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The buy-sell agreement is signed and last week Scott Smith, president of Bob Smith Motors, sent off another application packet to Ford Motor Co.

The family has wanted to buy a Ford dealership for years and now needs Ford’s blessing to obtain the Beartooth Ford dealership in Hardin.

“We are naming it Bob Smith Ford after my father,” said Scott Smith. “With this, we’ll have a full lineup.”

The Billings dealership sells Lincoln, a luxury line, and Mazda and Mitsubishi imports. With the addition of Ford trucks and cars, the company will offer a full line of vehicles, Smith said.

Two of Bob Smith’s grandchildren, Robbie Smith and Dane Smith, will help run the Hardin store.

Bob Smith Motors is buying the Beartooth Ford dealership from Wes and Tonya House of Hardin.

"We want to take care of the town of Hardin,” he said. “By putting my father’s name on the building, we should accomplish that.”

Sheridan College center

High Tech Construction of Billings, which merged with KWN Construction of Sheridan six years ago, said work on a new academic center at Sheridan College is proceeding on schedule.

Last year, the Wyoming Legislature approved half the $15 million in funding to build a 35,000-square-foot Edward A. Whitney Academic Center that will connect with the current building. Whitney Benefits, a Sheridan-based educational nonprofit, paid the other half, according to Brian Bolton, KWN managing partner.

“We’re working toward enclosing the building, so we’re 25 percent complete,” he said.

The existing academic center will be renovated and a 60,000-square-foot parking lot constructed.

CTA Architects Engineers of Billings helped design the new center, which should be completed next July.

Wanna buy a mayorship?

Two Montana towns and one just over the state line in Wyoming are five of the towns featured for sale in a story on CNBC.

As already reported in The Billings Gazette, Garryowen has a $250,000 opening bid. Pray may be bought for $1.4 million. And Frannie, Wyo., is for sale for a starting bid of $330,000 or a “buy it now” price of $525,000.

Out and about

-- The building going up next to Shoe Carnival at Shiloh Crossing is in anticipation of a lease that hasn’t been finalized yet, said developer Steve Crossing.

Thus, no name of the future tenant will be revealed until all the ink is dry.

-- National Seating & Mobility Inc., which makes custom wheelchairs and other seating systems, has opened an office in the Billings Heights at 2018 Main St. The company is based in Franklin and Chattanooga, Tenn.

-- A California drug and alcohol recovery center has set up a novel recovery group to deal with the fear of being without a mobile phone or other techno gadgets.

Morningside Recovery Center calls the growing obsession “nomophobia.”

By the numbers

-- The North Dakota oil fields are so crazy busy now that airlines now offer two nonstop, daily flights from Minneapolis to Williston, N.D.

-- Watch out for those ATM fees, which are really starting to bite.

ATM surcharges hit a record high of $2.50 and using a competing bank’s machine can cost a record $4.07. Meanwhile, banks are raising fees on previously “free checking” accounts, according to

Scams du jour

The Federal Trade Commission is warning against scams involving fake phone book listings.

Watch out for callers asking for information to “confirm” your business listing. In a few weeks, you’ll be flooded with “invoices” of $500 or more for an order you never placed.

If you don’t pay, you are threatened with legal action. The scam is increasing and is hitting churches, not-for-profit groups and medium-sized businesses the hardest, according to the FTC and the Better Business Bureau.

Train your staff to watch out for this scam and inspect all your invoices. If your company gets taken, file a complaint with the FTC or BBB. Go to: or call 877-382-4357 or visit

Laugh lines

"I would prefer to allow a drunken surgeon to operate on my brain with a chainsaw than allow a computer to correct my grammar."

Source: Lost for Words: The Mangling and Manipulating of the English Language by John Humphrys



Business editor for the Billings Gazette.