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Sunday, May 24th 2015
Associated Press Montana News Summary
Latest news, sports, business and entertainment
GREAT FALLS STABBING

Great Falls police investigate Great Falls fatal stabbing

GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) — A stabbing in Great Falls has resulted in one man dead and a woman in police custody.

Police say the stabbing occurred Friday night at an apartment complex.

An apartment manager reported that a tenant had told him she just stabbed her boyfriend, and responding police found a woman standing over the man when they arrived.

The man was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. His name was not immediately released.

But police say they took into custody 52-year-old Diana McClammy.

The incident remains under investigation.

-RIVER RECREATION

Western Montana's river lovers brace for early runoff

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — Rivers throughout western Montana could get lower than normal this summer, as an unusually low snowpack has melted away two or three weeks earlier than usual.

National Weather Service hydrologist Ray Nickless says rivers in the northwest corner of the state will especially see low flows if conditions don't change.

Nickless tells the Missoulian (http://bit.ly/1Eq2aJN) that some river levels already are close or even at the lowest point on record for this time of year.

He says the Yaak, Fisher, Thompson and St. Regis rivers are all at real low levels.

Nickless says the Clark Fork and Bitterroot river basins will see better flows because they had more snow.

Outfitters say now is a great time to get on the river for recreation and fishing is better now than normal.

MISSOULA RAPE-GUILTY PLEA

Missoula man pleads guilty to rape of university student

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — A Missoula man has pleaded guilty to raping and attacking a University of Montana student.

The Missoulian reports (http://bit.ly/1AlWzJz ) that 20-year-old Zachary Brennan Newbary accepted a plea deal with prosecutors that recommends 20 years in Montana State Prison with 12 years suspended.

Court documents say that the September assault began when the victim told Newbary she didn't want to have sex with him. They say he responded with obscenities, held her down and raped her.

Documents say the victim spent the entire night thinking Newbary was going to kill her.

She told police she managed to escape outside but Newbary jumped out the window, grabbed her hair and dragged her back inside before physically attacking her.

Officers found the victim bruised and swollen, sporting a chipped tooth.

Newbary's sentencing is set for September 3.

NEGLIGENT HOMICIDE-SENTENCING

Butte man gets 15 years for striking, killing pedestrian

BUTTE, Mont. (AP) — A Butte man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for negligent homicide.

The Montana Standard reports (http://bit.ly/1Q3jScP) that 28-year-old Lucas Virgil Hundley was driving high on methamphetamine in 2013 when he struck a 77-year-old pedestrian who later died from his injuries.

Bondsmen tried to take Hundley into custody in 2014, but he slipped out of his jacket and ran officer. Officers found him hiding in a crawl space.

Police found a baggie with meth residue inside his jacket and used a Taser to subdue him.

The sentencing says Hundley cannot be paroled until he completes a treatment program.

Hundley was also sentenced to five years in prison for assaulting a police officer and possession of dangerous drugs. That sentence will run concurrently with the homicide sentence.

MISTAKEN FOR WOLF

N. Idaho man says his dog was killed, mistaken for wolf

SANDPOINT, Idaho (AP) — A North Idaho man said his dog was shot on a Forest Service road last weekend by a teen who mistook the husky-malamute cross for a wolf.

The Spokane Spokesman-Review reports (http://is.gd/jU4g4R ) the dog later died. The same bullet struck Jim Rosauer's second dog, which survived.

Rosauer says the dogs had run ahead of him and his wife when they were hiking last Sunday afternoon on the snow-covered road to Spruce Lake, which is near the Montana border.

They saw a couple and their 19-year-old son about 180 yards away with a gun. The man apologized to Rosauer and said he told his son to shoot the wolf.

Boundary County Sheriff Greg Sprungl confirmed that the shooting is under investigation, but said no charges have been filed.

PARK TRAILS

Popular Yellowstone and Grand Teton trails closed for now

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — Two of the most heavily used day-hiking routes in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks in northwest Wyoming are closed for the time being.

In Yellowstone, the iconic Brink of the Lower Falls trail is closed in the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone because of a mud and rock slide that deposited a 7-by-8-foot boulder on the route, effectively blocking the path.

Yellowstone spokeswoman Traci Weaver tells the Jackson Hole News & Guide (http://bit.ly/1Q3d9j3) that it's too early to say when the trail will reopen.

In Grand Teton, the trail beyond Hidden Falls to Inspiration Point is closed and being rerouted so crews can replace bridges over Cascade Creek and rebuild the rocky ledge trails and steps that lead up to the popular Jenny Lake overlook.

CASINO ROBBED

Pair of armed men rob casino in Montana

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Police say a pair of armed men robbed a casino in Billings and made off with an undisclosed amount of money.

Billings Police Sgt. Matt Brewer says no one was hurt when the Montana Nugget Casino was held up about 10:30 p.m. Friday.

The Billings Gazette reports (http://bit.ly/1HoQWHu ) that employees told officers that two males wearing all-black clothing and ski masks and armed with handguns entered the casino, demanding money from an employee.

After receiving the money, both men fled on foot. Police were unable to identify or apprehend either of the men.

Police say both suspects appear to be either Hispanic or Native American males in their early 20s, 5-foot, 8-inches tall, about 140 pounds, with athletic builds.

The investigation is ongoing.

CHIPPEWA CREE-ELECTION

4 Chippewa Cree council members sworn in

HAVRE, Mont. (AP) — Four new members of the Chippewa Cree's governing council have been sworn in after waiting half a year for an appeal of the election results to end.

The Havre Daily News reports (http://bit.ly/1ApxvRv ) state Sen. Jonathan Windy Boy, who lost in the election, objected to the results because an honorary tribal member was allowed to vote. Only full members may vote in a tribal election.

The only Chippewa Cree Business Council seat still vacant after Thursday's swearing-in is that of the chairman. Ken Blatt St. Marks was elected by the tribe as chairman only to be removed by the other members of the council.

The other council members accuse St. Marks of misconduct, while St. Marks says his removal was in retaliation for his cooperating with federal investigators in a corruption probe.

Saturday, May 23rd 2015
Associated Press Montana News Summary
AP-MT--Right Now/896
Latest Montana news, sports, business and entertainment

MONTANA REGENTS

Regents approve UM law school name change, tuition freeze

KALISPELL, Mont. (AP) — The Montana Board of Regents has approved a proposal to rename the University of Montana School of Law for a Great Falls lawyer who is donating $10 million to the school.

Friday's vote was unanimous with one abstention. Regent Martha Sheehy says she abstained because she believes there should have been more opportunities for the public to comment on the decision.

The university announced the proposal earlier this week.

Interim dean Gregory Munro says the law school will be renamed "The Alexander Blewett III School of Law at the University of Montana" within the next month.

The regents also approved a new two-year tuition freeze for in-state college and university students. The move aims to keep the university system's schools affordable after three years of declining enrollment.

BILLIONAIRE'S BANKRUPTCY

High court denies club founder's request to get out of jail

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court has denied a petition from Yellowstone Club founder Tim Blixseth to be released from a Montana jail after he was found in contempt of court.

Justice Anthony Kennedy denied the one-time billionaire's request on Thursday.

Blixseth was ordered into custody and booked into the Cascade County jail on April 20 under an order from U.S. District Judge Sam Haddon in Helena.

Haddon says Blixseth, of Medina, Washington, has not accounted for $13.8 million from a Mexico resort that was sold in defiance of a court order.

An appeal by Blixseth is pending before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Yellowstone Club went bankrupt and was sold after Blixseth gave it up during a divorce. Creditors from the bankruptcy have said Blixseth owes them $286 million.

GRIZZLIES KILLED

Grizzlies euthanized for killing calves

(Information in the following story is from: The Billings Gazette, http://www.billingsgazette.com)

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Two adult male grizzly bears have been euthanized for killing calves on a private ranch southeast of Red Lodge.

Fish, Wildlife and Parks biologist Shawn Stewart tells The Billings Gazette that depredation by the bears was first reported about a week ago. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services trappers and state biologists set traps for the bears. They were captured Thursday night near the kill sites.

The bears were taken to the state wildlife lab in Bozeman, where they were euthanized on Friday.

Wildlife officials often are reluctant to relocate male adult grizzly bears that have killed cattle because of their potential to continue depredation.

DEATH SENTENCE OVERTURNED

Wyoming says it can still pursue death penalty for Eaton

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Lawyers for the state of Wyoming and a man convicted of murder disagree over whether the state may again seek the death penalty against him.

Lawyers representing inmate Dale Eaton and the state filed arguments Friday with a federal appeals court in Denver. State lawyers argue they should be allowed to press for the death penalty against Eaton while his lawyers say they shouldn't.

The dispute stems from November's ruling by a federal judge in Cheyenne overturning Eaton's original death sentence in the 1988 rape and killing of 18-year-old Lisa Marie Kimmell of Billings, Montana.

Wyoming didn't comply until this week with the judge's order to tell him by March whether it intended to seek the death penalty again against Eaton or if he would serve life in prison.

BOZEMAN SHOOTING-TRIAL DELAYED

Trial delayed in September 2013 Bozeman shooting

(Information in the following story is from: Bozeman Daily Chronicle, http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com)

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — A Gallatin County judge is delaying the start of a Bozeman man's homicide trial because prosecutors identified new witnesses they intended to call with too little time for the defense to prepare.

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports District Judge Holly Brown on Friday moved Cody Little's trial from May 20 to June 17.

Little is charged with deliberate homicide in the September 2013 shooting death of 24-year-old Larry Clayton. He also faces charges of aggravated assault and assault with a weapon.

County Attorney Marty Lambert said a defense witness plans to testify that Little suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and did not act with purpose or knowledge in the shooting. Prosecutors then sought additional witnesses to testify about his mental state. Brown said the defense needs time to interview those witnesses.

COAL MINES-CLIMATE

Colorado coal mine getting court-ordered environmental study

DENVER (AP) — Federal regulators are moving ahead with a court-ordered environmental review of a Colorado coal mine's permit that could save the jobs of about 220 miners. However it's not clear if regulators will still challenge the court's overall ruling that that they consider the impacts of coal mining on climate change — a decision that could set a precedent that might endanger other mining projects.

The review was opened Thursday. Meanwhile, Colorado's senators and governor are pressing the Interior Department to protect the jobs at the Colowyo mine near Craig.

Earlier this month, Judge R. Brooke Jackson ordered a new review because he said regulators in 2007 didn't take a hard look at the mine's direct and indirect environmental impacts. He said they should include pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions from burning coal.


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