House defeats infrastructure bill, will reconsider Monday
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Lawmakers wrestling with a $150 million state infrastructure bill have voted it down multiple times but plan to take another look at it Monday.
Representatives defeated Senate Bill 416 twice Saturday morning with a final vote of 60-34 before agreeing to reconsider. The bill requires 67 votes to pass because it involves bonding.
Lawmakers have been debating the measure since endorsing it Thursday on a 70-30 vote.
Republican Rep. Nancy Ballance of Hamilton had been torn but changed her vote to "no" Saturday, saying she didn't want to bond when the state has money in the bank that could be spent.
The measure was worked on by a bipartisan group and introduced by Republican Sen. John Brenden of Scobey about a month ago after other proposals appeared unlikely to gain traction.
Nigerian man sentenced for scamming women using AG's image
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A Nigerian man has been sentenced for setting up an online dating profile using a photo of Montana's attorney general and scamming an Indiana woman out of thousands of dollars.
The Kosciusko (KAHS'-ee-ess-KOH') County, Indiana, attorney's office says 45-year-old Kazeem Owanla was sentenced to 36 months in jail with 26 suspended for felony theft and paid $16,300 in restitution to two women. He was turned over to immigration authorities.
Owanla was charged in October after an Indiana woman reported sending more than $100,000 to a man who represented himself as John Tony Hagan, an electrical engineer who ran into financial difficulties while working in Egypt.
The photo used on "Hagan's" fake profile was taken from Montana Attorney General Tim Fox's campaign website without his permission.
Helena man pleads not guilty to exposing baby to meth
(Information in the following story is from: Independent Record, http://www.helenair.com)
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A Helena man accused of endangering his 5-month-old with methamphetamines has pleaded not guilty in district court.
Jacob Smith is charged with felony endangering the welfare of children. He could face five years in prison and $10,000 in fines if convicted.
According to the Independent Record, police received a report April 11 from the state Department of Public Health and Human Services saying the infant tested positive for meth.
Investigators tested a sample of the infant's hair, and authorities arrested Smith after the baby tested positive.
Search continues for missing girl near Bozeman
BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — The search for an 8-year-old girl who fell into the river while playing at Headwaters State Park is continuing.
The girl has been missing since April 19.
On Saturday, about 70 people, mostly volunteer searchers, started scouring the Missouri River Headwaters. The searchers are using a helicopter, a Civil Air Patrol plane, nine boats, eight dog teams and 10 all-terrain vehicles.
The Gallatin County Sheriff's Office is leading the search.
CLARK FORK RIVER-BODY
Transient pleads no contest to camp murder
(Information in the following story is from: Missoulian, http://www.missoulian.com)
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — A transient who prosecutors say killed a homeless man and dumped his body in the Clark Fork River has pleaded no contest to a deliberate homicide charge.
Kevin Lino pleaded no contest to shooting Berry Gilbert in the head. The plea means he agrees prosecutors have enough evidence to convict him, but he doesn't acknowledge guilt.
According to the Missoulian, Lino's plea was based on his inability to remember what happened.
Kenneth Hickman has pleaded guilty to aggravated assault for his role in the man's death.
Authorities say Gilbert was beaten, stomped, tortured and shot before being thrown into the river.