A week of ups and downs

A week of ups and downs

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Sunday, October 31, 2004

Ups and Downs gives a quick take on news of the week.

Up - Zoo Drive resort. The planned $20-million-plus Bighorn Resort and indoor water park will enhance Billings' appeal as a recreation center for visitors and residents.

Down - Electric jolt. Former State Sen. John Harp, a major sponsor of the Montana Power Co.'s deregulation legislation in 1997, said last week he was "hoodwinked" by MPC. Now he tells us. The creditors committee Harp heads filed suit against Goldman Sachs & Co. and the Wall Street law firm Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, alleging they conspired with MPC to pass the legislation to break up the company.

Down - Last-minute mud. Signs that negative campaigning was in high gear: Democrats' fliers tarring political newcomer Weldon Birdwell for alleged failings of the GOP and a Republican TV ad using Bob Brown's cousin to sling allegations at Democrat Brian Schweitzer.

Up - Lunch upgrade. Kudos to Deaconess Billings Clinic, St. Vincent Healthcare and the concerned citizens who have formed Billings Action for Healthy Kids. The group is taking aim at the problems of childhood obesity with plans to focus on healthier nutrition and physical activity for local children.

Up - West End welcome. Billings City Council moved ahead with good community planning, adopting a long-debated and revised Shiloh Overlay District to promote consistent standards for attractive commercial development in the corridor that includes the planned Bighorn Resort.

Up - Vaccine booster. Thanks to Stillwater Mining Co.'s donation of flu vaccine to area medical clinics, 540 more people at high-risk for flu complications will get immunized this season.

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