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Monday, August 29th 2016
Associated Press Montana News
Latest Montana news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 a.m. MDT
DOGS SEIZED

More than 100 dogs seized over cruelty allegations

(Information from: Daily Inter Lake, http://www.dailyinterlake.com)

CHARLO, Mont. (AP) — More than 100 dogs have been seized at a Charlo kennel after prosecutors and the kennel's owner's reached an agreement to defer prosecution of felony aggravated animal cruelty charges.

Nadine and Larry Latzke of LDR Kennels were allowed to keep six dogs in their home.

The dogs were transferred to the Life Savers Animal Rescue of Polson, which will try to find homes for the dogs.

According to the Daily Inter Lake , the dogs were found in cages in deplorable conditions.

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MONTANA PLANE CRASH

2 dead in western Montana plane crash

(Information from: Missoulian, http://www.missoulian.com)

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — Authorities say two people have died after a single-engine plane crashed on the edge of Interstate 90 southeast of Missoula.

The Missoulian reports that the victims of the Sunday crash near the Rock Creek Airport have not yet been identified.

Missoula County sheriff's Capt. Bill Burt says witnesses reported the plane had been trying to land at the south end of the runway when it crashed into some trees and went down on the side of the highway.

He says the pilot had departed from Missoula.

The impact of the Cessna 182-D had ignited a grass fire and caused the closure of the right lane of eastbound I-90 for several hours.

The National Transportation Safety Board was expected to arrive at the crash site Monday to investigate.

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CROW RESERVATION FATAL

Girl dies after falling off truck on Crow Reservation

(Information from: The Billings Gazette, http://www.billingsgazette.com)

HARDIN, Mont. (AP) — A 12-year-old girl riding in the back of a pickup truck on the Crow Reservation died when she fell off a tool box and hit her head.

The Montana State Patrol says the accident happened on Saturday when the truck driver swerved for unknown reasons.

The Billings Gazette reports the girl had been sitting next to another girl on a toolbox, and four children were in the cab of the truck.

Authorities say the 37-year-old driver and other children were not injured. They have not been identified.

Tribal members and the Bureau of Indian Affairs are in charge of the investigation.

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YELLOWSTONE WILDFIRES

Fire blocking Yellowstone National Park entrance smolders on

GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. (AP) — Firefighters working on steep hillsides are chopping down trees and searching for hotspots as they battle a wildfire that's blocking an entrance to Yellowstone National Park.

Wildfire managers say their top priority is clearing a highway in the area and protecting campgrounds, buildings and archaeological sites. They're also making sure there are no flare-ups or falling trees that could cause injuries or death.

Strong winds blew down several trees Saturday, blocking some roads. Travelers have been warned to be cautious on area roads that are still open around the park.

The fire that began last month is blocking Yellowstone's south entrance near Jackson, Wyoming. The park also has entrance stations in Montana and near Cody, Wyoming.

Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks and Bridger Teton National Forest all have area closures in effect, but both national parks are open to visitors.

NATIONAL PARKS-MISBEHAVING TOURISTS

Visitor misbehavior abounds as US parks agency turns 100

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. (AP) — Record visitor numbers at the nation's first national park have transformed Yellowstone National Park's annual tourist rush into a sometimes dangerous frenzy.

Photo-snapping visitors routinely break the rules, getting too close to elk, grizzly bears, wolves and bison.

Officials say the rule-breaking puts visitors in harm's way, damages resources and displaces wildlife.

Law enforcement records obtained by The Associated Press suggest such problems are on the rise.

Yellowstone rangers are seeing more wildlife violations, more people treading on sensitive thermal areas and more illegal camping.

It's an illustration of the pressures facing America's most treasured lands as the National Park Service marks its 100th anniversary. From the Great Smoky Mountains to the Grand Canyon, major parks are grappling with vandalism, theft of resources and other misbehavior.

TRANSIENT CAMPS

Kalispell police clearing out transient camps

(Information from: Daily Inter Lake, http://www.dailyinterlake.com)

KALISPELL, Mont. (AP) — Kalispell police are rounding up people living in transient camps around a local park.

Authorities notified the temporary park residents of evictions because of a large amount of garbage and human waste.

According to the Daily Inter Lake , transients were told they could be arrested for criminal trespassing.

On Thursday, Kalispell police officers cleared the woods of temporary residents who remained and they're working to keep them from coming back.

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Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Sunday, August 28th 2016
Associated Press Montana News
Latest Montana news, sports, business and entertainment at 1:20 a.m. MDT
YELLOWSTONE WILDFIRES

South Entrance to Yellowstone National Park remains closed

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. (AP) — The South Entrance to Yellowstone National Park is expected to remain closed this weekend because of a wildfire in Grand Teton.

The closure of U.S. 89/191/287 that leads into Yellowstone is forcing some Yellowstone visitors to take an hour-long detour.

Firefighters said Saturday the fire that was started by lightning on July 25 has scarred nearly 20 square miles and continues to spread. Several other fires burning in Yellowstone could require visitors in vehicles to be escorted.

Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks and Bridger Teton National Forest all have area closures in effect, but both national parks are still open to visitors.

With the highway blocked, visitors in Grand Teton who want to visit neighboring Yellowstone have to drive west into Idaho to access the West Entrance of Yellowstone.

TRANSIENT CAMPS

Kalispell police clearing out transient camps

(Information from: Daily Inter Lake, http://www.dailyinterlake.com)

KALISPELL, Mont. (AP) — Kalispell police are rounding up people living in transient camps around a local park.

Authorities notified the temporary park residents of evictions because of a large amount of garbage and human waste.

According to the Daily Inter Lake , transients were told they could be arrested for criminal trespassing.

On Thursday, Kalispell police officers cleared the woods of temporary residents who remained and they're working to keep them from coming back.

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BAR LAWSUIT

Parents win $4.6 million lawsuit against bar

(Information from: The Billings Gazette, http://www.billingsgazette.com)

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A bar that served alcohol to a minor who was later charged with homicide in the death of a man has lost a $4.6 million lawsuit by the parents of the victim.

Stillwater County District Court Judge Blair Jones ruled that the Five Spot Bar was negligent in the death of Forest Dana, who was found dead in Absarokee in 2013.

Authorities are still investigating. Police believe he was hit by a car while walking through an alley.

Michael Holtz was charged with Dana's homicide, but the charges were later dropped after no witnesses were located who saw the accident.

According to the Billings Gazette , investigators later found DNA on Holtz' car that they say matched Dana's DNA.

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FIREFIGHTER DEATH-MEMORIAL SERVICE-THE LATEST

The Latest: Service held for firefighter killed in blaze

BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. (AP) — Thousands paid their respects to a Vermont firefighter who died while battling a wildfire in Great Basin National Park in Nevada.

The service for 26-year-old Justin Beebe was held Saturday at Bellows Falls Union High School.

WCAX-TV reports that family friend David Clark called Beebe "a tremendous athlete" who was "well-liked."

Beebe was in his first year as a member of the Lolo Hotshots, elite U.S. Forest Service firefighters based in Missoula, Montana, when he died Aug. 13. Hotshots from all over were at Beebe's service.

One Massachusetts mother told WCAX she didn't know Beebe, but her son was also a Hotshot who died. Dee Burke said she wanted Beebe's family to know there's another Hotshot family in New England.

Beebe's loves ones say he had a passion for people and the outdoors.

WASHINGTON SHERIFF-MOTORCYCLE CRASH

Washington sheriff injured in motorcycle crash improving

(Information from: The Olympian, http://www.theolympian.com)

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The Thurston County Sheriff's Office in Washington state says Sheriff John Snaza is showing signs of improvement after he was hurt in a Montana motorcycle crash.

The Olympian reports that Undersheriff Tim Braniff said Friday Snaza remains in critical condition at a Coeur d'Alene, Idaho hospital and is still breathing with the help of a ventilator. But, he said Snaza is making strides toward breathing on his own.

Snaza has a punctured lung, a lacerated kidney, a broken left arm and a damaged right hand. He underwent a successful surgery Wednesday to fuse a bone in his neck.

Braniff said he can move some extremities, but hasn't yet talked.

Snaza was traveling Tuesday with friends in Sanders County, Montana when he lost control of his Harley-Davidson while going around a curve.

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YELLOWSTONE-WORKER DEATH

Ecuadorian woman falls to death in Yellowstone canyon

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. (AP) — An Ecuadorian woman has fallen to her death at Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone in Yellowstone National Park.

Twenty-one-year-old Estefania Liset Mosquera Alcivar was a park concession worker from Quito, Ecuador. She fell into the canyon at Grandview Point around 3:15 a.m. Friday.

Park officials say she fell while socializing with a small group of co-workers near a trail along the canyon rim. Her companions saw her fall and dialed 911.

Rescuers spotted her body in the canyon at first light. They determined the fall was not survivable.

Search and rescue crews used a helicopter to recover her body later in the morning.

Yellowstone officials say the death is under investigation.


Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Saturday, August 27th 2016
Associated Press Montana News
AP-MT--1st Right Now/862
Latest Montana news, sports, business and entertainment at 1:20 a.m. MDT
WASHINGTON SHERIFF-MOTORCYCLE CRASH

Washington sheriff injured in motorcycle crash improving

(Information from: The Olympian, http://www.theolympian.com)

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The Thurston County Sheriff's Office in Washington state says Sheriff John Snaza is showing signs of improvement after he was hurt in a Montana motorcycle crash.

The Olympian reports that Undersheriff Tim Braniff said Friday Snaza remains in critical condition at a Coeur d'Alene, Idaho hospital and is still breathing with the help of a ventilator. But, he said Snaza is making strides toward breathing on his own.

Snaza has a punctured lung, a lacerated kidney, a broken left arm and a damaged right hand. He underwent a successful surgery Wednesday to fuse a bone in his neck.

Braniff said he can move some extremities, but hasn't yet talked.

Snaza was traveling Tuesday with friends in Sanders County, Montana when he lost control of his Harley-Davidson while going around a curve.

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YELLOWSTONE-WORKER DEATH

Ecuadorian woman falls to death in Yellowstone canyon

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. (AP) — An Ecuadorian woman has fallen to her death at Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone in Yellowstone National Park.

Twenty-one-year-old Estefania Liset Mosquera Alcivar was a park concession worker from Quito, Ecuador. She fell into the canyon at Grandview Point around 3:15 a.m. Friday.

Park officials say she fell while socializing with a small group of co-workers near a trail along the canyon rim. Her companions saw her fall and dialed 911.

Rescuers spotted her body in the canyon at first light. They determined the fall was not survivable.

Search and rescue crews used a helicopter to recover her body later in the morning.

Yellowstone officials say the death is under investigation.

MONTANA SUICIDES

Panel recommends mandatory depression screening for kids

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A Montana suicide study panel is asking state lawmakers to consider legislation next year requiring mandatory depression screening of all school children starting at age 11.

The Suicide Mortality Team also recommends programs to teach coping skills and resiliency to 1st and 2nd graders.

Montana had the highest suicide rate in the nation in 2014, according to the latest available national figures.

The suicide mortality team recently released a study of 555 suicides in Montana between January 2014 and March 2016. Twenty-seven of those were children between 11 and 17.

Karl Rosston is the suicide prevention coordinator for the Department of Public Health and Human Services. He said Friday that suicide prevention and the treatment of depression should begin with giving kids the skills to handle life.

YELLOWSTONE RIVER CLOSURE

Job retraining planned after Yellowstone River closure

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Montana labor officials will offer advice on job retraining for fishing guides, raft operators and other workers affected by the closure of a 183-mile stretch of the Yellowstone River.

Gov. Steve Bullock announced Friday that the Department of Labor and Industry will host a meeting in Livingston on Monday to provide further information.

State wildlife commissioners closed the Yellowstone indefinitely to all recreational activity last week following a massive fish kill in the Paradise Valley area north of Yellowstone National Park.

Officials hope to stop the spread of a contagious parasite blamed for killing tens of thousands of whitefish and smaller numbers of trout.

Labor department representatives plan to offer information on retraining options, unemployment insurance and alternative job opportunities during Monday's meeting.

TOTEM POLE JOURNEY

Tribe trucks totem pole 4,800 miles in fossil fuels protest

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A Pacific Northwest tribe has begun a 4,800-mile road trip with a 22-foot-tall totem pole in tow.

The Lummi Nation embarked on its fourth "totem journey" since 2012 to galvanize opposition to coal and crude oil projects it says could imperil native lands.

The tribe took a similar totem trip last year to raise awareness about a massive coal export terminal being proposed in their ancestral homeland in northwest Washington state.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers denied a permit for the Cherry Point project earlier this year over concerns it would impact the Lummi Nation's treaty-protected fishing rights.

This year, the focus is on the Millennium coal export terminal proposed for Longview, Washington along the Columbia River.

It would be the largest such terminal in the U.S.

COAL EXPORTS-CALIFORNIA

California governor signs bill banning coal-export funding

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Jerry Brown is signing legislation to ban state transportation funding for new coal export terminals.

The Democratic governor's decision on Friday comes as environmental groups wage an aggressive campaign to block the export of coal from West Coast ports to satisfy Asia's rapidly growing demand for energy.

Democratic Sen. Loni Hancock of Oakland introduced the legislation in response to a developer's proposal to build a coal terminal in Oakland with the help of funding from the state of Utah. The developer, Phil Tagami, is a friend of Brown.

The Oakland city council effectively killed that project in June, but the legislation would make it more difficult for developers to build elsewhere.

Critics of the legislation say it may violate federal law and treaties.


Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.