The Billings Outpost

Jobless rate falls

HELENA – Montana’s unemployment rate dropped below the 6 percent mark in November, dipping 0.2 percentage points to 5.8 percent. The national rate also decreased by 0.2 percentage points to 7.7 percent.

“We are finishing 2012 with good economic news for workers during the holiday season,” said Labor Commissioner Keith Kelly. “There still is some uncertainty with federal spending levels and the national economic outlook, but Montana’s economy has gained momentum this year and our economic prospects for 2013 are strong. We continue to outperform the nation.”

Montana’s total employment, which includes payroll workers, the self-employed, and agricultural workers, increased by 522 jobs over the month on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Although payroll employment estimates indicated a 1,300 job decline over the month, these preliminary estimates are fairly volatile, and the three-month trend remains positive.

Over-the-month job losses of a thousand each occurred in the government and construction industries, with job gains in most other industries.

Even including the preliminary job losses posted this month, construction employment has gained over the last year, adding about 1,600 jobs.

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) declined by 0.3 percent in November due to a 7.4 percent fall in the gasoline index.

The energy index dropped 4.1 percent, while the food index increased by 0.2 percent. Continued increases in food prices are expected due to widespread drought this year. Core inflation, measured by the all items less food and energy index, rose 0.1

Last Updated on Saturday, 29 December 2012 15:19

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Funky Shark to pay fine

HELENA – Bozeman resident Scott Wacker and his company, Funky Shark, have been fined $40,000 for illegally selling investment opportunities, according to a news release from Commissioner of Securities and Insurance Monica J. Lindeen.

Wacker also agreed to pay back more than $834,000 to investors to resolve a restraining order Lindeen’s office filed against him in October. The restraining order stopped Wacker from soliciting new investors or spending any of the investment money he had already raised.

Last September, Wacker began recruiting investors for his penny-auction website, By the end of October, Wacker had raised more than $1 million from investors across the world.

The flurry of transactions in Wacker’s personal and business accounts led his bank to file a suspicious activity report, which was referred to Lindeen’s office. After reviewing the report, investigators suspected Funky Shark was a pyramid scheme and requested a restraining order to prevent additional investors from getting involved.

On Oct. 30, Wacker posted a notice on Funky Shark’s website explaining that its investment program “may violate certain securities laws in the United States.”

In the two months it operated, Funky Shark paid nearly $378,000 in commissions to participants who recruited new members.

Those commission payments left Funky Shark unable to repay all of its participants in full, so Wacker agreed to pay $270,000 out-of-pocket to make investors whole.

“Mr. Wacker stepped up to the plate and repaid his investors,” said Lindeen.  “Often when we handle these types of cases, there’s simply no money left to repay participants. But for a number of reasons, this case is unique. Mr. Wacker didn’t understand what he was getting into, and he has expressed his commitment to setting things right.”

In August, Lindeen’s office issued a consumer alert about a penny auction pyramid scheme called ZeekRewards. More than 1,200 Montanans had invested $3 million in that scam before the Securities and Exchange Commission shut it down.

Last Updated on Saturday, 29 December 2012 15:19

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Farmers at fiscal cliff

By DEBORAH COURSON SMITH - Big Sky Connection...

HELENA – Months ago, farmers were the first to see what’s over the so-called fiscal cliff of budget cuts and tax hikes. That’s when the Farm Bill expired, leaving many agriculture programs without funding, including conservation titles, rural development and beginning farmer initiatives. 

U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says there will be no new Farm Bill until sometime next year. 

Chuck Hassebrook, executive director of the Center for Rural Affairs, says, however, that Congress really needs to address the problems that Farm Bill “limbo” has caused. 

“Congress will need to at least pass an extension of the Farm Bill before it goes home, he said, “and even in the extension there are going to be important decisions about the pie gets divided, about how the federal government invests in rural America.”

Hassebrook predicts there will be reductions in spending in the new Farm Bill, but he says he hopes they will be targeted in ways that don’t harm mom-and-pop operations.

“By capping farm payments and crop insurance premium subsidies to mega-farms, subsidies that essentially subsidize them to drive smaller operations out of business. And secondly, it can cut by reducing crop insurance subsidies to folks who are tearing up marginal grasslands.”

He says the failure to pass a Farm Bill has created uncertainty for rural communities, especially with the lapse in rural economic development components in the bill.

Last Updated on Thursday, 27 December 2012 15:13

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Billings native gets post

James Souza, a Billings native, has assumed the position of vice president of medical affairs for St. Luke’s in Boise, Idaho, and the Treasure Valley.

Dr. Souza graduated from Billings Senior High School in 1984. He received a degree in biology at the University of Montana and was a WWAMI scholarship recipient.

He completed medical training in pulmonary and critical care at the University of Washington Medical School in Seattle.

He was named Teacher of the Year by the WWAMI Regional Medical Association and Physician Leader of the Year by the Idaho Medical Group Management Association.

Last Updated on Thursday, 27 December 2012 15:11

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Lactose intolerance hinders milk marketing


By ARI LEVAUX - @arilevaux

The folks behind Got Milk? have been keeping busy. The California Milk Processor Board, which trademarked the famous slogan and accompanying milk-stache, has recently taken to defending its intellectual turf – including an acronym that sounds like milk, which many people first learn about on dirty websites.

OC Weekly reports that a complaint has been filed with the World Intellectual Property Organization, an international body under the United Nations umbrella, against the web domain

This is not the first time the owners of Got Milk? have gone after purveyors of GotMILF-related content (MILF being a popular acronym for hot postpartum female). In 2010 the board sued a T-shirt maker over shirts that read “Got MILF?”

While on its MILF hunt, the California Milk Processer Board itself became the subject of several complaints about false advertising, one of which led to the board being busted by the Federal Trade Commission for claiming that dairy products can treat and prevent obesity. (This claim appeared alongside a white bathing suit-clad, milk-mustachioed Sheryl Crow, among others).

There is a lot to be said about dairy products. They contribute immensely to the cuisines of many cultures, and contain a tremendous amount of calcium. Dairy products are not, however, necessary for human health, survival or well-being.

Consumers and parents should remember this when listening to the urgent spiels of dairy councils and other state and national bodies that are funded by producer check-off fees, and profess to be deeply concerned with you and your children’s health. These groups, headed by Dairy Management Inc. and its puppet the National Dairy Council, have a simple mission: to create demand for milk, on behalf of the supply side.

These groups’ public message focuses on bone health and calcium. Health professionals are privy to an expanded version of this narrative, as they are schooled in how to manage “cultural behavior patterns” like “dairy avoidance.”

A different narrative, with different terms, is used in statements they make to dairy producers, or on public documents like the 990 tax forms. This narrative is more profit-oriented, and uses phrases like “barriers to consumption” and “unmet market.”

One significant barrier to dairy consumption is lactose intolerance, a condition that afflicts various ethnicities differently, hitting blacks, Asians, and Latinos the hardest. Thanks to the pro-milk propaganda that every American is subjected to from infancy on, millions of minority children are being inundated with the idea that they must consume something that makes them feel terrible, or else they’ll grow up weak and fragile.

On Nov. 13, the National Dairy Council held an online seminar titled “Fact or Fiction? Learn the Truth About Lactose Intolerance and Discover Real Life Solutions to Maintaining Good Nutrition.” Its intended audience was doctors, nurses and dieticians, all of whom could all earn continuing-education credit for participating.

The council’s approach to dairy sensitivity is that anyone who thinks they have a problem should see a doctor, and anyone not diagnosed with lactose intolerance should consume three servings of dairy a day or risk the consequences. A medical diagnosis of lactose intolerance involves proof of low lactase activity-lactase being the enzyme that digests lactose in the gut.

Now here’s where things get a little crazy. People diagnosed with lactose intolerance, the presentation argues, should nonetheless continue to consume as much dairy as they possibly can, using strategies like mixing dairy with other foods, or ingesting live enzymes while consuming dairy products.

Andy Bellatti, a dietician and writer at his Small Bites blog, is a fan of plant-based diets. I asked him about the importance of dairy to healthy bones, because he’s been vocal on Twitter about what he considers the industry’s propagation of misinformation.

“The dairy industry loves to push calcium as the only important nutrient for bone health because calcium is the only one it can brag about,” he told me via email. In fact, as Bellatti wrote in a July 2011 post, calcium is but one of several important nutrients for bone health, along with vitamin K and magnesium (which helps regulate calcium absorption). Many non-milk sources of calcium, such as kale and Chinese greens, have great levels of these other bone essentials, he wrote.

“When one considers the array of nutrients required for optimal bone health, it becomes clear that while milk offers a few benefits, it is far from the perfect and complete beverage the dairy industry aggressively markets,” Bellatti wrote.

If so, promoting dairy as the only nutrient necessary for strong bones could actually be a detriment to bone health. Certainly, suing people for selling GotMILF related content isn’t going to help anybody’s bones.

When I first heard about the complaint against, I did what any sensible man would do, and went to the site. I found no MILFs, only a site under construction. I then decided to check out, and what I found there was legitimately disturbing. And worse, it’s directed at kids. is dominated by an image of a chemistry set in a box called the Imitation Milk Kit. Clicking it starts you playing a game called The Science of Imitation Milk, in which the snark runs strong. I’m without space or patience to describe this weird game, but click it if you don’t mind being mildly disturbed.

The ruthlessness with which soy, almond, coconut, and other milk alternatives are thrown under the bus, along with the lactose-intolerant brown and yellow people who depend on them, is shocking.

I’ve known since my 20s that I’m sensitive to dairy products, and can’t handle as much cheese and cream as I would like to eat, for congestive and digestive reasons. I didn’t need a medical diagnosis. I stopped eating it, and noticed how much better I felt.

Making sure I took in enough calcium to compensate for my dairy avoidance was a serious task. I also had to make sure I was getting enough vitamin D and other nutrients that milk is fortified with. I tasted my way through a range of imitation milks before settling on almond milk as my milky fluid of choice. I switched to mayonnaise instead of cheese, and I eat it with meat and vegetables.

And I’m happy to report that the dairy avoiding lifestyle is treating me fine.

Last Updated on Saturday, 29 December 2012 15:12

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A cold, frosty, get-rich-quick scheme fails

By JAMES O. SOUTHWORTH - Special to The Outpost

In 1947, 17 years old, I was callow and unhappy with my life. I felt guilty about my personal life, by my lack of schooling, ashamed of our living conditions in the Beet Shack in Park City with no mother to herd me.

I had a ’33 Ford V8 coupe as I had been working on the railroad for a couple of years. The Ford had, I believe, the first V-8 motor. I didn’t like it too well, as at this time I was mostly ashamed of everything.

I had a good friend named Fred Russell who was about my age. Like me, he was a little unhappy with the life he was leading, and we talked about the brand new atomic energy plant that was hiring people at Hanford, Wash.

We decided to take my Ford and go out there and get us a good job and get rich. It was in January and Montana was colder than hell back then. We packed up what we thought we needed and put it in the rumble seat and took along an extra blanket.

This ’33 Ford had what they called a manifold heater. The heat was sort of funneled around the manifold. A little plate on the floorboard let you open or close it by sliding it up or down.

Those heaters worked good in July but left a little to be desired when it was cold. And at 20 degrees below zero, it was zilch. So Fred and I decided to take turns driving 100 miles while one of us would cover up with the blanket and then switch off and the blanket guy would have to drive 100 miles. It did work out, but it seemed a fella was always cold.

We stopped in St. Regis at a little highway restaurant to warm up and get something to eat. Jim Ed Brown was on the juke box singing “Little Jimmy Brown.” It was beautiful and sad, but we were on our way to the adventure of our 17-year-old lives.

Mullen Pass was solid ice. When we were on our way down, the little Ford would actually slide down on the wrong side of the highway on the curves, but two young guys at 17 years who were going to live forever didn’t pay it much mind. We made it through the mountains and hollered at Yakima as we went through and off through the desert sagebrush to Hanford.

We made our way to the headquarters and proudly presented ourselves to these lucky people who were going to hire two fine hands. Lo and behold, the weather was so bad that they told us that they wouldn’t be hiring anybody for about two weeks.


We checked our financial situation, and if I remember right, we had about $30 between us. This was a setback.

We didn’t have enough to get back home, so I came up with a brilliant idea. My older brother, Robert, lived in Oakland, Calif. We could go there and move in with him and perhaps get rich there. I knew Robert had all kinds of money.

So off we went down through Oregon, colder than hell. Taking turns driving, we mostly drove 24 hours a day the whole trip.

Fred was driving when we reached the California line. The sun, of which we hadn’t seen much, was out. The roadside was green and looked wonderful.

Fred said, “Let’s pull over and get some sleep.” It looked so good that we did pull over and “glub,” the Ford sank to the axles in mud. One of us had to stay with the Ford, so I hitched a ride to the next little town and hired a guy to come pull us out. It cost about $15 or $20.

But we were on our way again, perhaps a little gun shy by now. We made it into Oakland, found our way through the city and found my brother’s place.

We stayed a couple of days with him, and Fred and I could see that there wasn’t much available for us there and by now we were a little homesick. I borrowed $50 from Bob.

After we had got out of the mud on the California line, we were stopped by a Highway Patrol officer. He looked the Ford over, mumbling, “Montana license,” and someone in the past had taken the old lights off the Ford and installed sealed beam tractor lights on the front fenders.

They were really good lights, but the way they were put on, the vibration of the vehicle running would slowly push them up into the sky or way down onto the ground. And one of us would have to stop and get out and adjust them again, so we could see down the road.

The Highway Patrolman scratched his head after hearing our tale and told us, “Don’t drive this vehicle after dark in California.”

So we took off from my brother’s place in Oakland, and we were heading home. After traveling quite a while through the day, we were starting up the Sierra Nevada Mountains

It was getting to be dusk. A large highway sign warned us that to pass through these mountains, you had to have chains on. The snow was already a foot or two deep on the sides of the road. I had thrown an old pair of chains in the trunk as an afterthought. We pulled over and went to work putting these chains on.

They were old and busted here and there, but we managed to get them on, adjusted the headlights and took off up the mountain hoping to make it through Bonner Pass.

It started snowing, and the chains we had on were slapping the fenders, making the damndest noise. One of the chains flew off, but we just kept going.

This was a two-lane highway at the time, and we looked closely at the cars coming down for a patrolman. Then the other chain came off, and something told me to stop, get the chain and throw it in the trunk.

We adjusted the lights and again headed up the mountain. Sure enough, here came a Highway Patrolman down the mountain. As soon as we could, we stopped and adjusted the lights as they were in the treetops. We took off and the Highway Patrolman came up behind us with lights on.

After the usual procedure, he says, “Where are your chains?”

I said, “Oh, officer, sir, we had them on, but they came apart. I showed him the broken one that I had thrown into the trunk.

“Well,” he finally said, “you are leaving California with this pile of junk.”

And we were near the pass and the Nevada line. He said, ”Go on and don’t bring that vehicle back to California.”

“Oh, thank you, kind sir,” I said. And we were off through the pass and down the mountain, slipping and sliding. Nevada was cold and dry.

We made good time. When we got up out of Idaho Falls, the weather was getting much colder and when we reached West Yellowstone, it was near 30 below.

We were so cold that we pulled up in front of a hotel lobby. It was about 1 a.m., no attendant, real nice and warm. We settled down in a couple of plush chairs and were dozing there till about 6 a.m. We didn’t want to get arrested for vagrancy, so we went to the Ford and lo and behold, the Ford wouldn’t start.

It was the first and only time that old beat-up hummer had failed us. We talked a guy into giving us a pull and the Ford cracked right off, and down the road we went. We were only gone about seven or eight days.

Did we learn anything? Possibly.

I knew it was good to be home with my dad, brother and sisters. And my dad had gotten a little smarter, but he got real smart when I went into the service the following year.

I guess I had this itch and it wouldn’t go away: I had to go out “there.”

James O. Southworth lives in Billings and plays in the band Southbound.

Last Updated on Friday, 14 December 2012 18:28

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Fiscal cliff debate could hurt Montana seniors


By JOY BRUCK - AARP Montana State President

As the debate in Washington rages over how to avoid the fiscal cliff before the Jan. 1 deadline, some lawmakers are using Social Security and Medicare as bargaining chips.

Among the proposals under consideration by legislative leaders is an effort to reduce the Cost of Living Adjustment or “COLA” that is regularly made to Social Security benefits.

The proposal on the table would change the way the COLA is calculated by moving to a “chained consumer price index” or chained CPI. The proposal is complex, but the result is easy to understand – this change would cut benefits to current and near retirees across the nation by $112 billion over the next 10 years.

How would that COLA change affect Montana retirees and their kids and grandkids? The math is staggering – this one seemingly small change would cut benefits to retired Montanans by almost $390 million over the next decade.

For thousands of older Montanans living on fixed incomes, the chained CPI is not the minor “tweak” that some say it is. Instead, it’s a significant benefit cut that will make it harder for Montana’s elderly to make ends meet.

The proposal assumes that when the cost of something you normally buy goes up, you will substitute a lower-cost item. This theory falls short since many seniors spend much of their money on prescription drugs, utilities and heath care costs that keep going up, but that don’t have a lower-cost substitute. When you look at the numbers, it is easy to see how harmful this change could be.

According to the Census Bureau, Montana has a greater percentage of its citizens relying on Social Security for 50 percent or more of their income than any other state in the nation. More than 139,850 Montana seniors rely on Social Security. Of those, 63.2 percent or about 88,385 Montanans count on Social Security for at least half of their income.

The average Social Security benefit paid to a retiree in Montana is $1,116 per month. This modest amount keeps more than 71,000 older Montanans out of poverty and allows many thousands more to live their retirement years independently and with peace of mind.

AARP believes Montanans have earned their Social Security by paying in every paycheck and they deserve a thoughtful, open debate about how to strengthen the program, not a last minute deal that will hurt seniors and their kids and grandkids.

Another harmful proposal being discussed in Washington is raising the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67. This proposal would take away guaranteed health coverage from younger seniors, increase costs for existing seniors and shift costs onto employers and our state.

Currently, 144,658 Montanans are enrolled in Medicare. If Congress were to raise the Medicare eligibility age, in the future about 20,470 Montanans would be left without health care coverage – forcing them into the private insurance market at considerable expense – estimated at over $2,000 per year. In addition, a Kaiser Family Foundation study concluded that removing the youngest and healthiest older Americans from the Medicare risk pool would increase premiums for those remaining in the Medicare program.

Instead of making shortsighted changes to Medicare, Washington needs to work to lower health care costs throughout the health care system.

AARP believes Montanans and all Americans deserve responsible solutions to Medicare and Social Security, not a short-sighted deal that will hurt all of us. That’s why we’re fighting to stop harmful cuts to Social Security and Medicare as part of a deal to pay the nation’s bills. To join our fight and have your say about the future of Medicare and Social Security, go to

Last Updated on Friday, 14 December 2012 18:19

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Flu cases on the rise

Local and state public health officials are reporting an increase in influenza activity and reminding all Montanans that it is not too late to vaccinate.

“Influenza season typically peaks in February and can last as late as May,” says Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services Director Anna Whiting Sorrell. “We are encouraging people who have not yet been vaccinated to get vaccinated now.”

Each year, millions of people are infected with influenza, more than 200,000 people are hospitalized, and thousands die from its complications.

Public health officials stress that every Montanan aged 6 months and older should receive the influenza vaccine each year.

The influenza vaccine is available in two forms: a shot and a nasal spray. The nasal spray is for use in healthy people ages 2 to 49 years who are not pregnant.

Those at greater risk include:

Children younger than 5 years old, but especially children younger than 2 years old.

Pregnant women.

• People with certain medical conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease.

• People 65 years and older

It’s also important to get the vaccine if you care for or live with anyone at greater risk. It is especially important for those caring for infants younger than 6 months to get vaccinated because infants less than 6 months old cannot be vaccinated.

Getting the influenza vaccine is more convenient than ever. Vaccines are available from your doctor, local health department, and at many retail pharmacies. The annual vaccine supply continues to grow, so everyone who wishes to can get the vaccine.

Please remember: the influenza vaccine is the single best way to prevent influenza and its serious complications.

For more information about influenza or the influenza vaccine, talk to your doctor or nurse, visit or call 1-800-CDC-INFO.

Last Updated on Friday, 14 December 2012 18:14

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Stroke cases common

Public Health and Human Services

Each week, Thomas Mulgrew, a neurologist at St. Peter’s Hospital, sees approximately two new acute stroke cases. From his practice alone, more than 100 families in Lewis and Clark County are affected by stroke each year.

Since cardiovascular disease (including heart disease and stroke) is the No. 1 cause of death, and stroke is the leading cause of long-term adult disability, the impact on stroke victims and their families can be life-changing. Only about 10 percent of stroke survivors recover almost completely, according to the National Stroke Association.

“People may know that stroke is a brain attack that can cause death, but they don’t realize it is also a foremost reason for people to be placed in a nursing home,” said Dr. Mulgrew.

Preventing lasting disability from stroke can depend on receiving immediate treatment.

“It is critical to initiate medical treatment right away if someone has signs of a stroke,” said Dr. Mulgrew. “The sooner a person gets to the hospital, the better the patient does.” Calling 9-1-1 immediately can help ensure fast treatment.

Effective treatments can help treat stroke and reduce the risk of disability. At St. Peter’s Hospital, the most common treatment is tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) delivered by IV. This is an enzyme found naturally in the body that helps dissolve blood clots. Most strokes are caused by a clot that starves brain tissue of blood flow and oxygen. The Food and Drug Administration strongly recommends that tPA be given within three hours from the time symptoms begin, so any delay can make the patient ineligible for the drug.

Since time is the most decisive factor for tPA treatment to be used, Dr. Mulgrew makes it clear that calling 9-1-1 is the fastest way to receive the best medical treatment for stroke. The ambulance crew will alert the stroke team at St. Peter’s. After intensive care and recovery, a team concentrates on a stroke survivor’s needs in physical and occupational therapy. For many of those who get fast treatment, rehabilitation may be much less extensive.

DPHHS encourages everyone to use this “Stroke Test” to help identify the signs of an oncoming stroke:

Ask the person to smile. Does one side droop, look crooked or not move?

Ask the person to repeat a sentence. Are the words inappropriate or slurred?

Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm seem to drift or not move?

If yes to any of these tests, call 911 immediately.

To learn more about stroke, visit or call 1-888-478-7653).

Last Updated on Friday, 14 December 2012 18:12

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Try local stores for Black Friday shopping, too


For The Outpost

American Express and other national money lenders have come up with a new way to get you to whip out the plastic: Green Saturday. After hitting the box stores on Black Friday, shop at small businesses, they urge.

Bah, humbug! The only thing small about locally owned retail stores is their square footage. Buy from your neighbors and you’ll receive super-sized service and personal attention, along with a plethora of gifts picked especially with Billings shoppers in mind.

So skip the Black Friday feeding frenzy at the big box stores that now threatens to take over Turkey Day itself. The following sample of local retailers selling everything from chocolates to saddles will help you get started.

The Billings Outpost says thanks to its fellow small businesses and you, our readers, for support through the years. Happy Holidays!




• Barjon’s Books. 221 N. 29th St. 252-4398. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Flying wish papers. Write this wish on paper and it flies in the air. 15 wishes for 10.95. $18.95 for 50.

• Al’s Bootery. 1820 First Ave N. 245-4827. 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Selling both western and work boots. Buy a gift certificate.

• Bottega Clothing, Bottega Baby, 2814 Second Ave. N. 248-9078. Open Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thirty percent off the entire store, plus many other specials.

• Desmonds Men’s Store. 2819 Second Ave N. 245-4612. Open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. Better men’s wear.

• Gypsy Wind. 202 N. 29th St. 252-2007. Open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. A true boutique: women’s clothing, antiques, collectibles, an eclectic mixture.

• Lou Taubert Ranch Outfitters. 123 N. Broadway. 245-2248.

• Marcasa Clothing. 100 N. Broadway (406) 256-5585. Contemporary men’s and women’s clothing. Look for surprises on Friday.

• Montana Vintage Clothing. 112 N. 29th St. 248-7650. 10-530. Check out the new store.

• NeeCee’s. 2821 Second Ave N. 248-1722. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Twenty percent off storewide from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., 15 percent off from 2-4 p.m., and 10 percent off until 6 p.m.

• Good Earth Market. 3024 Second Ave. N. 259-2622. Open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Environmentally friendly gifts: scarves, stockings, hats, ornaments. Fresh roasted nuts. Special order gift baskets.

• Montague’s Jewelers. 2810 Second Ave. N. (406) 294-9370. 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Jewelry designed by award-winning artist Gregg Ruth. Storewide discounts of up to 70 percent.

• Brockel’s Chocolates. 117 N. 29th St. 248-2705. 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Unique, handmade chocolates and candies. Create your own assortment.

• Global Village. 2720 Third Ave. N. 259-3024. Open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Creches and ornaments from around the world.

• Mitchell Golf. 3007 Montana Ave. 245-8691. 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Bonus for purchase of a $100 gift certificate: one hour of simulator time, a $28 value.

• Montana Leather Co. 2015 First Ave. N. 245-1660. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Leather, belts, finished saddlery goods, deerskin gloves made in Montana.

Oxford Hotel Antiques. 2411 Montana Ave. 248-2094. 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Vintage costume jewelry. Records. Retro ’50s furnishings and Christmas ornaments. Toys.

• Rand’s Custom Hats. 2205 First Ave. N. 259-4886. Handmade, custom felt hats, to your specifications. Miniature hat gift certificates for Christmas.

• Paula’s Edibles. 2712 Second Ave. N. 655-0865. 8 a.m. until the parade ends. The signature piece: chocolate-dipped cinnamon Santas.

• Yesteryears Antiques. 256-3567. 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. An antiques mall, now expanded, with dozens of dealers and also consignments.


• Apricot Lane. 1603 Grand Ave. Suite 100. 839-9360. 8 am to 6 p.m. Free gift for first 100 customers. Something for everyone. Wide price range.

• Buffalo Chips Indian Arts and Crafts. 327 S. 24th St. W. 656-8954. 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. One-of-a-kind jewelry, turquoise.

• Copper Colander. 2440 Grant Road. 294-9628. 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Friday only, 30 percent off everything on the 100-foot gadget wall, plus other in-store specials.

• Montana Cycling & Ski. 824 Shiloh Crossing Blvd. 534-0430. 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Everything for winter sports and cycling.

• The Spoke Shop. 1910 Broadwater Ave. 656-8342. 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.. On special, Socks Guy socks. Buy one, get one free.

• The Base Camp. 1730 Grand Ave. 248-4555. 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Black diamond power stretch gloves. $12.95. Lorpen merino wool socks, adult light or medium weight, and for kids, all half price.

• Jason’s Clothing for Men. 2564 King Ave. W. 655-4300. 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Jason’s offers holiday bucks. Every customer receives from $25 to $65 off.

• Broadwater Mercantile Antiques. 1844 Broadwater Ave. 652-4590. 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Storewide discounts of up to 50 percent off.

• Montague’s Jewelers. Rimrock Mall. 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Selected group of items from 40 percent to 70 percent off. Western Montana loose sapphires.

• Chalet Market 327 24th St. W. 656-6600. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Many Made in Montana products, including buffalo salami.

Last Updated on Saturday, 24 November 2012 13:22

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