General assignment reporter Mari Hall presents her five favorite stories of 2019.
I've spent most of my life in Billings. My family moved here when I was 4 years old and later I graduated from Skyview High School. When I left Billings to attend the University of Montana in Missoula, I drove away feeling as though I understood my hometown pretty well.
Even though I've only been with the Billings Gazette for about five months now, I've gotten to understand the city of Billings in new and unique ways.
I lived in the Heights most of my life and was stuck in my own little world. Now, as a reporter, I learn something new every day. I venture into scenes with officers, firefighters and emotional families and neighbors. I cover events full of new insights into other cultures, opinions, and viewpoints, and I attend meetings on Billings' inner workings of its government and city. I have come to realize that there is more to Billings than the quiet neighborhood I grew up in.
I hope to unravel more of what makes the city tick and cover stories that matter. The five stories I chose demonstrate some of that, with a story about a West End resident finding his home crushed by a boulder from the Rims, and a group of people from Ballantine helping homeowners repair hail storm damage before winter.
Steve Duganz and his wife woke up early Saturday morning to what sounded like an airplane crashing above them or a tree had fallen nearby.
During fire safety week at Washington Elementary School in Billings, young Robin DeCaso was proud to say that her dad was a Billings firefighter.
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In this Series
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- Gallery: Billings Gazette photographers' top photos of 2019
- Education reporter Matt Hoffman's favorite five stories of 2019
- Outdoors reporter Brett French's five favorite stories from 2019
- Billings city reporter Rob Rogers' five favorite stories of 2019
- Courts and crime reporter Phoebe Tollefson's top 5 stories from 2019
- Politics and agriculture reporter Tom Lutey's top 5 stories from 2019
- General assignment reporter Juliana Sukut's favorite stories of 2019
- Billings' top 5 weather events of 2019, ranked
- Flu cases rise in Yellowstone County; nearly equal cases of Influenza A and B