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Falstad Column: PBS set to go over-the-air

Falstad Column: PBS set to go over-the-air

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Jan Falstad HAVE YOU HEARD

By summer, Billings-area residents will be able to enjoy Montana Public Broadcasting programming without paying for cable or a satellite dish. PBS will stay on cable and satellite, but viewers will also be able to get it for free.

Technicians must first install an antenna at KTVQ-TV (CBS affiliate) and a translator in Billings to carry PBS' Channel 20.

Montana PBS development director George Cole says fundraising for the project has been going well, but raising money always takes time. A major contribution arrived recently, fully funding the $500,000 project.

"In early February, we got a $200,000 check from the M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust," Cole says.

The trust gave an additional $98,500 to bring Montana PBS, based in Bozeman, to Butte.

The Butte project costs $225,000 or half as much as the Billings effort, in part because it uses a smaller translator.

Billings PBS will lease studio space and produce some local programming in a partnership with KTVQ. Butte won't be producing shows at first, Cole says.

Joe Sample of Billings also donated $150,000 to the local PBS project, Cole says. The rest of the fundraising took place in living rooms and offices around town.

"It's great news. We're very pleased, very happy," Cole says. "Billings has been great to work with."

More rich, more famous? Advocates of the big wide-open in Montana won't like this news.

The already high real-estate prices in and around Bozeman are probably going higher.

The famous Sotheby's International Realty, which bills itself as "the world's leading luxury real estate broker" is getting into the Gallatin Valley land game.

The Bridaham Collection of Bozeman has signed a contract with Sotheby's International Realty to market Bozeman area properties.

Vivian Bridaham of Bozeman started The Bridaham Collection in 1995 to sell fine art and fine land.

Sotheby's already has several real estate offices in Wyoming, including in Jackson Hole.

Photographer 'rich' Sure, the letter hails from Spain, but it could still be true, right?

A staff photographer who came to my desk laughing, tossed a letter down saying he'd won the "Loteria Primitiva," an "international lottery" based in Madrid, Spain. He and 16 other luckies had won E 5,368,770 or millions in Euros.

The letter contained plenty of ticket numbers, official looking stamps and lots of tempting prizes with lots of zeros.

Just before the photographer made a down payment on a herd of horses for his daughter, came the clincher - a request to send personal information to pay the tax clearance fees to receive the "prize."

This is another chapter in an all-too-familiar scam. There, of course, is no prize.

Laugh lines Lexophiles' delight.

"What is the definition of a will?"

"It's a dead giveaway."

Courtesy: The Internet

Jan Falstad can be contacted at (406) 657-1306 or at jfalstad@billingsgazette.com

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