Rockies Today, Oct. 2



Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Tourists ushered out of Wyoming national parks do not go quietly
The government shutdown forced park personnel at Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks to tell hundreds of people staying in the Wyoming parks to leave on Tuesday, and some of the tourists expressed their frustration at having their trips cut short.
Casper Star-Tribune; Oct. 2

Montana PSC lowers threshold for renewable-power contracts
The Montana Public Service Commission voted 3-2 to lower the size of renewable-energy contracts from 10 megawatts to three megawatts to get standard contracts—those that will not have to go through a competitive bidding process with larger competitors, a move wind-energy producers said will make it unlikely any small, wind-power project would get a contract with NorthWestern Energy as wind power projects are not economically feasible at three megawatts.
Montana Standard (Lee State Bureau); Oct. 2

Heavy traffic crashes Montana's health care insurance exchange site
The expected glitches occurred Tuesday on the health care exchange site operated by the federal government, which is handling Montana's health care exchange, and state officials urged consumers to be patient as they have three months to buy their policies.
Helena Independent Record; Oct. 2

Tech-heavy valley in Montana works to educate workers needed
There are about 10 computer-related jobs in Montana for every one graduate with the skills needed in the Big Sky State, and in Montana's Flathead Valley, local government and education officials are working to get curricula in place in schools to groom workers for technology jobs early.
Flathead Beacon; Oct. 2

Montana DEQ sets public meeting on open-pit garnet mine
The Montana Department of Environmental Quality has released its Draft Environmental Impact Statement on a proposed open-pit garnet mine near Alder, and will hold a public meeting on the project in Alder on Oct. 15, and will take public comments on the mine through Oct. 31.
Montana Standard; Oct. 2

Idaho's health care exchange launches with high interest, few problems
Idaho is one of the 16 states that opted to operate their own health care insurance changes mandated by the Affordable Care Act, and on Oct. 1, the state's exchange was up and running and few glitches were reported despite a high volume of web visits.
Idaho Statesman; Oct. 2

Colorado begins accepting applications for recreational-marijuana stores
On Oct. 1, Colorado made history as the state began accepting applications to open recreational-marijuana businesses, and by mid-day Tuesday, about 23 applications had been received.
Denver Post; Oct. 2

Mountain West News is a project of the Center for the Rocky Mountain West at The University of Montana. It provides a daily snapshot of news and opinion in the Rocky Mountain region of North America, giving the changing mountain West a tool to understand itself and a platform for the exchange of ideas.

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