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Sunday, February 17th 2019
Associated Press Montana News
KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE

Judge keeps most Keystone XL pipeline work on hold

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A federal judge in Montana has largely kept in place an injunction that blocks a Canadian company from performing preliminary work on the stalled Keystone XL oil pipeline.

U.S. District Judge Brian Morris on Friday denied a request by Calgary-based TransCanada to begin constructing worker camps for the 1,184-mile pipeline that would ship crude from Alberta to the Gulf Coast.

However, Morris said TransCanada could perform some limited activities outside the pipeline's right-of-way. Those include the construction and use of pipe storage and container yards.

TransCanada attorneys had argued the injunction issued by Morris in November could cause it to miss the 2019 construction season and further delay the project.

An appeal of November's ruling is pending before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

BODIES IN BASEMENT

Trial in Missoula basement killings delayed by

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

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — The trial of a woman charged in the deaths of two people whose dismembered bodies were found in tubs of chemicals in a basement is being pushed back.

One of Tiffanie Pierce's lawyers, Brian Smith, said during a hearing Friday that she has rejected plea deals offered by prosecutors. Instead, the Missoulian reports her defense plans to argue at trial that she didn't invite the two victims — 15-year-old Marilyn Pickett and 24-year-old Jackson Wiles — to the home. They also plan to put much of the blame on her ex-boyfriend, Augustus Standingrock. He pleaded guilty to charges of deliberate homicide.

The judge agreed to delay Pierce's trial to give prosecutors time to prepare for a defense psychologist who will testify about how people respond to stress. The date hasn't been set.

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AP-US-XGR-NATIVE-AMERICANS-ABORTION

Montana lawmaker apologizes over remarks to Native Americans

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A Montana lawmaker has apologized for telling Native American legislators that abortion is self-inflicted genocide and a plague on Indian culture.

Republican Rep. Greg DeVries (deh-VREES) made his initial comments Thursday on the House floor in support of an anti-abortion bill.

His remarks prompted 11 senators and representative of the Montana American Indian Caucus to send a letter to House Speaker Greg Hertz urging Hertz to publicly admonish DeVries.

The letter written by Democratic Rep. Shane Morigeau says DeVries' comments were bigoted, offensive and harmful, and that actual genocide has been experienced by Native Americans.

On Friday, DeVries asked for forgiveness. He said he recognizes the members of the Indian caucus value their culture and that he becomes passionate over the issue of abortion because he also values culture.

SYMPHONY CONDUCTOR RESIGNS

Bozeman Symphony conductor resigns amid investigation

(Information from: Bozeman Daily Chronicle, http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com)

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — The conductor of the Bozeman Symphony has resigned amid an investigation into allegations that he bullied and harassed musicians, staff and patrons.

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports the outside investigation into Matthew Savery will continue after he tendered his resignation Thursday with the symphony's board of directors.

Savery released a statement through his attorney that did not address the allegations, which he has previously denied.

The statement from Jim Zadik of Ugrin Alexander Zadick P.C. says Savery is voluntarily leaving his position and expresses his gratitude and appreciation for the opportunity to serve.

The symphony board hired an outside attorney to investigate claims that Savery exhibited a pattern of harassment and bullying over his 25-year tenure with the Bozeman Symphony.

Savery also was the conductor of the Wyoming Symphony Orchestra in Casper until last May.

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LOCKED UP-MONTANA

Montana lawmakers hear juvenile sentencing, parole bill

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana lawmakers heard testimony on a bill to align state law with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that found it unconstitutional to sentence most criminals under the age of 18 to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Democratic Rep. Zach Brown told the House Judiciary Committee Friday that his bill would prohibit such sentences and require earlier and more frequent parole hearings for sexual or violent offenses.

The bill also would require the state parole board to consider an inmate's mental maturity at the time of the crime and progress made toward rehabilitation in determining if the inmate should be paroled.

Brown argued the current system has checks and balances in place to ensure those convicted of serious crimes should remain in the system, but not enough opportunity for second chances.

FORMER DEPUTY ARRESTED-THE LATEST

The Latest: Former Montana deputy accused of long-term abuse

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Court documents allege that a 52-year-old former Montana sheriff's deputy sexually abused a child dating back to when he was still working for the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff's Office.

Virgil Wolfe was charged Friday in Cascade County with 80 counts of sexual abuse of children and one other felony crime.

Charging documents say Cascade County sheriff's investigators started looking into Wolfe after a 17-year-old girl told a counselor that Wolfe had been molesting her since she was 6.

Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton tells the Independent Record that Wolfe was a deputy from 1999 to 2008. Investigators found photos of the girl among nearly 1,000 images of females in various states of undress during a search of Wolfe's home.

The Great Falls Tribune reports the abuse charges that Wolfe faces are related to the photographs.

Saturday, February 16th 2019
Associated Press Montana News
AP-MT--1st Right Now
Feb 16, 2019 1:20AM (GMT 08:20) - 856 words
AP-US-XGR-NATIVE-AMERICANS-ABORTION

Montana lawmaker apologizes over remarks to Native Americans

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A Montana lawmaker has apologized for telling Native American legislators that abortion is self-inflicted genocide and a plague on Indian culture.

Republican Rep. Greg DeVries (deh-VREES) made his initial comments Thursday on the House floor in support of an anti-abortion bill.

His remarks prompted 11 senators and representative of the Montana American Indian Caucus to send a letter to House Speaker Greg Hertz urging Hertz to publicly admonish DeVries.

The letter written by Democratic Rep. Shane Morigeau says DeVries' comments were bigoted, offensive and harmful, and that actual genocide has been experienced by Native Americans.

On Friday, DeVries asked for forgiveness. He said he recognizes the members of the Indian caucus value their culture and that he becomes passionate over the issue of abortion because he also values culture.

LOCKED UP-MONTANA

Montana lawmakers hear juvenile sentencing, parole bill

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana lawmakers heard testimony on a bill to align state law with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that found it unconstitutional to sentence most criminals under the age of 18 to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Democratic Rep. Zach Brown told the House Judiciary Committee Friday that his bill would prohibit such sentences and require earlier and more frequent parole hearings for sexual or violent offenses.

The bill also would require the state parole board to consider an inmate's mental maturity at the time of the crime and progress made toward rehabilitation in determining if the inmate should be paroled.

Brown argued the current system has checks and balances in place to ensure those convicted of serious crimes should remain in the system, but not enough opportunity for second chances.

KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE

Judge keeps most Keystone XL pipeline work on hold

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A federal judge in Montana has largely kept in place an injunction that blocks a Canadian company from performing preliminary work on the stalled Keystone XL oil pipeline.

U.S. District Judge Brian Morris on Friday denied a request by Calgary-based TransCanada to begin constructing worker camps for the 1,184-mile pipeline that would ship crude from Alberta to the Gulf Coast.

However, Morris said TransCanada could perform some limited activities outside the pipeline's right-of-way. Those include the construction and use of pipe storage and container yards.

TransCanada attorneys had argued the injunction issued by Morris in November could cause it to miss the 2019 construction season and further delay the project.

An appeal of November's ruling is pending before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

SYMPHONY CONDUCTOR RESIGNS

Bozeman Symphony conductor resigns amid investigation

(Information from: Bozeman Daily Chronicle, http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com)

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — The conductor of the Bozeman Symphony has resigned amid an investigation into allegations that he bullied and harassed musicians, staff and patrons.

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports the outside investigation into Matthew Savery will continue after he tendered his resignation Thursday with the symphony's board of directors.

Savery released a statement through his attorney that did not address the allegations, which he has previously denied.

The statement from Jim Zadik of Ugrin Alexander Zadick P.C. says Savery is voluntarily leaving his position and expresses his gratitude and appreciation for the opportunity to serve.

The symphony board hired an outside attorney to investigate claims that Savery exhibited a pattern of harassment and bullying over his 25-year tenure with the Bozeman Symphony.

Savery also was the conductor of the Wyoming Symphony Orchestra in Casper until last May.

___

AP-US-WESTERN-STORMS-THE-LATEST

The Latest: Flood warning for California river cancelled

GUERNEVILLE, Calif. (AP) — Authorities have cancelled a flood warning for a Northern California community where a river fed by a fierce storm rose above flood stage.

The National Weather Service issued the warning for an area near Guerneville (GERN'-vil), north of San Francisco, after the Russian River rose above 32 feet Thursday night.

Some streets in the wine country town were flooded, but residents are used to inundations. One man used a kayak to paddle through a flooded resort.

By Friday evening, however, the storm had receded along with the river and the flood warning was cancelled.

SEXUAL MISCONDUCT-LEGISLATURES-MONTANA

Legislature passes discrimination, harassment policy

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The Montana Legislature has passed a policy to report and investigate harassment, discrimination and retaliation involving lawmakers and legislative employees.

A conference committee's agreement that the policy would not apply to lobbyists, media or members of the public passed the House 59-38 and the Senate 30-20 on Thursday. The policy takes effect immediately.

It allows for confidential reporting and investigation of claims and sets penalties for violators.

The Legislative Council began working on the new policy in late 2017 with the advent of the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and misconduct.

The Legislative Services Division has said a formal harassment complaint was made to its legal office after efforts to update the policy began. Officials have not released any details of the complaint.

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