Billings Heights Post #6774/Lennick Bros. Roofing & Sheetm, 637 Anchor St, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $8,600

Seahorse Gaming Llc/Yellowstone Basin Construction, 1918 Grand Ave,     Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $95,000

1116 Grand Ave Llc/Perfect 10 Roofing & Construction, 1116 Grand Ave, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, 70,000

Winchell Real Estate Holdings/Cooper Construction, 1807 Grand Ave, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $9,000

Roland & Michelle Wright, 3839 Grand Ave, Com Remodel, $1,200

Family Services/Cis Cornerstone Inspection Services, 3931 1st Ave S, Com Remodel, $70,000

T.W. Clark Construction Llc/1127 Alderson Llc, 1127 Alderson Ave,  Com Remodel – Change In Use , $1,300,000

Kairos Properties Llc, 221 N 15th St, Com Remodel, $128,045

Kairos Properties Llc, 321 N 15th St, Com Remodel, $110,000

Kairos Properties Llc, 421 N 15th St, Com Remodel, $110,000

Kairos Properties Llc, 521 N 15th St, Com Remodel, $122,485

Kairos Properties Llc, 621 N 15th St, Com Remodel, $116,039

Horizon Retail Construction/ Future Equity Partners, 2450 King Ave W, Com Remodel, $11,500

VTR Properties Llc , 615 S 27th St, Com Remodel, $80,600

Ross Alger Holdings Llc /Van Arsdale, Duane Constr Inc, 2147 Poly Dr, Com Remodel,   $10,000

Hays, Christoper J, 1148 Blair Ln, Com Remodel,  $0.00

Et Properties Llc/Wagenhals Enterprises Inc, 10 N 35th St, Com Remodel, $40,000

Noraca Llc/Laughlin Construction Inc., 100 N 27th St, Com Remodel, $200,000

City Of Billings (Airport)/ Yellowstone Electric Co., 501 North View Dr, Com Remodel, $0.00

Elevation Church Billings, Inc /Snowy River Construction, 711 4th Ave N, Com Remodel,  $8,300

Tanner Bennion/Jorden Construction, 848 Main St, Com Remodel, $6,000

The Billings Gazette /Lennick Bros. Roofing & Sheetm, 501 N22nd St,  Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $8,600

JTA Ventures  Llc/Sprague  Construction Roofing  Division, 1246 Central Ave, Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $60,000   

Veeder Homestead Llc, 2225 Overland Ave, Com New Hotel/Motel, $12,000,000

Stockland  Properties Inc, 15 Avanta Way, Com Remodel  $500,000

Sisters Of Charith of Leavenwo/Saunders  Construction Inc, Com  Remodel, 1233 N30th St, $200,000

Sisters Of Charith of Leavenwo /Saunders Construction Inc, 1233 N30th St  Com Remodel $1,000,000

McDonald Land Holdings Llc /Huppert  Construction Company, 1310 Main St, Demolition Permit Commercial $5,000

Fagg  Family Properties Llc/Huppert Construction Company, 205 N32nd St,

Demolition Permit Commercial, $5,000


Ryan W & Kristina D Morton /Northwest Construction, 2160 Skyview Dr, Res New Accessory Structure,  $36,864

Mccall Development Inc/Mccall Development, 1820 Annas Garden Ln, Res New Single Family, $197,525

Mccall Development Inc/Mccall Development, 6033 Norma Jean Ln, Res New Single Family, $221,434

Wells Built Inc /Wells Built Inc., 4205 Snowywoods Dr, Res New Single Family, $398,227

Magnus Land Development Llc/Brown Builders Inc.,  6319 Absaloka Ln, Res New Two Family, $327,260

Magnus Land Development Llc/ Brown Builders Inc., 6313 Absaloka Ln, Res New Two Family, $327,260

Pelzel, Bruce K & Yvette M/CMW Construction, 627 Valle Vista Ave, Res New Accessory Structure, $45,000

Taylor, Zachary J/Buscher Construction Ltd, 3116 Falcon Cir, Res New Single Family, $211,609

Taylor, Zachary J/Buscher Construction Ltd, 3118 Falcon Cir, Res New Single Family, $211,609

Infinity Home Llc/Infinity Home, 5134 Chapel Hill Dr, Res New Single Family, $198,600

Shriners Hospitals For Children/Dirk Arnold Construction, 1555 Tania Cir, , Res New Single Family, $221,018

Pierson Jensen Construction Co/ Wagner, Garret & Stephanie, 1017 Vineyard Way, Res New Single Family, $410,082

Joshua & Karen Graber/Hill Builders, 1880 Gleneagles Blvd, Res New Single Family     $288,000

Billings Best Builders Llc/Starks R.E.Group, 917 Mission Oaks Dr, Res New Two Family, $442,320

Larry Wagoner,4183vaughn Ln, Res New Accessory Structure, $246,800

Nielsen,Rod&Juleen/Steve Gountanis Homes Inc, 933 Vineyard Cir, Res New Accessory Structure, $19,200

Uednyquist,Sverre & Saran/B & W Builders, 736 Ave N, Res New Accessory Structure, $32,256.00

Big Time Construction/Big Time Construction, 1407 Tania Cir, Res New Single Family,  $216,544

David Mutch Yellowstone Property Solutions Llc 5211clemson Dr Res New Single Family $246,800.00

Res New Single Family Habitat For Humanity Newsfr1212  Spring Cir Habitat For Humanity,Midyell$201,072.00

Res New Single Family 6113 Norma Jean Ln McCall Development Inc $230,680.00

Res New Single Family McCall Development 6033farmstead Ave McCall Development Inc $224,174

McCall Development Inc/McCall Development, 6009 Farmstead Ave,  Res New Single Family, $140,650

McCall Development Inc/McCall Development, 6039 Farmstead Ave, Res New Single Family, $222,024

Hanser Capital Holdings Llc/Hg Designs, 2706 Cornell Cir, Res New  Single Family, $350,000

McCall Development Inc/McCall  Development, 6015 Farmstead Ave, Res New Single Family, $140,650

Wagenhals Land And Livestock/Wagenhals Enterprises Inc, 1118 Daylight Ln, Res New Single Family, $260,000.00

Regal Land Development Inc/Teske Construction Inc, 4217 Bell Ave, Res New Two Family, $408,076

Wells,Daniel & Julane/Teske Construction Inc, 4223 Bell Ave, Res New Two Family, $435,340

NOAA predicts that Montana can expect a cool, wet winter that could lead to heavy runoff next spring.

The forecast was made by the Corps’ Missouri River Water Management Division. Despite cold, snowy weather in October, precipitation was well below normal in much of the upper basin. The 2020 calendar year runoff forecast is 30.2 million acre-feet, 117% of average. This winter is setting up for a La Nina pattern, which typically means colder weather across Montana, Wyoming and the Dakotas. Looking through January, the outlook is also for above normal precipitation in those states. February through April forecast is trending toward below-normal temperatures and above-average precipitation.

By Evelyn Pyburn

“We have it in our power to begin the world over again.” – Thomas Paine

Such is the case for Montana with the Republicans having gained control of the governorship and both legislative houses.  The situation poses a rare opportunity to set Montana on a strong economic foundation.

We know how to do it! And now, with the Party that is supposed to be the Party of sound fiscal policies in full charge — there should be no excuses – no barriers to begin the state’s economy over again.

It’s not as though there are no ideas about what works and what doesn’t. What makes for a good economic environment and for sound government has been studied to death over many decades and in 50 different laboratories, usually with much the same results.

Every year for 14 years, the American Legislative Exchange Council has issued the Rich States Poor States study of the economies of all the states. In great detail it identifies the policies and strategies that work in creating an environment in which business can thrive and governments can function soundly.

Is there any reason we shouldn’t be on top of this?

Of course there is. Not all of the leaders really meant it when they advocated for fiscal restraint and economic freedom. And, there are those who hold other ambitions, so their priority is to get along with the opposition more than solve problems. And, then as one pessimistic friend described, it is in the nature of Republicans to form a circle and just start shooting.

And there’s more. Some observers have explained that to solve problems is not the goal for many politicians of either political party. They are in lock step, while appearing to be on opposite sides, wrangling over familiar issues, in campaign after campaign. Their thinking is why solve problems that are guaranteed to successfully fund raise and garner votes, for the Right and the Left? Why do the hard work and take the slings and arrows that would surely come if they were to really try to solve the problem? Hence we have decades and decades of what seems to be unsolvable problems.

We all know of what I speak. There are all kinds of issues to which over the decades Republicans have given a lot of lip service during campaigns, only to become mysteriously silent once elected.  They are the promises we were commonly told were too difficult to get accomplished, or too complicated for us to understand. They are the changes that couldn’t happen, we were told, because they lacked the political power to get them passed.

It was essentially this non-performance that got Donald Trump elected president.

The most amazing, salient factor about President Trump is that he got it done! He demonstrated with almost the speed of light and with what appeared as astounding ease the nonsense of all the excuses.

From Day One, in the cancelling of a hugely over-priced order for a new presidential airplane, to the building of the wall, to neutralizing the saber-rattling of Iran, North Korea and Russia, to bringing peace to the Middle East, to ending terrorist activity, to unleashing the productivity of the American people, increasing for the first time in decades real income growth, regaining our energy independence, reversing the loss of our manufacturing industry, reinstituting Constitutional law. Almost single handedly he was doing all these things that so many had said were impossible. That’s why there were Republicans who stood opposed to Trump, he unmasked the lie of the duplicity of political compromise and the languor of expediency.

Montana has hundreds of issues big and small that should and could be addressed. Take away the political gamesmanship and the road is clear.

If during the next legislative session the Republicans do not act to strengthen our civil liberties, encourage economic freedom, curb the oppressive regulation of our industry, businesses and entrepreneurs, solve the growing debt of the public employees’ pension fund, unleash educational freedom, eliminate the remnants of business equipment taxes, penalize  the promulgators of frivolous lawsuits, and diminish the power and size of our bureaucracy  — all those things Republicans have always said they wanted to do are now doable.

Of course, part of the reason many of those things don’t happen is because legislators don’t hear from their constituents. So to all those who voted in this red wave: it’s no time to sit back and wait. Every voter needs to be up front -and -center about the issues – with Republicans and Democrats. Be assured there are many very organized and well-funded lobbying groups, who in your absence will be making their case.

TC Energy Corporation has awarded more than $1.6 billion worth of contracts to six major American union contractors to execute pipeline construction across 800 miles in three states in the U.S. on the Keystone XL Pipeline in 2021. A Bozeman company is among the contractors.

The six contractors will be directly responsible for hiring more than 7,000 union workers in 2021, with special emphasis placed on hiring locally first and giving priority to qualified local and Indigenous-owned businesses. When combined with additional 2021 contracts to be announced later, the total number of American union workers constructing Keystone XL in 2021 will exceed 8,000 and $900 million in gross wages. In total, Keystone XL is expected to employ more than 11,000 Americans in 2021, creating more than $1.6 billion in gross wages.

The companies awarded contracts include:

* Barnard Pipeline (Bozeman, MT)

* Associated Pipeline (Houston, TX)

* Michels (Brownsville, WI)

* Precision Pipeline (Eau Claire, WI)

* Price Gregory International (Katy, TX)

* U.S. Pipeline (Houston, TX)

“Barnard Pipeline is very excited and honored to receive the official award on Keystone XL. As a Montana contractor, we are proud to build this important project in our great state and to help ensure energy independence for our nation. We believe our reputation for integrity, safety and quality will meet the expectations of the property owners, communities and TC Energy,” said Marty Jorgensen, President, Barnard Pipeline.

“The awarding of 2021 U.S. construction contracts shows the continued momentum behind Keystone XL. The dedicated members of the Operating Engineers are eager and ready to build this critical piece of modern North American energy infrastructure to the highest quality standards,” said James T. Callahan, General President of the International Union of Operating Engineers. “The 8,000 American union jobs that come with 2021 construction is welcome news and irreplaceable as the U.S. continues our economic recovery.”

“With construction activities well underway in both the U.S. and Canada, Keystone XL is already playing a critical role in contributing to North America’s economic recovery,” said Richard Prior, President, Keystone XL Pipeline. “The selection of our U.S. construction contractors for 2021 is an important next step in employing thousands more American union workers and delivering tangible benefits to local communities and businesses.”

These contractors have extensive experience constructing pipeline and major infrastructure projects in the U.S. and around the world. The contractors were chosen based on TC Energy’s core principles of safety, environmental stewardship and stakeholder engagement along with their financial strength, technical design expertise and contract competitiveness.

Keystone XL remains as critical as ever to meeting today’s economic and energy security needs. The project has announced several significant developments in recent months, including commencing construction and signing the government of Alberta as an equity partner, signing a Project Labor Agreement with four major American unions and creating a US$10 million Green Jobs Training Fund, and offering equity ownership to Indigenous communities across North America. This is in addition to more than $90 million being recorded in the U.S. to date in local and Indigenous spend through TC Energy and the company’s various contractors and suppliers.

It’s been reported before that the economic impacts on Montana of the COVID-19 crisis has been greater than the Great Recession, by Dr. Pat Barkey, Director of the Bureau of Business and Economic Research, UM, but a most recent published report in the Montana Business Quarterly, starkly emphasizes the contrast.

According to Barkey, “The economy was barreling along in January and February of 2020, with record low unemployment and respectable growth. Then the world stopped in mid-March. When it resumed, it was on a different course. Much of the economic data, which is released annually or perhaps quarterly, simply can’t describe recent events.”

Total U.S. nonfarm employment declined by more than 22 million jobs from February to April, a decline of about 14.5%.  “… such a decrease has to be among the greatest month-to-month declines in recent history. There is no question that the U.S. economy went into a free fall in the spring of 2020,” writes Barkey in the Montana Business Quarterly.

Using Current Employment Survey date from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals:

—The U.S., Montana and three of the state’s urban areas experienced sharp declines from February to April 2020 and increases from April to August, with moderating growth in July and August. Current employment levels remain mostly below peak values.

—The employment declines in the U.S., Montana and the urban areas were much greater than were experienced during the Great Recession. These decreases were probably larger than at any time in recent history.

—The changes in employment in the U.S., Montana and the MSAs were concentrated in a few industries. Leisure, health care and retail trade accounted for most of the declines and subsequent increases during 2020.

According to Barkey, “The concentration of 2020 impacts in a few industries suggests that they may mostly reflect the lockdowns and subsequent (partial) re-openings associated with the pandemic. Recessions, on the other hand, usually involve simultaneous trends in a wide variety of industries. If the events identified here spread to the rest of the economy, the COVID-19 recession may have a long way to go. If the impacts are confined to several industries (perhaps due to government fiscal and monetary policies), the recession may be shorter.”

Seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment in Montana declined sharply during the spring on 2020. The number of workers decreased from 489,400 in February to about 425,100 in April, down about 13.1%. The corresponding drop in U.S. employment was 14.5%. As with the nation, Montana experienced sizable increases in the April to August period, but the latest employment figures were still slightly more than 5% below the February peak, and the July and August growth was modest.

Wise Wonders Science and Discovery Museum, a children’s museum in Billings, 3024 2nd Avenue N., has received a gift from the AJ Blain Foundation for the Vision Campaign the Museum launched earlier this summer.

The AJ Blain Foundation has agreed to make a $50,000 gift to pose as a matching challenge for the campaign. Any gift made in the next two months will be matched 100% by the Foundation, up to a total of $50,000.

“We are extremely excited about this investment in the museum,” said Executive Director Pete Bolenbaugh. “We have a strong vision for the future of Wise Wonders and our place in the Billings community. Having support of this kind not only helps make that vision a reality, but affirms our path forward. There is a lot of work ahead of us, but we are energized for the challenges ahead.”

Included in future plans for the Museum are exhibits and programming content that will focus on science, inquiry-based education, and interactive play, as well as a fully functioning maker space and workshop. The vision creates new spaces for older children, tweens and teens and enhances the experience for younger children. In keeping with the mission of the organization, all plans encourage interactive learning through play and exploration.

For more info, please visit at vision,, and

Ronda Wiggers has been announced as the new state director or the Montana Federation of  Independent Business, (NFIB) a small-business advocacy association. She will be in charge of lobbying, educational outreach and political efforts.

Wiggers will be taking up the torch for Riley Johnson who has served in that position for 38 years.

“Ronda’s lobbying experience combined with her grassroots organizing abilities made her an ideal fit for the job,” said Gary Selvy, executive director of state public policy for NFIB. “Our main educational mission for the 77 years of our existence, and all that entails, is to instruct and remind state and federal policymakers that small businesses are not smaller versions of big businesses and do not always benefit — and are more often harmed — from one-size-fits-all laws, rules, and regulations. As a small-business owner herself, Ronda fundamentally understands that, and, given her grassroots organizing abilities, can drive home the point with more emphasis.”

A native Montanan, Wiggers was raised on a farm in the heart of the state’s Golden Triangle. She attended the University of Montana, has held local elected offices, and is very active in her community.

“Since the time I first became actively involved in politics and policy,” said Wiggers, “NFIB has always had a stellar reputation in Montana, and I attribute that to the man I will be replacing. I’m honored to take the hand-off of the torch for Main Street, mom-and-pop enterprises that are the engine of every economy in the world. I’m looking forward to getting started working on small-business issues when the 2021 session of the Montana Legislature commences.”

Added Selvy, “It was with equal feelings of delight in getting someone of Ronda’s caliber to join our team and sadness in losing a great friend and mentor in Riley Johnson, who for 38 years has been the voice of small business in Montana. So much can be learned about someone in those unguarded moments, and when Riley and his fellow state directors would gather at a conference, I would always notice how they delighted in seeing him and valued his wise counsel on difficult issues they were dealing with back in their states.” 

NorthWestern Energy announced that it plans to include electric vehicles in the company’s fleet.

They also plan to make investments in the infrastructure to locate electric vehicle charging stations in the company’s Montana and South Dakota service territories.

The change is being made because “electric vehicles are efficient and the electricity we provide is about 60% carbon free,” explains Bob Rowe, CEO NorthWestern Energy. He said electric vehicles “are efficient and the electricity and fleet electrification is a good way to reduce carbon.  Electric vehicles will also help lower fuel and maintenance costs, making it a solid business decision.”

Rowe went on to explain, advances in electric vehicle technology and price drops make this the right time to begin making a transition to electric.

NorthWestern Energy’s fleet includes two electric power take-off bucket trucks, one in Huron, S.D. and the other in Billings, and a Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle in Bozeman, today.

Bozeman Division Manager Pat Patterson uses the Bolt EV, added to the fleet in August. The NorthWestern Energy Bozeman Service Center has a charging station that is available for public use.

“I’ve used it to go to NorthWestern Energy’s sites in Yellowstone National Park, a 240 mile round trip, and I had plenty of range,” Patterson said.

By 2030, NorthWestern Energy will replace 30% of light-duty class vehicles, about 100 cars and light trucks, with battery electric vehicles and plug-in electric hybrids. NorthWestern Energy will begin replacing vehicles and equipment at the end of its life with electric alternatives in 2021. By 2030, 20% of new medium and heavy-duty vehicles and 30% of new bucket trucks will be electric vehicles. All new forklifts replacements will be electric by 2030.

The Center Square

After previously suggesting that governments should be careful about reopening too quickly, the World Health Organization is now urging leaders not to use lockdowns as a primary means to curtail the spread of the coronavirus.

Dr. David Nabarro, a medical doctor who has worked for the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Director-General of the World Health Organization, told the British magazine, the Spectator, in a video interview that lockdowns should only be used as a last resort.

“We in the World Health Organization do not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of this virus,” Nabarro said.

Nabarro has been the WHO’s Special Envoy on COVID-19 since February. He told the Spectator’s Andrew Neil, “We really do appeal to all world leaders: stop using lockdown as your primary control method.”

“The only time we believe a lockdown is justified is to buy you time to reorganize, regroup, rebalance your resources, protect your health workers who are exhausted, but by and large, we’d rather not do it,” he said.

Nabarro added that ongoing and indefinite restrictions imposed on local, state and national governments by government officials are causing significant financial harm and negatively impacting the global economy.

“Lockdowns just have one consequence that you must never, ever belittle, and that is making poor people an awful lot poorer,” he said.

In May, the Trump administration announced the U.S. was “terminating” its relationship with the embattled WHO and freezing its funding, which has been to the tune of roughly $450 million every year.

“Because they have failed to make the requested and greatly needed reforms, we will be today terminating our relationship with the World Health Organization and redirecting those funds to other worldwide and deserving urgent global public health needs,” President Donald Trump told reporters at a Rose Garden event in March.

U.S. officials had raised concerns about the WHO’s mishandling of information about the virus over the last several months, about WHO officials allegedly ignoring Taiwan’s warnings about the virus, and about WHO officials who repeated claims made by Chinese officials that the virus could not be spread from person-to-person, among other issues.

St. John’s Foundation announced it has received a $50,000 Challenge donation from Stockman Bank in support of the Nursing Apprentice Fellowship program to help address the growing demand for nurses to meet the health care needs of Montanans. Stockman will match donations up to a total of $50,000.  

The Stockman Challenge gift will help St. John’s Foundation meet its fundraising goal for the Apprentice Fellowship program, which makes it possible for students to pursue a career in nursing, receive on-the-job training, and graduate free from tuition debt. St. John’s President and CEO David Trost observes, “Many nursing students I meet struggle accepting tuition assistance that requires work commitments. Our apprenticeship offers a graduate the freedom to seek employment in the specialty of their choice.”

 “Even though Montana has 14 schools accredited by the Montana Board of Nursing, we continue to experience a shortage of nurses and certified nursing assistants in our state,” said Bill Coffee, CEO of Stockman Bank. “As Montana’s premier community bank, we are committed to supporting the health and well-being of the communities we serve.  We are honored to be a part of this Apprentice Fellowship program which will play a key role in supporting the need for health care professionals in our region, especially for our growing population of older Montanans.”

The Apprentice Fellowship program launched this fall with five students enrolled as nursing students at Miles Community College, Montana State University – Billings, and City College – Billings. “Miles Community College is so appreciative of our strong partnership with St. John’s. The Apprentice Fellowship Program is a wonderful opportunity offered to students who work to build their education and skills, ranging from Certified Nursing Aid to Licensed Practical or Registered Nurse. Miles Community College has an outstanding Associate of Nursing Science (ASN) Registered Nursing (RN) program, and our partnership with St. John’s has allowed our nursing students to gain valuable clinical experiences at St. John’s facilities,” said Rita Kratky, Vice President of Academic Affairs for Miles Community College.

 The Fellowship provides college tuition payment, along with health care clinical work experience at St. John’s United for exceptional students pursuing LPN, RN, and BSN degrees. Apprentice–Fellows are free to work anywhere after completion of their degree and will have no repayment requirements to St. John’s United.   

How to Donate

Donations for the Nursing Apprentice Fellowship program may be sent by mail to The St. John’s Foundation at 2429 Mission Way – Billings, Montana 59102. Or, gifting may be completed online – GIVING@STJOHNSUNITE.ORG.

Be sure to indicate that your gift is for the Nursing Apprentice Fellowship program.