Archives for May 2016

SuperCub crashes at Laurel Airport

The FAA and The NTSB are investigating a small plane crash before noon on Memorial Day at the Laurel Airport. The Pilot of the Piper Supercub PA 18 reported that he encountered a strong gust of wind as he was attempting to land causing him to crash off the far west end of the runway. While the pilot was unhurt the SuperCub sustained extensive damage. Emergence crews worked to get the plane upright at the end of the runway yesterday afternoon.

Road closure project in Billings

A water main project has begun and is expected to cause traffic disruptions until July. Crews from Western Municipal Construction began working today on a water main on Terry Avenue from 29th Street to 30th Street West. A road closure is in place on 30th between Miles to Broadwater. There will be limited access for local traffic. The work should be completed sometime in July. Billings residents can expect traffic disruptions in the area over the next month or so.

woman escapes from Billings Woman’s Prison

Authorities are looking for a woman who escaped from the Montana Woman’s Prison in Billings on Friday morning by scaled a perimiter fence. Police are looking for 26 year old Christina Alexander Becker who took off while assigned to the garden maintenance crew. The Warden said Becker is 5’3″, 153 pounds with blond hair, blue eyes and a light complexing. She was last seen wearing grey shorts and a navy blue T-shirt. If you think you have spotted Becker call 911.

Billings Tuesday AM News

Billings Director of Planning and Community Services Candi Millar hosted the final public meeting this week for Billings Beyond. Once Billings’ growth policy is approved, civic leaders will use it to help them decide on subdivision approval, transportation issues and infrastructure improvements.
Recent public input suggested adding education to the “essential investments” list, which already included transportation, public safety and integrated water planning.

More than a hundred solar power projects are currently proposed for Montana. Two months into 2015, NorthWestern Energy, the state’s largest utility, had received 22 hookup applications for solar panel arrays, about 19 more than it had ever received.
By April, the applications numbered more than 100. NorthWestern spokesman Butch Larcombe said this month they’ve got possibly 130 solar projects, 43 of them filed this year alone.
NorthWestern is petitioning the Montana Public Service Commission to quickly cut in half the price NorthWestern is required to pay for small commercial solar projects.

Memorial Day in Yellowstone

Yellowstone County remembered as hundreds of people on Monday honored fallen military members for Memorial Day.
Ceremonies of remembrance took place across the county throughout the day, each ending with the traditional three seven-shot volleys of rifle fire and the solitary sounding of taps that concludes a military funeral.
Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke, a retired Navy SEAL commander, spoke at a late-morning ceremony at Mountview Cemetery in Billings. He said we honor the fallen, and the fallen are our youth.
At each service, veterans and their loved ones joined local and state officials in honoring those who served and died as members of America’s armed forces.
Major General Matthew Quinn, adjutant general of the Montana Army National Guard, read Linda Ellis’ poem “The Dash,” at the Yellowstone National Cemetery outside of Laurel. It says what matters in a person’s life is what happens where the dash sits between the birth and death dates on their tombstone.

Trump rally in Billings Thursday

Thousands turned out Thursday afternoon for presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s campaign rally at MetraPark in Billings.
Trump spoke for about an hour at the Thursday afternoon rally.
Mayor Tom Hanel, while standing in the Rimrock Auto Arena tunnel, said he attended the rally because he’s ready for a change.
Hanel said Trump’s business background was a big reason he believed in the candidate’s ability to succeed as president.
When it comes to some of Trump’s more controversial statements, like building a wall along the United States-Mexico border and banning Muslim immigration, Hanel said many of those controversial statements are what American citizens want to hear.

34-year-old Christine Wilnau showed up with her young children saying she’s not really a Trump– or Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton supporter, but the historic nature of a Billings visit from a presidential candidate is what brought her out on Thursday.

Gianforte apologizes for campaign gaffe

Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte apologized on Thursday for a February campaign statement.
Gianforte described Sanders County Commissioners as upset about the state buying a private ranch and converting it to a wildlife management area during a Q&A session in Malta. In fact, the Sanders commissioners supported the 2013 acquisition of the Full Curl Ranch.
They sent a letter to Gianforte’s campaign asking for a correction. Commissioner Anthony Cox said his support paved the way for the aquisition.
Gianforte emailed a retraction, saying “I apologize for mistakenly mentioning Sanders County rather than Mineral County and for any inconvenience that might have caused,” he explained, “I have done over 1,000 individual meetings in the past year, and regret that I did not keep this detail straight.”
Now, that explanation has raised more questions. Mineral County Commissioner Duane Simons said that the campaign comment did not match their situation either.

Road rage charges

The man suspected of participating in a December road rage incident that caused the negligent homicide of a 71-year-old man appeared for arraignment Thursday. 33 year old Samuel Andrew Rettig was charged with negligent homicide and two felony counts of criminal endangerment for his suspected involvement in a two-vehicle crash south of Laurel that killed Kent Homer Morgan of Billings.

Lower gas prices for travel

Lower gas prices are expected to help fuel Memorial Day road travel here in Billings…
AAA reports that Lower gas prices, a growing labor market and rising personal income will drive holiday travel for 38 million Americans expected to hit the road and fly the skies this Memorial Day weekend, according to AAA Northeast. The holiday weekend period is defined as today through Monday. This year’s projections mark the second highest Memorial Day travel on record, AAA said. The highest was in 2005 when 44 million people traveled.
Of the 38 million:
34 million will head out on a road trip.
2.6 million will travel by air this holiday weekend.
1.6 million will use some other mode of transportation, including cruises, trains and buses.
Based on AAA travel agency sales nationally, Orlando, Myrtle Beach, S.C., Washington D.C. and New York are the top destinations for travelers this Memorial Day weekend.
AAA expects most U.S. drivers will pay the lowest Memorial Day gas prices since 2004.

Counting people at the Rimrock today

They’re counting at the Rimrock Auto Arena and expecting a sellout for the 10,000 person venue. Donald Trump on stage at 4pm. The current record holder is former President Ronald Reagan who rode into the arena on a stage coach. That was August 11, 1982. It’s reported that the Trump Team has spent two days preparing for today’s event. Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke announced his endorsement of Trump on Fox and Friends yesterday. Zinke will introduce Trump at today’s event at the Rimrock Arena.