The Montana Farm Bureau is urging Congress to ratify the U.S. Mexico-Canada Trade agreement. The trade relationship with Canada and Mexico is critical to American farmers. In 2018, food and agricultural exports to Canada were $20.6 billion, and $19 billion to Mexico. This makes Canada and Mexico the top two food and agricultural export markets for the United States.

“President Trump and his Administration have done a great job updating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to be beneficial,” said MFBF President Hans McPherson. “The USMCA will benefit agriculture exponentially. The U.S. exported $40 billion worth of farm goods to Canada and Mexico last year.”

McPherson noted the top Montana agricultural exports to USMCA countries include $80 million oilseeds and grains; $66 million, cattle; and $19 million grain and oilseed milling products. It’s been estimated the U.S. Mexico-Canada Agreement would likely raise U.S. GDP by $68.2 billion annually, increase agricultural and food exports by $2.2 billion annually; and expand market access into Canada and Mexico.

“Canada and Mexico are not only in the top five of our trading partners, but they are our neighbors. Let’s not let partisan politics hurt this trade agreement,” McPherson said.

The American Farm Bureau has been working hard to see the USMCA ratified. American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall added, “The farm economy is reeling from the trade war combined with weather challenges and six years of lower farm income. Farmers want and need a better trade outlook and passing USMCA is a great step forward.”

Patrice Elliott has recently been promoted to Vice President, Branch manager for Stockman Bank Shiloh. Elliott will focus on overseeing bank operations, management and employee supervision, developing and servicing commercial and construction loans, and assisting clients with their lending and credit needs.

Elliott has an extensive banking background which includes credit review, consumer banking manager, community bank president, and area president for a large national bank. Her extensive banking knowledge is an asset to Stockman Bank and the Billings community.

Elliott earned her Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Minnesota State University in Moorhead, MN. She is also a certified Public Accountant. She is active in our community serving on numerous boards including the Big Sky Economic Development Association, Billings Chamber of Commerce, and United Way of Yellowstone County. Her office is located at 1450 Shiloh Road.

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by Evelyn Pyburn

Someone must come to the defense of business following what is but a veiled attack upon decades of how business has been successfully conducted.

It was recently reported that Business Roundtable, a lobbying group composed of people like  Apple’s Tim Cook and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, is changing the definition of the “purpose of a corporation.” Rather than just making a profit for shareholders, they believe a company or corporation or business must be involved in making social change and environmental activism and community improvements.

They state, that the “standard for corporate responsibility…. has changed — and now demands that companies benefit ‘all stakeholders,’ including customers, employees, suppliers, and communities.”

The group of 181 chief executives announced that it has redefined their “Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation” to include the promotion of “an economy that serves all Americans.”

There is surely a bit of elitism and hubris in this group, to imply that they are the ultimate authorities in defining business and setting acceptable standards, even as they seem to have no understanding or appreciation of the history of business and the long-standing dynamics of business.

Almost all businesses do serve everyone in their realm. That’s the little understood fact about capitalism – about the role of a business in a community. Big or small — selling magazines or automobiles or lending money — like ripples in a pond, in the process of just tending to business, the activities of a business support and improve its community.

Anyone looking at investing in a business that is making decisions based upon wanting to impact community welfare or environmental activism should give such a business a wide berth. The business is almost certain to eventually fail. Not that community and environmental impacts don’t play some role in how a good business functions, but when a business establishes as its goals the changing of society or agitating for environmental goals, those activities defray business resources, as well as diverting the attention of administrators from making a profit. All of which will eventually spell the demise of the business.

A business is a process that functions very much like a machine. It is not meant to have a heart, soul, personality, social conscious, or spiritual calling. Those are human attributes.  A business is a machine structured to function in a very specific way to achieve very specific outcomes. How well it functions to that end is measured in terms of profit.

There are many other mechanisms and organizational structures that have been devised and can be used to pursue societal or environmental goals, which are exactly what many, many businesses and corporations have utilized in the past. They set up foundations or donate to non-profit organizations  that pursue philanthropic goals the company sees as worthwhile. In doing so, the company owner or stockholders do not compromise the process of making a profit, by keep separate the decisions about how they choose to use those profits.

To give them some credit, these business sages do seem to recognize that doing the “right thing” can be the “best thing” for a business.  They state, “Major employers are investing in their workers and communities because they know it is the only way to be successful over the long term.” 

That is true for all businesses, not just “major employers.”

If paying employees well, training them and making them happy working for the business, keeps good employees, then business managers are paying attention to business, and they are doing the “right thing” for the business, and they are more likely to succeed. Just as, to the degree the company functions in an ethical and responsible manner, it will be respected and trusted by their consumers, which again will contribute to the bottom line.

A business almost can’t avoid doing the “right thing” if they hope to be successful, and in so doing they can’t avoid benefiting the community.

So, it is not that these issues do not play a role in the operation of a business, but they must not be the goal of the business. Such expenditures and attention must be justified by how much they benefit the business – you know, how much they contribute to that horrible thing called “making a profit.”

Despite their narrow mission, every well-run business – of any size – delivers many very positive side benefits to the community.  Besides the obvious jobs and livelihoods and products and services they provide, and the taxes they pay and the contributions they give to civic causes – it is through businesses that all new wealth is created, and that advancements in the standard of living are generated.  And,  most amazing, all of these great benefits happen incidentally to the operation of the business.

We do not need to redefine corporations.

The reality is there is nothing that serves human beings, the environment or society more than people tending to business.  They have always been “serving all Americans.”

Modern doomsayers have been predicting climate and environmental disaster since the 1960s. They continue to do so today.

None of the apocalyptic predictions with due dates as of today have come true – but that is never reported, complains the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Failed predictions are never reported upon by a media that enthusiastically reports on anticipated failures of society, markets or institutions. Nor do such failed forecasts cause a moment’s hesitation for media in reporting on the next round of doom and gloom predictions – often claiming instead that it is an absolute certainty because “experts” are making the claim or that it is “settled science.”

It is well worth noting that all of their solutions have always to do with eliminating the free choices of people living in a free society, the curbing of wealth generation, and/or reducing the standard of living for the common folk.

What follows is a collection of notably wild predictions from notable people in government and science.

More than merely spotlighting the failed predictions, this collection shows that the makers of failed apocalyptic predictions often are individuals holding respected positions in government and science.

In 1967 newspaper headlines such as the Salt Lake Tribune forecasted “Dire Famine” by 1975. The prediction came from the much heralded Paul Ehrlich who said “the time of famines is upon us.” It is too late to do anything to avoid the catastrophe, “the population of the United States is already too big, and birth control may have to be accomplished by making it involuntary and by putting sterilizing agents into staple foods and drinking water, and that the Roman Catholic Church should be pressured into going along with routine measures of population control.” He made his predictions at a science symposium at the University of Texas. There was apparently no presentation at a later time to explain why his prediction was so far off base.

The New York Times reported on August 10, 1969 that because of pollution the population was doomed – again the soothsayer was Paul Ehrlich.  Ehrlich said that while his lab at Stanford University was collecting the data to prove the case, he was wasting no time waiting for the evidence. “…by the time we have enough evidence to convince people, you’re dead,” he said. He predicted, “…unless we are extremely lucky, everybody will disappear in a cloud of blue steam in 20 years.”

In 1970, publications like the Boston Globe, were predicting an ice age by 2000, caused by air pollution which would “obliterate the sun” … if population continues to grow and electric power generation continues. This expert was James P. Lodge Jr. who claimed that “the demands for cooling water will boil dry the entire flow of the rivers and streams of continental United States.” He said we would deplete our oxygen supply. Lodge was a scientist at the national center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, CO. Population control, a less wasteful standard of living and a major technological breakthrough  “in the way man consumes resources,” were the only ways to prevent the catastrophe, said Lodge.

Again in 1970, Dr. Ehrlich was predicting that Americans will be subject to water rationing by 1974 and food rationing by 1980. The University of California Extension and the World Affairs Council in Southern California were all buying into Dr. Ehrlich’s credibility, who was of course peddling a book “The Population Bomb.” They touted him as “the hero of the ecology movement.”

A Washington Post Article, July 9, 1971, reported that Dr. S. I. Rasool of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and Columbia University predicted that an ice age would be upon us in 50 or 60 years. That’s just a couple years away now, so it will be just in time to counter the perils of global warming about which we are now being warned.

Strangely, the ice age was going to be the consequence of “fine dust, man constantly puts into the atmosphere by fossil fuel-burning” (– essentially the same thing that will bring us global warming). The dust would block out the rays of the sun and drop temperatures by six degrees, he said.

Rasool’s predictions were printed in the publication “Science” and presented at the international Study of Man’s Impact on Climate in Stockholm.  Dr. Gordon F. MacDonald, scientist-member of President Nixon’s three-man Council on Environmental Quality said that the issue was “one of the serious problems” the US and other delegates must address in the next year.  MacDonald called Rasool a “first-rate atmospheric physicist” whose “estimate” is consistent with “estimates I and others have made.” His conclusion was that men must quit using fossil-fuels and switch to nuclear energy.

In December 1972, Brown University’s George J. Kukle at Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory and R. K. Matthews, Department of Geological Sciences sent the President of the US a letter stating that at a scientific conference, 42 “top American and European investigators” had concluded that “a global deterioration of climate, by order of magnitude larger than any hitherto experience by civilized mankind, is a very real possibility and indeed may be due very soon.” They were talking about a significant cooling of the planet, but conceded that a lack of data prevented “the precise timing” or to what degree mankind was responsible. There appeared to be evidence that the cooling had already started and they urged the president to take “decisive action.”

And so the predictions continued. The Guardian, January 29, 1974, reported that space satellites showed an ice age was coming fast. Scientists were observing that snow and ice cover of the earth had increased by 12 percent during 1967-1972. They said that the earth had reached a “climax of warmth” between 1935 and 1955, “and world average temperatures are now falling.”

Aerosol sprays was the concern that prompted testimony before Congress in 1974, as reported in TIME. The earth appears to be “on the verge of a period of great peril,” said Professor T. M. Donahue of the University of Michigan, in two days of hearings before Congress on whether Freon, the gas used in aerosol sprayers and a coolant in refrigerators and air conditions had been eating away at the ozone layer at the top of the earth’s atmosphere. It may be too late to head off the increase in skin cancer that is sure to come as a result, said one congressman. The destruction of the ozone would reach its peak in 1990, it was predicted. But no such ‘great peril to life’ has yet been observed and the ozone still remains.

Stephen Schneider, climatologist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research wrote a book in 1976, called “The Genesis Strategy,” warning that present world food reserves are insufficient to hedge against future famines that would happen as a result of earth cooling. He quoted a University of Wisconsin climatologist as saying that 1930-1960 “was the most abnormal period in a thousand years – abnormally mild.”

And then there was the dire threat of acid rain, a hype that quietly went away once it achieved its aim of scaring Congress into passing the “Clean Air Act.” Newspaper stories in 1980 claimed that acid rain has already wiped out the fish in 10 of Yew York’s Adirondack Mountain lakes. Canada’s environmental agency deputy minister, Raymond Robinson, in a meeting sponsored by the US Environmental Protection agency blamed the problem on electrical plants burning coal.

But, 10 years later, a US Government $537 million study concluded that acid rain was no environmental crisis, which “reduced the scientific uncertainties” about acid rain, and determined that it was a long-term problem that could be addressed by reducing sulfur dioxide emissions.

Cooling of the earth was still a serious problem come 1978 and it wasn’t going away any time soon, said a Jan. 5, 1978 New York Times article, predicting a 30 year trend. German, Japanese and American specialists all concurred in a British journal that temperature data from oceans and air indicated that the northern hemisphere cooled from 1950 to 1975, 0.1 to 0.2 degrees Celsius, but they were uncertain as to why the planet was cooling.

But from 1979 NASA satellite data shows a slight warming trend.

In 1988 drought became the crisis, as experts predicted the hottest year ever. It was declared to be the cause of the “greenhouse effect,” according to James Hansen of NASA. He predicted an increase in heat waves through the rest of the 80s and 90s, but in reality 1988 was the last “really dry year in the midwest” and they have since had record wet years, according to

In the Lansing State Journal, Hansen warned on Dec. 12, 1988, that during the 1990s Washington DC would experience 85 days a year with temps over 90 degrees rather than what had been the average of 35 days a year – and that the ocean was going to rise one foot to six feet – and the frequency and severity of storms would increase due to the greenhouse effect.

DC’s number of hot days peaked in 1911 and have been declining ever since.

The Maldive Islands nation in the Indian Ocean was predicted in 1988 to be underwater within 30 years, according to The Agence France Press. They are not.

The June 30, 1989, Associated Press reported that “A senior U. N. environmental official says entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by 2000. Because of warming, melting polar ice caps will raise the sea level by three feet, said Noel Brown, director of the New York office of UN Environmental Protection . One sixth of Bangladesh would be flooded, displacing a fourth of its 90 million people. A fifth of Egypt’s arable land in the Nile Delta would be flooded, cutting off its food supply, according to a joint UNEP and US Environmental Agency prediction.

Shifting climate patterns will bring back the 1930s dust bowl to the US and Canada, said Brown, because of humanity’s use of fossil fuels and burning the rainforest. The world had only ten years to do something about it, according to Brown.

In 1989, New York City’s westside highway that runs along the Hudson River was predicted to be under water by 2019 – and tape would be on windows of buildings because of high winds. Jim Hansen made that prediction to a reporter from, who confirmed Hansen was still standing by the prediction in October 2001.

In 2000, it was also predicted that snow falls would be a thing of the pass and children would no longer know what snow is.

In 2002 global warming was predicted to produce famine in ten years. It could only be avoided if humans quit eating meat and fish, according to a report in the Guardian. The Guardian also reported in 2004 that Britain would have a climate more like Siberia by 2020.

In 2008, a NASA scientist predicted that the Arctic would be “ice free” by 2018.

Al Gore echoed the prediction but said the Arctic would be free of ice by 2013. On Dec. 14, 2008, Gore predicted the north polar ice cap would be gone in five years – “inconveniently, it is still there.”

On July 9, 2009, Prince Charles said we had only eight years to save the planet. “The price of capitalism and consumerism is just too high,” he lamented.

The journal Nature claimed in 2013 that the Arctic would be ice free by 2015, because of a “methane catastrophe.”

Based upon the US Department of Energy research, the US Navy predicted in 2013, an ice-free Arctic Ocean by 2016.

In 2014, the French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, in a joint statement with John Kerry, predicted “climate chaos” in only 500 days. But the planet is standing after much more than 500 days.

The Billings Bypass will not be called the Billings Bypass.

Maybe it will be called the Lockwood-Heights Commerce Park Way.

The Montana Department of Transportation will name the proposed section of highway that will connect Johnson Lane in Lockwood to the Heights near the junction of Highways 312 and 87, west of Main Street. But earlier this year a MDT spokesman said the agency tends not to like naming routes “bypass,” and they encouraged input from the community.

A small delegation from the Lockwood Planning Steering Committee submitted to the county commissioners a list of names that have been put forth for the route. The list highlighted two of the names as the top choices of the committee, “Lockwood Commerce Park Way”  and “Lockwood-Heights Connector.”

After some discussion amongst all those present at the commissioners’ discussion meeting, the name

“Lockwood –Heights Commerce Park Way,” emerged as the preferred name. County Commissioners said they would send a letter to the Department of Transportation recommending that name.

The other names that were suggested by the community were:

  • Unicorn Road
  • Jackalope Highway
  • Don Reed Highway
  • Mel Harris Highway
  • Dan Mortensen Expressway
  • Expressway or Bypass or Connector or Parkway or Way
  • Rim Connector
  • Coulson Connection
  • Lockwood Bypass
  • Lockwood Interchange
  • Eastgate Emerald Hills Highway
  • Great Drive of ’89 Highway
  • 1889 Centennial Expressway
  • Yellowstone Way
  • Calamity Jane Bypass
  • Big Foot Bypass
  • Sasquatch Bypass
  • Freedom Way

Buffalo Block Prime Steakhouse at the Rex opened on October 1 as Billings’ newest first class restaurant.

Since the closure of the Rex Restaurant about a year -and -a -half ago, Billings has been closely watching and wondering what would emerge from one of the city’s most popular haunts. When news was announced that the property had been purchased by the Larson Family with the intent of reopening as a first class restaurant, spirits rose about its future, and the remodeling that has been going on over the past year has been closely monitored by the community.

Billings will not be disappointed with what has been done. Completely redesigned, remodeled and equipped, Buffalo Block offers high-end dining in a completely new atmosphere, and yet one that somehow retains a hint of its past; and the character that has always made The Rex distinctive still lingers just below the surface.

With a completely new floor plan, the warm honey-tones of a walnut wood finish, throughout, brings a warmth and comfort. Special attention to detail and décor brings a sense of luxury, augmented by an open state-of-the-art kitchen that literally glows as the heart of the restaurant bustling with activity, the focus of which is the open wood-flame grilling of prime dry -aged beef, the house specialty.

To preserve and retain The Rex on Montana Avenue, and all that its 100-plus year history, has meant to Billings, was the primary goal of Rick and Nicki Larson. Even though they are highly successful business owners, well-known for their business, EBMS, which they founded and built over the last 30-plus years, the only thing they knew about the restaurant business was how much they had enjoyed The Rex in the past, and how much they enjoy good food, good wine and spirits, with the comradery of good friends.

To be able to assure The Rex experience in the future for Billings is in a sense a giving back to the community, far more so than being a business venture. But to make sure the effort is successful they went in search of getting the expertise that will be needed. They found that in the manager and executive chef they hired.

Mitch Fox is the manager of Buffalo Block and Austin Stewart is the executive chef. Both are excited about being part of this new venture and about being in Billings, Montana. And, as far as being on the Larson team, “I feel like I won the lottery,” says Austin.

Although originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Austin comes to Billings by way of Sarasota, Florida. His wife had ties in Billings, having attended Rocky Mountain College and MSU-Billings. As a very experienced steakhouse chef, Austin’s vision for his culinary talents are very much in line with those of Rick Larson.

Buffalo Block features their own aged beef, from filet mignon, ribeye, New York strip, and wood-fired prime rib, as well as lobster tails, king crab legs, scallops, roasted chicken, and short ribs.

All beef is “prime beef” and is dry aged on premises, from 30 to 75 days—an expensive process that while edging up menu prices still squeezes the profit margin, explained Manager Mitch Fox, but noting that only about 3 percent of all processed beef qualifies as “prime” it’s well worth it. They purchase their beef from a Spokane processing company that draws most of its beef from Montana. To buy as much locally as possible is very much a part of their operation, said Mitch, pointing out that most of the refurbishing of the building has been done by local builders and crafts people.

Mitch’s experience comes from the management of restaurants in the ski areas of Colorado, which makes him well adapted for the Montana winters. But, nonetheless he enjoys sunny days and hopes there will still be a few such days yet this fall to allow the partial opening of the patio. Equipped with massive stationary umbrellas with LED lighting and heaters, the odds are good, they will be able to do so.

The completely rebuilt patio area provides seating for 96, which augments interior seating capacity of about 135, which includes about 85 in the formal dining room.

Mitch will be overseeing and training a staff of some 50 people.

A special feature of Buffalo Block will be the offering of 55 lockers which patrons may rent, in which to keep bottles of their favorite wines and spirits. Mitch said that he will go to great lengths to acquire whatever labels patrons want. They want to build Buffalo Block’s list of wines and liquor “into something special,” said Mitch. One of their features will be offer the purchase of customized flights (one ounce samples), as well as offering a hundred  labels on the “by the glass” wine list.

The restaurant hours will be from 11 am to closing. Open six days a week, closed on Sundays.

The Rex was built in 1910, with such notables as Buffalo Bill, Calamity Jane and Will James having contributed to its historic tale as a hotel, restaurant and bar that catered to the railroad passengers, cowboys and town folk, alike. Business slacked off in the 1960s and by 1975 the building faced almost certain demise, when at the last minute Senia Hart bought the building just to save it. It was brought back as a very popular restaurant and gathering place over the past 30 years by previous owner, Gene Burgad, who contributed to the revitalization of the entire historic district of Montana Avenue. The Rex Hotel building is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Billings is now the newest home of a national program to engage, educate and connect local entrepreneurs. Founded by the Kauffman Foundation, 1 Million Cups is based on the notion that entrepreneurs network and discover solutions over a million cups of coffee. The free, weekly gathering helps build startup communities on a grassroots level.

Beginning October 9, entrepreneurs, innovators, funders and other interested community members are invited to attend each Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. at Last Chance Cider Mill located at 2203 Montana Ave.  These events are open to the public and your first cup of coffee is free.  

 The program’s model is consistent in each city across the country.  Every Wednesday morning, two early-stage startups present their companies to an audience of mentors, advisers and other entrepreneurs. Each founder presents for six minutes, followed by a 20-minute question-and-answer session with the audience.  

The inaugural 1 Million Cups in Billings will feature presentations by Swanky Roots, an aquaponic greenhouse, and FlowForms, a tech startup which automates processes to save time and money. In each 1 Million Cups city, local entrepreneurs drive the program with the support of community organizers.  Billings organizers, led by Kevin Scharfe, Program Manager of Rock31 at Big Sky Economic Development, have been working together for the past year visiting other chapters, providing Kauffman with data on our community and securing local entrepreneurs for the successful launch on October 9th.  

“We are excited to bring 1 Million Cups to Billings. This a great opportunity for local entrepreneurs to showcase their ideas and an even better opportunity for our community to show their support and provide resources for these startups,” Scharfe said.  “Building a strong entrepreneur eco system has been a goal of ours and being a 1 Million Cups chapter will put us on the map as an entrepreneur friendly city.”

For more information visit ,,

  • Billings Clinic/Jones Construction, Inc, 801 N 29th St, Com Addition, $4,000,000
  • Lai, Khoon Eng/Borders, Schyler – General Contractor, 3131 Iron Horse Trl, Com Fence/Roof/ Siding, $7,800
  • Stevenson, Carol J/Highsmith, Charlie – General Contractor, 2001 Lakehills Dr, Com New 3+ (Multi Family),     $618,036
  • NA/V Properites Llp/Rasmussen, Brian – Service, 2111 4th Ave, Com New Other, $20,000
  • Kincaid Land Llc/Hale, Ben – Service, 2514 Shiloh Rd, Com New Other, $190,000
  • Tired Man Llc/Irish (Manager), Tyson – General Contractor, 1461 41st St W, Com New Other, $140,000
  • Peterson Quality Office/Irish (Manager), Tyson – General Contractor, 504 N 32nd St, Com New Other, $140,000
  • Kincaid Land Llc/Hale, Ben – Service, 2514 Shiloh Rd, Com New Warehouse/Storage, $60,000
  • Tired Man Llc/Irish (Manager), Tyson – General Contractor, 1461 41st St W, Com New Warehouse/Storage,  $60,000
  • Peterson Quality Office/Irish (Manager), Tyson – General Contractor, 504 N 32nd St, Com New Warehouse/Storage,  $60,000
  • Lowe, Barbara L/Lapin, Mitchell S – General Contractor, 2747 Enterprise Ave, Com Remodel, $145,000
  • Windmill Properties Llc/King, Charles D – General Contractor, 1540 13th St W, Com Remodel, $20,000
  • RC Property Holdings Llc/Pinnacle Remodeling, 4007 Avenue B, Com Remodel, $15,000
  • NA/V Properties Llp/Rasmussen, Brian – Service, 2111 4th Ave, Com Remodel, $20,000
  • Watson, Gerald W/Irish (Manager), Tyson – General Contractor, 1005 Main St, Com Remodel, $20,000
  • Sisters Of Charith Of Leavenwo/Alberts (Sr Vp/Cfo), Dave – General Contractor, 1233 N 30th St, Com Remodel,      $45,000
  • Underriner, William B/Freyenhagen Construction, Inc., 104 N 28th St, Com Remodel, $45,000
  • Prospect Investment Llc/Prospect Investment, 670 King Park Dr, Com Remodel – Change In Use, $15,500
  • MC Real Estate Holdings Inc/Roberts/Clemons, Misty/James – General Contractor, 5875 Whispering Woods Dr,   Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $75,000
  • River Otter Properties Llc/Roberts/Clemons, Misty/James – General Contractor, 284 Westchester Sq N, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $9,700
  • Johnson, Kristin K & Scott E/Ray E, Mehrer – General Contractor, 1502 Miles Ave,  Com Fence/Roof/Siding,   $12,000
  • Link Properties, Llc/Empire Roofing Inc – Roofing Contractor, 2041 Harnish Blvd, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $53,000
  • Homestead House Inc/Harvey, Brian L – Service, 450 S 20th St W, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $2,400
  • Homestead House Inc/Harvey, Brian L – Service, 450 S 20th St W, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $7,800
  • Homestead House Inc/Harvey, Brian L – Service, 450 S 20th St W, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $5,100
  • Homestead House Inc/Harvey, Brian L – Service, 450 S 20th St W, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $7,400
  • Homestead House Inc/Harvey, Brian L – Service, 450 S 20th St W, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $10,700
  • Homestead House Inc/Harvey, Brian L – Service, 450 S 20th St W, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $4,800
  • Homestead House Inc/Harvey, Brian L – Service, 450 S 20th St W, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $7,500
  • Homestead House Inc/Harvey, Brian L – Service, 450 S 20th St W, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $5,600
  • Homestead House Inc/Harvey, Brian L – Service, 450 S 20th St W, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $6,000
  • Homestead House Inc/Harvey, Brian L – Service, 450 S 20th St W, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $13,500
  • Lnd & M Family Limited Partners/Hiroberts Roofing, 337 Quaking Aspen, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $24,000
  • Lnd & M Family Limited Partners/Hiroberts Roofing, 338 Quaking Aspen, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $24,000
  • City Of Billings/Knife River-Billings – General Contractor, 260 Stewart Park Rd, Com New Other, $230,000
  • Bach Land And Development Llc/McLaughlin, James – General Contractor, 3040 Central Ave, Com New Other,     $14,280
  • GMD Development Homeword/Thornton, Orion – Service, 230 Starner Ln, Com New Other, $208,400
  • City Of Billings (Airport)/Sletten Construction Companies, 1901 Terminal Cir, Com Remodel, $25,000
  • 15th Street Investors LLC/Magic City Custom Taping, 1500 Broadwater Ave, Com Remodel, $8,000
  • Kevin Cremer/Cucancic Construction Inc., 316 S 24th St W, Com Remodel, $150,000
  • Himmelberger, Dennis L/Rambur, Dale – General Contractor, 225 E Airport Rd, Com Remodel – Change In Use,    $153,000
  • J & S Properties Inc/Cayton Excavation Inc – General Contractor, 1617 1st Ave N, Demolition Permit Commercial,  $180,000
  • Johnson, Kristin K & Scott E/Ray E, Mehrer – General Contractor, 1502 Miles Ave, Com Remodel, $8,000
  • Erving Properties LlC/Furlong, Steve – General Contractor, 1525 1st Ave N, Com Fence/Roof/Siding/$4,200
  • Moducs LLC/Kohlman Lennie – General Contractor, 2823 6th Ave N, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $70,000
  • Trail Creek Properties LLC/Lennick Bros. Roofing & Sheetmetal, 302 N 11th St, Com Fence/Roof/Siding/$5,500
  • City Of Billings/Empire Roofing Inc – Roofing Contractors, 2251 Belknap Ave,        Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $59,868
  • City Of Billings/Sunleaf, Steve – General Contractor, 1601 St Andrews Dr, Com New Other, $21,407
  • Waggoner Real Estate, LLC/Knife River-Billings – General Contractor, 5220 Midland Rd, Com New Parking Lot/Non-Building Structure, $135,050
  • Corning Companies/Langlas & Assoc., Inc., l711 Henry Chapple St, Com New Store/Strip Center, $1,754,584
  • GDM Development/Murphy (General Manager), Beverly – General Contractor, 230 Starner Ln, Com New warehouse/Storage, $16,000
  • Mazabuka Llc/Reddi Electric, Inc. – Electrical Contractor, 310 N 13th St, Com Remodel, $6,000
  • Weber Properties LLC/Sunset Construction Llc – General Contractor, 3335 Conrad Rd, Com Remodel, $16,498
  • Beatrice Food Company/Dietz, Troy L – General Contractor, 109 S 28th St, Com Remodel, $8,500
  • Peterson, Jeffrey J & Pamela K/Horizon Retail Construction, 1645 Parkhill Dr,  Com Remodel, $26,000
  • Shiloh Crossing Partners Llc/Jones Construction, Inc, 851 Shiloh Crossing Blvd,   Com Remodel, $30,480
  • Charter Communications Inc/Jones Construction, Inc, 1860 Monad Rd, Com Remodel, $45,000
  • Big Sky Floral Supply Llc/Bonini Enterprises Llc, 3024 2nd Ave N, Com Remodel – Change In Use, $125,709
  • Residential
  • Pritchard Family Revocable Trust, 185 Annandale Rd, Res New Single Family, $275,788
  • Big Time Construction/Langford, Aaron – General Contractor, 5301 Clemson Dr, Res New Single Family,    $219,582
  • Big Time Construction/Langford, Aaron – General Contractor, 5307 Clemson Dr, Res New Single Family,                   $224,63
  • Hellekson, Douglas/Hill, Jeff & Tammy – General Contractor, 362 Cherry Hills Rd, Res New Single Family,             $420,212
  • McCall Development/Mccall James, – General Contractor, 6101 Norma Jean Ln, Res New Single Family,                 $353,727
  • Felton Associates Inc/Parks, Trenton – General Contractor, 1509 Columbine Dr, Res New Two Family,               $363,330
  • Trent Parks/Parks, Trenton – General Contractor, 1513 Columbine Dr, Res New Two Family, $363,330
  • Classic Design Homes Inc/Classic Design Homes, 1030 Yellowstone Ave, Res New Two Family, $265,800 Hagstrom, Daniel F, 932 N 22nd St, Res New Accessory Structure, $27,648
  • Oakland Built Homes, Inc/Leep (Vice President), Landy – Service, 1440 Rancho Vista Ave, Res New Single Family, $207,240
  • Oakland Built Homes, Inc./Leep (Vice President), Landy – Service, 1448 Rancho Vista Ave, Res New Single Family, $194,836
  • South Pine Design/Blatchford, Kevin – General Contractor, 2513 Strapper Ln, Res New Single Family, $301,266
  • South Pine Design/Blatchford, Kevin – General Contractor, 2705 Hanover Cir, Res New Single Family, $208,942
  • Harold Larson/Thompson, William – General Contractor, 1363 Watson Peak Rd, Res New Single Family, $240,020
  • Diverse Construction/Hill, Brendon – General Contractor, 2245 Gleneagles Blvd, Res New Single Family, $204,970
  • Tom & Kathy Meszaros/Hill, Jeff & Tammy – General Contractor, 981 Siesta Ave, Res New Single Family, $363,971
  • Coppock, David G & Renee L/Dirk Arnold Construction, 641 Beverly Hill Blvd, Res New Single Family, $366,990
  • Huck, Dale M, 3932 1st Ave S, Res New Accessory Structure, $126,192
  • James E & Lavaun Marie Black L/Brocklebank Dan – General Contractor, 933 Delphinium Dr, Res New Accessory, Structure, $50,000

The Better Business Bureau has named the recipients of the 2019 Torch Award for Ethics. The recognitions honor organizations that demonstrate exceptional commitment to building trust and integrity with their customers, fellow business owners and communities.

Winners in the Northwest and Pacific are Hi-line Service and Hydraulics as the Business of the Year and Quiet Waters as the Charity of the Year. A new honor this year – the Spark Award – goes to a newer business – Edible Arrangements.

“We are so honored to announce the Torch Award winners for 2019,” said BBB NW+P CEO Tyler Andrew. “This award represents ethical achievement and symbolizes the highest level of trust in the marketplace. These businesses truly deserve the spotlight for their dedication to these values.”

 Hi-Line Service and Hydraulics provides semi-truck and trailer repair, auto and diesel repairs in Culbertson, Montana. The company is dedicated to transparency, trust and their community- which shows in their efforts to give back to the community through partnerships.

 Edible Arrangements offers edible gift baskets and a full food service storefront in Bozeman. The company has been accredited since 2016 and continues to uphold the high standards BBB requires to be an accredited business. Their commitment to their customers and community stood out from other applications in Montana.  

 Warriors and Quiet Waters has shown commitment building trust among their staff, donors and within their community. Their mission is to bring peace and healing to veterans with injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder by placing them in a healing environment and teaching them the art of fly fishing. Beginning in 2007, the Warriors and Quiet Waters has been able to complete 705 fishing experiences to warriors and their families.

 This year, nearly 300 businesses and charities were nominated for the Torch Award for Ethics. Each applicant goes through a meticulous application process that is then reviewed by independent.

Competitive Enterprise Institute Senior Fellow Michelle Minton warned that an e-cigarette ban will mean a terrible outcome for public health with few gains to show for it:

“Regulation of e-cigarettes should be based on science, not fear-mongering or fake news. Evidence shows e-cigarettes are vastly safer than smoking and highly effective at helping smokers quit a habit that kills nearly half a million Americans each year. E-cigarettes have the potential to save millions of lives but not if we destroy what makes them attractive.

“Banning flavors won’t prevent youth vaping but will drive adults back to smoking or into the black market. The rise in death and disease that will follow such a ban will, no doubt, be blamed on e-cigarettes and used to lobby for even greater restrictions. But the blame will belong to special interests spending billions to spread lies, the news media that spreads misinformation, and the lawmakers who base regulations on fear instead of facts.”