The Billings Outpost

Tombstone mystery solved

By ED KEMMICK - Last Best News

The power of social media was on display in Billings Monday, when users of a Facebook page quickly solved the mystery surrounding a tombstone found in the Yellowstone River.

The granite headstone was found Saturday during the eighth annual Yellowstone River Cleanup. A group of Rocky Mountain College students found the headstone near Duck Creek Bridge, on dry cobblestone near the water’s edge, and hauled it by boat to Norm’s Island, a few miles downstream.

That’s where Merry Ann Peters, who was walking her dogs on the island Sunday, came across the tombstone.

“I almost started crying,” she said. “It was the saddest thing I ever saw.”

Last Updated on Friday, 19 September 2014 15:37

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Memorials honor 2 here - Hurdle

One of two new benches in John H. Dover Memorial Park honors Joan Hurdle, a former state legislator, school teacher and political activist.


Story by DAVID CRISP - Photo by PATRICIA GARNER - The Billings Outpost

Friends and family members who gathered to dedicate two park benches in honor of Joan Hurdle may all have known her, but they did not all know her in the same way, former Mayor Chuck Tooley said Saturday.

That’s because Ms. Hurdle was active in so many different ways, Mr. Tooley said: as an educator, legislator, conservationist and as a member of the League of Women Voters and the National Organization for Women.

A couple of dozen people traveled to John H. Dover Memorial Park on a pristine late-summer day for Saturday’s dedication, high on an isolated bluff overlooking the Yellowstone River. John Spencer of the Yellowstone River Parks Association said the benches were purchased and installed with donations and volunteer labor on land owned by the YRPA at the end of Mary Street past Five Mile Road.

Last Updated on Friday, 12 September 2014 13:55

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Memorials honor 2 here - Putnam

A bison sculpture created by Joliet artist Charles Ringer, honors Bruce Putnam, the longtime director of Billings Logan International Airport.


Story and Photo - By ED KEMMICK - Last Best News

Mark Kennedy says the new bison sculpture near the entrance to the Billings Logan International Airport is a fitting monument to Bruce Putnam.

“Bruce was larger than life, and that piece is larger than life,” Kennedy said.

The 17-by-9-foot steel sculpture was dedicated last Saturday in a short ceremony attended by about 150 people. It is meant to honor Putnam, the longtime airport director who died in 2012.

Kennedy, a friend of Putnam’s and a former member of the City Council and the Aviation and Transit Commission, was one of several speakers at the event, along with Mayor Tom Hanel, former Mayor Chuck Tooley and Tom Binford, Putnam’s successor at the airport.

The sculpture, meant to be suggestive of pictograph art, was created by Joliet artist Charles Ringer, with a stained-glass heart and heartline created by Billings artist Angela Babby.

Last Updated on Friday, 12 September 2014 13:54

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Roofers here for duration


Glancing down any given residential street in Billings this summer, you might have thought a political campaign was in full swing.

But those signs in what seems like every other yard are advertising roofing companies, not politicians. And that explains the sound you are likely to hear on any given street, too — the rat-a-tat-tat of nail guns attaching tarpaper and shingles to hail-damaged roofs.

“This is the biggest influx we’ve seen in years,” said Peter Van Nice, chief of the Workers’ Compensation Regulations Bureau of the state Department of Labor. “I was in awe when I came down to Billings.”

The influx of roofers from around the country — and the sudden abundance of work for established local roofers — is all owing to the hail storm that pummeled a large swath of Billings and surrounding communities on May 18.

Last Updated on Friday, 22 August 2014 15:35

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