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Middle-aged white guy who believes in justice and equality for all. Math and computer analyst with additional 21st century jack-of-all-trades skills. I'm a stud, not a dud!

Journal Archives

Fatbeam donates $3.2 million in broadband infrastructure to the University of Idaho

Greg Green pointed to the pings on a large computer display within a classroom at the University of Idaho’s Research Park in Post Falls. A secure network housed at the research park was under cyber attack from international computer hackers.

“That’s a Chinese IP address,” said Green, the President of Fatbeam, a Coeur d’Alene-based company that provides broadband access services to businesses, healthcare, education and government customers throughout the Western United States. “They’re trying to hack the network.”

University of Idaho President Chuck Staben and other school officials watched in amazement as the research park network’s security protocols stopped the foreign hackers cold.


The irony of the Chinese hackers’ efforts is that they were trying to infiltrate the university’s Research Park, which is home to the school’s Cybersecurity Training and Operations Center. The new center has already trained about 150 people, mostly information and technical professionals, to be able to stop cyber threats.

Read more: http://www.cdapress.com/sponsored2/article_78c3f9e4-6bd7-11e6-8ef7-032c09a3f2b8.html

Idaho lawmakers’ impasse on Medicaid expansion persists

Idaho lawmakers assessing health care alternatives for the state’s working poor demonstrated again the divisions that make it unlikely they will reach consensus on a bill for the Legislature.

Half of a 10-member panel of legislators voiced outright opposition Monday to any version of Medicaid expansion to cover the estimated 78,000 Idaho adults who have no health coverage. That so-called gap group either earns too much to qualify for existing Medicaid or too little to be eligible for subsidized insurance on the state health care exchange created under the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

Expanding Medicaid to cover such populations was part of the ACA, known popularly as Obamacare.

After hearing contradictory viewpoints from outside health experts and providers, the panel heard similarly offsetting proposals from two of its members, with one calling for straight Medicaid expansion and the other offered a far more modest plan funded only by the state.

Read more here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article98704372.html

Record $104.1 million donated to Montana State University in last fiscal year

Donations to Montana State University hit a record $104.1 million during the last fiscal year, more than double the university’s previous annual fundraising record.

The outright, pledged and planned gifts were made to the “What It Takes” campaign, which is being run by the university’s fundraising arm, the MSU Alumni Foundation.

MSU President Waded Cruzado expressed thanks to the university’s donors.

“So many people care deeply about Montana’s land-grant research university and its mission of providing a world-class education to our students, sharing new ideas and knowledge and positively impacting our communities and our world,” she said. “These generous contributions allow us to do just that.”

Read more: http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/montana_state_university/record-million-donated-to-msu-in-last-fiscal-year/article_34b5eff0-39df-5266-8409-820e5106e720.html

Koch’s $5.6 million to Montana State University part of outreach to campuses

The Charles Koch Foundation’s $5.67 million grant to Montana State University to create an economic research center fits with the billionaire’s long-term efforts to influence not only academic research and government policy but also the “hearts and minds” of America’s next generation.

His foundation has already given more than $200 million to colleges and universities, and the 80-year-old Charles Koch plans to accelerate that giving in coming years, as he discussed in a June interview with the Washington Post, “Inside Charles Koch’s $200 million quest for a ‘Republic of Science.’”

It’s an effort, the Post reported, “that will continue to shape academic research and student learning long after the effects of his political giving have faded.”

Charles Koch, the Kansas-based CEO of the petrochemical conglomerate Koch Industries, is ranked as one of the world’s wealthiest billionaires. As major political donors promoting libertarian, conservative and Republican causes, brothers Charles and David Koch have often been criticized by Democrats and people on the left, particularly for “dark money” political contributions through groups like Americans for Prosperity.

Read more: http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/montana_state_university/koch-s-million-to-msu-part-of-outreach-to-campuses/article_1dfe3269-8c6e-5b35-b456-d4db248853a4.html

Governor declares state of emergency for Yellowstone River fish kill

LIVINGSTON —Montana’s governor on Monday signed an executive order declaring the fish kill on the Yellowstone River earlier this month an emergency, a move that makes available millions of dollars for unemployment benefits and other labor programs.

The order frees up $15.4 million in emergency funds for workers and businesses affected by the river’s closure, accessible to them mostly through unemployment insurance, retraining programs and planning grants.

Patricia Dowd, a natural resource policy adviser for the governor, announced the order at a meeting here on Monday, where officials from the Montana Department of Labor and Industry tried to offer people guidance on how they could get help in this time where businesses built on the tourism economy are taking a major hit.

“The Yellowstone River is a key contributor to Montana’s tourism and outdoor recreation economy,” Dowd said.

Read more: http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/economy/governor-declares-state-of-emergency-for-yellowstone-river-fish-kill/article_16f928e3-72db-595b-ae7a-dad06c94f038.html

University of Montana College of Education announces $5 million gift

A $5 million gift from the Alice Lee Lund Charitable Trust will help the University of Montana build a state-of-the-art auditorium.

The UM Foundation announced the donation Monday for the Phyllis J. Washington College of Education and Human Sciences to create the venue with 500 seats and the latest technology.

"I do see this as such a central point for the future of the university," said Dean Roberta Evans, who noted the state and region will benefit from the space that will be UM's largest classroom when it opens.

The late Alice Lee Lund had a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in education from UM. Wes Moholt said his sister taught school in Ohio and loved the profession, and she wanted to help her alma mater in Missoula through her estate, augmented by income from oil leases on her family land in North Dakota.

Read more: http://missoulian.com/news/local/um-college-of-education-announces-million-gift/article_0c494bdd-226d-5b28-9272-aefb9bb8a001.html

State's ending fund balance less than expected, memo says

HELENA — The ending fund balance for fiscal year 2016 was $255 million, or $99 million less than anticipated, according to an Aug. 25 memo prepared by the Legislative Fiscal Division, adding that figure was expected to dip down to $153 million by fiscal year 2017.

“Actual revenues in FY 2016 were $142 million less than anticipated in (House Joint Resolution 2, the state budget bill),” Amy Carlson, legislative fiscal analyst, states in her memo to Legislative Council members. “Actual expenditures were $41 million lower than anticipated and prior year adjustments netted a positive impact to ending fund balance of $2 million.”

Sen. Fred Thomas, R-Stevensville, who heads the state Revenue and Transportation Interim Committee, has criticized past budget projections provided by the governor’s office. He said Monday the numbers, as provided by the Legislature’s Legislative Fiscal Division, are getting worse and will force state officials to make tough decisions regarding funding services such as schools.

“We will begin the 2018 biennium with about $100 million in the bank,” he said, adding the administration of Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock had failed to tap into natural resource revenues that would help the state.

Read more: http://www.greatfallstribune.com/story/news/local/2016/08/29/ending-fund-balance-less-expected-memo-says/89566764/

State seeks to discipline Cascade County over fair insurance

The Office of the Montana State Auditor, Commissioner of Securities and Insurance is proposing disciplinary action against Cascade County for arranging insurance for some vendors at the Montana State Fair in 2013 and 2014 when it’s not a licensed insurance provider and misrepresenting the cost.

In at least 2013 and 2014, Montana ExpoPark, the county-owned and operated state fairgrounds, offered potential food vendors the option of obtaining insurance through Cascade County, according to Notice of Proposed Agency Action filed in June by staff of Commissioner of Securities and Insurance Monica Lindeen.

The county provided the insurance brochures to the vendors and collected money as a premium to pay for the insurance, the notice says.

The county then applied to the United State Fire Insurance Co. on behalf of those vendors.

Read more: http://www.greatfallstribune.com/story/news/local/2016/08/29/state-seeks-discipline-county-fair-insurance/89568156/

Zinke, Juneau reach out to rural voters in first debate

FRAZER — It didn’t take long for U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke and state Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau to spar over who is a bigger advocate for Indian Country in a debate held here Monday night.

In what tribal leaders said was the first debate between candidates for Montana’s lone seat in Congress held on the Fort Peck reservation, Juneau worked to characterize Zinke as out of touch with Montana’s tribes and the state as a whole, while Zinke said Juneau has lied about him and his record during this election cycle.

Rural focus

In the elementary school gym packed with about 200 people, the candidates fielded questions with a decidedly tribal and rural Montana flavor — health care and veterans affairs were key topics, but moderators and the audience also asked about management of bison herds, sage grouse, rural water compacts and the meth epidemic on Montana’s reservations.

Juneau, who grew up in Browning and is an enrolled member of the Mandan and Hidatsa tribes, played to what felt like a home field advantage. She said the Fort Peck tribe has given her its full support.

Read more: http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/zinke-juneau-reach-out-to-rural-voters-in-first-debate/article_b6a690a4-89d6-5753-aaa7-472c6bef7f34.html

Laramie marked as best Wyoming hippie city

The University of Wyoming brings a plethora of students from different backgrounds, and www.thirllist.com has taken notice, naming Laramie the best hippie town in Wyoming.

“We have a very diverse vibe, especially for Wyoming,” NU2U co-owner Rob Harder said. “You can meet students and faculty and people from pretty much any walk of life.”

NU2U was mentioned as “quite possibly the greatest secondhand clothing store in America” by the article, found at www.thrillist.com/travel/nation/best-hippie-towns-united-states-of-america.

“It’s pretty cool,” Harder said. “We’ve had people come through for years and tell us that they’re traveling from coast to coast and saw our store. Now, to have it online is pretty awesome.”

Read more: http://www.laramieboomerang.com/news/local_news/laramie-marked-as-best-wyoming-hippie-city/article_ac4c1b02-6cd6-11e6-8596-0328c89fa2f1.html
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