Laurel — Best of luck to Steve Bullock as he begins his four-year term as Montana governor. Bullock promises to carry on most of the policies of his predecessor, Brian Schweitzer, but perhaps with a little less showmanship. We hope the new governor can work at least on some issues with the state Legislature, even though they are at opposite ends of the political spectrum.
Dart — Federal regulators have decided that Exxon Mobil Corp. was responsible for making last year’s oil spill on the scenic Yellowstone River. Had Exxon Mobil responded quicker when the pipe that ran beneath the river ruptured, the spill wouldn't have been so bad. Exxon Mobil said it has learned from its mistakes and hopes it will be better prepared the next time. We hope there is not a next time, especially not in one of the most picturesque, pristine rivers in the world.
Laurel — The Havre Area Chamber of Commerce reported that its Gift Certificate Program and the Christmas Cash Program had a banner year, resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars staying in our community. There are lots of temptations for people to spend their Christmas money in Great Falls or Billings. These programs help assure that the money stays in our community, where it can do a lot of good for area businesses and employees.
Laurel — Devon Energy and Havre Pipeline employees did special Christmas shopping for 19 people — children and adults — who were working to leave abusive situations. Getting out of an abusive situation is an important step in restoring dignity to people who have been trapped by abusers. But it is only the first step. Victims need to return to normalcy. That’s tough to do in any case, but during the Christmas season, it is especially important. Victims can become despondent during this season. Having gifts, especially for children, is important to show victims that people care. The Devon Energy and Havre Pipeline folks along with the people at HRDC’s Domestic Abuse program helped some victims have a merry Christmas. Thanks.