Archives for September 2017

Wrong-Way Teen Hospitalized, MSUB Enrollment Down

A 15-year-old driver, fleeing from a Montana Highway Patrol vehicle, struck another vehicle head-on, and then the injured teen ran away from the scene in east Billings on Thursday night. The underage girl driving the Honda turned the wrong way on Fourth Avenue, according to Billings police. She struck an oncoming Toyota headed the other way. The accident occurred about 7:45 p.m. and temporarily shut down the road. The 15-year-old girl was taken to the hospital. No information on her condition was released.

The Gazette reports that Montana State University Billings officials say 4,401 students are enrolled this fall at MSUB’s main campus and City College combined, and that’s up 35 students from last fall– but the MSUB main campus has 133 fewer students than it did last fall. The number of full-time equivalent students were down as well.

Yellowstone Kelly Honored at Swords Park

KTVQ.com reports that when Luther Sage “Yellowstone” Kelly died in 1928, the Billings Chamber of Commerce, the city, and the state said they would build a grave site befitting a veteran. The site officially opened on Wednesday afternoon at Swords Park, and “The Ballad of Yellowstone Kelly” was performed for the very first time. A ribbon-cutting celebrated the grand opening of the Yellowstone Kelly Interpretive Site. Kelly died in Paradise, California at the age of 89 and his body was brought to Billings to be buried. John Brewer, president and CEO of the Billings Chamber of Commerce, said [quote] “When you die in Paradise, where do you want to go?… You want to come to Billings, Montana.” [end quote] Kelly was born in upstate New York on July 27, 1849 and was buried at Swords Park on June 26, 1929.

St. Vincent de Paul Opens, Fed Worker Convicted for Quickie

KTVQ.com reports that, after months of hard work and planning, St. Vincent de Paul opened the doors to their new location on Wednesday. The non-profit Catholic charity group bought the vacant Crane Building in South Billings last year, at 3005 First Ave. South. It’s bigger than the organization’s previous location, giving them the ability to serve and grow. Staff from RiverStone Health will join them in providing services at the new location. They will have a mental health counselor and an addiction counselor, as well as a physician and nurse on site.

The Gazette reports that a Billings man admitted he attempted to set up a quickie with a teenage prostitute at the federal building where he worked. 41-year-old Bigwind WindyBoy pleaded guilty on Tuesday in Billings federal court to use of an interstate facility in aid of racketeering.

Cantwell Blasts Zinke for Cheap Shot

Washington state’s Democratic U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell blasted Interior Secretary, and former Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke, calling his recent comments questioning the loyalty of a percentage of employees at the Intierior Department a cheap shot. Cantwell is the top Democrat on the Senate energy and natural resources committee. She said in a statement that U.S.Department of the Interior employees [quote] “deserve respect from the man charged with leading them — not cheap shots in the press.” [end quote] Zinke made the comments on Monday in a speech to an oil industry group, saying 30% of the employees at his department were [quote] “not loyal to the flag,” [end quote], and were at odds with the Trump administration, according to an Associated Press report. The U.S. Interior Department reportedly did not respond to requests for comment from several news agencies.

PA Hay for MT Ranchers, Oil Spill Public Hearings

Montana ranchers got a helping hand from back east as five truckloads of hay were unloaded in Miles City on Monday after a nearly 1,600-mile journey from Eau Clair, Pennsylvania, which began last weekend. The Billings Gazette reports that the cross-country haul is the latest addition to more than 30 truckloads that have been donated this month to Eastern Montana ranchers, still reeling from the combined devastation of a severe drought and a relentless wildfire season.

The Yellowstone River Oil Spill Recreation Project Advisory Committee, in conjunction with the Montana Department of Justice Natural Resource Damage Program, solicited recreation project ideas to help compensate the public for losses caused by the July 2011 Yellowstone oil spill. You’re invited on Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 11 and 12, at 5pm to the Billings Southside Community Center on S. 30th St.

Billings CoC Luncheon

The Billings Chamber of Commerce held their annual luncheon at the Red Lion Hotel on Tuesday. The traditional event serves as an opportunity for the chamber to highlight its successes throughout the year, while sharing plans for the future. KTVQ.com reports that this year, the focus was on building for the future. One theme was entitled “Elections Have Consequences.” Chamber President and CEO John Brewer spoke about the importance of voting in the November election and the impact that those individuals voted into office will have on the future of Billings. Another theme was the growth of Metropolitan Billings and attracting young professionals to the area. One specific project highlighted was the One Big Sky Center development, proposed as a centerpiece for the downtown, and the potential catalyst it could be for the future growth of the city of Billings.

One Big Sky Update

The Billings Gazette reports that few details about the proposed One Big Sky Center development emerged at Monday afternoon’s special meeting of the Billings City Council. Bob Dunn, a principal of Landmark, which is researching the economics of the One Big Sky Center project before moving forward, told the council the project evaluation to date includes 150,000 square feet of office space, 300 housing units, 90,000 square feet of retail space, a convention center, a 200-room hotel and an 1,100-stall parking garage. He said that if such a transformative anchor project is constructed downtown, other developers will come. Dunn said a convention center that can compete regionally is needed, such as those in Bismarck, Fargo and Rapid City, saying a smaller facility would represent a fight to the bottom. The council should have the company’s due diligence by mid-November.

Mom Suing Billings West, SD2

The mother of a student athlete at Billings West High School– suspended for violating the school’s code of conduct– has alleged racial discrimination in a lawsuit against School District 2 after her son attended a house party where alcohol was present. The lawsuit was filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Billings. The plaintiffs are reportedly seeking $250,000 in damages. KTVQ.com reports that the Billings West student-athlete was suspended in January 2017 from playing in five games. The student’s name was redacted in the lawsuit. The teenager was called into the assistant principal’s office for questioning about the incident on January 19th. According to the complaint, he was not informed that he had the right to have a parent or another adult present during the interview, and was also not informed that he could present evidence in his own defense.

One Big Sky Center Update This Evening

Developers will make a special presentation to members of the Billings City Council this evening prior to their regular business meeting. The Gazette reports that the special session begins at 5 p.m., with the business meeting scheduled for 6:30 p.m. in council chambers at City Hall on N. 27th St. One Big Sky Center is expected to include a convention center, office building, hotel, apartments, retail space, parking garage and open space. Although both the size and the cost of the skyscraper have fluctuated, it was originally proposed by MontDevCo LLC as a project with construction costs approaching $165 million. The company is conducting an in-depth study before a Dec. 11 deadline for a development agreement, which will indicate how much tax increment financing developers will seek. The study is expected to be completed some time this fall.

Posted to kctr.vncnews.com
Sep. 25, 2017 10:02 AM CST
by rhancock

One Big Sky Center Update This Evening

Develops will make a special presentation to members of the Billings City Council this evening prior to their regular business meeting. The Gazette reports that the special session begins at 5 p.m., with the business meeting scheduled for 6:30 p.m. in council chambers at City Hall on N. 27th St. One Big Sky Center is expected to include a convention center, office building, hotel, apartments, retail space, parking garage and open space. Although both the size and the cost of the skyscraper have fluctuated, it was originally proposed by MontDevCo LLC as a project with construction costs approaching $165 million. The company is conducting an in-depth study before a Dec. 11 deadline for a development agreement, which will indicate how much tax increment financing developers will seek. The study is expected to be completed some time this fall.