Assault charge against Rep. Molnar dropped in 1996

A look back at Laurel History: February 4, 2021
Compiled By Kathleen Gilluly
Thursday, February 4, 2021
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Photo of the Laurel High School wrestling ream taken by Lowell’s Fotos about 1963.

25 years ago Feb. 7, 1996

An assault charge against state Rep. Brad Molnar has been dropped because the person who made the complaint cannot be located to testify in the case. “The alleged victim no longer lives in Montana and thus is not subject to a subpoena by the State of Montana to return to testify against Mr. Molnar in the misdemeanor case,” said Yellowstone County Attorney Dennis Paxinos in a press release. But while the charges have been dropped against Molnar, who pleaded not guilty at his arraignment, the two-term legislator is still hot about the episode. “Nobody (from the county) ever asked me anything (before filing charges). They took the unsubstantiated charges of a kid facing child endangerment charges himself, and then he left the state,” he remarked. “This never had a chance to go to court,” Molnar added.

After bitter cold, the mercury in local thermometers bounced up faster than a bungee jumper at the end of his rope over the weekend. Temperatures dipped as low at 30 degrees below zero last week in Laurel and the surrounding area. According to the National Weather Service, the official record low for the Billings area for Feb. 2 was tied at 28-below. Two days later, though temperatures were in the 30’s. And they’re expected to rise into the 50’s through Friday before dipping back to the more seasonable 40’s, Meteorologist Tom Humphrey said. The bitter cold caused a few hardships in Laurel. One neighborhood was without water for a few hours Thursday and people endured low water pressure all day after frost heaves caused a water main to break near Colorado Avenue and Third Street. The city became aware of the problem Wednesday evening, but the severe cold force it to postpone primary repairs until the next morning.

The birth of Kane Louis Thatcher was announced.


50 years ago Feb. 10, 1971

Laurel motorists could very well be rated “A” for exercising careful driving habits during the recent cold weather spell, which has created hazardous driving conditions. The heavy snows, which invaded the area last week created a problem for highway drivers. The local wrecker service reported an increase in calls to assist persons who had driven too close to the shoulder and were pulled into the ditch.

In justice court, Greg Branstetter, 17, of Laurel had his car impounded and his driver’s license held for 10 days for speeding; and William Staudinger, 16, Laurel, was assessed $15 for a like charge.

Doug Easton, son of Mr. and Mrs. G.R. Easton, of Laurel, and a senior at Eastern Montana College in Billings, is among 13 EMC students and two directors who will leave April 14 on a sixweek long USO tour of Newfoundland, Labrador, Greenland and Iceland. The group will present the play, “Where’s Charlie?” by George Abbott, plus a variety show to military personnel stationed at bases in the four countries on the tour route.


75 years ago Feb. 6, 1946

New 1946 Hudson automobiles, now being shown by George H. Smith, proprietor of Smith’s Super Service, exhibit postwar advances in exterior and interior styling, mechanical efficiency and ease of operation. Declaring that the new models fully meet the demand for better cars for better driving, Smith said that deliveries will be made as rapidly as possible and those placing the first orders will get the first cars. Mr. and Mrs. Harry Niese,

Mr. and Mrs. Harry Niese, formerly of Red Lodge where they operated a park service, have purchased the Hiway apartments on East Main street from J.A. Henderson and Joseph McClellan. Mr. and Mrs. Henderson, who had lived here several years while in charge of the apartment house have gone to Billings to reside. The new proprietors of the Laurel property have had extensive experience, derived from their several years of operating tourist cabins and a wholesale and retail station at Red Lodge. They recently sold their interests there. Henderson said he regretted to sell, but considered the move necessary because of Mrs. Henderson’s health.

The Locomotives played heads up basketball to beat Carbon county 38 to 28 on the local court Friday night before a capacity crowd of 1,200. It was the first defeat for the Red Lodge team this season and evened the series between the two teams after Carbon had won a close 36 to 35 decision at home.

After slightly more than four years of service in the marine corps, Clarence Robert Behm, son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Behm, received his discharge last week and returned home Sunday. He enlisted Jan. 27, 1942, and began his first tour of the Pacific at Pearl Harbor. After two years, in which he participated in many of the engagements where the corps was the spear-head, he returned to the States and spent several months. On his second tour he would up in Japan.

T-5 Richard D. Whittaker of Laurel is one of 1,009 army veterans returning to the States for discharge. He is aboard the U.S.S. Westmoreland, an attack transport of the “Magic Carpet” fleet. The ship left Pearl Harbor Jan. 26 and was scheduled to arrive in San Pedro about Feb. 1. The Westmoreland carried both troops and cargo as a unit of the Navy’s supply fleet which support the U.S. offensive throughout the Pacific war.

Mrs. Amos Flood substituted for the primary teacher at the Trewin school several days last week, while the teacher, Mrs. Kirkwood was recovering from injuries sustained in a bus accident.


100 years ago Feb. 9, 1921

Smallpox patients in the vicinity of Byam have so far recovered that school began Monday following a two weeks vacation which was advised to protect the health of the community.

Otto Bundy has a new fiveroom bungalow under construction for his home. It will have a full basement and be modern throughout.

William McLaren of the car shops went to Billings during the past week and secured his final citizenship papers. O.M. Wold and E.L. Fenton were his witnesses. Walter Libecap returned last

Walter Libecap returned last week from Ohio where he had been called on account of the illness and death of his mother. Mr. Libecap investigated business conditions to an extent while in Ohio, which he found to show a slight improvement over the recent depression. Among matters occupying the attention of the people at the present time, he said, is an agitation against the use of tobacco, and from present indications the movement appears to have considerable support.


The Laurel Outlook


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