Dart — Judge G. Todd Baugh of Billings ought to try working at McDonald’s during the lunch hour. The judge has his foot in his mouth so often he will soon have athlete’s tongue. This time, he told a defendant who’d pleaded guilty to vandalism that in order to pay his restitution, he should give up his fast-food employment and “get a real job.” Fast-food workers have one of the toughest jobs around. They have to deal with angry customers who are in a hurry, uninspired co-workers, equipment that doesn’t work and supervisors who expect a lot for very little pay. Maybe the judge should have told the defendant’s employer to pay him a decent wage. That would have helped the defendant pay off his fine a little faster.
Laurel — Montana Range Days is over for this year. It once again was a success. It will most likely be some time before Range Days returns to Havre, but it was great having this program, which provides tremendous educational opportunities close to home for young people on the Hi-Line.
Laurel — Gov. Steve Bullock released information on how many oil trains BNSF Railway Co. routes through Montana every day. The federal government required the railroad to provide the information to states. The Associated Press wanted to see the info. Some states provided the information, others balked, saying it might be confidential. Bullock said Montana’s Open Records Act required the information be available to the public. Anyone can find out how many oil trains pass through the area by standing at trackside and counting. Bullock has made it easier for everyone to have the public information at their fingertips.
Dart — The Fort Assinniboine substation of NorthWestern Energy keeps causing power failures. This week, a problem at the station threw the entire Hi-Line — Glasgow to Chester — into darkness. This is hardly the first time. Such outages cause problems for everyone and economic hardships for many, NorthWestern Energy ought to look into the problems here.