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Big M on Big Butte
Bullet holes can be seen in this bulb on the Big M on Big Butte in this photo taken April 12. The college estimates it will cost about $2,400 for the parts and labor to replace the 120 shot-out bulbs.

The Big M will shine once again after being dark for two weeks.

Maintenance workers on Tuesday replaced the bulbs after most of the 120 lights were shot out around April 9.

Ken Palmer, employed with Tech's physical plant, said the destruction also shorted the M's entire lighting system. Palmer expected the lights should be on again by Tuesday or Wednesday evening.

The college ordered 120 50-watt incandescent bulbs and 120 globe covers; the estimated cost was about $2,400 for the parts and labor.

Also Tuesday, Montana Tech students cleaned around Big Butte as part of M Days. Some expressed dismay about the destruction.

Robyn Fisher, 18, a freshman from Alberta, said the vandalism upset her.

"I was kind of mad, because my grandparents came to town and I wanted to show them the M, but the lights were out," Fisher said.

It also "ticked off" freshman Travis Fowler, 18, of Washington.

"I liked looking at them," Fowler said. "It's something that marks the city of Butte."

Reporter John Grant Emeigh may be reached via e-mail at