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McClatchy-Tribune  08/10/2014 10:45 AM ET
Billings Gazette, Mont., Have You Heard column [Billings Gazette, Mont. :: ]

Aug. 10--Bobcat fans can now show their school pride at First Interstate Bank -- and get in line for some sweet deals at Montana State University.

Billings-based First Interstate Bank announced last week a new program, Bobcat Banking, which allows members to upgrade debit cards and checks with the MSU logo and receive discounts on bank products.

Bobcat Banking costs $15 annually and allows members breaks on check orders, loan fees and MSU apparel sold at Universal Athletic locations. They are eligible for free tickets to Bobcat football and basketball games.

The partnership is overseen by Bobcat Sports Properties, an associate of Texas-based Learfield Sports.

First Interstate Bank is a $7.7 billion bank with 74 branches in Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota.

Home closing costs rising

The average cost to close a home sale in Montana has risen $45 since 2013 but remains below the national average, financial publication Bankrate.com reported last week.

Montana's average closing cost for 2014 is $2,491, up 1.8 percent from $2,446 last year, according to New York-based Bankrate.

The closing costs are based on estimates for a $200,000 mortgage from up to 10 lenders. The national average this year is $2,539.

Montana has the 32nd least-expensive closing costs, just behind South Carolina. Texas, Alaska and New York have the highest costs, while Nevada, Tennessee and Missouri are the cheapest. Wyoming is ranked 24th.

Nationwide, mortgage closing costs have increased 6 percent compared to last year, largely because of new mortgage regulations, according to Bankrate.

The costs include appraisals, credit reports, inspections and broker and lending fees.

Stock sale closes

A Belgrade-based medical products manufacturer has closed its public offering of common stock after raising $5.8 million to expand its sales force and increase inventory.

Bacterin International Holdings announced last week that it had completed the sale of 1.143 million shares at $5.70 each and warrants to purchase an additional 571,500 share at $7.12 each.

The sale lasted from July 31 to Aug. 6.

Bacterin develops and manufactures bone graft material and coatings for medical applications. The company's products have been used for spine surgery fusions; relief for back pain; and bone regeneration in feet, ankles, knee joints and the cranium.

Haikus from the valley

Cows, sheep, horses, lambs

Cotton candy, corn dogs, rides

MontanaFair time

 

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