Montanans wonder why state bears brunt of Bakken waste

Whitford

More than a decade into the Bakken oil boom, the state of North Dakota, where the vast majority of the boom is concentrated, still does not have a single landfill licensed to accept radioactive oilfield waste.

Montana does. Oaks Disposal operates a landfill 26 miles northwest of Glendive that has taken in nearly 350,000 tons of oilfield waste of all kinds since it opened in 2013. Two other landfills that could accept radioactive waste, one near Outlook and one near Culbertson, have been licensed by the state of Montana but have not yet opened. Continue Reading →

Western Bar building bought, will become apartments

Bought

The building that once housed the old Western and Wheel bars, located side by side on the 2700 block of Minnesota Avenue, has been sold, and the new owners plan to convert it into residential apartments.

Jack English and Jeff Payne, principals of Illuminations Systems Inc., an electrical construction business in Denver that has an office in Billings, closed on the property in December and hope to start demolition on the building this summer. Continue Reading →

An energized Juneau prepares for big job in Seattle

Juneau

Her life’s work has been equity in education, and it’s that commitment that compelled Denise Juneau to make the difficult decision to leave Montana for the opportunity to lead Seattle’s public schools.

That move now imminent, Juneau said she’s focused on the goal of leading the Seattle Public Schools District as it brings to reality a broad community resolve to correct the wide achievement gap between its white and minority students. Continue Reading →

Voices from the Valley: Taylor Tellez

Tellez

Voices from the Valley is an occasional series of conversations between Sherri Cornett and Billings-area leaders who are committed to creating a vibrant community for all. 

As a master’s of education student at MSU Billings, Taylor Tellez’s main message is to be unapologetically yourself. He and I talked about identities and labels and the growing number of circles in Billings that support such discussions. Continue Reading →

City water treatment plant had discharge violations

Plant

As part of a project to expand and modernize the city’s wastewater treatment plant, failure to turn off several valves put the plant into noncompliance with state pollution-discharge limits for a short period in April.

The city informed the state Department of Environmental Quality of the violations a few days later, and the DEQ’s environmental compliance inspector in Billings, Dan Freeland, said the city is unlikely to be penalized for the incident. Continue Reading →