From the editor’s desk

By 
Kathleen Gilluly
Laurel Outlook Editor And General Manager
Thursday, September 16, 2021
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I’ve been remiss in not officially welcoming Jaci Webb to our staff at the Outlook. Truthfully, I am a bit intimidated by her impressive resume, but I know the stories she’s written and will write will be a great addition to the paper and popular with our readers.

Most of you probably know Jaci from her years at The Billings Gazette, where she covered a variety of arts and entertainment, as well as writing interesting feature stories and insightful community profiles. During those years, she covered my mom, MSUB Professor Sue Hart, and our family on several occasions, most notably after my mom’s death seven years ago. I remember being so glad my sister, Mary, had contacted Jaci about my mom’s passing; I knew she would do my mom justice, just as I know she’ll pursue stories in Laurel, Joliet and Park City that will resonate with readers. Welcome Jaci!

Regarding the parking situation on 3rd Ave., in Laurel: It’s too bad something couldn’t have been worked out between building owner, Leslie Atkins, and the City of Laurel. But, I trust the parking problems will eventually be remedied. Unfortunately, at this point, after lots of name calling and finger pointing, I doubt the City will be open to negotiating.

On the TIFD funds: Recently a business owner who has used funds distributed through the Laurel Urban Renewal Agency board told me he is very upset at the decision by Laurel’s City Council to not grant monies requested through the program and approved by the board. He said his taxes have gone up thanks to the improvements he was able to make—and he doesn’t mind because that’s the intent of the program. And, despite some councilors who have claimed the money belongs to the City to do with what they will, all the TIFD money came from additional taxes paid by the businesses in the district. It was theirs to begin with and they should be able to use it for the purpose of removing blight and increasing the tax base.

Finally, a shout out to a great little restaurant worth the two-hour drive to visit. The Jawbone in White Sulphur Springs, Montana offers one of the best fine dining experiences I have ever had. The food was exquisitely prepared and served, and the cocktails were epic. Visit the Jawbone after a long soak in the hot springs. Sit at the bar and you can watch the chef and cocktail artist at work. You won’t be disappointed. It’s at 11 E. Main St. in White Sulphur Springs, and it is open Thursday-Sunday 5-9:30 p.m.

Please, before going to the Jawbone, or anywhere else, get vaccinated! We all want to be done with COVID-19 and the fastest way to stop the spread, the overcrowding situation at healthcare facilities and unnecessary death and suffering is to immunize as many folks as possible. Even if your favorite talk show host or veterinarian columnist says otherwise, follow the health guidelines recommended by your doctor and medical professionals.

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