Ups and Downs:

2014-08-03T00:00:00Z Ups and Downs: The Billings Gazette
August 03, 2014 12:00 am

Farmer’s bequest. Paul Metzger’s generosity will support local health care for generations. A retired farmer and successful investor, Metzger passed away in May, bequeathing $19 million to Billings Clinic and $19 million to St. Vincent Healthcare. The hospitals put the money into their foundation endowments. The Metzger bequest represents the largest gift ever received by either hospital.

Spice in Billings. Synthetic drugs known as “spice” or “bath salts” can be extremely dangerous to use, yet they have grown in popularity. Billings police last week reported getting search warrants for local businesses and “seizure of extensive evidence supporting sale of these substances.”

Big-draw McGraw. Country music star Tim McGraw performed at Rimrock Auto Arena before a crowd of nearly 9,000 fans.

Committee commitment. By setting up three committees, Billings school trustees probably are upgrading board efficiency. More importantly, the trustees have established working relationships and a level of trust that allows them to try new ideas to improve our schools.

Leadership gap. Billings is one of four Indian Health Service regional offices running with acting directors. The extensive changes needed in IHS won’t happen with temporary leadership, as Sen. Jon Tester pointed out in a letter to Sylvia Burwell, secretary of Health and Human Services.

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