Big Sky

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Wednesday in a major case that could dramatically alter the line separating church and state.

At issue is a Montana state constitutional amendment that bars direct and indirect taxpayer aid to religious institutions. Conservative religious groups and advocates of school choice are challenging the "no-aid" provision.

KidsLINK Coordinators LeAnne and Kaylee Grote stand in the room where they provide childcare before and after school at Meadowlark Elementary in Bozeman, Montana, November 21, 2019.
Rachel Cramer

Many parents in Montana are struggling to find affordable, high-quality care for their kids. Several providers in the Bozeman area are trying to fill that gap, including one that says it has a big economic impact on the region.

Aerial view of Bozeman, 2008.
Jonesey/Flickr (CC-by-2.0)

Montana’s fastest growing city is moving one step closer on a plan intended to tackle affordable housing.

Two trends are converging in large wildland states like Montana — more frequent and severe wildfires and rapid home development in wildfire prone areas. A conference this week examined how homes burn and how to protect them.

Screenshot of development projects in Bozeman from the city's Community Developer Viewer, July 18, 2019.
Rachel Cramer / Yellowstone Public Radio

A non-profit organization that serves more than 12,000 people in southwest Montana is updating its community needs assessment. It helps determine which projects get the green light and affects how millions of dollars are allocated. Communities across Park, Gallatin and Meagher Counties identified affordable housing as one of the top priorities in the last assessment three years ago.

Representatives from Big Sky School District, Habitat for Humanity and the community dig into the future site of affordable housing for Big Sky teachers, July 12, 2019.
Rachel Cramer / Yellowstone Public Radio

Public schools in Big Sky are losing teachers because their salaries can’t keep up with the median sale price for a single-family house, which currently sits at $1 million. A new partnership to bring affordable, on-site housing to the school district is trying to change that.

Ecologists, fire managers and journalists visit a burn site one year after lightning started the Bacon Rind Fire, July 10, 2019.
Rachel Cramer / Yellowstone Public Radio

It’s been about a year since lightning started a fire that burned almost 4,500 acres in the Lee Metcalf Wilderness and Yellowstone National Park. Local fire managers and ecologists invited journalists to see how the burn site is recovering and learn how fire plays a role on the landscape.

Resort residencies in Big Sky, Montana, 2006.
Jim (CC-By-SA-2.0)

A new economic profile report about Big Sky highlights one of the fastest population growth trends in the state and some of the struggles that come with it. Big Sky’s population has grown 21 percent over the last five years to almost 3,000 residents, according to a new economic profile from Bridge Economic Development released this week.

Aerial view of Bozeman, 2008.
Jonesey/Flickr (CC-by-2.0)

Immigration is a lightning rod issue at the national and local level. Bozeman Public Library will host a panel discussion and Q&A Tuesday to explore the impact of immigration on the economy. 

Affordable Housing Advocates Look To Montana Legislature For Help

Jan 23, 2019
Colter Peterson/Bozeman Daily Chronicle

There are plenty of infrastructure priorities jockeying for scarce state dollars as the Montana Legislature meets this winter, but, with housing costs a burden for many modest-income Montanans, advocates and some lawmakers want to spend state money boosting affordable housing projects.

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