Montana State University noxious weed specialists have partnered with agencies around the state to update the Montana Invasive Species Education packet, which includes curriculum geared toward students in kindergarten through eighth grade. The MISE project is aimed at increasing knowledge and awareness about invasive species that can be detrimental to Montana agriculture, recreation, economy and environment.
The original project was completed in 2016, a collaborative effort that included the Montana Noxious Weed Education Campaign, housed in MSU’s Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences; the Montana Agriculture in the Classroom program; Montana Department of Agriculture; Fish, Wildlife & Parks; the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation; and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services. The same partners, along with the Montana Invasive Species Council and the Stillwater Conservation District, partnered to update and produce the new packet.
“Two thousand packets were originally printed and distributed. The need to reprint the packets gave us an opportunity to add emerging species, new curriculum, and updated materials,” said Shantell Martin, Montana Noxious Weed Education Campaign coordinator. “It’s been great to see the interest by educators in delivering this information to students to help protect Montana’s land and waters.”
Lesson plans are designed for grades 6–8 but can be adapted for younger or older classes. Eight new high-priority species have been added to the packet for a total of 35 featured invasive species. The free packets include curriculum guidelines, identification cards, a classroom poster of the 35 species and a series of activities for use in the classroom or in the field.
Educators can visit https://invasivespecies.mt.gov/montana-invasive-species/Educator-Resources for more information, to request supplemental materials for an original packet, or to request a new packet.
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Montana State University will host the virtual presentation “Animal Allies: The History of Animals in Espionage” at 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 15. The event, in partnership with the Belgrade Community Library, is free and open to the public.
In the talk, MSU alumna Kelly Lewis will highlight stories of espionage's most eminent animals and the human masterminds behind them. For decades, furry, aquatic and flying animal spies have been employed in some of the world's wildest espionage initiatives, from undersea defense and surveillance to cipher smuggling and anti-drone reconnaissance.
Lewis is a former writing and literature instructor in MSU’s College of Letters and Science. She currently lives in New York City pursuing a master's degree in the Experimental Humanities Department at New York University. Her scholarly research focuses on espionage history and geopolitics in fiction and media, including the relationship the civilian public has with the world of the clandestine.
All Belgrade Community Library online events are hosted via Zoom. Advance registration is required and must be completed by noon on April 15. For more information or to register, visit montana.edu/olli. Upon registration, participants will receive an email with the Zoom link and instructions to join the program.
This collaborative community event is free and open to the public thanks to a sponsorship by Kenyon Noble Lumber and Hardware.
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at MSU is a program of Academic Technology and Outreach at MSU. ATO works across the university to support and advance its land-grant mission through unique and innovative opportunities for outreach and engagement.
Learn about the essential gear you need to get started hunting. We will talk about finding a firearm that fits you, survival gear you should always carry, and what we like to carry with us!
This will be a free virtual webinar series through Zoom. After you register a Zoom link will be sent to you by email the week of the class, and this link will be used for each presentation. Attend one or all, it’s up to you! If you already registered, you do not need to register again!
Each presentation will be from 7pm-8pm. Dates below, so mark your calendars!
Tuesday, May 11-The Hunt
Tuesday, June 15-After the Hunt
Click here to register: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/XHFLLQ9
If you have any questions contact Sara at email@example.com
This is an offer for ALL visually impaired peoples 18 and older in the state of Montana.
At NO COST to you, the student, Montana Association for the Blind will be hosting its Summer Orientation Program (SOP). This program is designed to help you regain your independence again by teaching skills inside and outside the home.
The 4-week program will cover how to travel safety, computer instruction, writing alternatives, and so much more. Not only these classes will help, but you will be in a warm, safe environment with people who understand - because many of us have gone through it ourselves.
The (SOP) program will be hosted at Rocky College in Billings, June 14 to July 9. Again, the students pay nothing for room, board, and training.
Here is what one person said about the program: “What a pleasure to see an organization with sighted and unsighted people who bring together a program that enriches and creates the opportunity for sightless and poorly-sighted people to learn and enjoy things in life that they thought were gone forever. What a pleasure to see the transformation in such a short time.”
If you or someone you know and love has lost or is in the process of losing your/their sight, please contact Rhonda Cochrane at (406) 442-9411 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and an application.
Legal and financial planning for Alzheimer’s – a free April webinar
Today, 22,000 Montanans are among more than 6 million people in the United States living with Alzheimer’s disease. By 2050, if no cure is found, that nationwide total will approach 13 million. Caring for those loved ones day-to-day is one challenge. Preparing for the potentially staggering costs is yet another.
Financial planners estimate that the average cost of a single year in a nursing home ranges from $70,000 to $100,000. Stays can range from several months up to 10 years or more. Unfortunately, the average working-age American’s retirement savings is less than $100,000.
The Alzheimer’s Association is helping families anticipate and prepare for both the legal and financial challenges that accompany a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or other dementia with a free webinar on Wednesday, April 28 from 10 to 11:30 a.m.
“Legal and Financial Planning for Alzheimer’s” is an interactive program where participants learn about important legal and financial issues to consider, how to put plans in place, and how to access legal and financial resources near them.
Legal and Financial Planning for Alzheimer’s is one in a series of live webinars offered at no charge during the month of April. The full schedule for the month includes:
· Understanding and Responding to Dementia-related Behavior(Behavior is a powerful form of communication and one of the primary ways that people with dementia communicate their needs and feelings as the ability to use language declines. But these behaviors can be challenging for caregivers. Join us to learn how to decode behavioral messages and learn strategies to intervene with some of the most common behavioral challenges.)
Thursday, April 15 10 to 11:30 a.m.
· Dementia Conversations (Tips on how to have honest and caring conversations with family members about going to the doctor, when to stop driving, and making legal/financial plans.)
Tuesday, April 13 2 to 3:30 p.m and
Wednesday, April 21 7 to 8:30 p.m.
· Advancing the Science: Alzheimer’s and Dementia Research (An overview of Alzheimer’s disease science and the latest advances in research to find a prevention, treatment and cure.) –
Wednesday, April 14 2 to 3 p.m.
· Healthy Living for Your Brain and Body: Tips from the Latest Research (We’ve always known that the health of the brain and body are linked, but now science is able to provide insights into how we can optimize our physical and cognitive health as we age. Learn about research in the areas of diet and nutrition, exercise, cognitive activity and social engagement, and use hands-on tools to help you incorporate these recommendations into a plan for healthy aging.)
Tuesday, April 20 10 to 11 a.m.
· COVID-19 and Caregiving – (Caring for someone living with dementia during the COVID-19 pandemic adds unique challenges for caregivers. This program provides simple tips caregivers can put in place whether the person living with dementia lives at home, in a residential facility, or care providers are coming into the home.)
Monday, April 26 10 to 11 a.m..
· Legal and Financial Planning for Alzheimer’s (An interactive program where you’ll learn about important legal and financial issues to consider, how to put plans in place, and how to access legal and financial resources near you.)
Wednesday, April 28 10 to 11:30 a.m.
· Living with Alzheimer’s: for Care Partners – Early Stage – Part 1 – (In the early stage of Alzheimer’s disease, families face new questions as they adjust. What does the diagnosis mean? What kinds of plans need to be made? What resources are available to help? This 3-part program provides practical answers to the questions that arise in the early stage. Hear from those directly affected and learn what you can do to cope with the changes that come with an early-stage diagnosis.) –
Monday, April 19 6 to 7:30 p.m.
· Living with Alzheimer’s: for Care Partners – Early Stage – Part 3 – (In the early stage of Alzheimer’s disease, families face new questions as they adjust. What does the diagnosis mean? What kinds of plans need to be made? What resources are available to help? This 3-part program provides practical answers to the questions that arise in the early stage. Hear from those directly affected and learn what you can do to cope with the changes that come with an early-stage diagnosis.)
Monday, April 26 6 to 7:30 p.m.
· Living with Alzheimer’s: for Caregivers – Middle Stage – Part 1 – (In the middle stage of Alzheimer’s disease, those who were care partners now become hands-on caregivers. Join us for this 3-part series and hear caregivers and professionals discuss helpful strategies to provide safe, effective and comfortable care in the middle stage of Alzheimer’s.)
Thursday, April 15 2 to 3:30 p.m.
· Living with Alzheimer’s: for Caregivers – Middle Stage – Part 2 – (In the middle stage of Alzheimer’s disease, those who were care partners now become hands-on caregivers. Join us for this 3-part series and hear caregivers and professionals discuss helpful strategies to provide safe, effective and comfortable care in the middle stage of Alzheimer’s.)
Thursday, April 22 2 to 3:30 p.m.
· Living with Alzheimer’s: for Caregivers – Middle Stage – Part 3 – (In the middle stage of Alzheimer’s disease, those who were care partners now become hands-on caregivers. Join us for this 3-part series and hear caregivers and professionals discuss helpful strategies to provide safe, effective and comfortable care in the middle stage of Alzheimer’s.)
Thursday, April 29 2 to 3:30 p.m..
Like all programs and services of the Alzheimer’s Association, the webinars are offered at no charge, but registration is required. To register, click here or call the free Alzheimer’s Association Helpline at 800-272-3900. To learn more about Alzheimer’s Association programs and services, go to www.alz.org.
The Office of Consumer Protection seeks to protect Montana consumers from, and educate them about, harmful and unfair practices by retail businesses. The Consumer Protection Act prohibits businesses from taking advantage of consumers.
“Scammers are more active than ever and show no signs of slowing down. Montanans can take steps to protect themselves and loved ones so that their hard-earned money and identities are not used by con artists and criminals,”Attorney General Knudsen said.
Attorney General Knudsen encourages all Montanans to keep learning about common scams and offers these consumer protection tips:
1) For COVID-19 related charities, give to an established organization, rather than one that has sprung up overnight. Pop-up charities probably do not have the infrastructure to get help to the affected areas or people, and they could be collecting the money to finance illegal activity.
2) Don’t send money to someone you don’t know, including someone you’ve only met online and over the phone. While real relationships are increasingly being started through online dating sites and mobile apps, it’s unfortunately extremely easy for scammers to set up a fake profile in order to connect with genuine users of the matchmaking services and then exploit the person’s feelings for the fake profile.
3) Don’t send money to a “government” agent who calls and threatens to arrest you. Thieves call taxpayers and claim to be IRS or law enforcement officials. They misrepresent that you owe taxes or other debts. They threaten to arrest you unless you immediately pay your “taxes” through a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. They often alter telephone caller ID to make it look like the IRS or a law enforcement agency is calling. The callers use IRS titles and fake badge numbers to appear legitimate. They may use your name, address, and other personal information to make the call sound official.
For ongoing consumer tips, follow OCP on Facebook.
To report an attempted scam, use OCP’s online reporting form. You can also talk to an OCP investigator by calling (800) 481-6896 or (406) 444-4500, emailing email@example.com, or you may contact your local law enforcement agency.
Last year, 60 percent of inquiries to the Office of Consumer Protection at the Montana Department of Justice concerned scams or potential scams. In 2020, OCP investigators fielded 5,190 inquiries from consumers, resulting in 1,099 filed complaints. OCP reported a marked increase in applications to repair identity theft – 586 in 2020 versus 362 in 2019 – which it attributes to a rise in COVID-19 related fraudulent unemployment claims.
OCP facilitated the return of more than $325,000 in recovered losses to consumers and prevented losses of an additional $470,000 last year. On an encouraging note, OCP estimates consumers it spoke with were able to prevent more than $1.2 million from being lost by proactively recognizing and reporting scams.
If you missed the first presentation in our Learn to Hunt series, no worries! Click the link to watch it anytime that works for you. https://youtu.be/LyJmMKEhsOM
Registration for future sessions will be open again in early March.
As part of its ongoing efforts to support families and educators during the COVID-19 pandemic, MontanaPBS will continue in 2021 to offer its Learn at Home broadcast curriculum of educational programming and corresponding free digital resources. The new Learn at Home schedule begins Jan. 4 and will continue through the end of the school year on June 4.
Through Learn at Home, MontanaPBS is dedicating its daytime weekday schedule to educational programming provided by MontanaPBS and the Montana Office of Public Instruction. The 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekday schedule includes specific blocks of time for pre-kindergarten through eighth grade and covers subjects including language arts, social studies, science and math. MontanaPBS’ regular primetime schedule is not affected by this change.
“We’ve revamped our Learn at Home website after a year of learning what works best for our educators and families,” said Laura Dick, digital content and marketing manager at MontanaPBS. “We’ve worked closely with our education team to gather together new curriculum offerings that are even easier to access from our webpage.”
MontanaPBS has also curated corresponding free digital content for the Learn at Home programming to better serve educators across the state. Aligned to the same Montana content standards and topic areas as the broadcast service, MontanaPBS has created and shared the following free resources for teachers:
1st Choice Realty Open, Call for appointment 278-9129
1st Liberty Federal Credit Union: Drive thru open
Branding Iron Open : Bar 2 p.m. - 11:30 p.m.; Restaurant 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. Bowling Alley and pool tables closed
Brown-Fitchner & Assoc. Business by phone or email; Open Mon-thurs 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. Fri 8-3
Coaches Corner: Take out, curbside pickup and delivery. Free masks; 4:30 – 8 PM
Conrad Building Center Open
Country Charm Open Mon-Fri 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sat 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. In-store shopping limited to one; curbside delivery
Elings Insurance Office open, appointment recommended
Folklore: Take out, curbside pickup and delivery. Free masks, 7:30 AM – 2 PM
Gary & Leo’s IGA: Open, also providing delivery for AT RISK residents, free masks
H & R Realty Open, Call for appointment 271-2080
Home Café: Restaurant seating, open 6 a.m. - 2 p.m. Social distance seating to be followed
Independence Bank, Lobby and Drive-thru open.
Java Hut: Delivery and drive thru only. Free masks; 6:30 AM – 1 PM
Main Drive-in Mon - Sat 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Marias Greenhouse Open 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. 576-7297
Northern Front Guns and Ammo Open Tues. - Sat. 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Olsons’Drug and Village Drug: Both Open. Both will continue to offer home delivery
Pet Paws Grooming and Supply Open 10 a.m. - 5 pm. Call for appointment 271-7394
Pondera County Insurance: ? Call for hours 271-2034
Senior Center Open for delivery and pick up only. Call 271-3911 to reserve a meal
Stockman Bank Lobbies open
Subway: Open for pickup and take out 10 AM – 8 PM
Sunset Dental Care Mon - Fre 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Super 8: Closed
The Keg: Open for pickup, takeout and delivery 11 AM – 8 PM
The Independent-Observer:: Lobby Open Hours 8 AM - 5 PM
Town Pump: Open 24 hours.
Windrift Hill Open Mon - Fri 8 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., Sat 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.