Inn business. Montana innkeepers posted the highest occupancy rates in the nation during June and July, keeping 84 percent of their rooms full. Higher lodging demand indicates a strong tourism year for the state. Bakken oil traffic helped, too.
Stronger foundation. The Montana State University Billings Foundation has doubled the amount of scholarships awarded over the past 10 years — despite the recession. Last year’s scholarships totaled $1.3 million, which helped 746 students pay for their education. Additionally, the foundation last year donated $900,000 to the MSU Billings library and other programs.
Pedestrian risk. After a spate of motor vehicle crashes involving pedestrians or bicyclists, Billings police called attention to the dangers of jaywalking, drivers failing to look for pedestrians and bikes, and bicyclists failing to follow rules of the road. Police report they are issuing more warnings and tickets for traffic violations this summer.
Fort Peck fraud. A scam that promised great returns to investors on a fictitious oil and gas drilling operation on the Fort Peck Reservation led to the arrest of six Californians. The alleged scammers contacted victims by email and phone and procured about $673,000 from dozens of people across the country, according to U.S. District Court records.