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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.

BUTTE - Butte’s Big M landmark on Big Butte won’t be lighted in the evenings for a while — after all the 120 bulbs were shot out over the weekend.

Montana Tech spokeswoman Amanda Badovinac said .22-caliber bullet casings were found on the ground at the base of the M, located on Butte’s North Side.

Art Anderson, director of the campus’ physical plant, said the lights were operating Friday evening. However, the campus received reports Saturday evening from the public that the lights were out.

Anderson said he suspected the lights were malfunctioning due to a common maintenance problem. However, crews, during a Monday morning inspection, discovered the bulbs had been shot.

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The college filed a police report Tuesday morning.

Anderson said the vandalism probably occurred Saturday afternoon or early evening.

The school will order 120 50-watt incandescent light bulbs and 120 globe covers to protect the bulbs. Anderson estimates it will cost about $2,400 for the parts and labor to replace the bulbs. It will be seven to 10 days before the bulbs and bulb covers arrive, Anderson said.

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