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MSU may have played a crucial role in the development of an experimental drug that possibly saved the two American medical workers in Africa. Techlink, a department within the University, made the crucial connection between a US Army lab and the small San Diego company, Mapp Biopharmaceutical that ultimately created the medicine.

Laurel Halfpap, Senior Tech Manager at MSU’s techlink, helped Mapp Biopharmaceutical with the necessary applications and licensing to get access to an mouse antibody that treated ebola. The company became aware of the ebola treatment the army possessed, but with only 10 employees, they needed all the help they could get. As the Army lab was also understaffed, connecting the two together fell to Halfpap. After more than year of work, she attained the licensing for the San Diego company.

From there, the company took the antibody, adjusted it so humans would not react to it and combined it with other antibodies to create the drug ZMapp. The two Americans working in the Ebola ridden zone were in the most critical of conditions when they decided to try the medicine, despite knowing it hadn’t been fully tested on humans. The two recovered and were moved back to the states for further testing.

Without Halfpap and Techlink, it seems unlikely the Army and Mapp Biopharmaceuticals could have made their important connection. MSU can add that feather to their cap, adding to their building prestige and pedigree.

Source: http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/health/article_6c6a18ca-4836-11e4-b7e1-bb231cd0ac62.html

 

 

The Montana Department of Transportation will donate $2.1 million dollars throughout the state in order to purchase additional vehicles and equipment. Both Bozeman and Big Sky were chosen to receive additional funding. Funding was awarded through a competitive grant application, ranking applicants by need and fund availability.

The Human Resource Development Council of Bozeman is receiving money a new 40 passenger bus as well as a new 17 passenger bus from the MDT. The agency currently runs the streamline bus service in Bozeman, a free public bus system that  has routes throughout the city. The agency also runs Galavan, a service providing transportation specifically for the elderly and disabled.

Reach Inc., a non-profit organization in Bozeman that provides a myriad of services to aduts with developmental disabilities, will receive a 5 person van.

The town of Big Sky will receive funds for a 45 passenger motor coach.

Sixteen communities in Montana will receive funding in total, including Missoula, Helena, Butte, and Whitehall. Additional facilities and carports will be built across the state with the remaining money. Earlier this year, the MDT had given $7.8 million across the state to deal with the operating costs of these transportation agencies.

For local Bozeman residents, the addition of two new busses will help alleviate logistical concerns for both Streamline and Galavan. Additional busses only add to a solid infastructure, creating a more reliable, punctual transportation service. Citizens reliant on public transportation in Bozeman can only see the additions as great news, helping to better (sorry for this one) streamline the bus system and improve its reliability.

Source: Chronicle Staff. “Agencies Receive Money for Transportation Improvements.” Bozeman Daily Chronicle. 28 September 2014.

I read a great article in the business journal of the Bozeman Daily Chronicle today. In it, Steve Hample of Hample and Peck ( a trust/banking organization) outlined what may have set Bozeman apart from the rest of Montana on its road to recovery from the fiscal collapse in 2008.

Hample began with the standard reasons for why Bozeman may have been more likely to recover from economic decline. Such reasons included the scenic area, our clean air, the low crime, the good schools, the presence of MSU and a continually growing tourism industry. I’d agree with these reasons, but I appreciated how Hample took the story farther than the obvious.

Over the last two years, Montana has ranked first on the “Index of Entrepreneurial Activity.” The index correlates the ratio of new businesses formed compared to the size of the population. Now granted, Montana always does very well or very poorly in most surveys based on per capita, so I thought maybe this one was similar.

However, Hample noted that the other two states that have always ranked close to us in this index were Colorado and California. Both have respectable populations, as well as the great mystery to any Montanan, cities. Hample suggests, then, that our number-one ranking is not due to the rural aspect of living in Montana, but instead the quality of the individuals coming to Bozeman.

Now, of course, what came first? The chicken or the egg? Does a scenic area, clean air, low crime and good schools attract better, smarter people, that then leads to a better, smarter town? Or do these factors actually create better, smarter people, that then lead to improvements in the latter. It probably is both and probably doesn’t really matter either way, so long as the improvement continues!

But what I loved about the article was how Hample suggested that we may have actually already passed a specific tipping point for continued economic success and less hardships in the future. Hample pointed to the presence of Right Now Technologies in Bozeman, which attracted many high-tech individuals and support-staff who would not have been in Bozeman before the business started. Some of their staff went on to start their own tech based companies and so on.

Our airport has now become the biggest in the state. With such good skiing and proximity to Yellowstone, it’s surprising it’s taken this long! But having such an airport at our disposal attracts more people, and who knows who may stick around after their visit? Now, the obvious factors, good schools, low crime etc., almost see their influence increase with the increased exposure to higher numbers of people

Essentially, Hample states that we have ascended into a different league, “like a football team moving to a higher division.” It took a lot of work to get over the barrier, but since Bozeman has, it now has access to a myriad of benefits that other towns simply cannot access. I hope we can continue such a trend and potentially hop another one of these economic barriers as Bozeman continues to grow into the future.

Hample, Steve. “Enjoying Success.” Business Journal for Southwest Montana. 23 September 2014.

Big Sky Tourism is growing and growing quickly according to new numbers assembled by Visit Big Sky, a destination-marketing group in the area. The group compiled numbers based on the city’s total lodging tax collections because they indicate accurately the number of people staying overnight in the town. In general, the lodging tax reflects the ups and downs of the tourism industry pretty accurately.

According to these numbers, the growth rate in Big Sky is nearly 3 times as high as the rate of Montana overall after the first half of 2014. Over the last three years, lodging tax collection totals have increased by double digits. In 2013, tax collections hit 4 times the total of the state and 10 times the National Average. The Big Sky Visitor Center also noted it has seen its international traffic increase, up nearly 20 percent. The visitor center claims that international visitors are expected to spend about seven times more per day than a domestic visitor.

As tourism increases in the area, its hard to see there not being growth in other sectors as well. Big Sky has always been an ideal vacation home rental destination for property owners looking to supplement their income. Now, as tourism continues to increase, a larger market only suggests larger pie slices for all involved.

Source:

http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/economy/article_053ab0a6-4511-11e4-9417-237703baa9ca.html?utm_medium=desktop&utm_source=block_953010&utm_campaign=blox

 

Montana State University had 15,421 students enroll at MSU for the 2014-15 school year, its highest in its history. That was the 8th time in 9 years that MSU has set a new personal record for enrollment. 127 more students enrolled this year as oppose to last, a 1% increase.  The university has increased enrollment by 2,657 students, or 21% in the last 5 years. Currently, MSU is still the largest campus in the state, and the additional students could add more than 1 million dollars in additional tuition money. MSU officials pointed to new, coming buildings to deal with the influx of students. A new college of business building will open next year, adding additional classrooms and the school has invested $2.3 million into instruction and adding more classes to help students graduate on time.

For anyone considering purchasing a home in Bozeman, the prospect of more students means more tenants. A cheap college rental can really help with monthly bills, and if you read my previous article, there currently is next to no rental spaces available in the city. Feel free to give me a call if you’d like to discuss the potential of such a rental. 406-570-5730

Source: http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/montana_state_university/article_65ff592a-4299-11e4-9227-5b0634570ab1.html?utm_medium=desktop&utm_source=block_649307&utm_campaign=blox

New Subdivision Coming for Bozeman Real Estate Market

by Tim Hart

Construction workers are updating and extending both Ferguson Avenue and Cattail Street to make room for a new subdivision, the Four Points. Crews started work on both roads on Wednesday. Once finished, Ferguson will be the only road between 19th Avenue and Love Lane that will directly connect Baxter and Huffine Lane. The west side of Bozeman has become very popular due to the decent prices of homes in that area, coupled with its solid infrastructure and transportation. The Four points subdivision will be adding several muli-family units. The already existing Sundance apartments will be adding 195 new residences. Bozemanites should see improved access and better traffic distribution with the improvement to the two roads. In terms of real estate, Bozemanites should expect to see a lot of new homes and apartments, with many looking for new occupants.

Source: http://www.kbzk.com/news/new-development-will-bring-road-changes-to-west-side-of-bozeman/

East Wilson School May Become Residential Area

by Tim Hart

It looks like Wilson School may see some new life as a residential area. Bridger Builders presented a case to the city to turn the area into 18 single household units. Looks like there will be a parking garage as well for new residents. I will be interested to see whether the city decides to move forward with these plans. The meeting is at 6pm on Monday the 25th.

Source: http://www.kbzk.com/news/future-plans-for-east-willson-school-to-be-presented-to-city/

Off-Leash Dog Park Coming to Bozeman

by Tim Hart

 

 

 

 

 

A new dog park will be coming to Bozeman. The park will provide off-leash options, which is even better news for dog owners. The new park will be located at Rocky Creek Farm off of Frontage Road. Starting today, owners will be able to visit the fully fenced 2-acre park. The 2-acre park will allow for dogs off leash and is only the first phase in an effort to create a much larger dog park with both off leash and on-leash options. Soon, new trails will be created that will provide dog owners with on-leash hiking options as well. The park is now accessible thanks to West Paw Design, who finished installing a new bridge, opening up access to the park. West Paw Design also chipped in $6,000 worth of fencing and other small projects to get the dog park starting strong. Dog owners can now look forward to another beautiful park to take their dogs. Having a park with off-leash access will also provide the dogs with a fun, friendly environment to meet other dogs and not be constantly on-leash in public. Having a dog in the home has become even more worry free in Bozeman with this additional dog park, providing a place for home owners to get their dogs out of the house and burning some of that seemingly never ending dog energy.

Gallatin County Economy Continues to Thrive

by Tim Hart

Despite the fact that Montana’s economic growth rate has slowed in recent years, Gallatin County continues to maintain high economic growth. The county’s growth was driven by wages earned in the construction, manufacturing and service industries. From 2012 to 2013, the county added 2,500 jobs. That number was more than double any other county in Montana. Unfortunately, the amount of wages brought in was proportionally low at 28 million. Experts believe the low numbers simply reflect the generally lower wages that are given to these three sectors. But, the growth in the county still dwarfed the growth in any other Montana county.

For real estate, Gallatin County continued to look strong, coming in second for the most new housing startups. Gallatin County has plenty of potential for continued growth in this sector, as this data still only reaches to 76% of the pre-recession peak.

Source: Bacaj, Jason. “Gallatin economy growing, state slowing.” Bozeman Daily Chronicle. 6 August 2014.

Bozeman Education Taxes to Dip Slightly

by Tim Hart

New construction, continued growth in Bozeman and a larger tax base have allowed the City of Bozeman to lower property tax rates, but still spend more money on education. The Department of Revenue reported that the elementary district has grown by 2.74% while the high school district grew by 2.97%. These numbers reflect the positive growth in Bozeman over the last couple of years, as both construction and real estate seem to have fully recovered from recession. With a larger tax base, Bozemanites can expect to see lower property taxes, yet the schools should be able to hire up to 12 more teachers or counselors for this coming fall semester. The education budget has asked for 70.4 million to spend this year, which is up 1.8% from previous years. As more and more people move to Bozeman looking to raise families in the right schools, Bozeman schools have continued to shine. They have shined so much so that they continue to attract more families, bringing in more money to improve schools, which again attracts more families. Hopefully, this positive trend continues, and Bozeman can help foster the next generation of smarter, more creative leaders.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 119

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