Poll: Westerners Wary of Climate Change Action

first_img Email HELENA – Republicans running the state Legislature successfully advanced on Wednesday their top two initiatives aimed at helping businesses add jobs — one aimed at reducing the cost of worker’s compensation insurance and the other tilting the state’s main environmental law in favor of industry.Work comp reform has been staked out as a priority for both Democrats and Republicans this session — although Democrats don’t like the way the Republican majority proposes to do it.House Republicans advanced on a partisan 68-32 vote their plan to lower worker’s compensation insurance costs largely by curtailing benefits paid to injured workers. Republicans argue that the plan, which is expected to face more scrutiny, will immediately save millions of dollars that companies can use to hire more workers.“What we have heard time and time again is that our businesses need to have some changes now. They want relief,” said Rep. Scott Reichner, R-Bigfork. “This bill addresses it and it addresses it now.”Both sides agree that state businesses pay way too much for the insurance. But Democrats and the Schweitzer administration don’t like the way the GOP’s industry-backed bill would reduce those costs at the expense of injured workers rather than dealing with other costs like fees paid to doctors and insurance companies.The battle is expected to last the length of a legislative session expected to run through April. Democrats argue it is unfair to stop benefits at five years when in some cases injuries are so severe that they need to continue.“We are letting those people down, we are absolutely letting those people down,” said Rep. Carolyn Squires, D-Missoula. “We are doing everything in our power to make sure they don’t get a darn dime.”Republicans counter that the system is being abused and never-ending claims are driving up costs.Schweitzer has so far taken a dim view of the Republican proposal. His administration has favored a proposal that was four years in the making to reduce workers compensation costs, but that measure was opposed by doctors for cutting their payments and was never the favorite of the insurance industry.Key Senate Republicans are hoping to blend the two ideas together if possible.Senate Republicans on Wednesday were focused another top priority for GOP leaders this session: environmental regulation.The Senate endorsed two plans to rewrite the state’s main environmental law in favor of extractive and other industries. One aims to make permitting faster and easier, and another carried by a Butte Democrat aims to make it harder to sue to block development projects.Republicans said they want to send both bills to the House to make sure they get some sort of reform to the Montana Environmental Policy Act this legislative session.Critics argue that MEPA is being wrongly blamed, and point out that several legislative efforts to remake it in favor of industry have not resulted in the development supporters seek. Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup. Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.last_img read more

Read More »

Warren Haynes’ Christmas Jam To Take Hiatus In 2019, Plans To Return In 2020

first_imgAfter 30 years of hosting the Christmas Jam, Warren Haynes and the W&S Charitable Foundation will take a brief hiatus from their annual arena show at the U.S. Cellular Center this year. The 31st Annual Christmas Jam will take place next year. This break will enable the team to build even further upon Christmas Jam’s charitable reach and mission to best serve the needs of the Asheville community. The event plans to return in 2020 with an exciting lineup and a weekend full of memorable music and Christmas Jam activities. An announcement regarding the 31st Christmas Jam will be made in early 2020.Warren Haynes addressed the 2019 Christmas Jam hiatus in a press release. As the guitarist explained,Since we started the Christmas Jam in 1988, it has grown in every way we wished for, and in many ways that we could have only hoped for when we first set out. After three decades, and an amazing two-night 30th Anniversary last year, it feels like the right time to take a brief moment to press pause. We have poured our heart and soul into creating this annual event and our commitment to serve the Asheville community and Habitat for Humanity remains strong.I am so grateful to our many partners that help us bring the community together around the Christmas Jam every year, including the city of Asheville, Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity, WNCW, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., CID Entertainment, all of our production partners, venues, hotels, and local businesses, our incredible staff and volunteers, and countless others. And, of course, all the fans who have supported the Christmas Jam. We can’t do it without you.I will certainly miss seeing you all this year. Christmas Jam has become such a special time for me, my family and our Asheville community, and we look forward to continuing the tradition that we have all built together for many years to come. We are already planning a big show for 2020 and we can’t wait to share with you what’s in store. We will see you next year.While the event itself will be taking this year off, Haynes and the W&S Charitable Foundation are not taking the year off from philanthropy. In keeping with Christmas Jam’s three-decade tradition of giving back to the Asheville community, Haynes and the W&S Charitable Foundation have donated $400,000 to the Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity—one of the largest in the event’s history, bringing the new total to $2.7 million raised since 1999. Proceeds for this donation were derived from the 30th Annual Christmas Jam weekend in Asheville, NC that took place in December 2018 which included the Pre-Jam at the Orange Peel, two nights at the U.S. Cellular Center, Xmas Jam by Day at the Asheville Music Hall, The One Stop, and Jack of the Wood, The Snow Jam at the Orange Peel, and the Xmas Jam Pop-Up Gallery. 2018 marked an unforgettable year in Christmas Jam history with its iconic guests including Dave Grohl and Eric Church and even the addition of The Snow Jam, an impromptu show at the Orange Peel with Dave Grohl and Warren Haynes which closed out the four-night Christmas Jam music marathon.While Christmas Jam will not take place in 2019, fans can look forward to the upcoming release of Warren Haynes Presents: The Benefit Concert Volume 16, a new live album and film recorded at Christmas Jam 2014, on December 13th. To stay up-to-date with Haynes’ various upcoming gigs, head here.last_img read more

Read More »

Gophers display talents in front of NFL scouts at Minnesota’s Pro Day

first_imgRyan Santoso was the only special teams participant. He punted and kicked in front of the NFL scouts without doing the usual athletic drills and tests.“I felt like I did pretty well,” Santoso said. “It’s time to get to the drawing board [to] correct some things again before the draft and stuff like that, but overall, it’s just a fun experience to be out here again and get to play football.”Minnesota has had at least one player taken in the NFL draft since 2014. Defensive back Jalen Myrick was the only Gophers player drafted last season. Myrick, safety Damarius Travis and quarterback Mitch Leidner were invited to the NFL combine last year. Guard Vincent Calhoun, defensive tackle Merrick Jackson, defensive back Duke McGhee, defensive tackle Andrew Stelter, tight end Nate Wozniak and guard Garrison Wright also participated at the pro day.“The film is always going to be the mainstay, what you’re really going to look at,” a scout for an NFL team said, who requested anonymity. “I mean, guys will show up at these pro days [and] it will make you go take a second look.”The scout said Richardson and tight end Nate Wozniak had a good day.Three players from colleges besides the University of Minnesota showed up to the Pro Day this year — wide receiver Evan Clark from St. John’s, offensive lineman Bryce Johnson from St. Cloud State and offensive lineman Jake Krause from Bemidji State.The NFL Draft will take place from April 26-28 this year with seven drafting rounds and 224 total selections out of college. Gophers display talents in front of NFL scouts at Minnesota’s Pro DayEleven Minnesota players performed for 22 NFL teams on Wednesday.Jack RodgersKobe McCrary runs the ball in an NFL Pro Day drill at the Athlete’s Village indoor practice facility on Wednesday, March 28. Jack WarrickMarch 29, 2018Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintIllinois and Minnesota were the only two Big Ten teams with no players invited to the NFL combine. That meant senior Minnesota players who have NFL hopes had to impress on the school’s Pro Day.Minnesota brought in scouts from 22 different NFL teams. The 11 Minnesota players who were featured ran drills inside the new indoor facility at Athletes Village Wednesday, the first Pro Day in Minnesota’s new athletics facility.Linebacker Jonathan Celestin benched 225 pounds 27 times, ran the best 40-yard dash of the Gophers with a 4.70 and had a 32-1/2 inch vertical jump. Running back Kobe McCrary recorded 25 reps on the bench with a 36-inch vertical jump and a 4.75-second 40-yard dash. Defensive tackle Steven Richardson led the Gophers on the bench press with 31 reps. “I felt like I got snubbed a little bit, but I mean, I just used it as fuel,” Richardson said. “Instead of going there I had more weeks to train, so it ended up working out.”McCrary’s 25 reps would have put him tied for sixth at his position in the 2018 NFL combine.“I can provide a lot,” McCrary said. “[I’m] a bigger back. I run hard, physical. I can block, catch out the back field and I can also play special teams. So however they want to use me.”Defensive back Adekunle Ayinde had the best broad jump of the group with a 10-foot jump. He was just behind Celestin in the 40-yard dash with a 4.71 time.last_img read more

Read More »