Laurel — Opportunity Link Inc. received a $1.5 million grant from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development this week. Under Executive Director Barb Stiffarm's leadership, the organization has turned into a first-class agency that helps poor people throughout the Hi-Line. North Central Montana Transit, green energy programs, weatherization efforts and the very effective Youth Build program to name a few have emanated from Opportunity Link.
Dart — Grizzly and Bobcat fans don't agree on much, but both sides are furious at ESPN 3. ESPN has the rights to all postseason football games. Montana and MSU's game next weekend will be broadcast on Internet-based ESPN 3, but is not offered by most Internet service providers in Montana. Rather than work with other stations in the state, ESPN has decided that fans won't have an opportunity to watch the games. That's bad publicity for ESPN, but officials there probably won't care if they offend Montanans.
Laurel — Over the years, Fresno Chapter of Walleyes Unlimited has provided lots of support to a host of area organizations. They now have donated $2,500 to the Havre Fire Department for new ice rescue equipment.
Laurel — District Judge Wayne Phillips has ordered a new trial for Barry Bech, the Poplar man convicted in a 1979 murder of a teenage girl. Over the years, lots of questions have been raised about the conduct of prosecutors in the case. The case has been the subject of a Dateline NBC piece that was critical of the justice system. A new trial will answer many of the questions.
Laurel — Tyson Foods Inc. has received some bad publicity in recent years, some of it well-deserved. But this week the company got some well-deserved good publicity. It donated 38,000 pounds of chicken to the Montana Food Bank Network. Food banks throughout Montana have faced some difficult times lately. This donation will help out agencies including the Havre Food Bank.
Laurel — Hill County has one of the highest diabetes rates in the state, in part, that is because of the near-epidemic of diabetes at Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation. The staff at Rocky Boy Fitness Center is doing its best to get people in good shape. Staying fit is one good way to avoid diabetes, and the reservation has a good program. Many of us promise ourselves that we will start exercising more and taking better care of ourselves. Most of us have a hard time following up on our promises. Rocky Boy has some good ideas about how to "encourage" exercising. Best of luck to them.