Most talked about Billings Gazette stories

Scheels donates $333K to YMCA

billingsgazette.com — The Billings Family YMCA got a massive boost Thursday in its efforts to renovate many of its facilities with a third of the $1 million they need in a donation from Scheels. "To partner with a company whose mission is so closely aligned with what we do, which is get people out, active and healthy, it's just fantastic," said Tina Postel, CEO of the Y.

Downtown robbery attempt nets 5-year sentence

billingsgazette.com — A man convicted of trying to rob a woman while she waited in a downtown Burger King drive-through last year will spend three years with the Montana Department of Corrections. District Judge Mary Jane McCalla Knisely on Thursday sentenced Cyril James Medicine Elk, 28, to five years with DOC with two years suspended.
Dec 18, 2014

Downtown robbery attempt nets 5-year sentence: A man convicted of trying to rob a woman while she waited in a ... bit.ly/1GVMRe7

2 hit while crossing street in front of YMCA

billingsgazette.com — Medical crews treated two people who were hit while trying to cross the street in front of the Billings Family YMCA, 402 N. 32nd St., on Thursday morning. Both were transported by ambulance to a Billings hospital, said Billings Police Department Sgt. Jay Berry.
Dec 18, 2014

Lots of news popping over here in the Gaz popcorn popper of haps. @bgcioffi bgz.tt/bvqr3

Retrospective: 20 Years of Chase Hawks

billingsgazette.com — On Sept. 4, 1994, 6-year-old Chase Hawks was killed after being struck by a vehicle east of Billings while riding his bicycle. His family and friends started the Chase Hawks Memorial Association shortly after, and held the first Chase Hawks Memorial Rough Stock Invitational Rodeo in December of 1995.

Jury finds Williston man guilty in rancher's death

billingsgazette.com — MINOT, N.D. - A Minot jury has found a Williston man guilty in the May 2013 killing of a local hobby rancher. 33-year-old Ryan Stensaker was convicted Wednesday after a jury of six men and six women deliberated for less than three hours.
Dec 18, 2014

Jury finds Williston man guilty in rancher's death: MINOT, N.D. — A Minot jury has found a Williston man guilt... bit.ly/13gWas2

TEDxBillings is back for Jan. 10 event

billingsgazette.com — Half of the 100 tickets are already gone to the TEDxBillings 2015 event on Jan. 10 at the Billings Public Library. Speakers include Will Bruder, the architect and designer of the new library speaking on "Defining Place: Celebrating Context and Community."

Rob O'Neill may have killed bin Laden, but didn't take out gangster intruders

billingsgazette.com — BUTTE - Butte Police Commissioner Bartholomew S. Harrington is a wanted man in these parts. Too bad neither the position nor the man exist. A satirical story about Rob O'Neill posted on the Internet has prompted everyone from Associated Press reporters to Louisiana law enforcement officers to call local authorities for information.
Dec 18, 2014

RT @billingsgazette: Rob O'Neill may have killed bin Laden, but didn't take out gangster intruders bgz.tt/be9y2 pic.twitter.com/sHXdJdxRQk

Montana Cuban-Americans overjoyed that U.S. will resume relations with Cuba

billingsgazette.com — Miriam Avery drives a black Cadillac CTS-V with a license plate that reads "Cubana" and another vehicle with a license plate that reads "Havana1." As a Cuban-American living in Billings, she's proud of her heritage. On Wednesday, about the time President Barack Obama announced plans to re-establish diplomatic relations between the U.S.
Dec 18, 2014

Cuban-Americans in Mont. share thoughts with @Nick_Balatsos & @c_sjohnson on re-opening diplomatic lines w/ Cuba bgz.tt/ae5si

Billings man sentenced for fatal Fort Benton stabbing

billingsgazette.com — GREAT FALLS - A Billings man who acknowledged stabbing another man to death during a fight at a Fort Benton bar has been sentenced to 20 years in prison. Casey Carlos was sentenced Wednesday to 30 years in prison with 12 suspended for the deliberate homicide charge.
Dec 18, 2014

Billings man sentenced for fatal Fort Benton stabbing: GREAT FALLS — A Billings man who acknowledged stabbing ... bit.ly/13CS7qP

Rockslide damages power poles Wednesday night

billingsgazette.com — A rockslide sent boulders the size of cars tumbling down from the Rims on Wednesday night, damaging power lines on Mountain View Boulevard and closing access to the road. Billings Fire Department, Billings Police Department and NorthWestern Energy responded to the scene above the Montana State University-Billings campus a little after 9 p.m.

Markus Kaarma guilty in German exchange student's killing

billingsgazette.com — MISSOULA - A jury of eight women and four men found Markus Kaarma guilty Wednesday of deliberate homicide in the April shooting death of Diren Dede, following more than eight hours of deliberation. Kaarma, 30, was charged with deliberate homicide following the April 27 incident.
Dec 17, 2014

Markus Kaarma guilty in German exchange student's killing: MISSOULA — A jury of eight women and four men found... bit.ly/1AqeF8q

Dec 17, 2014

Markus Kaarma guilty in German exchange student's killing bgz.tt/8drsa

Normalized Cuban trade a plus for Montana farmers

billingsgazette.com — Montana farmers were watching closely as President Barack Obama announced plans Wednesday to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba. Shortly after Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro announced the policy shift, the U.S. Department of Agriculture was declaring normalized relations a positive step for agriculture trade. Cuba was a top buyer of U.S.

Charter planning to hire 100 new workers in Billings

billingsgazette.com — Charter Communications is seeking to hire 100 new employees in Billings, primarily in sales and customer retention, company officials announced Wednesday. Entry-level jobs would start at about $35,000 and include training, benefits, incentive pay and free cable and Internet service, said Brian Anderson, the company's director of regional communications.
Dec 17, 2014

.@governorbullock on hand today when @charter announced it's adding workers in #Billings. bgz.tt/c102r pic.twitter.com/YHDtHOYa8P

Helena Cuban-American overjoyed that U.S. will resume relations with Cuba

billingsgazette.com — HELENA - A Cuban-American man living in Helena was overcome with joy Wednesday by President Barack Obama's announcement that the U.S. is re-establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba. "I'm in tears," Jorge Quintana said. "What do you do when your dreams come true?" He called Wednesday a historic day.
Dec 17, 2014

Cuban-American man in Helena praises president for re-establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba.#mtnews bit.ly/1sHkOxY

Ex-University of Great Falls student sentenced to prison for student aid fraud

billingsgazette.com — A former University of Great Falls student will spend six months in federal prison for his role in a fraud involving his parents to get student aid. U.S. District Judge Brian Morris on Wednesday sentenced Brenden James Leischner, 24, now of Indio, Calif., to five years of probation, including six months of custody, and ordered $82,237 restitution to the U.S.
Dec 17, 2014

Ex-University of Great Falls student sentenced to prison for student aid fraud: A former University of Great F... bit.ly/1AqJOse

Inmate dies at Montana State Prison of illness

billingsgazette.com — DEER LODGE - The Montana Department of Corrections says a 74-year-old inmate has died after an extended illness. The agency says Eugene S. Corley died Tuesday at the Montana State Prison. Corley was sentenced out of Lewis and Clark County for the driving under the influence. He was scheduled to be released next March.
Dec 17, 2014

Inmate dies at Montana State Prison of illness: DEER LODGE — The Montana Department of Corrections says a 74-y... bit.ly/1AdGCBV

Jurors reach verdict in the Markus Kaarma case

billingsgazette.com — MISSOULA - Jurors have reached a verdict in the murder case against a Missoula man who shot to death a German high school exchange student who was trespassing in his garage. Their decision will be announced at about 1:15 p.m., or once all parties have returned to the courtroom.
Dec 17, 2014

RT @billingsgazette: BREAKING: Jurors reach verdict in the Markus Kaarma case, will announce about 1:30 bgz.tt/2iexm pic.twitter.com/pflFEhZOuc

Pair charged after fleeing North Dakota undercover drug buy

billingsgazette.com — WILLISTON, N.D. - Two Washington residents have been charged with multiple felonies in western North Dakota after attempting to outrun authorities following an undercover drug buy. 28-year-old Ole Christman of Liberty Lake, Wash., and 23-year-old Natalie Clifton of Spokane Valley, Wash., are facing drug charges.
Dec 17, 2014

Pair charged after fleeing North Dakota undercover drug buy: WILLISTON, N.D. — Two Washington residents have b... bit.ly/1J3g6PK

Butte mom awaits trial while others in meth ring take plea deals

billingsgazette.com — BUTTE - About half of the co-conspirators in a $2 million methamphetamine ring throughout Montana have accepted plea deals. A Butte woman accused of playing an integral role in the trafficking has yet to opt for a plea and is set for a March trial in federal court.
Dec 17, 2014

Butte mom awaits trial while others in meth ring take plea deals: BUTTE — About half of the co-conspirators in... bit.ly/1BYg72L