferred tax avoidance tools of executives, ”said Wyden.

To change all that, Democrats want to prevent partnerships from playing with the system. Under the new rules, if two partners who were members of the same corporate group sold a shared asset, the profits would have to be divided equally, not disproportionately distributed in order to maximize the tax benefits. Likewise, partnership debt, which allows partners to take deductions and claim cash distributions, could not be transferred from one partner to another to reduce their tax obligations.

These changes, without any increase in tax rates, would bring in $ 172 billion over 10 years, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation, Congress’ official tax pointer.

While that would generate less revenue, around $ 100 billion, the tax on redemptions could be the more ambitious measure. Over the past decade, Apple has been the king of stock buybacks, spending $ 423 billion to retire its shares. Microsoft, far behind, has spent nearly $ 129 billion.

Some Democrats preferred to set the tax at such a high level that the buybacks would make no economic sense. But Democratic tax helpers said Thursday they were trying to balance the desire to reduce share buybacks with the need to increase revenue. At the very least, a 2% tax on buybacks could encourage companies to use their excess cash to pay higher dividends, on which shareholders pay taxes.


Growing number of Ecuadorians affected by pandemic are heading to the United States | national news



NEW YORK (AP) – It only took a few days for Monica Muquinche to reach New York after leaving the Andean highlands of Ecuador with her 10-year-old son.

She flew to Mexico City, took a bus to the US border, crossed by boat and was stopped by border patrol. After a night in custody in Texas, she was released and then headed for the Big Apple.

“I think God protected us,” said the 35-year-old woman, whose husband disappeared last year as he attempted to make the same trip.

Muquinche is one of an extraordinary number of Ecuadorians coming to the United States. They overtook Salvadorans as the fourth nationality encountered by US authorities at the Mexican border, behind Mexicans, Guatemalans and Hondurans. US authorities arrested Ecuadorians 17,314 times in July, up from 3,598 times in January.

Those from the South American nation were the largest nationality encountered by the US border patrol in the busy El Paso area in July, even more so than Mexicans.

Other non-traditional nationalities have seen a sharp increase in unauthorized arrivals to the United States, including Brazilians and Venezuelans. But Ecuador stands out for its small population – less than 18 million.

The increase, which appears to be partly rooted in the coronavirus pandemic and Mexican politics, has also led to the disappearance of a growing number of Ecuadorians during this perilous journey.

Ecuador’s economy had been struggling for several years before COVID-19 devastated it. Hundreds of thousands of jobs have been lost, and officials said 70% of businesses have closed at least temporarily.

Meanwhile, the Mexican government announced in 2018 that Ecuadorians can visit without a visa. This gave people with passports and plane tickets a huge leap forward to the U.S. border once pandemic travel restrictions were lifted.

More than 88,000 Ecuadorians left their homeland for Mexico in the first half of 2021, and more than 54,000 of them have not returned, according to Ecuadorian government data. Over 22,000 of these trips took place in July alone.

“Since 2018, we have seen a sharp increase in the number of Ecuadorians taking the route from Mexico” rather than trying the most complicated and dangerous route through Central America, said William Murillo, co-founder of the firm. of attorneys at 1800migrante.com which handles immigration matters.

As Ecuadorians no longer needed smugglers for the journey north, they increasingly turned to smugglers who could get them across the U.S. border itself.

Murillo said the smugglers “lie, deceive people. We predicted that we would have a lot of dead and missing migrants. “

The Foreign Office said this month that 54 Ecuadorians have been missing since the start of 2019 as they attempted to cross the US border. Nineteen have disappeared so far this year.

The sudden surge in migration led Mexico to end the visa-free option. As of Saturday, Ecuadorians will need a visa again. Mexican officials said the requirement is “an interim measure that will help ensure Ecuadorians do not fall prey to human trafficking networks.”

Murillo said the election of President Joe Biden raised hope among potential migrants because they believed he would be friendlier than his predecessor, Donald Trump. False rumors have spread about US authorities allowing migrants to cross the border, the lawyer said.

Gloria Chavez, head of the border patrol’s El Paso sector, said Ecuadorians are not subject to pandemic powers that allow the government to deport migrants at the border on the grounds that it is preventing the spread of the coronavirus.

The agency began to notice the increase in the number of Ecuadorians last year, she said.

“We started to see a slow increase every week after we started to see more Ecuadorians entering our region. And that’s how we started to notice that there was a trend, ”Chavez said in May.

Carlos López, Muquinche’s husband, was a shoemaker who lost his job at the end of 2019 as political unrest rocked Ecuador. In search of better opportunities, he headed north.

He was arrested and returned to Mexico on his first attempt to cross the US border. Muquinche said he called and told him that the partners of the smuggler he hired in Ecuador pointed guns at him and accused him of providing information to US border officials about them.

Muquinche stopped receiving calls from her husband in April 2020. She filed a complaint against the smuggler, who was arrested in Ecuador and then released. Muquinche said he started threatening her, asking her to withdraw her complaint.

She was making $ 180 every two weeks as a shoemaker and felt overwhelmed by the threats and debt incurred to pay for Lopez’s trip to the United States.

“I was afraid to come,” she said. “Now I think the worst is behind me. I have learned to live with this pain.

Muquinche flew to Mexico City with her son, then took buses to Ciudad Miguel Aleman, across the Rio Grande from Roma, Texas. They crossed the river in a small boat with other migrants and were stopped by US border officials, she said.

She was released but ordered to register with immigration authorities, which she did in New York.

Most Ecuadorians who come to New York City are from the Andean Highlands, a land of volcanic peaks where most of Ecuador’s national parks are located. Many are poor farmers, with few opportunities for other employment.

Those trying to reach the United States often go into debt to pay the roughly $ 15,000 per person smugglers charge to get them across the border. Some are kidnapped for ransom by cartels along the way, putting more strain on their families, or face the dangers of the difficult journey.

Cristian Lupercio, 21, was an unlicensed taxi driver in the Ecuadorian city of Cuenca when the pandemic left him few customers. He traveled to Mexico hoping to cross the US border.

He last spoke to his father, Claudio Lupercio, on Thanksgiving Day, then left. Claudio Lupercio said he learned from others on the trip that his son’s guide got lost in the desert and Cristian got tired and left behind.

Elder Lupercio, a carpenter from Long Island, called the Ecuadorian Consulate in Texas, lawyers, hospitals near the border and immigration officials, to inquire about the son.

When news of the disappearance spread, he was contacted by Ecuador, saying they knew Cristian’s whereabouts. It was a scam, he says.

“I paid them $ 2,500. I was so desperate, I believed them, ”Lupercio said.

New York is the most popular US destination for Ecuadorians, with more than 241,000 people living in the state, according to the Migration Policy Institute. Ecuadorian restaurants with names like “El Sol de Quito” or “El Encebollado de Rossy” are common along the avenues of Queens and Brooklyn.

Many migrated following an economic crisis in their home countries in the late 1990s.

Walther Sinche, director of a community center in Queens called Alianza Ecuatoriana Internacional, said about 10 to 15 Ecuadorians come to his construction industry safety classes. Today, about fifty of them are participating, he said.

“They are only here three days, a week, a month,” he said. “There is an exodus happening.

For Muquinche, frying green plantain balls and chopping onions for a fish stew called “encebollado” at the restaurant where she works helps distract her from remembering her husband’s disappearance.

“I have my son who needs me,” she said, her eyes red from crying. “I have to move on.”

———

Associated Press writer Gonzalo Solano contributed to this report from Quito.


Bill to Congress would complete the Continental Divide Trail



WASHINGTON (KDVR) – With over 160 miles of its route unfinished, the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail has never been completed, forcing hikers to use roads to connect to the next part of the trail.

The Continental Divide Trail Completion Act – introduced by U.S. Representative Joe Neguse, D-Boulder, to Congress on Friday – would order the U.S. Forest Service to complete the trail before its 50th anniversary in 2028.

“As a proud Continental Divide Trail walkway community, the Town of Grand Lake is pleased to support the Continental Divide Trail Completion Act to conserve and improve access to the natural, scenic, historic and cultural resources of the region. along the Continental Divide, ”Grand Lake said Mayor Steve Kudron.

“Completion of the Continental Divide Trail will benefit the community of Grand Lake and the thousands of visitors who flock to the city for its natural environment and recreational resources,” said Kudron.

The trail follows the Continental Divide for over 3,100 miles and stretches from Canada to Mexico. The northern part of the trail ends at the Canadian border in Glacier National Park.

The trail passes through New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana.

“People from all over the world visit our community to enjoy the Continental Divide Trail as it touches the sky at Grays Peak – the highest point of any National Scenic Trail,” said Summit County Commissioner Tamara Pogue. .

“The Continental Divide Trail Completion Act will support our economy and ensure this trail remains a national treasure for generations to come,” said Pogue.

As a National Scenic Trail, the Continental Divide Trail provides a protected beauty area for the public to connect with nature.


Fish Tales: How Can Anglers Help Save Montana’s Ailing Trout? | Local News








Eddie olwell


Courtesy photo


EDDIE OLWELL Fish Eddie O

In this summer of unprecedented drought, fire and heat, we are seeing firsthand the social and economic impacts of global warming.

Two of Montana’s industries that depend on abundant drinking water, fly fishing and agriculture are particularly affected. Pastoralists are struggling with a shortage of hay, beekeepers are seeing a drop in honey production, and food producers are seeing a decrease in crop productivity.

Our trout fisheries are suffering terribly from the effects of low flows and high temperatures. Trout need cold, clean water and begin to be affected as water temperatures reach 60s.

Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks has instituted “Hoot Owl” restrictions and outright fishing closures on 17 of the state’s rivers and streams to protect stressed trout populations.

Along with this year’s drought, the FWP has seen a sharp decline in brown trout populations in many large trout streams in the upper Missouri watershed. This is of particular concern as brown trout are more resilient and can survive poor water quality and higher temperatures than our native trout. Many thought browns would be better off in a warmer climate.

Biologists are studying the decline of brown trout in these rivers but have yet to find a smoking weapon. One theory is that brown trout are less successful at spawning due to the low flow rates in the fall when they spawn. These problems can be overwhelming for the average fly fisherman and seem like a solution beyond our control.


Letter to the Editor: Make ARPA’s Money Work | Letters to the Editor



The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) has provided Montana with a unique opportunity to make the investments our state needs to stimulate a strong economy, while training and employing Montanese in high paying jobs.

ARPA will provide Montana nearly $ 3 billion in additional funding for our local governments, schools, workers, and those affected by COVID-19.

ARPA funds are intended to restore those hardest hit by COVID-19, but also provide Montana with the opportunity to overcome long-standing economic hurdles the pandemic has exposed and exacerbated. To maximize the benefits for workers, Montana should invest in effective, long-standing training programs to ensure our workers have the skills they need today and tomorrow; require companies receiving ARPA dollars to comply with labor laws; fund the enforcement of rights at work; and mandate benefit agreements that require employers to pay good wages and respect workers’ rights to join unions.

Directing benefits where they are needed most to enable workers in Montana to reach their full economic potential requires sound political decisions. There are proven out-of-the-box programs that can retrain workers into higher paying jobs in growing industries.

Montana businesses and workers are struggling now. We must act now to put shovels in the mud and get Montanais into high paying jobs. The money is in the bank, let’s put it in the hands of people who can put it to good use.


Outdoor Recreation Contributes to 2.7% of Louisiana’s Annual GDP | Way of life











In the past year, closures linked to the pandemic have prompted Americans to head outdoors to find open and safe places to relax and exercise in record numbers.

In 2020, an additional 7.1 million people went outdoors, and overall outdoor recreation participation exceeded 52% for the first time on record, according to the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA). Among the most popular activities was fishing, which attracted more participants from several age, race and gender groups.

The increase in outdoor participation has undoubtedly given a boost to the outdoor recreation industry which was already booming before the pandemic hit. In 2012, the industry contributed approximately $ 350 billion to the US economy. As 2020 approaches, that contribution has jumped to over $ 450 billion. And with consumers leaving in record numbers over the past year, the industry’s contribution to the economy is likely to grow.

The US Bureau of Economic Analysis classifies “outdoor activities” under a wide range of hobbies and exercises, including: boating and fishing; sports such as golf and tennis; VR; festivals, sporting events and concerts; amusement and water parks; and snow activities like skiing and snowboarding.

Of these activities, boating and fishing add the most value to the economy, accounting for an impact of nearly $ 25 billion in 2019. This number is likely to increase as boat sales have increased by 13% in 2020. Those who behaved well financially during the pandemic likely had the extra resources to buy a boat, either by fulfilling a long-held dream or by offering their families a new way to enjoy the outdoors .

For those on tighter budgets, fishing has presented an economical option to enjoy the outdoors and time spent with friends and relatives. The number of first-time fishing participants jumped 42% in 2020, prompting US Fish and Wildlife Service Senior Deputy Director Martha Williams to tell the OIA, “We are delighted to see so many new and returning fishermen enjoy our country’s waters.

Sports recreation and VR were the second and third most impactful activities, according to data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The increase in outdoor participation seen across the country in 2020 has been particularly beneficial for states economically dependent on outdoor recreation. To identify the states most reliant on outdoor recreation, Outdoorsy researchers analyzed data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and created a composite index based on the share of GDP, employment, and earnings in the country. outdoor recreation industry in every state.

Based on these factors, Outdoorsy identified a diverse set of states, both coastal and mountainous, to top the list. Notably, Hawaii was the only state in which outdoor recreation accounted for at least 5% of its GDP, employment, and earnings. In the mountain region, Montana and Wyoming stood out as the two states most economically dependent on outdoor recreation.


Democrats’ spending plan could make free college a reality



Senate Democrats on Monday released the text of a budget resolution, which sets the framework for a $ 3.5 trillion spending plan.

Among widespread investments in social programs and climate policy, the budget resolution would make community colleges free for two years – a move President Joe Biden has been advocating since the election campaign.

“Basically, this legislation aims to restore the middle class to the 21st century and giving more Americans the opportunity to make it happen, “Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., told colleagues in a letter.” By making education, care more affordable health care, child care and housing, we can families a step ahead. “

The Senate could pass the bipartisan $ 1,000 billion infrastructure bill as early as Tuesday, then move “immediately” to passing the budget resolution, Schumer said. Democrats can pass the spending plan without a Republican vote if all 50 of their members support the budget, in a process known as reconciliation.

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College plans rebound although cost is a major concern

Twenty-five states, including Arkansas, Indiana, Minnesota, Montana, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Tennessee, already have free community college programs statewide, and more are expected to follow ahead. that the coronavirus pandemic does not strain state and local budgets.

In state programs already in place, students receive a scholarship for the amount of tuition that is not covered by existing state or federal aid.

Most are “last dollar” scholarships, which means that the program pays tuition and fees remaining after applying for financial aid and other grants.

How long will it take for colleges in your state to be free?

Source: Campaign for free tuition

Enrollment in four-year private colleges would fall by about 12%, while enrollment in public universities and four-year community colleges would increase by about 18%, according to a study on the economic impact of free tuition. some tuition fees by the Campaign for Free College Tuition and student advocacy group Rise.

“You have a net effect of almost 2 million more students enrolled in college,” said Robert Shapiro, lead author of the study and former economic adviser to President Bill Clinton.

“Release him and they will come,” he said.

I can’t think of a single policy change that would affect the long term prospects of as many people as it would.

Robert shapiro

former economic adviser to President Bill Clinton

Graduation rates would also increase, Shapiro found, leading to increased social mobility and higher incomes overall.

“I can’t think of a single policy change that would affect the long-term prospects of as many people as it would,” he said.

Over time, “I’m pretty confident that in the end this program will pay off,” Shapiro added. “This will increase revenue and also increase underlying productivity, which [in turn] increase business income and profits.

“It’s the closest thing to a win-win.”

Although the overall employment trend is moving in the right direction as the economy recovers from the pandemic, millions of Americans are still out of work and in financial difficulty.

According to a survey by Junior Achievement and Citizens, a quarter of last year’s high school graduates delayed their college plans, in large part because their parents or guardians were less able to cover the costs.

According to another recent report by the Horatio Alger association, half of the students who do not attend university or who do not enroll in a vocational and technical education program would have attended if they had received financial aid. adequate.

Even fewer students enrolled in community college due to the pandemic.

Community college students are likely older, low-income, and often have a balance of work, kids, and other obligations. They are also disproportionately people of color – all groups that have been particularly hard hit by Covid.

However, not all experts agree that free college is the best way to tackle the university affordability crisis.

Critics say low-income students, thanks to a combination of existing grants and scholarships, are already paying public schools little or nothing in tuition.

Additionally, the money does not cover fees, books or room and board, all of which are costs low-income students struggle with, and the diversion of funds to free tuition could occur. do so at the expense of other campus operations, including the hiring and retention of faculty. and administrators.

Plus, the community college is already significantly cheaper. In two-year public schools, tuition was $ 3,770 for the 2020-21 school year, according to the College Board. Alternatively, in four-year public schools the tuition was $ 10,560, and in private four-year universities it averaged $ 37,650.

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A flood of American tourists is not expected as soon as the borders reopen on Monday



“It’s an industry that is really going to have a hard time coming back. It will not be all at once as we would like. But we just keep putting one foot in front of the other ‘

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Fully immune Americans will be allowed to cross the land border into Canada starting Monday, but Alberta’s tourism industry does not expect an influx of visitors from the United States.

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This is the first time since March 2020 that Americans will be allowed to enter Canada at the border for non-essential travel, as the federal government relaxes some public health restrictions put in place at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic .

Travelers will need to provide proof that they received their second vaccine at least 14 days earlier, as well as a negative COVID-19 test. Children under 12 who cannot yet be vaccinated are allowed to enter the country if their parents are fully vaccinated.

While businesses will welcome U.S. visitors again, those dependent on tourism in Alberta certainly won’t see an overnight recovery, according to Tourism Calgary CEO Cindy Ady.

“We see this as a great signal and an important step,” said Ady, explaining that opening the border allows the industry to market longer-term travel options, including the upcoming ski season.

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“It’s a new protocol, and any new protocol takes a while to get rid of the bugs and get started. Our sales force, they’re forward selling right now.

The Banff & Lake Louise Hospitality Association, which represents the accommodation and food services industries in the popular Rocky Mountain tourism hotspot, said it was “grateful” for the chance to welcome back those from the States. -United.

They said that although domestic tourism has continued, visitors from outside the country account for much of the region’s spending.

“The impact of the border closure has been nothing short of devastating for Canada’s tourism industry and this is especially true in resort destinations like Banff National Park which are highly sought after by US and international visitors,” said said Darren Reeder, executive director of the association.

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“The busiest summer months are an important time for the functioning of our tourism economy, and spending by US and international guests contributes greatly.”

About two-thirds of annual revenues for businesses in Banff and Lake Louise come from the summer months, Reeder said, making Monday’s reopening timely.

Cascade Mountain reflected in the Bow River in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.
Cascade Mountain reflected in the Bow River in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.

Tourism spending is down “significantly” from pre-2019 pandemic levels, Ady said, although early indicators of Alberta’s summer reopening show businesses in and around Calgary have done better than expected during the Calgary Stampede.

Although many Albertans choose to travel within the country, they generate much less economic activity than international visitors. In previous years, Ady said international tourism was only about 25 percent of activity, but 75 percent of spending.

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The limiting factor for some companies to return to pre-pandemic activities is the level of staff, she said, especially in the hospitality industry. But with the reopening of borders, these sectors may be able to increase their hiring efforts.

“Being able to say ‘Yes, the country is open’ – that’s something we haven’t been able to say for 16 months,” Ady said. “It’s an industry that is really going to have a hard time coming back. It will not be all at once as we would like. But we just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Reopening the border is only a one-way street, as the United States has yet to say when Canadians will be able to drive south of the 49th parallel. The US land border remains closed to Canadians until at least August 21.

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Reopening Canada’s land border is one of many steps the federal government is taking on Monday to ease the rules for travelers entering the country.

Quarantine hotels will be removed, meaning air travelers will no longer have to isolate themselves in an airport hotel at their own expense while awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test.

More airports will also allow international flights. Previously, only Calgary, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver allowed flights, but now they will also be allowed to land in Edmonton and several other Canadian cities.

Last month, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney signed a letter alongside Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe and three state governors calling on the United States and Canada to reopen the border “immediately”, asserting that countries must “reduce mitigation measures that cause economic damage and encourage travel for business and tourism.” . “

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New Executive Order Orders USDA To Consider New Rules Under Packagers And Stockyards Act | Top story



GREAT FALLS, Mont. – A new executive order from President Joe Biden directs the United States Department of Agriculture to consider issuing new rules under the Packers and Stockyards Act.

According to a statement from the Montana Farmers Union, the Executive Order encourages competition in the US economy.

“Agriculture has become more and more consolidated, with fewer and fewer companies accumulating more and more control over agricultural production, from equipment to animals,” the statement said. “This consolidation of corporate power threatens the livelihoods of the people who grow our food, compromising national food security. “

In the Order, the President:

  • Directs USDA to consider issuing new rules under the Packers and Stockyards Act that make it easier for farmers to file and win claims, prevent monopolies from business to exploit and underpay farmers, drive down consumer prices, and adopt retaliatory protections for farmers who speak out against bad practices.

“The purpose of the Packers and Stockyards Act is to ensure market competition in order to protect consumers and farmers from corporate manipulation,” said Walter Schweitzer, president of the Montana Farmers Union. “The lack of enforcement of the Packers and Stockyard Laws has cost many farmers and ranchers their livelihoods. We are pleased to see this executive order directing the USDA to review rules that protect producers from unfair trading practices. “

Power outage affecting NorthWestern Energy customers in Billings


Democrats want to bring chaos back to the debt ceiling



Congress votes from time to time on whether or not the US economy will collapse. So far, lawmakers have not actually voted for economic ruin. But for some inexplicable reason, they decide to keep voting over and over again, offering free leverage to opposition parties to secure political concessions in return for avoiding widespread hardship. Now Democrats seem poised to keep this indefensible cycle going.

This dead man for American financial stability is the debt ceiling, an archaic mechanism by which Congress allows the Treasury to borrow money for expenses already authorized by Congress. As I noted in May, and as countless other commentators have noted before me, refusing to raise the debt ceiling does not actually reduce federal debt. What a refusal would do, however, is force the United States to default on its national debt, plunging the financial system – and the economy as a whole – into chaos.

Senate Democrats plan to omit an increase in the debt ceiling in the next budget measure due to be unveiled in the coming days, according to a Politico report on Wednesday. Thanks to obscure Senate procedures, this measure cannot be obstructed. Instead, according to the outlet, Democrats “are considering a short-term funding bill designed to avoid a government shutdown at the end of September as the next opportunity for action to limit debt,” said a senior lawmaker – an approach that would require Republican support. ”


Deadline Detroit | Gallery: Mural Festival Brightens Detroit’s North End With Eye-catching Walls



Big-idea artists with crazy mural painting skills enrich Oakland Avenue north of Detroit’s New Center with more than two dozen stylish murals.

Their creativity was harnessed by the first BLKOUT Walls Murals Festival, which officially took place last weekend and unofficially continues with the finishing of the work of a few attendees.

Over 20 spray paint stylists from Detroit, Brooklyn, Boston, Chicago, Memphis and Denver have transformed the side and back walls of commercial buildings into vivid and flashy street art – courtesy of the owners and the support of sponsors who include the Knight Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, Ford Foundation, Vans shoes, Detroit Pistons spray paint and Montana Cans.

One of the goals was to sow “the seed of an arts-based economic development, or creative economy, within the North End community”.

This is the brainstorming of Sydney G. James from Detroit, Thomas “Detour” Evans from Denver and Max Sansing from Chicago, three of the participants. “The BLKOUT Walls team did NOT come to play,” James wrote on social media.

See sample results below and by visiting Oakland Avenue and the adjacent streets between Owen Street and East Grand Boulevard. This map shows the wall sites.

Photos of Michael Lucido

By Rob Gibbs from Boston (Instagram: @problak)

Mural celebrating Delores Bennett (1932-2017), Wayne County Commissioner and founder of the North End Youth Improvement Council. (Artist: Sydney G. James)

By Mississippi artist Michael Roy at 952 Clay St. (Instagram: @Birdcap)

Collaboration by Miranda Kyle (IG: @cupcakebombb) and Demien De Yonte (IG: @ deyonte6908)

“Evogatove of Ingenuity” by Bakpak Durden from Detroit, an artist from Murals in the Market 2019 (IG: bakpakdurden)

Bakpak Durden, high on an elevator, completes another piece with co-founder of the Sydney G. James Festival in Detroit (IG: @sydneygjames).

Mural by Sydney G. James and Bakpak Durden. (IG: @sydneygjames)

By Chicago painter Rahmaan Statik at 8718 Oakland Ave. (IG: @rahmaanstatik)

By artist Joseph Perez from across the building above (IG: @sentrock)

Tribute from Brooklyn artist Victor “MARKA27” Quiñonez (IG: @ marka_27) to the late rapper-producer James Dewitt Yancey, aka J Dilla (1974-2006)

Murals by Habakkuk Samuel Bessiake (IG: @hsbessiake), Torrence Jackson (IG: @torrencejayy) and Joe Cazeno III (IG: @cashiesh)

By Janel Young (IG: @ jy.originals)

mural by artist Kobie Solomon (IG: @kobiesolomon_official)


BCSA needs help | Letters








Letter to the Editor icon2


BCSA needs help

The Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act is a bill introduced in Congress by Senator Jon Tester that will further protect the Blackfoot River by extending protections to its sources as part of the Bob Marshall Wilderness Area. The BCSA will also create more space for outdoor recreation near the Blackfoot and Clearwater rivers, and improve timber production and forest restoration in and around Seeley Lake.

We need public policy that works to help one of the fastest growing economic sectors in Montana – tourism and outdoor recreation. With the BCSA, Montana will protect an additional 80,000 acres of public land, ensuring it remains unspoiled as pristine wilderness that responsible outdoor enthusiasts enjoy.

Montana has a small delegation speaking for us in Washington, DC. Montana Paradise. I hope the rest of our elected officials will follow suit, so that we can protect our public lands and our outdoor economy.


Canada brings in vaccinated U.S. citizens on August 9



Toronto (AP) – Canada announced Monday that it will begin allowing fully vaccinated U.S. citizens to Canada on August 9 and other global citizens on September 7.

Authorities are exempt from the 14-day quarantine requirement on August 9 for eligible travelers currently residing in the United States and receiving a full course of the COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in Canada. Noted.

Homeland Security Minister Bill Blair, who said he spoke to US Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mallorcas on Friday, said the United States has yet to indicate its intention to change current border restrictions . Canadians can travel to the United States with a negative COVID-19 test.

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki was asked if the United States would make a round trip to Washington, saying: “We are continuing to review travel restrictions. Decisions to resume travel will be guided by public health and medical professionals. Would like …. I wouldn’t see it. By mutual intention. “

Brian Higgins, an American Democrat from the district including Buffalo and Niagara Falls, said the United States “has not taken the necessary precautions to reopen the northern border. There is no excuse.

Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.) Said he was encouraged by Monday’s announcement, but the border is expected to be reopened “completely and immediately”.

“It’s time to reopen the Montana-Canada border, not in a few weeks now, but now,” Danes said in a statement. “This is essential for Montana’s family, agriculture, work and tourism. “

Senator Steve Daines (D-Mont.) Called the announcement “good news for the Montana economy” and “is proud to work with the Biden administration and Canadian authorities to find a safe reopening plan for the northern border. I think so. “

Canadian officials have also announced that children who are not vaccinated but are traveling with vaccinated parents do not need to be quarantined, but should avoid group activities, including schools and daycares. do.

Transport Minister Omar Argabra also said the ban on direct flights from India will be extended until August 21 due to a variant of the Delta. “The situation in India is still very serious,” he said.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said last week that Canada could start allowing fully vaccinated Americans inside the country for non-mandatory travel from mid-August and by early September, from all the countries. He said he should be able to accommodate vaccinated travelers.

Canada leads the G20 countries in terms of vaccination rates, with approximately 80% of eligible Canadians being vaccinated with the first vaccination and over 50% of eligible Canadians being fully vaccinated.

“This weekend, we overtook the United States in terms of people fully vaccinated,” Trudeau said. “Thanks to the increased vaccination rate and the decrease in COVID-19 cases, we can proceed with coordinated border measures. “

Trudeau said the first reopening in the United States was “a recognition of our unique bond, especially between border areas.”

At the start of the pandemic, the US and Canadian governments closed more than 8,800 kilometers of borders to non-essential traffic. Some were unhappy that the two governments had no plans to fully reopen their borders due to rising vaccination rates and falling infection rates.

Canada began deregulating earlier this month, allowing fully vaccinated Canadians or permanent residents to return to Canada without quarantine. However, some requirements include a negative test for the virus before return and another test after return.

Canada is under pressure to continue to relax border regulations in effect since March 2020. Exempting travel to Canada during a pandemic is politically sensitive, and Trudeau will call a federal election next month.

Canadian officials say they want 75% of eligible Canadian residents to be fully immunized before easing border restrictions for tourists and business travelers. The Government of Canada expects 80% of eligible Canadians to receive enough vaccines to be fully immunized by the end of July. The United States did not allow the export of vaccines to Canada until early May.

Since the start of the pandemic, commercial transport has generally traveled between the two countries.

The American Travel Association estimates that it will cost $ 1.5 billion per month to close the border. According to Canadian officials, Canada will welcome about 22 million foreign visitors in 2019, of which about 15 million will come from the United States.

Chad Sokol, associate editor of the Daily Interlake, contributed to this report.

Canada brings in vaccinated U.S. citizens on August 9


Montana Senators urge Biden Administrator. completely reopen the Canadian border | New



MONTANA – Senators Steve Daines and Jon Tester have issued statements on the Biden administration’s decision on when to reopen the northern border to fully vaccinated Canadian citizens.

Canada announced that fully vaccinated US citizens could enter Canada on August 9; However, the Biden administration announced that fully vaccinated Canadians could not enter the United States until at least August 21.

Senator Daines made the following statement in a statement from his office:

“Once again, the Biden administration refuses to reopen the northern border for our economy and jobs, while leaving the southern border wide open to illegal drugs and immigrants. The hypocrisy is outrageous. Montana families and our economy depend on cross-border travel, and many families are suffering from this decision to keep our northern border closed. The president must stop playing games and do what is right for our country. “

Senator Tester said the following in a statement from his office:

“I am writing today to urge the Department of Homeland Security to work with Canadian officials to develop a coordinated plan to fully reopen the Canada-U.S. Border and to express concerns over the department’s recent decision to maintain restrictions on non-essential travel. This uncoordinated reopening will allow Americans to travel to Canada, but will prevent Canadians, even those who are fully vaccinated, from accessing American businesses, completely restarting commerce, and seeing family members across the country. the border. I am concerned that this will have an unfair impact on the Americans and create confusion along the Canada-United States border. “

“I urge the administration to work with Canadian authorities to ease travel restrictions and coordinate the full reopening of the border in a safe, fair and efficient manner. I stand ready to help the Department have the tools and resources it needs to ensure that border officers are prepared to safely manage the increased trade and movement at the border.

The tester’s release said Montana made $ 692 million worth of goods exported to Canada in 2018, or 42% of the state’s total goods exported that year.


Montana drops “bad actor” case against Hecla Mining Co.




Montana’s Environmental Quality Department drops its lawsuit against a northern Idaho-based company seeking to develop two large silver and copper mines in northwestern Montana.

The ruling prompted conservation groups involved in the case to allege political interference from Republican Governor Greg Gianforte, who promoted the projects during the election campaign. Administration officials rejected the claim.

Coeur d’Alene-based Hecla Mining Co. filed a lawsuit in March 2018 after the DEQ attempted to label the company’s chief executive, Phillips Baker Jr., a “bad actor” under Montana’s Metal Mine Reclamation Act. The law was designed to prevent individuals and businesses who do not clean up their old mines from starting new ones.

The department – under the then government. Steve Bullock, a Democrat – sued, claiming Baker and Hecla should not get permits for the proposed mines in Lincoln and Sanders counties due to Baker’s past involvement with Pegasus Gold Corp.

Pegasus went bankrupt in 1998, abandoning three mines in the Little Rocky Mountains south of the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation and leaving taxpayers at the mercy of tens of millions of dollars in reclamation and wastewater treatment efforts. continue to this day.

Lewis and Clark County District Court Judge Mike Menahan awarded the state a victory in May, ruling that the DEQ has the power to apply the “bad actor” label to Baker and to other actors outside the state, although the decision did not address the substance. of the case.

WEDNESDAY, the department filed a motion to dismiss the case, citing what it called “a number of factors, including complex procedural hurdles that complicate the case and potentially risk DEQ’s ultimate goal of prevent bad actors from operating in Montana “.

DEQ director Chris Dorrington, appointed by Gianforte, added that the case seemed “very unlikely” that it would result in reimbursement for the cleanup of the old Pegasus mines by Hecla or Baker, who was vice president of Pegasus before. its bankruptcy.

“When deciding whether to pursue this matter, DEQ must consider all demands for time and demands on our resources, as well as any potential environmental benefits or consequences,” Dorrington told Daily Inter Lake in an interview. Thursday.

A coalition of tribal and environmental groups blasted the agency’s decision, saying the state wasted an opportunity to hold mining leaders to account and prevent further pollution.

“By dropping this case, DEQ is stepping away from its only real chance of defending the Montanais against millions of dollars in taxpayer dollars by Baker and Pegasus,” David Brooks, executive director of Montana Trout Unlimited, said in a statement. . “The Bad Actors Act is meant to be a deterrent, not just a punishment.”

Andy Werk, president of the Indian community of Fort Belknap, said the DEQ’s decision would perpetuate “the devastating burden of environmental injustice.”

“The state of Montana must make it a priority to protect the health of Montana communities, including the Aaniiih and Nakoda tribes of the Fort Belknap Indian community, and to protect the natural resources that support all life,” he said. Werk said in a statement. “The rejection of the coercive measure by DEQ goes against this responsibility and gives priority to the mining leaders rather than the Montanais.

The groups said the state spent more than $ 50 million to clean up acidic mine waste from the soil and water at the Zortman-Landusky mine alone. Pegasus also operated the former gold mines of Beal Mountain and Basin Creek in the Lesser Rocky Mountains.

Luke Russell, spokesperson and vice chairman of Hecla, said the state’s case was “unsuccessful” because the company had no involvement in the old Pegasus mines. Hecla previously said Baker left Pegasus before going bankrupt.

“Mr. Baker is not a bad actor under Montana law,” Russell said. “His job with Pegasus over 20 years ago was the sole basis for carrying this business.”

The DEQ noted that the three mines involved in this case – the Rock Creek, Montanore and Troy mines – all comply with the Metal Mine Reclamation Act. The Troy mine is undergoing final reclamation and the two proposed mines are subject to an environmental review, engineering assessment and public comment before receiving permits, the agency said.

“These projects should therefore succeed or fail individually on their own merit through the authorization processes, where DEQ can thoroughly examine all the relevant scientific and technical details and public comments before deciding whether each should proceed,” said the department in its motion to reject. .

Derf Johnson, who heads the nonprofit Montana Environmental Information Center’s drinking water program, said the authorization process was irrelevant and the DEQ should have pursued its claim under the Bad Law. actors.

“What good are laws if they are not actually enforced? And what message does this send to currently operating mines if, through political persuasion, they can ignore and circumvent Montana’s bad actor law? Johnson said.

MONTANA IS one of the many states with bad actor statutes that allow state environmental agencies to take a company’s or individual’s environmental record into account when deciding whether to grant permits.

The Montana legislature passed the law in 1989 and expanded it in 2001 to apply to business executives. It has already been applied once, in 2008, in a case that did not involve a major project like the ones Hecla is pursuing at the Rock Creek mine near Noxon and at the Montanore mine near Libby, according to officials from the ‘State. Both projects have been underway for decades.

The two copper and silver mines would tunnel under the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness. They have been at a standstill for years as environmentalists have repeatedly sued over concerns that the mines are harming the area’s rivers and wildlife, including bull trout and grizzly bears.

During a July 2020 campaign event at Hecla’s offices in Libby, Gianforte called the DEQ and the state’s natural resources and conservation department “project prevention departments,” criticizing the weather. that it took to get permits for the Rock Creek and Montanore mines, the Montana Free Press reported. (State and federal agencies have issued permits for the mines, but they have been successfully challenged in court on several occasions.)

“I don’t think we should approve all the permits, but we should be able to get a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ in less than 35 years,” Gianforte said at the time.

Johnson, of the Montana Environmental Information Center, said: “Clearly this is a very political decision. Clearly this is a policy change on the part of the governor’s office.

Dorrington, the director of DEQ, and Gianforte spokeswoman Brooke Stroyke, said the governor had not advocated for the prosecution to be withdrawn.

“As with matters relating to the protection of the Montana environment and Montana taxpayers, the governor has assigned and empowered DEQ to take whatever action the agency considers most appropriate,” Stroyke said in an email. .

Dorrington reiterated this point, almost verbatim, during Thursday’s phone call.

“The governor relied on us to make these decisions,” he added.

While environmentalists fear the proposed mines will cause permanent damage to the federally protected nature of the Cabinet Mountains, mining executives note that copper and silver are needed for the production of electric vehicles, wind turbines and other components of an environmentally friendly economy.

“We look forward to moving these projects forward,” said Russell, spokesperson for Hecla. “They are important for clean energy, they can be done responsibly, and they will have a huge economic impact on Northwest Montana.”


“Disaster capitalism” is as old as capitalism itself – The Connecticut Examiner



The idea that crises can be used to disorient, manipulate history, and cultivate societal change is nothing new. “Catastrophe capitalism” is as old as capitalism itself. Baron Rothschild, 18 years olde British nobleman of the century whose banking family loaned money (at huge interest) to warring factions, including the Lincoln Feds and the Davis Confederacy, put it bluntly. “Time to buy,” he said. “It’s when there is blood on the streets.” Taking the same thief baron approach, Wall Street, CEOs, and American industrialists routinely hedge the bets by investing in crises and exploiting desperation. In his last presidential address, Dwight Eisenhower warned of the military-industrial-political complex and the risks of tying economic incentives to perpetual war and global instability. Sixty years later, spending more on militarism than the next nine nations combined is still the US status quo. Big Pharma is gorging itself on preventable disease, profiting from diabetes and cancer, obesity, high blood pressure and the spread of COVID and flu and vaccine showers. As we allow widespread misinformation, tweak our thumbs on climate change and travel needlessly, the mere suggestion of bad news drives up the prices of oil and others.

The most revealing of Naomi Klein’s “shock doctrine” is its transition between the economic ideologies of Milton Friedman and the end of the 20th century.e the opportunism of the century and the syndications of power brokers. Libertarians, business leaders and political elites are lining up in multinational cartels to promote their individual wealth and private interests at the expense of the state. America’s business models and financial sectors base their quarterly profits on the exploitation and prolongation of crises, ravaging the biosphere and inflexible mythological enemies. Anyone seen as a threat to these dividends, globally or nationally, is called an enemy. Permanent markets require permanent conflicts and crises. So, as long as terrorists are seen as pervasive and unreasonable, wars can go on forever. If protecting tropical rainforests and other ecosystems, the diversity of species and natural resources is antithetical to the accumulation of wealth, the finite is presented as unlimited. The American economy is based on endless wars with life itself, and at the national level, as each successive act of violence produces backlash, calls for “strong men”, militarization and destruction. “Law and order” is home to police states.

Fox News and radical right-wing Trump sect repeat talking points to brainwash sidekicks by making them think of the southern border, big lies of voter fraud and gunshots in cities will tip the 2022 election Historically, however, immigration reform, xenophobia, and street violence have been a constant in America. What changes the situation is global warming which, thanks to 40 years of procrastination, remains frozen, deteriorating infrastructure. Eighty-three percent of the west is in severe drought; a million acres burned from LA to Montana last week; record high temperatures killed hundreds in the Northwest and across Canada; and Connecticut is having one of its wettest and most crop-flooded Julys. Anthropogenic climate change is also contributing to mass extinctions around the world. Meanwhile, U.S. collective immunity to SARS-CoV-2 has stalled. Politically motivated resistance to COVID injections and the wearing of masks, combined with the resurgence of indoor / outdoor activities and other relaxed restrictions, are leading to an increase in delta-variant infections, hospitalizations and deaths.

Other mandates are clear. Before 2022, the Biden administration, in addition to fighting against voter suppression, is expected to crack down on militia groups, dangerously branding crime, insurgency and homicidal overthrow as patriotism. The recruitment of former members of the police and military for delusional acts of terrorism and betrayal must stop. In addition, parents’ careers and childhood development cannot be optimized at the same time as stimulating the economy. With 1 million neural connections forming every second of an infant’s first year, it’s time for a resurgence of competent employer- or government-run child care centers like the ones that operated (≥ 3,100) during WWII .

Scott Deshefy is a biologist, environmentalist and two-time Green Party congressional candidate.


Op-Ed: Feeling the Drought on My Family Farm




I can see my future: it is dry, thirsty and dark. On our farm, we live with drought daily, work with limited groundwater and learn to adapt and adapt, or fail and abandon our fields. Water will determine the survival of a farmer.

I farm organically outside of Fresno, which is part of one of the richest and most productive agricultural oases in the world, provided, of course, we have water. Generally, we use two sources of liquid gold: the annual precipitation and snowmelt captured in the Sierra, as well as the groundwater table below our lands. Both are threatened by a lack of rain and snow, exacerbated by the slow depletion and over-pumping of our aquifers.

In the past, many of us took water for granted. We simply turned on the faucet or flipped an irrigation pump switch and the water magically appeared. He was there when we needed him until he wasn’t.

Many farmers have switched to drip irrigation, which limits water use and keeps plants alive, but intensifies the depletion of soil biology through irrigation. We fell into the trap of believing that technology and innovation would save us from water scarcity. Today, a comeback to reality greets every season: we cannot produce more water nor control the forces of nature.

A severe two-year drought dries out western and southwestern Washington to California, from Montana to Texas. Agriculture is feeling the impact with crop wilting and limited production. We started to fallow some of our fields, pull up vines and trees, and leave the land empty that my father and grandfather used to cultivate. They would cringe to witness what needs to be done.

Every fallow field means a declining rural economy and an uncertain future. The scope of the drought will be felt in grocery stores across the country with higher prices. Cheap food may no longer be the engine of agriculture. Everyone will pay the price for a lack of water.

Climate change cannot be denied. Historical precipitation amounts, based on 30-year averages, do not reflect significant variations in normal climate. And now drought is becoming the new normal; the golden age of constant precipitation over the past 50 to 100 years may have been the anomaly. Mega droughts that will last for decades could be on the horizon.

As farmers grapple with dwindling water, extreme temperatures – 116 in Portland, Oregon in late June or 118 in Phoenix – are affecting many more people. Suddenly, nature also takes on a new reality for city dwellers, who feel the heat and can taste the sweat of climate change.

How do we value water? Some farmers and river basin districts are faced with the decision: selling their water may be more profitable than farming. Will monetizing water be part of my family’s farming operation?

A larger question looms: who owns water and how should a natural resource be controlled and allocated?

Already California farmers – some screaming, others accepting that water has become a finite resource – must plan for sustainable groundwater use and limit our pumping so that our aquifers maintain a stable water supply. How do cities and the environment fit into our water future? The answer is not just economic or political: we must rethink water as something rare, sacred and shared by all.

Masumoto cleans the irrigation lines of his peach trees during another drought in 2015.

(Tomas Ovalle / For The Times)

On our farm, we cultivate perennial crops – organic peaches, nectarines, apricots and grapes for the raisins. We have century-old vines and 60-year-old peach trees that have witnessed huge climatic fluctuations – lingering over a season or a year is short-term thinking. COVID-19 highlights another lesson for this old farmer: Things are often out of our control. How we respond will determine what happens next.

I think of the generations on the land and the history I leave behind for my daughter, Nikiko, who partners on the farm with her brother, Korio. They will inherit climate change, prolonged droughts and whatever comes from the decisions we make now.

At the heart of our farm is a Japanese aesthetic captured in the sense of wabi-sabi: Life is imperfect, impermanent and incomplete. Drought exposes the inconsistency of nature and how the “perfect” fishing must reflect the imperfect weather we all experience.

Despite our thirsty future, there is a note of hope for me – I believe our farm is still incomplete. I inherited everything I have from my parents and grandparents; my children will take up this incomplete agricultural history and add their own chapters.

I remember the feeling at the start of a farming year. When I work the fields in the spring, something is plowed in me. With these irregular but regular droughts, something more is now being plowed on our family farm.

David Mas Masumoto is a farmer in Del Rey, California, and author of numerous books, including “Epitaph for a Peach: Four Seasons on My Family Farm”.



Opinion: Montana union miners supply America | Chroniclers









The Stillwater mine in Nye is taken over by South African company Sibanye Gold, assuming the sale goes through.


CASEY PAGE, Gazette Staff


ED LORASH and FRANK SZOLLOSI

Building a stronger, more resilient nation in the aftermath of COVID-19 means transforming the economy, modernizing the infrastructure that connects the country, and better protecting the natural resources essential to prosperity.

While all Americans share the responsibility for forging that brighter future, Montana’s skilled and environmentally conscious union miners have a historic opportunity to lead the way.

About 1,600 members of the United Steelworkers (USW) Local 11-0001 in Sibanye-Stillwater take great pride in the responsible mining of metals needed for clean energy production, electronic components, building construction and to many other industries.

Vital as these workers already are, the nation will depend more than ever on them when the president’s infrastructure program – America’s Jobs Plan – unleashes unprecedented investments in roads and bridges as well as in schools, airports, water supply systems, railways and public transport, renewable energy and broadband networks.

For example, miners will experience an increased demand for platinum, a key ingredient in glass used in electronics and construction. The country will also need copper for wiring and nickel for the stainless steel that forms the backbone of bridges, roofs, construction equipment and rail cars.

And as the nation strives to grow its own economy, it will need more raw materials that go into wind turbines and solar panels as well as fuel cells that help power electric vehicles.



Advocate for the success of the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act




In 2017, Montana’s outdoor recreation economy generated $ 7.1 billion. Two years later, Montana Senator Jon Tester introduced the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act (BCSA), a federal law designed to strengthen Montana’s economy by protecting 80,000 acres of land for conservation, recreation and restoration. 98% of Montana residents believe outdoor recreation is important to Montana’s economic future. With thousands of acres dedicated to snowmobiling, mountain biking, hiking and fishing, the BCSA is a tangible step towards sustaining this precious resource.

If passed by the US Senate, the BCSA would support a 15-year coalition of ranchers, loggers, environmentalists, outfitters, logging companies, local citizens, businesses and outdoor enthusiasts. Given the current state of political polarization, this range of supporters is almost unprecedented. The impetus behind this non-partisan support are the multifaceted components of the BCSA, including land development in Montana’s National Forest System, additions to the National Wilderness Preservation System, and designation of recreational lands. It will also permanently protect important tributaries of the Blackfoot River and amplify forest restoration and sustainable timber harvesting.

Through citizen pressure for the BCSA, Tester can demonstrate the non-partisan power and potential success of this bill in the US Senate. 75% of Montanians approve of this bill, and you can join them in pushing your federal lawmakers to advocate for the success of the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act.

Brams Shea Butter
Bozeman



Hopkinsville is a finalist for a makeover in mobile communications technology




Hopkinsville is one of 10 finalists for a $ 3 million tech transformation from T-Mobile that the company says will make the winning city a 5G model for communities across the United States.

City officials were celebrating the selection Thursday morning in downtown Hopkinsville, where T-Mobile was handing out free pink donuts, a nod to the company’s magenta-colored logo, until 4 p.m. Thursday on the Hopkinsville Water Environment Authority parking lot. A company representative told The Hoptown Chronicle that T-Mobile bought 6,000 donuts from Whistle Stop Donuts on Ninth Street.

Mayor Wendell Lynch (left) announces the selection of Hopkinsville as a finalist in the T-Mobile competition with two company representatives Thursday morning in downtown Hopkinsville. (Facebook screenshot image.)

A press release describes Hopkinsville as “a charming southern farming community with one of Kentucky’s most diverse populations, (which) is a neighbor of the Army facility at Fort Campbell.”

the T-Mobile Hometown Techover Contest received thousands of submissions, the company said.

“A panel of judges from T Mobile and Smart Growth America will determine the grand prize winner based on the feasibility of the project, the city’s need for network upgrading and the interest and commitment of city leaders, ”the press release said.

Smart Growth America is a nonprofit organization that works on public policy related to community development in rural and urban areas.

In a city statement, Mayor Wendell Lynch said, “Hopkinsville is known the world over for its generous spirit. What a pleasure to be celebrated by a global company that recognizes the many things our community does every day. “

As a finalist, Hopkinsville will receive a grant of $ 50,000 for a community project. Officials have not said how it will be used.

The winning community makeover will include:

In addition, there will be a free concert with a multi-platinum musical duo Florida Georgia Line.

box of pink donuts
Pink donuts made at Whistle Stop Donuts to celebrate Hopkinsville’s finalist status in the tech makeover contest. (Photo by Jennifer P. Brown)

The other cities named as finalists, along with the description provided by T-Mobile, are:

  • Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, is nestled in the Poconos and is home to a historic downtown area filled with small businesses that are the heart of the economy.
  • Dunn, North Carolina, is a beautiful small town in central North Carolina with a walking downtown area and nurtures tourism with small businesses and museums.
  • Girard, Kansas, is a city in Southeast Kansas with dedicated teachers who want to help improve connectivity for their students.
  • Guadalupe, California, is located on the central coast of California near the famous Guadalupe-Nipomo dunes, has an economy dependent on the surrounding farms that feed America.
  • Kalispell, Montana, is one of the fastest growing small towns in the United States, located in northwestern Montana and is known for its incredible outdoor recreation and proximity to Glacier National Park.
  • Tipton, Indiana, has a high concentration of veterans in their community and honors them with Hometown Hero banners displayed on their downtown streetlights.
  • Wareham, Massachusetts, is a diverse New England town located just outside Cape Cod on scenic Buzzards Bay. The economy is rooted in the fishing and agricultural industries and supported by tourism, manufacturing and trade.
  • Washington, Missouri, is a growing community nestled along the Missouri River that serves as the county’s commercial and industrial development center.
  • Woodstock, Illinois, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is a diverse city known for its historic downtown and turn-of-the-century square.



John Maclean’s Memoirs Go To The Deep Of “A River Runs Through It” – Explore Big Sky




By Todd Wilkinson EBS Environmental Columnist

It has been said and written that “A River Runs Through It,” the movie, changed everything in western Montana, as well as the Rocky Mountain rivers between New Mexico and Canada.

Robert Redford’s film, based on Norman Maclean’s 1976 short story, is, in hindsight, portrayed as a big bang moment that not only accelerated the adoption of fly fishing by millions of people as that passion for the outdoors, but also the sale and transformation of old ranches in operation. with water on site to turn them into recreational properties.

I don’t need to stress how important the “fly fishing economy” is to the larger ecosystem of the Greater Yellowstone, which is home to several near-mythical rivers known for their trout water.

Years before I touched a copy of “A River Runs Through It” I was familiar with the writing of a Maclean other than Norman. At that time, Norman was an English professor at the University of Chicago, a city where I began my career as a violent crime reporter. At the time, it was his son, John Maclean, a Washington, DC-based reporter for The Chicago Tribune whose signature I regularly read.

One reason: John, over a generation older, was an alumnus of the same journalistic training ground as me: – the City News Bureau of Chicago.

It wasn’t until I moved west to the Greater Yellowstone area that I picked up a copy of Norman Maclean’s classic reflection on a angling obsessed family who loved the rivers with an almost religious zeal, the drama of which is punctuated by the loss of Norman’s younger brother, Paul.

I wrote about Redford’s set of the film about Bozeman and Livingston in the early 1990s and interviewed him.

Paul Maclean, John’s uncle, in his twenties. PHOTO COURTESY OF JOHN MACLEAN

In both versions, Paul has a penchant for drinking, playing cards, and hanging out with shady characters, and then is murdered. This summer we are treated to a new book by John Maclean which is a reflection on his father and uncle, the river – the Blackfoot – which he made famous and, interestingly, what really happened to Paul. .

John Maclean’s memoir: “Home Waters: A Chronicle of Family and a River” is a good read, as it serves as the backdrop to a slightly embellished tale that romanticized fly fishing so much that it created a ripple effect. shock of interest. This has, as a benefit, helped strengthen calls for river conservation, but as a downside, the resulting binge eating has also spurred greater commercialization of angling and spawned user conflicts.

(Like a sort of parable, it raises the question of whether in the age of social media we should even write about the special places we love, knowing that it risks inviting a lot of people to invade natural destinations. who can’t handle much human pressure. But that’s another topic).

For years, I’ve been mesmerized by how Paul’s end actually happened in 1938, as Norman Maclean and Redford treat it with a cloak of mystery.

Without saying too much – you should really read “Home Waters” – John Maclean reveals that Paul was murdered in Chicago shortly after he had just started a job in the public relations department at the University of Chicago. Paul had previously been a young reporter in Montana.

What I relish in the writing related to Paul’s ending is that it is all about researching classic facts and presenting them with the storytelling method John Maclean and I learned at the City News Bureau in Chicago. , itself known to be a training ground for young reporters. .

John would go on to distinguish himself for his international reporting as a diplomatic correspondent, even traveling with Henry Kissinger. During those years, like his father before him, he took summer trips to the family cabin in Seeley Lake, MT.

And, just as Norman had written about the wildfires, commemorating the smoke jumpers who perished in the Mann Gulch fire outside of Helena, John wrote an award-winning and captivating book, “Fire on the Mountain “, on the tragic Storm King Fire which claimed the life. of 14 firefighters in Colorado in July 1994.

In “A River Runs Through It,” the Maclean family mourns the loss of Paul, and it is presented as a kind of meditation on the fleeting, often fickle nature of life, which we look back in time seeking as much as we do. want to. see as fuzzy things that make us suffer. In the Maclean family, fly fishing was both a source of memory and a balm.

The circumstances of Paul’s homicide left me thinking of how a good journalist continually searches, fueled by curiosity, guided by discoveries of detail and accumulated knowledge – in exactly the same way that a fisherman enjoys l attraction of rivers and instinctively knows how to read them.

After Paul died in a Chicago hospital from a beating, the Cook County medical examiner interviewed Norman, writes John Maclean. “My father assumed that Paul had gone wandering around the neighborhood that night, like he had done as a reporter in Montana, just to familiarize himself with his surroundings.”

John cited the actual report in which his father, who was to identify the body, was questioned by the coroner. “‘H”‘ He liked walking around strange parts of town, ‘Norman said during a coroner’s inquest. “He was a professional journalist and he came from a small town. He liked to walk around, just to see the city……. I warned him it wasn’t Montana. ‘ “

Sometimes real stories, memories that explore earlier classical memories, are as beautiful as the original. In many ways, they are outdated. It’s the case. Great job, John Maclean. You started out as a Cub reporter, but you’ve grown into the kind of writer we all aspire to be. You made your father proud.

Todd Wilkinson is the founder of the Bozeman-based Mountain Journal and correspondent for National Geographic. He is also the author of the book “Grizzlies of Pilgrim Creek”, with photographs by Thomas D. Mangelsen, on the famous Jackson Hole Grizzly 399. Read her latest article on famous actress Glenn Close in the Summer 2021 edition of Mountain Outlaw magazine.



Stargazing Gains Followers, Promotes Rural Tourism | Wild montana




Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park was the first international dark sky park to cross an international border. Glacier and Medicine Rocks have achieved designations approved by the International Dark-Sky Association.

Moore helped with the process to obtain the IDSA designation for Medicine Rocks granted last December. Throughout this summer, she participates in the organization of events around stargazing in the park.

Pompeys Pillar, east of Billings, hosted a sold-out “celebrity party” in June for 100 people and is planning another on July 30, said Brenda Maas, marketing director for the tourism promotion group Visit Southeast Montana.

In Fort Peck, Carla Hunsley, Executive Director of Missouri River Country, is working on organizing a Night Sky Trail map for the area. Of the 20 areas identified to date, several are located along the shores of the Fort Peck Reservoir, one of the region’s top tourist attractions.

“We encourage families to come out and visit our dark skies,” she said, as the number of people with boats and campers crowded campgrounds and lakeside docks.






A man fishes alone in the light of dusk at Hell Creek State Park in Garfield County.


RYAN BERRY Billings Gazette


Growth

In the United States, more parks and other places are seeking the dark sky designation as a way to boost tourism and promote the ecological importance of darkness, Weasner said.



Griz Footballers Join Thousands for Return of Goosetown Tournament | Local




ANACONDA – After the pandemic called off the Goosetown 2020 softball tournament, founder Bill Hill was happy to see teams from across the country gather in Anaconda for the 47th annual event on Friday afternoon.

Hill worked diligently to bring the tournament back and was at work again on Friday. But as he remained busy preparing tournament support and answering questions, he smiled as he watched the teams enter the facility to participate in what he was working for.

“We have 50 out-of-state teams from all over,” Hill said. “It’s a huge economic boost for our economy, it’s a boost for Anaconda. When we built this facility, this tournament exploded. People like Anaconda, they love Butte.”

According to Hill, the tournament started out small and started out as a way for him to continue playing softball years ago. But as the tournament grew, he received a grant to build the facility right next to Montana Drive. Since then, the tournament has been a staple in Anaconda every summer.

Accommodation has been a problem for tournament participants in previous years due to the Butte folk festival. But a new hotel, The Forge, opened in Anaconda on Friday just in time for teams to book a room.

“We have an 80-room hotel that opened today and every room is booked with a waiting list,” Hill said. “We have a RV park that opened three days ago and it looks like it’s three-quarters full right now.”

“I’m just glad to see people coming back,” Hill continued. “We have retailers from Portland and California, teams from Spokane and Boise. It’s a big show for them, a big show.”

Among those who traveled to Anaconda for “the big show” was a group of footballers from Montana Griz. Braxton Hill, son of linebacker Bill and Griz, spoke to some of his teammates about his father’s tournament and they happily made the trip from Missoula.

One of those teammates was Trevor Welnel, an offensive lineman. He said football was generally his focus, so focusing on having fun through a different sport was an exciting change of pace.

“It takes your mind off, gives you a little break but keeps you active,” Welnel said. “We’re here to win and have fun. Braxton has been talking about this for years so I’m happy to finally be here.”

Welnel also said some of the Grizzlies played Legion and Little League baseball growing up, which could help them claim tournament victory this year. But an Anaconda team could pose a threat because of their experience and cohesion.

Dotsie Monaco, the softball coach at Anaconda High School, has been in the tournament since he started and played with her team on Friday. She crowned her team as the 2020 champions, even though the tournament was canceled.

“We are the 2020 champions even though that has not happened,” Monaco said. “We all got together as a team and rented a cabin at Georgetown Lake. We were here as a team.”

While this year’s event felt like a short trip or an escape for Welnel, it was treated as a reunion for Monaco and their team. All from Anaconda, the Monaco squad included players from California, Texas and Colorado, some of whom have done so for more than 20 consecutive years.

Monaco, which has seen the tournament since its inception, expressed the overwhelming growth of the tournament as did Hill. She recalled memories of past tournaments, camping after games and bringing boomboxes to the field, and said the tournament has always been about more than softball.

“I remember we used to have parties here, it just got bigger and better every year,” Monaco said. “The bars and the community have been so great. We get together every year for this time and then we’ll all pile into a van and camp at my place.”

The Goosetown tournament features over 300 games over the weekend. The event was kept alive thanks to the work of the 80 people involved, according to Hill.

As games kicked off on Friday, Hill said it took more than 40 hours to build support for the tournament. He wanted the tournament to be perfect and smooth, that’s how the tournament appeared on Friday.

“We have about 4000 people coming to this and we have virtually no problem. Montana teams love it because now they can play against someone new from a new city, there is so much camaraderie. in softball. “

“It’s a lot of hard work and it’s stressful, but seeing it come together just makes you smile,” Hill continued. “My goal is to be 50 years old.”



Frustration mounts in border towns as ‘temporary’ closure continues




No one thought it would last that long.

On March 18, 2020, the United States and Canada announced that they would “temporarily” close the world’s longest border to non-essential travel to slow the spread of COVID-19. Almost 16 months later, it is still “temporarily” closed.

As the country and Montana emerge from the pandemic and the economic downturn it created, the recovery in the Eureka region has been delayed by the ongoing border closure. For years, the economy of the Tobacco Valley has been supported by tourism, particularly by Canadians visiting Lincoln and Flathead counties. Many have even bought second homes along the shores of Lake Koocanusa. And while American tourists flood neighboring Flathead Valley, fill short-term rentals, and visit Glacier National Park in record numbers, the northern part of Lincoln County is considerably quieter.

“We’re very badly,” said Larry Stewart, owner of Abayance Bay Marina in Rexford. “For years, Canadians kept our restaurant and marina full. “

This month, Canada has started to ease border crossing restrictions. Specifically, Canadian citizens who are vaccinated and who have traveled outside the country no longer have to self-quarantine for 14 days upon their return home. But the reasons accepted for traveling remain limited. All non-essential travel between the United States and Canada, including tourism, remains prohibited until July 21 at least.

It is not known when the border will fully reopen. Thursday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was questioned at an event in British Columbia when the border opens to non-essential unvaccinated visitors. “I can tell you right away that this won’t happen for a while,” he said.

Stewart and others are frustrated that the restrictions will not be lifted sooner, and they fear the cautious approach has caused lasting damage to the local economy and community.

“For generations it has been the friendliest border in the world, but I don’t know if we can really say it now. “

State Senator Mike Cuffe, R-Eureka

Stewart said most summers he has to hire local kids to help direct traffic in the marina parking lot, but he hasn’t had to this year. Over the weekend of July 4, he said, the pitch was never more than a quarter full. Besides the marina and restaurant, Stewart has a stage and usually books musical performances throughout the summer. In years past, he never felt the need to advertise much outside of Tobacco Valley, knowing that Canadians with a second home or camping in one of the nearby RV parks would fill up. easily the site. But this year, he’s worried. He needs to sell around 1,000 tickets to break even, but he only sold around 300 for Larkin Poe’s show this weekend, and country duo Big & Rich, scheduled for August 1, doesn’t sell much better.

“We booked these shows earlier this year in hopes that the border would be opened, but that just didn’t happen,” he said.

Mike Lancaster, a real estate agent in Eureka, said some Canadians who owned second homes in the area have sold due to the extended border closure.

“It doesn’t make a lot of sense to keep a property if you can’t access it,” he said.

The border closure also separated the Lancaster family. His father lives in Grasmere, BC, just north of Eureka, and he hasn’t seen him for over a year due to the closure. While “Immediate family members” were sometimes allowed to cross the border, Lancaster said the rules were confusing and his father did not want to face a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon returning from a trip he had made with ease before the year last. Before the pandemic, many Canadians along the border were shopping in Eureka, instead of making the 45-minute drive north to Fernie.

State Senator Mike Cuffe, R-Eureka, said the extended shutdown has divided both families and the closely knit communities that straddle the border. He said it was particularly frustrating that the border was still closed even as the number of cases declined and vaccination rates increased.

“We have flattened the curve and avoided disaster, so it’s time to open the border,” he said.

Cuffe is not the only elected representative to demand the reopening of the border. Meaning. Steve Daines and Jon Tester have been calling for a reopening for months. In June, Daines introduced a bill to fully reopen the border within 20 days, but the measure would not do much without the cooperation of officials on the Canadian side.

While Cuffe has said reviving the Eureka economy is his immediate concern, he’s also concerned about the long-term impacts the continued shutdown could create. For decades, the border has been a virtually arbitrary line in the sand for locals with friends and family on either side. He fears that these communities will be a little further apart once it opens.

“For generations this has been the friendliest border in the world, but I’m not sure we can really say it now,” he said.

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No evidence that extended unemployment benefits are killing economic recovery




When a disappointing jobs report was released in early May, a number of politicians and advocacy groups pointed to one of the main reasons for the slow growth as the country continued to emerge from the pandemic. : the increase in unemployment benefits from the federal government.

“The disappointing jobs report makes it clear that paying people not to work slows down what should be a stronger labor market,” said Neil Bradley, executive vice president of the United States Chamber of Commerce, referring to enhanced unemployment insurance giving unemployed Americans an extra $ 300 per week until the end of the summer.

Republican governors across the country have approved the assessment, saying they will end the additional benefits before they expire on September 6.

Leading the way at a recent career fair in Louisville, Ky. (Luke Sharrett / Bloomberg via Getty Images)

“Montana is open for business again, but I hear from too many employers across our state not finding workers,” Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte said in a statement announcing he was cutting the program at the start of its state. “Almost all sectors of our economy are facing a labor shortage. “

“What was supposed to be short-term financial aid for vulnerable and displaced people at the height of the pandemic has turned into a dangerous federal law, making and paying workers to stay at home rather than encouraging them to return to the workplace. South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster said.

The narrative gained traction among many Americans, with a May poll from Yahoo News and YouGov that found slightly more respondents (43 percent) saying the extra payments of $ 300 should stop than saying they are expected to continue (41 percent). Even the White House began to give in: After President Biden said there was no connection between the benefits and the number of late jobs in early May, a month later he pointed out that they did not were only temporary. Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki called their effect “a really difficult thing to analyze.”

Between late June and early July, 25 states announced they would end the program, but after a strong employment report last week – with the benefits still in place in most states and no clear data to show a increased job searches in states that had already cut them – it seemed that the program’s shortcomings could have been overstated.

Joe biden

President Biden speaking at a July 4 event on the South Lawn of the White House. (Sarah Silbiger / Bloomberg via Getty Images)

“This appears to be something that was completely wrong and was not at all supported by the facts or the evidence,” said Valerie Wilson of the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal think tank. “Many comparisons and inaccurate conclusions have been drawn. “

“I think the idea of ​​wanting to cut benefits early on is more of a political point than one that is justified by the economics,” Wilson added. “With the latest report we’re on the right track to keep the recovery strong and vibrant, and I just don’t think it’s a very wise decision to do anything to hamper that at this point. These benefits are important to families and contribute to the demand necessary for continued employment growth. By cutting them prematurely, you risk cutting short or at least hampering recovery.

Analysts put forward many other reasons why job growth in the spring fell below expectations beyond expectations of Americans being paid to stay home: There were lingering fears about the coronavirus and the lack of childcare has made it difficult for parents to return to the workforce. And there was the fact that after a year or more, workers reconsidered jobs that offered low wages and irregular hours, because companies reported success to hire new workers when they offered higher wages.

A June Discussion Paper from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco showed the “moderate deterrent effects of the additional $ 600 payments on job search rates and, by extension, the small effects of the $ 300 weekly supplement available in 2021”. But there was also a Yale study in July 2020 who found that the increase in unemployment benefits did not affect employment, and a February report from the JPMorgan Chase Institute echoed the findings, saying there was “little evidence that high unemployment insurance benefits discourage people from returning to work.”

A job seeker, left

A job seeker, left, attends a restaurant and hospitality career fair in Torrance, Calif., In June. (Eric Thayer / Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Additionally, a Pew analysis from October 2019 found a pre-pandemic workforce shortage and expanded benefits, noting that “in 39 states there are more jobs than people looking for them.” The leisure and hospitality industry, often seen as the main victim of extended benefits, has recorded the largest gains in the latest employment reports, although total employment in this sector remains well below pre-pandemic levels.

According to data from job search site Indeed, states that are removing allowances saw little movement compared to those who held them. Nick Bunker, an economist for Indeed who has tracked state-level figures, told Yahoo News that disappointing employment figures earlier this year were the result of a number of factors, without a single one. “Smoking gun”.

“Looking at the activity of job seekers state by state, what we saw basically wasn’t a really clear pattern,” Bunker said. “In the data, it didn’t appear that declining UI was an obvious and major factor in job seekers’ activity, at least on Indeed. Once we get a deeper analysis in the months and years to come, these UI benefits have likely impacted job search, but that doesn’t seem like the biggest constraint, it obviously does not appear in macro data.

Bunker noted that Indeed started surveying job seekers in late May, and although people mentioned perks as the reason they sought less urgency, they weren’t the most important factor. important, with concerns about the virus being the most common response as well. child care and existing financial cushions.

Carlos Ponce, center

Protesters urge senators to support the maintenance of unemployment benefits in Miami Springs, Fla. (Joe Raedle / Getty Images)

“Another way to look at it is that UI benefits have an impact, but maybe they work in confluence with other factors,” Bunker said. “Yes, UI allows some people more concerned about the virus to hang back, but even if you take away the benefits some people might get back to work faster, but it pushes them into a situation that might not be the best for them at that time.

While the June jobs report was promising, the economic recovery still has a long way to go, with COVID variants of inflation potentially hampering growth. Still, Biden and the White House celebrated the latest report.

“There is no doubt in my mind that the improved UI benefits have been a huge boon – they have precisely served their purpose of providing insurance for workers affected by the pandemic. “ Biden administration economic adviser Jared Bernstein said Friday.

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Ennis Rodeo returns to boost the local economy




ENNIS – The 4th of July festivities are back in Ennis and the NRA rodeo kicked off on Saturday night,

“It brings joy back to your life,” said Gretchen Furlong, a resident, of people returning to the city after COVID-19. “I mean seriously, after being locked up last year and no one came, it was kinda sorry. Now it’s fun. It’s alive. Life is back.

Despite the closure that hit the small tourist town last year, it hasn’t been hit as hard as you might think. The 2020 rodeo has always been held, but with minimal fans.

“We had a great influx of tourists and visitors later in September,” said the executive director of the Ennis Chamber of Commerce. “Our fall has been very busy. Economically we have done a lot better than everyone thought. It was great. It was a tough year for us, the country, the world, but Ennis did very well. got out.

On Saturday night, they were once again able to proudly display their city for their biggest events of the year in the rodeo.

“It’s a lot of fun and it gives the opportunity to show our cowboy heritage and what Ennis is,” said Bettendorf.

Tourists come from all over for the July 4th weekend of this year to Ennis to watch the parade and rodeo.

“We are very lucky here in town and we have people from all over the country,” said Bettendorf. “We even had visitors from out of the country yesterday. It’s really cool to see.

Businesses are more than ready for customers to generate foot traffic again, but it’s also nice to just see people.

“Well that was a little overwhelming, but in a good way,” said Furlong, owner of Saddles & Co. “People seem happy and they really seem to want to get out of the house. They are enjoying their vacation, c It’s good to see. As you just saw, the traffic comes in and out without interruption. It’s great and it’s fun.

Bettendorf is hoping for at least a return to 2019 revenue figures, but he feels revenue could be 10% higher.

“At first glance, 2021 is going to be huge,” he said. “(It will be) a great influx of cash for our businesses, which is really important. Hope people come here – maybe for the first time, have a nice day and take another visit.



Analysis: US states ending unemployment benefits hit labor market milestone in March | The powerful 790 KFGO




By Howard Schneider

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. states prematurely suspending federal unemployment benefits crossed a key milestone in their economic recovery in early spring, with the number of available jobs outpacing the number of unemployed, according to new federal data.

The data, which estimates state-level job vacancies and turnover, showed the ratio of job vacancies to the unemployed rose to 1.01 in March in the 26 states that are ending a Federal unemployment benefit of $ 300 before it expires nationally in September. The ratio was 0.74 in the other 24 states and the District of Columbia, meaning there were still more unemployed people than jobs available in those parts of the country.

The new figures – currently released on a quarterly basis by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics as an experimental series – offer some texture to the uneven nature of the US labor market recovery and the fierce political debate over the necessity continue with safety net measures. for people out of work as the coronavirus pandemic eases across the country.

Matt Luzzetti, chief U.S. economist for Deutsche Bank, said his analysis comparing job postings to hiring, known as “job vacancy performance,” showed that if hiring was difficult across the country, it had experienced a particular lull this spring among the states. who subsequently decided to end the federal supplement.

“For this group of states, they have had more difficulty translating vacancies into hires,” Luzzetti said, while warning that the data did not allow conclusions to be drawn on the impact of the drop in employment. unemployment benefits in the labor market.

The data uses the agency’s Job Openings and Rotation Survey (JOLTS) to produce state-level estimates of the number of jobs available. It also provides state-by-state hires, layoffs and “quits” volumes, information economists use to understand how labor markets perform above unemployment numbers.

Chart: State Labor Markets March 2021 – https://graphics.reuters.com/USA-ECONOMY/JOBS/yzdpxlxnmpx/chart.png

More recent data is not available and JOLTS state-level estimates do not answer the central question of whether the early termination of unemployment benefits will affect hiring and job creation by encouraging people currently dependent on these allowances to take a job.

A preview on that could come later this month when state-level employment estimates are released for June, when the first of the states suspended federal benefits.

‘EMERGENCY INSUFFICIENCY’

So far, data and surveys point to a potentially modest impact from policies that have taken on a partisan tinge, with virtually every Republican governor in the country stopping the benefits early, and only Louisiana, among Democratic-led states, joining them.

Benefits began to run out in early June, with states typically announcing their plans in May. Since then, ongoing state unemployment claims have declined further in states that have already halted or intend to halt benefits earlier than elsewhere.

This does not mean that these unemployed people have taken a job. A recent online survey by hiring site Indeed suggested that federal benefits fall behind other factors such as spouse’s income, lingering fears of the coronavirus, family obligations, and even the desire to take time off. to influence individual decisions to work.

Critics argue that the end of benefits now puts workers at risk at a still sensitive time in the pandemic.

Economists, meanwhile, analyzed the data in what has become an experiment in unemployment policy at a time when the US economy seems almost muddled – with record vacancies, relatively high unemployment, but hires. slower than expected.

“All the signs we have right now are that the disappearance of these advantages could have positive effects on the labor supply, but it will not be huge,” said Nick Bunker, director from economic research for North America to Indeed Hiring Lab.

The online survey of 5,000 people from May 26 to June 3 revealed “an emergency lag,” Bunker said. “Employers would like to ramp up quickly. But a large portion of job seekers are more patient and want to take more time.

REGIONAL VARIATIONS

Still, the new data suggests that labor markets in early-cutting states had tightened faster than elsewhere, underscoring the concerns of officials like Republican Gov. of Montana Greg Gianforte, who announced on May 4. that he would stop federal unemployment benefits early.

Chart: Job seekers by vacant position – https://graphics.reuters.com/USA-ECONOMY/CLAIMS/bdwpkozzqpm/chart.png

“I hear from too many employers across our state who can’t find workers. Almost every sector of our economy is facing a labor shortage, ”Gianforte said in a statement announcing his plan to cut benefits in June. In March, according to BLS estimates, Montana had 1.75 job vacancies for every unemployed person, the seventh highest ratio in the country.

The overall US figure was around 0.84 at this point – half that of Montana, but an improvement from previous months. The fact that nationwide job vacancies were approaching the level of the unemployed has caught the attention of policymakers like Federal Reserve Chairman of St. Louis, James Bullard, a sign that labor markets could be closer to a full recovery than expected.

The data, which the BLS will begin publishing monthly in October, showed large regional variations and the potential for geographic mismatches between labor demand and supply to slow hiring nationwide.

In a highly politicized political debate, both sides may be right: 21 of the 26 states that stopped benefits early had more job vacancies than job seekers, while 16 of the remaining 24 states had even more unemployed than jobs available in March.

There are outliers on both sides. Vermont doesn’t stop benefits, for example, but in March it had the highest ratio of jobs to unemployed, with 2.07 openings for every job seeker. Texas, Arizona and Louisiana – three of the states that ended benefits prematurely – still had significantly more unemployed than job vacancies.

(Reporting by Howard Schneider; Editing by Dan Burns and Paul Simao)



Trump mentions Montana election – Tschida has protest update




At a rally in Ohio last week, former President Donald Trump mentioned voting problems in Montana.

“In Montana, over 6% of a certain county’s mail in the ballots is missing,” Trump said. “Evidence to prove that whether they were legitimate or not, they lack all that evidence. Think about it; Montana. You know, there was a lot of mail in the ballots, and everywhere you got the mail in the ballots.

State Representative Brad Tschida is still awaiting responses from Missoula County and the state regarding the November election.

“I believe what he (President Trump) meant was that there was a county in Montana that had more than 6% of its ballots that did not have affirmation envelopes , and that would have been Missoula County, ”Tschida said. “So that brings us back to where we are. And we talked. There is a group of us who keep watching what is going on.

Tschida presented more problems with the recent elections.

“We found that 10,712 ballots were distributed to people who have not voted for two election cycles,” he said. “They were mailed in the ballot for the 2020 election. And they should have been removed from the voters list at the end of the 2018 election because if you missed two rounds you are automatically kicked out. The county therefore did not do its job. The Election Office did not do its job of removing people who should have been removed from the voters lists. “

Tschida said he also contacted Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen for clarification on electoral matters, and KGVO asked if he had received a response.

“At the moment, we haven’t done it,” he said. “I asked Secretary Jacobson to just put forward something that says the following. “We understand that there is an allegation of irregularities. We don’t know what happened. But we encourage both the Election Office and the citizens’ group who have looked into this issue, to work to resolve it, so that we find out what caused it and what we can do to prevent it from happening. the future.

After the election, a UM survey found that a majority of those polled trusted the postal voting process.

The KGVO has contacted Missoula County Election Administrator Bradley Seaman for their reaction.

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Airports have always struggled to attract workers. Expect longer lines for some time, experts say.




A workforce shortage at the Dallas / Fort Worth International Airport became so severe last month that one of its senior executives sent a message to stores and restaurants: don’t rob one another’s employees and others.

“As you know, we are experiencing one of the biggest recruiting challenges in the history of DFW Airport,” wrote Ken Buchanan, executive vice president of revenue and customer experience management, at dealers in a May 27 letter reviewed by CNBC. “As we prepare for a busy summer, please continue to uphold DFW Airport’s high hiring standards and avoid soliciting employees from other DFW operations (‘poaching’). “

After more than a year of lockdowns linked to the coronavirus pandemic, travelers leaving their homes on vacations have faced long security lines, hours of waiting with airlines and less. options at the airport for everything from coffee to fried chicken sandwiches due to understaffing.

Workers must be prepared to go through a federal security check, which can take more than two weeks, and travel to the airport to return burgers or sell magazines.

The Transportation Security Administration is offering hiring bonuses of $ 1,000 as part of its campaign to add 6,000 screening officers by the end of September. She has hired around 4,000 so far, a TSA spokeswoman said. Airports serving Austin, Texas; Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; and Charlotte, North Carolina, have asked travelers to arrive up to three hours earlier in recent weeks due to long security lines.

Some airlines, which have received $ 54 billion in federal wage support to keep them from laying off workers, are now rushing to hire staff for reservation lines and other parts of the business. Carriers have urged employees to take temporary leaves or buy-backs during the pandemic to cut costs. American recently cut its schedule by 1% for the first half of July, citing a lack of staff.

Leisure and hospitality jobs in the United States increased by 292,000 last month, accounting for more than half of May’s employment gains, according to the Department of Labor’s monthly report. Almost two-thirds of employment gains in the sectors came from food and beverage establishments.

The national trend that has challenged managers trying to fill these types of jobs is even more acute at many airports.

Potential workers who are willing to go through a federal security check, which can take more than two weeks, and travel to the airport to flip burgers or sell magazines come at a steep price – if they can be found.

“Airports, even in normal times, have enormous difficulty in getting people to want to come to the airport for work,” said Earl Heffintrayer, senior airport analyst at Moody’s Investors Service.

The strong recovery after spending a year struggling with falling demand has created a scramble for workers.

Employers “cut a lot [of jobs last year] and all of a sudden they want to hire a lot. Many employers are trying to hire at the same time, ”said Ioana Marinescu, an assistant professor of public policy at the University of Pennsylvania who has studied the impact of stimulus checks during the pandemic. “The pool of workers is roughly constant, while the number of employers trying to hire is growing. “

TSA airport checks rebounded to around 80% of 2019 levels, a sharp turnaround from last year when passenger volume in the United States fell to its lowest level since 1984 – and 20 billion dollars in federal assistance to airports have eased the blow from worker shortages, Moody’s told Heffintrayer. That includes $ 8 billion in airport subsidies announced last week by the Federal Aviation Administration – of which $ 800 million was earmarked for rent relief for airport retailers and food and beverage operators.

Airports Council International estimates that US airport revenue losses will total $ 40 billion through March 2022 due to the pandemic.

“There is definitely money left on the table,” Heffintrayer said of the effect of the lack of manpower at airports. Food and beverage concessions in terminals and retail stores contributed about 7% to the nearly $ 25 billion operating revenue of U.S. commercial airports in 2019.

Gilbert Aranza, CEO of Star Concessions, which jointly operates or manages more than 50 food, beverage and retail businesses at DFW and Dallas Love Field, said he wanted the airport to add rules against the poaching of employees in leases. He said the idea was inspired by the NFL’s anti-tampering rules, which prohibit rival teams from wooing a player under contract with another club.

Star Concessions operates several restaurants and concessions in a new four-door chain at DFW, but said it had not been able to recruit enough staff. A senior manager said he brought food from the kitchen to customers. A cook at one of her other restaurants, who declined to give her name, said she was approached by a manager at another restaurant asking if she would join an extra $ 1 an hour, or 16 $. The Aranza restaurant corresponded to the proposed increase.

At the end of May, Star Concessions organized a job fair at a nearby airport hotel, with four of its employees. Nine candidates presented themselves. The company offers referral bonuses of $ 400 to current employees and $ 200 bonuses to employees who work 35 or more hours per week, said Mollie Standridge, vice president of Star Concessions.

Companies often look to bonuses on pay increases. Once “you raise the wages, it’s harder to lower them,” Marinescu said. But some employers are increasing wages to attract workers.

Star Concessions has increased hourly wages for non-tip employees at its concessions to $ 14 to $ 17 an hour, from $ 12 to $ 14, Standridge said.

OTG Management, which operates terminal restaurants in Newark, New Jersey, Houston and other major hubs, offers signing bonuses of $ 750, CEO Rick Blatstein said. Cooks are the most popular and get $ 1,000 signing bonuses, while new managers get $ 3,000 in bonuses.

The company, which like other dealerships laid off workers at the start of the pandemic, was still short by around 1,000 employees at the start of the month. That doesn’t prevent the locations from opening, but OTG is obligated to limit menu items, Blatstein said.

“After hiring 75 people, only 34 showed up on day one.”

Star Concessions hired 75 people, who were badged by the airport; 34 showed up on day one, Standridge said.

A lack of workers can mean longer waits for food, which passengers often don’t have.

Customers typically take “15 minutes between butt and butt” in airport bars and up to about 22 minutes in restaurants, she said. Travelers don’t come to the airport “to eat at Maggiano’s,” in reference to the Italian-American restaurant chain, Standridge said.

The problem is not limited to DFW.

“We’re treading water,” said Les Gunderson, chief operating officer and employee for more than two decades of Montana Gift Corral, which operates 11 gift shops and four restaurants in Bozeman, MT and at the Bozeman International Airport. Yellowstone, selling everything from paints to thermos to support claw-shaped salad servers.

Gunderson said the company has started sending flyers to nearby towns, announcing bonuses of $ 2,000 for workers. There is a shortage of employees after many students left town during the pandemic.

“We are hiring more high school students than ever before,” she said.



Montana’s tight job market hits businesses in all industries | 406 Politics




“It’s really over,” said Blair, who has worked in the mental health industry for 30 years. “… This is unprecedented, in terms of workforce availability, and it truly is sort of a near crisis for us as behavioral health care providers. “

Target unemployment benefits

Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte made headlines last month after his administration announced it would preventively end four different types of unemployment benefits created to provide additional support as the country and Montana saw a historic spike in jobless claims when the pandemic first hit the United States last spring.

When the four unemployment benefit programs linked to the pandemic end on Monday, around 10,000 unemployed Montanais will no longer receive benefits, according to the commissioner of the Ministry of Labor and Industry, Laurie Esau. The total number of people receiving some form of unemployment benefit is expected to increase from around 17,000 to 7,400, Esau said.

In February 2020, before the pandemic hit Montana, an average of about 12,000 people were filing unemployment claims each week. This number peaked in April 2020, at more than 77,000 complaints.

As of mid-June, 5,800 people, or about a third of all claims in the state, included self-employed workers and others ineligible for unemployment benefits. The leisure and hospitality industry accounted for another 2,400 claims, while education and health services, trade and transportation, professional services and construction each accounted for between 1,000 and 2,000 weekly claims. .



Biden praises bipartisan infrastructure deal as a good start





WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden on Thursday announced a hard-won bipartisan deal on a scaled-down infrastructure plan that would begin its top legislative priority and validate its efforts to cross the political aisle. But he openly acknowledged that Democrats will likely have to tackle much of the rest on their own.

The bill’s price at $ 973 billion over five years, or $ 1.2 trillion over eight years, is a small but still significant part of Biden’s broader proposals.

He includes over half a trillion dollars in new spending and could open the door to the president’s more sweeping $ 4 trillion childcare proposals and what the White House later calls human infrastructure.

“When we can find common ground, work across party lines, that’s what I’ll be looking to do,” said Biden, who considered the agreement “a real bipartisan effort, breaking the ice which has too often kept us frozen in place “.

The president stressed that “neither side got everything they wanted in this deal; that’s what it means to compromise, ”and said other White House priorities would be taken care of separately in a Congressional budget process known as reconciliation, which allows for the passage of a majority without having to need Republican votes.

He insisted that the two would be done “in tandem” and that he would not sign the bipartisan agreement without the other, bigger one. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and progressive members of Congress have said they will maintain the same approach.

“There will be no bipartisan bill without a reconciliation bill,” Pelosi said.

Claiming a major victory five months into his presidency, Biden said, “It reminds me of when we used to do a lot of stuff in the United States Congress.” Biden, a former Delaware senator, said that putting his hand on the shoulder of stoic-looking Republican senator Rob Portman of Ohio as the president made a surprise appearance with a bipartisan group of senators to announce the deal in front of the White House.

But the next steps are unlikely to be so smooth.

Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell complained that Biden was “giving in” to Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s plan to “hold the bipartisan deal hostage” for the biggest package in the government. president of what he called “unnecessary” spending.

“That’s not the way to show you’re serious about a bipartisan outcome,” McConnell said.

And there is a lot of skepticism on Biden’s left flank. Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut said the bipartisan deal is “way too small – paltry, pathetic. I need a clear and foolproof assurance that there will be a truly adequate robust package ”that will follow.

Thursday’s deal was struck by the bipartisan group led by Portman and Arizona Democrat Kyrsten Sinema, including some of the Senate’s most independent lawmakers, some known to oppose their parties.

“You know, there are a lot of people who say bipartisanship is dead in Washington,” Sinema said. “We can use bipartisanship to resolve these challenges. “

And Senator Susan Collins, R-Maine, said, “It also sends an important message to the world that America can work, can get things done.”

The proposal includes both new and existing expenditure for long-term programs and highlights the struggle lawmakers have faced to find ways to pay for generally popular ideas.

Investments include $ 109 billion in roads and highways and $ 15 billion in electric vehicle infrastructure and transit systems as part of the $ 312 billion in transportation spending. There is $ 65 billion for broadband and spending on drinking water systems and $ 47 billion for resilience efforts to tackle climate change.

Rather than Biden’s proposed corporate tax hike that Republicans oppose or the gasoline tax increase the president has rejected, the funds will come from a variety of sources – without a full tally yet. , according to a White House document.

The money will come from $ 125 billion in COVID-19 relief funds approved in 2020 but not yet spent, as well as untapped unemployment insurance funds that Democrats have been reluctant to poach. Other revenues are expected to rise after tax evasion by bolstering the Internal Revenue Service enforcement which Portman says could bring in $ 100 billion.

The rest is a mishmash of asset selling and accounting tools, including funds from the sale of 5G telecommunications spectrum leases, a strategic oil reserve, and the hope that large-scale investment will generate economic growth – what the White House calls “the macroeconomic impact of infrastructure investment.” “

Senators from both sides stressed that the deal will create jobs for the economy and rebuild the nation’s position on the world stage, a belief that clearly transcends partisan interests and creates a framework for the deal.

“We will continue to work together – we are not finished,” said Republican Senator Mitt Romney of Utah. “But America works, the Senate works.”

Democratic Senator Jon Tester of Montana said it would show the world “we’re not just, you know, a hot mess here.”

For Biden, the deal was a welcome outcome. Although for far less than he was originally looking for, Biden had bet his political capital that he could work with Republicans on major legislation.

Additionally, Biden and his aides believed they needed a bipartisan infrastructure deal to create a licensing structure for more moderate Democrats – including West Virginia’s Sinema and Joe Manchin – to then be ready to go. vote for the rest of the party line. the president’s agenda.

The announcement leaves uncertain the fate of Biden’s promises of massive investments to slow climate change, which Biden this spring called “the existential crisis of our time.”

Biden’s presidential campaign had helped gain progressive support with promises of significant spending on electric vehicles, charging stations, as well as research and funding for overhauling the U.S. economy to run on less oil. , gas and coal. The administration is expected to push for some of this in future legislation.

Senator Bill Cassidy, R-La, pointed out that there were billions of dollars for resilience against extreme weather conditions and the impact of climate change and said Thursday’s deal was a “start-up investment. “.

Biden sought $ 1.7 trillion in its US jobs plan and the $ 1.8 trillion U.S. family plan for child care, family tax breaks and other investments Republicans dismiss as beyond “infrastructure.”

The sweeping reconciliation bill would likely include tax increases on the rich, those who earn more than $ 400,000 a year, and lower the corporate rate from 21% to 28%.

The signing of a bill in the White House is still long. The Senate expects to consider the bipartisan package in July, but Biden’s larger proposal is not expected to see final votes until the fall.

___

Associated Press editors Kevin Freking, Mary Clare Jalonick, Alan Fram, Matthew Daly, and Darlene Superville contributed to this report.



Senator Tester Reintroduces Montana Headwaters Legacy Act – Explore Big Sky




US SENATE – US Senator Jon Tester reintroduced his Montana Headwaters Legacy Act, legislation on June 24 that will protect 377 miles of rivers in the Custer-Gallatin and Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forests, the most significant wilderness and scenic designation in nearly 45 years.

“Our outdoor heritage is not only at the heart of our identity as Montanais, but a staple of our growing economy,” Tester said. “This legislation, developed from the ground up and with the support of a diverse coalition of stakeholders, will ensure that some of our most pristine rivers will be enjoyed by future generations of young Montanais, and untouched by special interests for years to come. to come up. “

Tester’s Montana Headwaters Legacy Act will protect some of Montana’s most iconic recreational rivers, including the Gallatin, Madison, and Smith, to ensure they are always protected from short-sighted special interests. The legislation brings together environmentalists, outfitters and recreation enthusiasts, and is supported by the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, American Rivers, American Whitewater, the Montana Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers and the Gallatin River Task Force.

“Our family has owned a ranch on the Smith River for over 40 years, and we have left many fond memories there,” said Willie Rahr, a Smith River landowner. “This bill will keep the river as it is so that future generations of Montanais can enjoy it as we did.”

“I am very pleased to see that the Montana Headwaters Legacy Act includes the portions of the Gallatin River, Taylor Fork and Hyalite Creek Crown lands, which is Bozeman’s primary source of drinking water,” said Mayoress de Bozeman, Cyndy Andrus. “Protecting these important headwaters will also protect all downstream water users, including farmers and ranchers, municipalities, industrial users and riparian recreationists who contribute to the recreation economy. $ 7.1 billion Montana outdoor pool. “

“Clean, flowing rivers are the backbone of Montana’s economy and way of life. By passing the Montana Headwaters Legacy Act, we can return some of our most cherished rivers to future generations to be even better than we found them, ”said Scott Bosse of American Rivers. “It’s a gift they will be eternally grateful for.”

In 1968, Congress passed the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to preserve rivers of cultural and recreational value in their free-flowing state for present and future generations. Less than half a percent of Montana’s roughly 170,000 miles of river is referred to as “wild and scenic.”



The Best Banks and Credit Unions in Every State 2021




AAs the US economy recovers from the coronavirus pandemic, banks and credit unions across the country have been at the forefront of a rapid economic recovery. There are just over 10,000 banks and credit unions nationwide, most of them small local lenders who are essential to American life, providing low cost financial products and personalized customer service.

During the pandemic, these lenders were relied on by small businesses and acted as the most active participants in the Small Business Administration’s paycheck protection program, pumping hundreds of billions of dollars into millions of businesses across the country. nationwide, preventing layoffs and business closures. As the recovery is in full swing, these banks and credit unions have gone on the offensive, lending to households buying homes and cars and helping existing homeowners refinance their mortgages to take advantage of low interest rates.

Small community lenders are the most competitive when it comes to offering low rates on mortgages, consumer loans, and deposit accounts. But there is a huge divergence on how the banks are doing. To assess which companies have the most satisfied customers, Forbes in partnership with a market research firm Statistical to survey nearly 25,000 people in the United States about their banking relationships. The result is our fourth annual ranking of the best banks and credit unions.

Consumers were asked 20 questions about their financial transactions. Banks and Credit Unions were rated based on overall recommendations and satisfaction, as well as five sub-dimensions (Trust, Terms and Conditions, Branch Services, Digital Services, and Financial Advice). Overall scores ranged from 77.38 to 95.63. Only 2.7% of all banks and 3.6% of all credit unions were on our list.

Domestic financial institutions with branches in at least 15 states were excluded from the final ranking. Nearly a dozen domestic banks were omitted, including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase Bank, PNC Financial, US Bank, Truist Financial, and Wells Fargo. The Navy Federal Credit Union, which operates in more than 30 states, was the only credit union eliminated for its size.

Between one and five banks and up to ten credit unions in each state have received the Best-In-State designation, based on the number of responses in each state. On average, each bank and credit union received 40 consumer surveys that asked users about everything from the ease of use of mobile banking and transparency of fees and interest rates to opening hours and accessibility of bank branches. A total of 135 unique banks and 190 unique credit unions qualified.

Citizens Financial Group and Huntington Bancshares were the best performing banks in several states, each winning five awards. Huntington Bancshares was the top bank in Michigan and Ohio State, ranked # 2 in Indiana and Kentucky and # 3 in Pennsylvania, still operates a branch in Columbus, Ohio, where it was founded in 1866. A leading lender across the Rust-Belt and Midwest, Huntington has $ 175 billion in assets, $ 142 billion in deposits and $ 116 billion in loans and is growing rapidly. Earlier in June, the company completed its acquisition of TCF Financial, increasing its presence in states like Colorado and Minnesota.

Founded in 1828 in Providence, RI, Citizens Financial Group was ranked # 2 in Michigan and its hometown of Rhode Island, # 3 in Ohio and New Jersey, and # 5 in Pennsylvania. Formerly owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland, Citizens was re-listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2014 and saw its stock roughly double in value, based on strong fundamentals in the US economy. With $ 151 billion in deposits and $ 187 billion in total assets, Citizens’ loan portfolio is split roughly evenly between consumer bank lending and commercial bank lending, underscoring its presence with households and consumers alike. businesses, mainly in the northeast.

Banks receiving three Best-In-State awards included Arvest Bank, BBVA, Citibank, Fifth Third Bank and South State Bank, including its merger with CenterState Bank.

Arvest Bank, ranked # 4 in the state of Kansas and # 5 in Arkansas, is owned by the Walton family behind the Wal-Mart fortune. It operates in Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Kansas and has a history dating back to the Walton family’s purchase of Bank of Bentonville in 1961 in the hometown of their retail giant, Wal -Mart. Through acquisitions and expansion, Arvest has grown from $ 3.5 million in assets to $ 24 billion in assets and a footprint of 270 locations in 135 communities.

SouthState Bank was ranked # 1 in our Best-In-State ranking for Florida, # 2 in Georgia, and # 3 in South Carolina. Last year, the Winter Haven, Florida-based lender completed its merger with South Carolina-based Center State Bank, roughly doubling the lender’s size and expanding its footprint in the Carolinas and Virginia. It now has $ 32 billion in deposits and $ 40 billion in loans and a branch network that spans six states in the Southeast and Central Atlantic.

Other banks that have received multiple Best-In-State awards include BancorpSouth, Banner Bank, Capital One, Fulton Bank, Great Southern Bank, IBC Bank, Peoples Bank, Renasant Bank, and Washington Trust Bank.

Top-ranked banks in the states also included smaller lenders providing specialist services in only a small number of states. Skowhegan Savings in Skowhegan, Maine tops our list for the state of Maine, while

Hills Bank, First Security Bank, Points West Community Bank, Conway National Bank and First Community Bank lead our rankings in Iowa, Montana, Nebraska, South Carolina and Arkansas respectively.

The highest-rated bank overall was First Bank Kansas, which had an overall ratio of 94.13. Founded in 1961 by Glenn Bramwell at the bank’s current headquarters in Salina, Kansas, First Bank has been a family lender throughout its history.

Mcharcoal credit unions only are an unrecognized lifeblood of the U.S. economy, where tens of millions of Americans look to get the most competitive interest rates on mortgages, savings accounts, consumer loans, and certificates deposit. Their not-for-profit model, where the members of the bank are its owners, helps put customers first and results in higher levels of satisfaction.

Many of America’s largest credit unions were founded decades ago by workers from large local businesses, military bases, labor groups, and industries looking for banking services have grown into large institutions with dozens of thousands of customers, large loan portfolios and sophisticated digital banking services. .

The credit union with the best overall score was the Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union, based in Chatanooga, Tennessee, which obtained a score of 95.63. Founded in 1936, a few years after then-President Franklin Delano Roosevelt enacted the Federal Credit Union Act, TVFCU was to serve members of the Tennessee Valley Authority, a public service that was an essential part of the “New Deal”. “. TVA workers built a hydroelectric power station on the Tennessee River, which is now the base of a utility serving 10 million people in six states. The credit union for these employees, TVFCU, now serves 160,000 members in 19 branches, carrying the mission of “people who help people”. The credit union’s assets now stand at nearly $ 2 billion, while deposits are $ 1.7 billion.

Credit unions generally operate locally, but five of them have qualified as the best in the state in several locations.

Mountain America Credit Union, founded in the 1930s, finished in the top five in Arizona, Utah and Idaho, where it placed first. With $ 13 billion in assets and 990,000 members, it is one of the largest and fastest growing credit unions in the country, covering clients in the western United States and in the mountains. Rockies.

America First Credit Union ranked first in Nevada and second in Utah. Founded in 1939 in Salt Lake City, Utah, America First initially used a can of Prince Albert tobacco to hold all of its cash deposits, then only $ 788. It has since become a major lender in the Mountain West States. The total membership stands at nearly 2 million members, making it the fifth largest credit union in America by number of members. America First’s $ 15.9 billion in assets make it the eighth largest credit union in terms of assets.

Community America Credit Union, DCU, Visions Federal Credit Union, and Security Service Federal Credit Union, founded in 1956 at Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio, were other credit unions to receive several awards from the state’s top credit unions. .

The other best performing credit unions were small credit unions serving specialized communities. Founded in 1953, Otero Federal Credit Union, based in Alamogordo, New Mexico, is one of the smallest in the country, with just 95 employees in total. He placed second overall according to our poll with a score of 93.65, ranking No.1 in New Mexico.

Other top credit unions in the state with the highest overall ratings included Visions Federal Credit Union in New York, ELGA Credit Union in Michigan, CSE Federal Credit Union in Ohio, and Sikorsky Financial Credit Union in Connecticut, all of which received top 92 ratings.