Ups and Downs:

2014-04-27T00:00:00Z Ups and Downs: The Billings Gazette
April 27, 2014 12:00 am


Special athletes. Billings welcomed more than 450 Special Olympics athletes and coaches on 28 teams for the Yellowstone Valley Area Games that concluded Saturday.


Local research. Gov. Steve Bullock was in town to present a state grant award of $95,500 to the St. Vincent Foundation to further research on Crohn’s disease. St. Vincent Healthcare and Montana State University Billings have partnered to research this inflammatory bowel disease that affects an estimated 3,000 Montanans.


Salty water. The latest research on groundwater contamination on the Fort Peck Reservation shows that brine ten times salty than sea water has spread across nearly 18 square miles. The brine plume, the result of half a century of oil development, forced the city of Poplar to get a new water system, which was completed in 2012.


Free ACT. Every Montana public school junior had an opportunity to take the ACT college entrance exam at no charge last week, thanks to a grant obtained by the Montana University System. The all-student testing provides important information to students and parents. It also gives Montanans a better picture of how well our schools are preparing students for post-secondary study.


Rail Delays. Rail delays prevented coal companies from getting their product to customers during the long winter. John Barr of Westmoreland Coal, which mines on the Crow Reservation, said BNSF has delivered less than 60 percent of the 100-car unit trains customers have demanded this winter.


Easter dinner. With the help of about 55 volunteers, Montana Rescue Mission served 600 plates of food on Easter Sunday. All were welcome for a free meal at the mission on Minnesota Avenue and more than 30 drivers delivered meals to shut-ins.

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