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After opening the downtown Soup & Such in 2008, Mike and Antonia Craighill decided to open a nearby cupcake business called Velvet.

The former Prairie Blossoms gift and antique store at 225 N. Broadway that closed in June will reopen soon, giving Antonia a retail outlet for her lifelong love of baking.

“Cupcakes are a huge thing right now, but I love baking,” she said.

The new store is in the same G.W. building as Soup & Such, with Global Village in between, so the Craighills can carpool to work and run two nearly side-by-side businesses.

Of the 15 types of cupcakes planned, seven will be in the velvet family, meaning they have chocolate.

She has named her red velvet cupcake the Scarlett O’Hara and her black tuxedo velvet mixture is James Bond. Her more adventurous recipes include caramel popcorn cupcakes and Mountain Dew and Doritos cupcakes.

The cupcakes will sell for $3.25. Craighill also will bake and serve cakes, pies, cookies and cinnamon rolls, some with a twist.

“I can’t just make the normal cinnamon rolls. I also have to make orange cranberry or blueberry lemon caramel rolls,” she said.

The couple opened their first Soup & Such on Main Street in the Heights and operated that business for six years until they lost their lease last March. Enough Heights customers transferred their business downtown that sales have been “fabulous,” Antonia said.

Airport screening

Billings Logan International Airport is just about done with expanding its security screening area. But don’t go look for the new people and luggage scanners just yet.

Assistant airport director Kevin Ploehn said the $200,000 expansion project began in mid-August and is almost complete, save the Transportation Security Administration’s new screening equipment.

“We’ll have two full-body scanners and TSA officials are thinking of providing us three of the rapid scan screening luggage scanners like Bozeman has,” he said.

The new generation scanners can inspect luggage from different directions.

But the planned fall start date may not happen and there’s no sense is changing out security screeners during the hectic holiday travel season, Ploehn said.

“They’re shooting for Nov. 1, but I’m not sure they are going to make that because there is a software issue with the new machines,” he said. “Could be first of the year.”

The $200,000 expansion price tag does not include the equipment, whose costs Ploehn did not know.

Disappearing act

A local job seeker ran across a full-page Craigslist ad recently advertising for “punctual, very outgoing” and “no drama” females to work at a topless coffee shop in Billings.

The ad said someone, who wasn’t identified, was opening a shop called Grand View and needed to hire three or four “girls” ASAP. The “girls” are encouraged “to go to school” while they work, the ad said.

When The Gazette left an email message for more information, the ad was taken down.

Out and about

The Limber Tree Yoga Studio opened downtown last week at 212 N. 29th St.

The six Lewistown properties seized after local businessman Richard Young was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison for stealing more than $16 million from some 1,400 victims will be auctioned off soon. Young and co-defendant William Willard of Bozeman, who ran Global One Group, were convicted of online investment fraud.

The properties may be viewed during open houses Sunday and Sept. 30, and the auction will be held Oct. 2. Young had to forfeit $500,000 in his bank account, four Lewistown houses and a towing company, according to the federal government.

The auction funds will go to the U.S. Treasury Asset Forfeiture Fund and be used for law enforcement and crime victim restitution. To learn more, go to www.treas.gov/auctions/treasury/rpa and click on “upcoming auctions” or call 703-273-7373.

After 12 years in business, the Boothill Inn & Suites at Main Street and Airport Road was named No. 1 out of 43 local hotels by Trip Advisor last month. The ranking was based on guest comments.

Scams du jour

Longtime Billings city employee and South Side community activist Marion Dozier said she received an email claiming, “An incoming wire transfer has been received by your financial institution and the funds deposited to account.”

The message asked her to click on an Internet link. No company name or physical address was given. Dozier deleted it.

“Looks like another scam. I don’t and won’t do any banking by computer,” she said.

Laugh lines

My doctor tried kidnapping for awhile, but nobody could read his ransom notes.

A cop pulls a woman over and says, “Let me see your driver’s license, Lady.”

She replied, “I wish you people would get it together. One day you take my license away and the next day you ask me to show it.”

Source: “A Prairie Home Companion Pretty Good Joke Book.”

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Business editor for the Billings Gazette.