Living Independently for Today and Tomorrow has relocated its Billings office from 3333 Second Ave. N. to 1201 Grand Avenue, Suite 1.
The Grand Avenue site formerly housed Computers Unlimited and the district office for Congressman Dennis Rehberg.
The new LIFTT office was tentatively scheduled to open on Wednesday, Jan. 2.
“The move will be a great start to the new year for LIFTT,” said executive director Joe Burst. “Our new offices will provide an ideal environment for our staff and consumers. It is a site that will allow us to move forward not only with our efforts in the Billings community but will serve as an active home base as we seek to expand and enhance our presence across our service area.”
Among the highlights of the 1201 Grand Ave. site:
Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 January 2013 11:11
Sometime during the week of Dec. 10, a vandal armed with a hatchet destroyed at least 10 young trees in Pioneer Park.
The trunks of the trees were chopped off above ground and several evergreen trees were also destroyed.
Many other trees in the park were damaged with branches chopped or broken off and tree trunks chopped into. The damage done to the Pioneer Park trees is estimated to be at least $5,000.
If anyone has information related to this vandalism incident or witnesses other acts of vandalism in Pioneer Park or any other city park, please contact the Billings Police Department at 657-8200 or the Billings Park, Recreation and Public Lands Department at 406-657-8371.
Last Updated on Saturday, 29 December 2012 11:55
Dr. Bill and Merilyn Ballard were honored on Dec. 6 by the Billings Family YMCA with the 2012 Philip N. Fortin Award.
The Philip N. Fortin Humanitarian Award is bestowed upon an individual or couple by the YMCA Board of Directors in recognition of a lifetime of distinguished volunteer, civic and professional achievement which has improved the quality of life within the community. Originally established with the support of Mary Alice Fortin in 1981, the Y has honored community members for 32 years.
Past recipients include many of the founding leaders of philanthropy and community spirit: Russ Hart, Alberta Bair, George Selover, Ralph Nelles, Bruce Carpenter, Sam McDonald and recent award winners the Scott Family, Walt Stieg, Steve Corning and Mary and Bill Underriner.
Bill and Merilyn Ballard have impacted countless lives through their committed leadership and generosity, a news release said. The Ballards have been part of the Billings community since 1956, and have demonstrated the meaning of philanthropy through a life-time of service and giving. Although Bill is the more visible member in the community, Merilyn is his partner in everything he does.
Dr. Ballard established the geology department at Rocky Mountain College, and served on Rocky’s Board of Directors for more than 20 years.
Last Updated on Saturday, 29 December 2012 11:54
Every winter a few well-meaning Montanans put food in their yards supposedly to help wildlife through the cold and snow or because they like to watch the animals. In many instances, they may be violating state law.
Under Montana law, a person may not provide supplemental feed that attracts ungulates, bears or mountain lions. Nor may Montanans provide wildlife with feed that unnaturally concentrates game animals and could contribute to disease transmission or a threat to public safety.
Ungulates are animals that have a two-part hoof. In Montana wild ungulates include antelope, deer, elk, moose, bison, bighorn sheep and mountain goats.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks game warden Kevin Holland said unnatural concentrations of wildlife, attracted to supplemental feed, inadvertently can contribute to the spread of disease or attract mountain lions and other predators to neighborhoods.
Though recreational feeding of birds is allowed under Montana law, game wardens may ask people to stop feeding birds if their birdfeeders attract ungulates or bears, Holland said. If a problem persists, the owner of a birdfeeder may be charged with a violation.
Last Updated on Saturday, 29 December 2012 11:50
HELENA – The Montana Department of Labor and Industry is notifying Montana employers of a fraudulent email that first appeared in the eastern United States and has now been seen in Montana.
“We want to make sure Montana employers are aware of this scam, so they don’t unknowingly give information to a potential identity thief,” said Labor Commissioner Keith Kelly.
The initial email surfaced in Massachusetts purporting to be from that state’s unemployment assistance agency. It was asking for information from employers about former employees’ wage and separation information.
Reports of similar emails being sent to employers in Montana and other states have been received. The email references the Division of Unemployment Assistance and the need for former employees’ information in relation to a claim that has been filed.
The Montana agency responsible for unemployment insurance is the Montana Unemployment Insurance Division.
Last Updated on Thursday, 27 December 2012 15:09
HELENA – Public lands in the backyard are being credited with a strong economy in Montana.
A new report, “West Is Best,” looks at jobs, income and population changes in Montana and other western states - against the backdrop of National Forests, parks and other public spaces.
Ben Alexander, associate director at Headwaters Economics, which issued the report, says Montana’s biggest growth in jobs and income has been in high-wage service industries – such as health care and professional services – with companies relocating here because of the outdoors values.
“The state has grown its employment twice as fast as the rest of the U.S., and has grown personal income twice as fast as the rest of the U.S. over the last decade,” he said. “That’s a tremendous story for a state that is largely rural and micropolitan.”
The report finds that Montana and other western states, home to the largest share of public lands, have seen their economies fare better than the nation over the past 40 years.
Last Updated on Thursday, 20 December 2012 11:34
Montana State University Billings is a place of teaching and learning. But elements of both often happen outside of the classroom.
One recent case in point involves seemingly incongruous elements: A handful of college students in a communications class; a group project assignment; a local plumbing supply company; and a South Billings church where only air was coming from the hot water faucets.
The MSU Billings students learned how to pull together for a cause and the church learned the power of community.
“At first we thought this was an impossible task,” said Amanda Grubbs, a junior communications and theater major from Billings. “But once you get a certain number of people together and focus on reaching a goal, you can get it done in no time.”
It all started a few weeks ago in a 200-level communications class that deals with group dynamics. As part of the class, the groups were told to find a local need that could be addressed with a collaborative, solutions-oriented process. The group of Grubbs and fellow juniors Steve Joiner, Chase Robertson, Leah Jones and Lisa Sobolewski teamed up and were determined to find something that would be different from efforts already under way in various social service sectors.
Last Updated on Saturday, 29 December 2012 11:35
“We have not gotten our fair share of the federal resources,” said Don Youngbauer, head of the Yellowstone River District Council, at a five-hour meeting last week at Montana State University Billings.
Mr. Youngbauer wants at least $1 million in federal money to complete the first Cumulative Effects Study - a study designed to anticipate serious water shortages that was supposed to be completed five years ago.
“There has never been a study of this magnitude that has ever been done on any river in the world,” said Mr. Youngbauer. “We must look at the river, see how much water can be used and not compromise the people and communities downstream. It’s a travesty what we did to Mexico.”
Water in the Rio Grande River between Texas and Mexico has been all used up for agriculture, he said.
“We have not been very good to our neighbors to the south,” he said. “That river is just a dribble by the time it gets to the ocean now.”
Last Updated on Friday, 14 December 2012 18:31
MISSOULA - Work experience is required to get a job, but you can’t get that experience without a job. It’s a tricky situation for Montana’s teens and young adults, with a new KIDS COUNT reportfrom the Annie E. Casey Foundation showing that 22,000 Montanans ages 16 to 24 are not working, and they’re not in school. Thale Dillon, director of Montana KIDS COUNT, says a tight job market is one reason positions are scarce.
“The jobs go to older workers who have experience. Young workers today have many fewer opportunities to gain the experience they need.”
She points to research showing that the brains of young adults need positive work experiences early on in order to develop properly. First jobs are about more than paychecks; they instill work ethic skills and self-management techniques that aren’t usually taught in school, she adds.
The report says there are many ways to help young people, and it’s not all in the hands of the government. Businesses have a role to play, too, Dillon says, and it’s in their best interest to invest in a workforce.
Multiple pathways would help, the report says, including finding ways to engage high school dropouts and exploring options to help Montanans afford higher education – as well as sticking with programs until graduation.
Last Updated on Friday, 14 December 2012 17:59
MISSOULA – Montana farmers and ranchers are watching closely as Congress gets back to work.
While the so-called “fiscal cliff” is garnering the most attention, an expired farm bill is also still sitting on the “to-do” list.
Chuck Hassebrook, executive director of the Center for Rural Affairs, says rumors have been flying about the timing of a final bill, and he’s optimistic.
“There’s still a chance that it will be done before the end of the year. The key issue here is not just when it gets done, but that it gets done well.”
Hassebrook notes key differences in the versions passed by the House and Senate, and calls the Senate version more friendly to Montana and other rural states.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 November 2012 10:24