Laurel — Laramie Pursley has been crowned Miss Rodeo Montana. Pursley, a Chinook resident and Montana State University-Northern student, will embark on an exciting year of visiting rodeos throughout the state and some outside Montana. Rodeo is an important part of life in rural Montana, and we are glad that Pursley, who has ties to both Hill and Blaine counties, will represent the Hi-Line throughout the state.
Laurel — 130,000 Montanans have signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act — Obamacare. That is one of the highest per capita rates of any state. That confirms the long-held belief that many Montanas need health care but have been unable to get it. Say what you will about the law, it means that 13,0000 people and their health-care providers will be better off.
Dart — Federal regulators have not come forward saying they will be delighted to adhere to requests from Sens. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., that increased inspections be undertaken to ensure safety for trains and tracks in order to prevent further derailments that are happening with increased frequency. Regulators ought to be ready to see that such derailments don’t occur again. We in Havre should be especially concerned and particularly grateful to Rockefeller and Wyden for their work on the safety issues and particularly upset that the regulators haven't been more responsive.
Laurel — Opportunity Link Inc. and Vibrant Futures worked together to prepare an application so the Hi-Line could be in the first set of communities to take part in President Barack Obama’s Promise Zones. The program would have opened the doors to many economic development activities. Five zones were tapped throughout the country, and unfortunately, this time, we were not selected. But federal officials have asked Opportunity Link to apply in the next round of applications later this year. We hope the next application will be successful.
Spare us the cry that this is another federal handout program. The Hi-Line is entitled to take part in programs that can help us lift ourselves up by our bootstraps.