The Billings Outpost

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Learn about Otter Creek

Have you ever heard of Otter Creek? If not, you may want to know what is happening in Eastern Montana and how it will impact those of us who live near railroad tracks in different communities across the state.

Otter Creek is one of many projects that are part of a scheme by coal companies to export Montana and Wyoming coal to Asia. If these projects come to fruition, we can expect train traffic through Montana to increase substantially – imagine at least a doubling of trains each day. This should concern all of us.

I live on Northern Pacific in Belgrade and literally from my front door to the outside railroad tie it is only 280 feet. If there was a derailment, it is a real possibility that I could have a rail car in my living room.

The tracks cut my town in two. The potential length of the coal trains could exceed one mile.  The current wait for trains is eight to 10 minutes with approximately 18 trains per day. With the increase in coal trains, individuals and business could potentially waste several hours a day waiting to cross the tracks.

My sleep is interrupted by the train horns on a regular basis and I can’t leave my windows open in the summer because of the noise. In Billings, the city paid $1.47 million for a quiet zone around the hospitals. The taxpayers paid for this.

Get informed and speak out; this is going to affect you. More information can be obtained by going to

Jeannie Brown


Last Updated on Thursday, 27 February 2014 18:58

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Suggestion for Roger Clawson

Regarding your “Time to turn Rimrocks into marketable asset” Fits in Pieces commentary:

I have a suggestion to add to your list of potential Billings’ attractions. I mentioned this to Ed Kemmick some years ago hoping that it might gain some traction, but nothing came of it. My suggestion was to light up all the radio and TV towers on the cliffs south of the river at Christmas by arraying strings of lights on all the guy wires. This would create conical, Xmas tree like, structures visible at great distances by people either driving toward Billings or approaching Billings by air. I think this would create a unique and memorable Billings experience at that time of year.

This thought is not original with me. Many years ago, I saw a radio tower lit up this way while driving west from Orlando. It was visible for 25 miles and evoked much wonder and commentary from the vehicle passengers.

Dimitri Kozakoff


Last Updated on Thursday, 27 February 2014 18:58

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Help stop organ harvesting

The story, almost too dreadful to believe, was first revealed in 2006 when a woman claimed that as many as 4,000 Falun Gong practitioners had been killed for their organs at the hospital where she worked. Her husband was a surgeon and disclosed to her that he removed corneas from the living bodies of 2,000 Falun Gong practitioners. (Falun Dafa is a traditional Chinese self-improvement practice of mental and physical wellness through meditation and gentle exercises. The core teaching principles are Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance.)

In response, congressional resolution HR 281 was recently introduced by Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., and Congressman Robert Andrews, D-N.J. The resolution expresses concern over persistent and credible reports of systematic, state-sanctioned organ harvesting from non-consenting prisoners of conscience in China, including from large numbers of Falun Gong practitioners imprisoned for their beliefs, as well as numbers of other religious and ethnic minority groups.

Because killing of religious or political prisoners for their organs is an egregious crime, I ask Montana readers to contact our congressman to urge him to co-sponsor this resolution. The resolution is an important step to help put an end to this atrocity.

The resolution will also help our country’s doctors, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and universities make informed decisions and take a righteous stance regarding illicit organ transportation, and stand up and speak for those without a voice.

For more information about Falun Gong and the on-going persecution, please visit

Katherine Combes



Last Updated on Thursday, 20 February 2014 21:48

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Thanks to workers

Thanks to the many snowplow and sanding truck operators and emergency personnel who join our excellent law enforcement officers and work long hours to make our roadways safe and passable. You often get called out late at night or on weekends resulting in time away from family during the holidays when they need you the most. You do all this in the name of public safety. We appreciate what you do.

Jim Reno

Yellowstone County Commissioner 



Last Updated on Thursday, 20 February 2014 21:47

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2 more Honor Flights

Happy New Year from the Big Sky Honor Flight Committee. Our World War II veterans are the greatest! What a year 2013 was with five flights and seven overall taking more than 600 World War II veterans back to Washington, D.C., to see their World War II Memorial.

From the pennies raised by schoolchildren for their class projects to the checks from $25 to $100 to $1,000 and the generosity of our corporate sponsors - BNSF, Stanley J. Rogers, EPC Services Co., CHS, Wal-Mart Foundation, Alamo Honor Flight, Stockman Bank, Breakfast Exchange Club, Walleyes Unlimited of Montana, Honor Flight Network, ExxonMobil Corp., Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation, Lockheed Martin, Monty Eric Erickson, Billings Mustang Boosters Association and MTNG Thrift Shop Inc. and our many, many more sponsors, we would like to thank all of our wonderful donors for their generosity to make these flights happen.

Thanks to veterans’ organizations, RSVP, medical personnel and the many volunteers who have signed up to help, the response has been tremendous!  We look forward to 2014, with two more flights in April and May.

Thank you for all of your help, generosity and prayers in 2013 and we look forward to partnering with everyone to finish our flights in 2014.  One last thing, when we finish our ninth flight in May, we truly will have our mission accomplished.

If you would like to donate, please send your contribution to Big Sky Honor Flight, PO Box 80201, Billings, MT 59108. God bless you and our veterans.

Bill Kennedy

Vice Chairman

Big Sky Honor Flight


Last Updated on Thursday, 13 February 2014 00:14

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Visit veterans this week

The week of Feb. 10-14 is the Veterans Administration’s National Salute to Veteran Patients Week.

Throughout the state of Montana, there are men and women who are serving or have served our county to preserve our way of life and the freedom we enjoy. Many of these veterans come to the Medical Center at Fort Harrison or Community Based Outpatient Clinics around the state for their health care. The employees and volunteers who work for VA Montana Health Care System are privileged to provide care to these Heroes.

During the week of Feb. 10-14, VA Montana would like to invite you to visit the Medical Center at Fort Harrison, our Community Living Center in Miles City or one of our Community Based Outpatient Clinics to visit with veterans and show your appreciation for the sacrifices they have made for our country. The veterans enjoy visits from individuals and groups and this can help brighten their day!

During National Salute to Veteran Patients Week, you can join our “Visit a Vet for Valentine’s Day” program during this week, by bringing valentines to the veterans. I would invite you to explore the opportunity to volunteer as well. VA Montana has a large volunteer organization that assists our facility in many areas and this is a wonderful way to show your appreciation for all they have done.

If you would like to come to the Medical Center or one of our Clinics, please call our Voluntary Services office at (406) 447-7345 to schedule a visit and be part of the VA’s National Salute to Veteran Patients.

Christine Gregory Fache


VA Montana Health Care System


Last Updated on Thursday, 13 February 2014 00:13

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