Randy Hafer

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Third candidate, Bill Cole, announces run for mayor


Billings lawyer Bill Cole is now the third announced candidate hoping to replace Mayor Tom Hanel in the city election this fall. He joins architect Randy Hafer and state legislator Jeff Essmann, both of whom announced their candidacies in the past couple of weeks. Hanel is nearing the end of his second term as mayor, and under the City Charter, the mayor and City Council members are limited to two consecutive terms. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Interest already high in upcoming Billings city election


With three days to go before candidates can file to run in Billings municipal races, it’s already shaping up to be an unusually interesting election year. Architect Randy Hafer became the first person to throw his hat in the ring, announcing earlier this month that he intends to run for mayor. The mayor’s race is wide open because Tom Hanel, having served two consecutive terms, can’t run again this year. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Some fear BNSF decision may derail downtown development


Last spring, Maisie Sulser Handley and her husband, Michael Handley, thought they were close to completing their purchase of the old Mintana Mills warehouse on Minnesota Avenue at South 26th Street. Sulser Handley had recently left her job with an architectural firm so she and her husband, a contractor, could start a new business, Restôr Design + Build. They wanted to focus on projects that involved historic preservation, renovation and downtown redevelopment. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Community 7 TV show takes a look at downtown living


It can be hard to describe or quantify what makes Billings, with its vast and varied interests, so great. That’s why, in June of 2015, my co-host Dianne Parker and I were excited to help Community 7 Television launch a new television program that explores several of the Magic City’s unique characteristics. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Off-the-grid house nearly done, tours offered this week


Walking up to his new house a few blocks from downtown Billings, Randy Hafer apologizes for the tall weeds in the dirt surrounding the home. “The focus has not been on the outside of the house,” he says. That’s understandable. On the inside, the house is so advanced that there is nothing like it in Montana, and not many like it in the whole country. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Most of the pieces are in place for downtown co-op bookstore


Step by step, plans for a cooperative bookstore in downtown Billings are moving forward. Last week, the project got a certificate of filing from the Montana secretary of state, which allows it to begin selling stock for the venture. Organizers have commitments for more than $24,000 worth of stock and can now begin invoicing to collect on those pledges, said Carrie La Seur, one of three initial board members selected at a recent general meeting of the Billings Bookstore Cooperative. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Minnesota Avenue Open Air Market debuts Saturday


Tammy Fletcher is a woman with a lot of energy and a lot of ideas. She and her wife, Melody Fletcher, have been running their business, For the Funk of It, on Minnesota Avenue for the past five months, and they have a food truck, Flaming Ladies Barbecue. On the side, they have a commercial cleaning business. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Touche! ‘Community space’ planned for Minnesota Ave.


Bryan Stafford, director of the Big Sky Fencing Association—think swords, not cattle—had one small goal in mind when he approached the Montana Rescue Mission last year. His fencing club needed a new space to practice and compete, and he knew that MRM owned a huge, almost entirely vacant complex of connected buildings on Minnesota Avenue. His plans grew more expansive after he toured the buildings with Mission Director Perry Roberts. (more…) Continue Reading →

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One-of-a-kind house: In the city, off the grid


When Randy and Janna Hafer finish their house on the North Side of Billings sometime next year, it won’t look all that different from other houses in the neighborhood. There will be one noticeable difference, though — the 23-foot-high wind turbine on the corner of their lot at North 23rd Street and Seventh Avenue North. (more…) Continue Reading →

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