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The Internal Revenue Service seeks volunteers to serve on the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel, a federal advisory committee that listens to taxpayers, identifies key issues and makes recommendations for improving IRS service.

The panel provides a forum for taxpayers from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to raise concerns about IRS service and offer suggestions for improvement. The panel reports annually to the secretary of the Treasury, the IRS commissioner and the National Taxpayer Advocate. The Office of the Taxpayer Advocate, an independent organization within the IRS, provides oversight and funding for the panel.

To be a member of the group, you must be a U.S. citizen, current with your federal tax obligations, able to commit 300 to 500 hours during the year and able to pass an FBI criminal background check. New members will serve a three-year term starting in December 2011. Anyone chosen as an alternate member will be considered to fill any vacancies that open in their area during the next three years.

The panel is seeking members in the following locations: Alaska, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Ohio, Puerto Rico, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Applications will be accepted through April 29, and are available online at www.improveirs.org. For additional information about the panel or the application process, call 888-912-1227.

 

Express Employment Professionals has been named to Inavero's 2011 Best of StaffingClient list. Best of Staffing, presented in partnership with CareerBuilder, is the nation's only satisfaction award that recognizes exceptional client service within the staffing industry.

The Billings Express Employment Professionals franchise began operation in 1989 and serves the Eastern Montana and Northern Wyoming areas. For more information, call 252-5050, or go to www.expresspros.com.

The Billings KOA Campground, located at 547 Garden Ave. in Billings, offers a free night of camping on Saturday, May 14, to all campers who stay at the campground as paying guests on Friday, May 13, at part of KOA's Eighth Annual Come Kamp & Care With Us Weekend. Campers can to go to www.KOA.com to see a list of participating campgrounds and make their reservations.

The National Association of Local Government Environmental Professionals will hold a one-day workshop in Billings. The event will give local governments and economic developers access to experts, practitioners, NGOs and others from around Montana and the United States working on the cleanup and redevelopment of brownfields. It will be an opportunity for Montana’s brownfield community to come together, share ideas and challenges, and learn from practitioners. The workshop runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is $25. The event is hosted by the Brownfields Communities Network, a national network of local communities working to demonstrate how the cleanup and reuse of contaminated property can be an effective tool for community revitalization. Registration information is available at www.bigskyeconomicdevelopment.org.

The Montana State University Urban Integrated Pest Management Program, in conjunction with MSU Extension, will present a workshop called "Early Detection and Rapid Response of Invasive Plants." The workshop will be Friday, April 8, from 1 to 4:30 p.m. in the Bozeman Public Library. The event is free and open to the public. Successful EDRR networks have been developed throughout North America and around the world. Successful programs depend on at least four ingredients: a large network of observant people, or "weed watchers," who are looking for new invaders; training workshops that include species to look for and characteristics to accurately identify them; a protocol for weed watchers to report new invaders; and a notification or "weed alert" system to communicate observations of new invaders to relevant stakeholders. Workshop participants will be trained in plant identification (noxious weeds and similar-looking plants) and in the use of the INVADERS Database as a tool for submitting weed-find records and receiving weed-find alerts. The workshop is free and open to the public. For more information on the workshop and to RSVP, please contact Linnea Skoglund at 994-5150 or email to urbanipm@montana.edu.

Three new solid-stemmed wheat varieties were recently approved for release by the Montana Agricultural Experiment Station and will be undergoing foundation seed increase in 2011 at the MAES Research Centers. Montana State University is the major supplier of new wheat varieties for Montana growers with approximately 2.5 million acres of MSU varieties grown in the state in 2010. Duclair spring wheat was selected from a cross between Choteau and experimental line MT0249, according to MSU spring wheat breeder, Luther Talbert. The third wheat variety being released is another winter wheat, MTS0721. It is a potential replacement for Rampart. The breeding programs are funded by the MAES and the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee. The Montana Board of Research and Commercialization Technology also provided funding for special variety development projects.

 

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