Montana gas prices have risen 1.8 cents per gallon in the past week according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 615 stations in Montana. Gas prices in Montana are 5.7 cents per gallon higher than a month ago and stand $1.13 a gallon higher than a year ago for unleaded regular. The cheapest gas in Montana is priced at $3.12 a gallon while the most expensive is $3.59 a difference of 47 cents per gallon.
Coal production is increasing in Montana as demand in the Asia Pacific ratchets up. Montana’s mining industry has turned out 20.3 million tons of coal in the first nine months of 2021. That’s a 2% increase of 524,000 tons over 2020 when the state had two more mines operating than it does currently. Production numbers through October 2nd were reported by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
The Rail Passengers Association found in a new assessment of a Big Sky Passenger Rail Authority plan that restoring the North Coast Hiawatha rail line could generate $271 million annually in economic benefits to seven states it would serve. As many as 426,000 passengers could be expected to use the rail line yearly. The North Coast Hiawatha ran from 1971 to 1979 between Chicago, Illinois and Seattle passing through Missoula in between.
More Montanans were hospitalized for COVID-19 Wednesday than at any point previously. Governor Greg Gianforte has the statistics.
It’s cold and flu season and on top of the ongoing pandemic people are focusing on who is required to get their COVID-19 vaccine and who isn’t. Montana’s House Bill 702 became law earlier this year and it prevents employers from discriminating based on vaccine status or having an immunity passport. That means all vaccines including the flu shot. According to Cowles Media long term care facilities nursing homes and assisted living facilities are all exempt as it could put them in violation of regulations with Medicare, Medicaid or the CDC.
The NILE kicks off in Billings Saturday evening with its Ranch Rodeo Finals. NILE General Manager Chad Reisig with details of the event.