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The Elders played in Big Sky twice, including in 2018, when this photo was taken. “It's especially sentimental because the great Steve Phillips (on guitar in the photo) passed away in 2020 from COVID complications,” said Brian Hurlbut, executive director of the Arts Council of Big Sky. PHOTO COURTESY OF RICH ADDICKS

Bringing the music back

Legendary guitar riffs; the beat of the drum; powerful, playful and beautiful vocals will once again be heard on summer nights in Big Sky – if all goes well. Those behind Music in the Mountains are vowing to do everything they can to bring the music back.

The connecting power of music extends like a thread throughout the community.

Economic impact of the J-1 visa exchange visitor program reduction following presidential proclamations and lack of prioritization for nonimmigrant visas in Montana. Information is from a survey conducted by the Alliance for International Exchange. PHOTO COURTESY OF ALLIANCE FOR INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGE

Nonimmigrant visa decline

Two companies that help facilitate Summer Work Travel (SWT) programs, the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) and InterExchange, reached out to Chambers of Commerce throughout the country, concerned about a presidential proclamation that extended the limitation of the number of J-1 visa applicants able to come to the United Stat

Fritz Sperry has been backcountry skiing for 35 years and co-launched a Facebook group called “The Avalanche Room” to increase backcountry safety and avalanche education. PHOTO COURTESY OF FRITZ SPERRY

Grit and glory

Playing in backcountry powder often feels like connecting to the primal rhythm of the wilderness. At its greatest, it can even become an emotional and spiritual practice, according to avalanche survivor Ken Wylie, who is a writer, speaker, guide and human factor risk management specialist.

Skier death in Big Sky

A Texas man died in a skiing accident at Big Sky Resort on Friday, March, 5, 2021.

Kirby Smith, 60, from Dallas, Texas, was skiing with his son at the time. He died from blunt force injuries to the head. He was wearing a helmet.

The details of how the accident occurred are being investigated by Big Sky Ski Patrol.

The Porcupine herd photographed last winter in their usual winter habitat north of Riverhouse BBQ & Events and east of Hwy. 191. The area was impacted by a wildland fire late in the fall of 2020. PHOTO COURTESY OF MICHELLE NIERLING

Spring survival

So far so good for the Porcupine elk herd that garnered concern from wildlife officials. Six hundred fifty acres of the herd’s winter habitat went up in flames in a late season wildland fire.

Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport to offer Southwest flights from Bozeman to Denver and Las Vegas beginning in May. Flights are now available for purchase at southwest.com

Southwest Airlines heads to Bozeman

Local residents may be saying “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” a little more frequently. Starting May 27, Southwest Airlines will bring nonstop flights between Bozeman and both Denver and Las Vegas “and include same-plane or connecting service to and from more than 50 other Southwest cities,” according to a press release.

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