KLTZ header
Current Glasgow time is 5:28 PM
NWS Radar

 
Associated Press Montana News Summary
Friday, August 28th 2015 
Here is the latest Montana news from The Associated Press
WEST GLACIER, Mont. (AP) Fire officials say residents of the Essex area could be out of their homes for up to a week, depending on the behavior of a fire that has closed within a half mile of the town on the southern edge of Glacier National Park. The Flathead Beacon reports about 30 people attended a community meeting last night, just hours after they were evacuated.

EAGLE, Idaho (AP) An ancient cedar grove appears to have survived a wildfire in northern Idaho, leaving officials optimistic about the chances a similar stand in Montana will survive. The Spokesman-Review reports that firefighters set up a sprinkler system at the Settler's Grove near Eagle. The expect Montana's Ross Creek Cedar Grove to withstand the fire that's a half-mile away. Trees at the Ross Creek stand are as large as 8 feet in diameter.

KALISPELL, Mont. (AP) A black bear that was found frequenting a Flathead Valley campground with little fear has been euthanized. The Missoulian reports that the bear had been rummaging through unsecured trash at the private campground for some time. Wildlife officials say by the time it was reported, the bear would walk through the central area of the campground and through volleyball games.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) North Dakota will recover more than $316,000 as compensation for problems schools had earlier this year administering new state assessments in math and English. Montana and Nevada also experienced problems with the online tests intended to align with Common Core standards.

Associated Press Montana News Summary
Friday, August 28th 2015 
Here is the latest Montana news from The Associated Press
WEST GLACIER, Mont. (AP) Fire officials say residents of the Essex area could be out of their homes for up to a week, depending on the behavior of a fire that's now within a half mile of town on the southern edge of Glacier National Park. The Flathead Beacon reports about 30 people attended a community meeting last night, just hours after they were evacuated.

WASHINGTON (AP) New federal rules to protect smaller streams, tributaries and wetlands take effect today but not in 13 western states including Montana. A federal court ruling yesterday blocked the regulations in the 13 states that had sued the EPA and the Corps of Engineers. The lawsuits argued that the rules are federal overreach. The government says the new rules will help protect the nation's waters from pollution and development, and safeguard drinking water for 117 million Americans.

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) Police are looking for a driver who struck and killed a pedestrian and then left the scene in Lame Deer, about 100 miles east of Billings. The Billings Gazette reports troopers says a vehicle failed to stop at a sign where highways 212 and 39 intersect, colliding with a woman who was crossing the road. Authorities have not released the woman's identity or a description of the vehicle.

HELENA, Mont. (AP) A constitutional challenge to Montana's execution methods is going to trial next Wednesday. A judge ruled the will focus on whether the sedative that Montana's lethal injection protocols call for would cause excruciating and terrifying death. Montana's two death row inmates say the sedative pentobarbital does not adhere to a state law requiring an ultra fast-acting barbiturate be used in capital punishment.


Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Associated Press Montana News Summary
Friday, August 28th 2015 
Here is the latest Montana news from The Associated Press
HELENA, Mont. (AP) Authorities say an approaching wildfire has forced the closure of an eight-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 2 and evacuations in the community of Essex near Glacier National Park. A shelter has been set up at an elementary school in West Glacier.

HELENA, Mont. (AP) State officials say they plan to move about 15 people out of the Montana Developmental Center in Boulder by October to help alleviate a staffing shortage at the facility. Gov. Steve Bullock's budget director says officials are talking with health care providers about moving some clients with developmental disabilities and mental health issues to their care. He says federal grant money is available to help pay for group home placements made by the end of September.

HELENA, Mont. (AP) A constitutional challenge to Montana's execution methods is going to trial. A judge ruled the Sept. 2 trial will focus on whether the sedative that Montana's lethal injection protocols call for would cause excruciating and terrifying death. Montana's two death row inmates say the sedative pentobarbital does not adhere to a state law requiring an ultra fast-acting barbiturate be used in capital punishment.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) A federal judge in North Dakota has blocked a new rule that would give the federal government jurisdiction over some state waters. The rule gives the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers authority to protect some streams, tributaries and wetlands under the Clean Water Act. Thirteen states including Montana asked the judge to suspend guidelines they say are unnecessary and infringe on state sovereignty.


Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Associated Press Montana News Summary
Friday, August 28th 2015 
Latest Montana news, sports, business and entertainment
DEVELOPMENTAL CENTER-CLOSURE

State to move clients out of Montana Developmental Center

HELENA, Mont. (AP) State officials say they plan to move about 15 people out of the Montana Developmental Center in Boulder by October to help alleviate a staffing shortage at the facility.

Gov. Steve Bullock's budget director Dan Villa spoke Thursday to the committee overseeing the facility's closure. He says officials are talking with health care providers about moving some clients with developmental disabilities and mental health issues to their care.

Villa says federal grant money is available to help pay for group home placements made by the end of September for clients who are ready to move.

Filling vacant staff positions at the center has become more challenging since lawmakers passed a bill in April to move most of the 53 residents out by July 2017.

MONTANA WILDFIRES

Highway closed, evacuations ordered near Montana wildfires

HELENA, Mont. (AP) Authorities say an approaching wildfire has forced the closure of an eight-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 2 and evacuations in the community of Essex near Glacier National Park.

The highway had been open to traffic guided by pilot cars as the fire burned about a half-mile away. Fire officials said Thursday the highway near Essex has now been closed as a precaution.

Earlier, Flathead County sheriff's deputies went door to door to about 100 residents' homes in and around Essex when the 1.7-square-mile fire reached a point that triggered a mandatory evacuation

A shelter has been set up at an elementary school in West Glacier.

WESTERN WILDFIRES

Firefighters holding their own against giant blaze

CHELAN, Wash. (AP) Officials say firefighters are holding their own against the largest wildfire on record in Washington state, even as rising temperatures and increased winds stoked the flames.

The National Weather Service had issued a red-flag warning Thursday for the fires near Okanogan, saying the weather conditions had the potential to spread the flames.

But fire spokesman Bernie Pineda says fire lines are holding and portions of the 450-square mile fire were actually burning back on itself because of winds.

The blazes have killed three firefighters and burned at least 40 homes and 40 outbuildings.

FIREFIGHTING RESOURCES

Aviation experts to review state's firefighting helicopters

HELENA, Mont. (AP) Aviation officials will be headed to Montana to see for themselves whether the state's firefighting helicopters should be used to attack blazes on federal lands.

The five modified Bell UH-1H helicopters have been barred from initial fire attacks in the state's national forests over concerns the buckets they use to scoop water are too large for the aircraft and could pose a safety risk.

State officials say they are frustrated the helicopters aren't being used on federal lands at a time when resources are scarce. They say the rebuilt helicopters have increased power that allows them to safely carry the 324-gallon buckets.

A joint statement Thursday by Gov. Steve Bullock and U.S. Agricultural Secretary Tom Vilsack says they've had productive conversations and federal aviation experts will travel to the state to review Montana's firefighting protocols.

POLYGAMOUS MARRIAGE

Polygamists ask judge to strike down Montana's bigamy laws

HELENA, Mont. (AP) A Billings man is asking a federal judge to strike down Montana's bigamy laws so he can marry a second wife.

Nathan Collier, his legal wife Victoria and his common-law wife Christine filed a lawsuit Thursday in U.S. District Court in Billings. They cite the U.S. Supreme Court's recent ruling allowing gay marriage and reference biblical figures with multiple wives in their argument that the state is unconstitutionally preventing them from legitimizing their polygamous relationship.

Collier tells The Associated Press that he's fighting for his family's right to exist.

After the Supreme Court's gay marriage ruling, Yellowstone County officials denied Nathan and Christine Collier's request for a marriage license.

Nathan, Christine and Victoria Collier have been in their relationship since 2007. Combined, they have eight children from their and past relationships.

EXECUTION DRUG

Montana judge moves lethal injection challenge to trial

HELENA, Mont. (AP) A constitutional challenge to Montana's execution methods is going to trial.

District Judge Jeffrey Sherlock of Helena ruled Thursday the Sept. 2 trial will focus on whether the sedative that Montana's lethal injection protocols call for would cause excruciating and terrifying death.

Montana's two death row inmates say the sedative pentobarbital does not adhere to a state law requiring an ultra fast-acting barbiturate be used in capital punishment.

The Montana Legislature has mandated but never defined what an ultra fast-acting drug is. In his order, Sherlock says lawmakers intended for the drug to take effect almost immediately.

Both sides are planning to present medical experts at trial.

The state's lethal injection methods were last changed in 2013 and have never been used to carry out an execution.

NUCLEAR MISSTEPS

Third officer dismissed from Air Force in drug case

(Information in the following story is from: Great Falls Tribune, http://www.greatfallstribune.com)

GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) A third Malmstrom base officer has been dismissed from the Air Force after pleading guilty to charges in a drug investigation.

The Great Falls Tribune reports 1st Lt. Lantz Balthazar pleaded guilty to using Ecstasy in a deal that dropped charges of cocaine distribution and illegal use of Pentedrone, commonly called bath salts.

The cases against Balthazar, 1st Lt. Michael Alonso and 2nd Lt. Nicole Dalmazzi arose as a result of a separate investigation into cheating on proficiency tests.

Capt. Kevin Boden represented Balthazar and said the defendant blames only himself. While prosecutors asked for an 8-month sentence, Boden said Balthazar didn't need to be locked up to think about his actions.

The pre-trial agreement says Balthazar will spend five months confinement on the base and forfeit future pay.

HELENA-CHILD DEATH

Helena man pleads not guilty in child's death

(Information in the following story is from: KTVH-TV, http://www.ktvh.com)

HELENA, Mont. (AP) A 25-year-old Helena man has pleaded not guilty to deliberate homicide in the death of his girlfriend's 2-year-old daughter.

KTVH-TV reports the trial for Coleton Coburn was scheduled for Jan. 25.

Coburn was arrested on July 12 after the girl was taken to the hospital in Helena with critical injuries suffered while she was in Coburn's care. He was charged with deliberate homicide after the girl died on July 13.

An autopsy found Persephone Nielsen died of head injuries that caused bleeding in her brain.

Coburn also pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of obstructing a peace officer and marijuana possession. He remains jailed with his bail set at $200,000.

CLINIC RAIDED-DOCTOR CHARGED

Doctor charged in death of 2 patients

HELENA, Mont. (AP) A southwestern Montana doctor has been arrested on suspicion of overprescribing pain medication, leading to the deaths of two patients and dangerous overdoses to nine others.

Ravalli County Attorney Thorin Geist says Chris Arthur Christensen was arrested Thursday in Florence. He was jailed with his bond set at $200,000 and was scheduled to make an initial court appearance on Friday.

Christensen faces two counts of negligent homicide, nine counts of criminal endangerment and 388 felony counts of criminal distribution of dangerous drugs.

Christensen's Big Creek Family Medicine Clinic in Florence was raided in April 2014 and Christensen's license was suspended. The state agreed to issue him a probationary license in May 2015 if he agreed to acknowledge some wrongdoing and work under the supervision of another physician.

VEHICULAR HOMICIDE

Montana man pleads not guilty to fatal drunken-driving crash

(Information in the following story is from: Flathead Beacon, http://www.flatheadbeacon.com)

KALISPELL, Mont. (AP) A 23-year-old Montana man accused in a drunken-driving crash that killed a Nebraska physician has pleaded not guilty to a vehicular homicide charge.

The Flathead Beacon reports that Matthew Michael Hollo pleaded not guilty to the charge Thursday in Flathead County District Court and is expected to go on trial in February.

Prosecutors allege Hollo was intoxicated on June 6 when he drove his pickup truck head-on into the sport-utility vehicle driven by 68-year-old cardiologist Timothy Fangman of Omaha, Nebraska. The crash happened north of Columbia Falls.

Charging documents say Hollo's blood-alcohol level after the crash was 0.143 percent, above the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

Hollo faces 30 years in prison if convicted.

FEDERAL WATER RULE-INJUNCTION

Judge blocks new federal rule on jurisdiction of waterways

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) A federal judge in North Dakota has blocked a new rule that would give the federal government jurisdiction over some state waters.

U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson of North Dakota issued a temporary injunction Thursday against the Obama administration rule. The rule gives the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers authority to protect some streams, tributaries and wetlands under the Clean Water Act.

Thirteen states led by North Dakota asked Erickson to suspend guidelines they say are unnecessary and infringe on state sovereignty. The federal government says the new rule clarifies ambiguity in the law and makes it easier for the states to manage some waterways.

The other states involved are Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, South Dakota and Wyoming.


Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Associated Press Montana News Summary
Thursday, August 27th 2015 
Latest Montana news, sports, business and entertainment
CHILD ABUSE

Feds warns Montana it faces cutoff of abuse program funding

The federal government says it will strip Montana of a child abuse prevention grant if the state doesn't start releasing information about children who die of abuse and neglect, but Montana officials say a state confidentiality law prevents them from releasing the information.

An Associated Press investigation into child abuse deaths revealed last December that Montana's law violates the grant's rules, which require public access to information about child abuse deaths.

Montana officials sought a change in the law earlier this year, but no bill was passed before the legislative session ended.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says the state will lose the nearly $120,000 annual grant if it doesn't submit compliance plans by Monday or explain why it legally should not be required to comply.

MEDICAL EXAMINERS

Review finds problems with ex-medical examiner's autopsies

HELENA, Mont. (AP) An independent review of a half-dozen infant and child autopsies by a former Montana associate medical examiner has found serious deficiencies in how they were conducted.

State officials asked the reviewer whether the autopsies met National Association of Medical Examiners standards and whether Dr. Thomas Bennett's conclusions were supported.

Dr. Adele Lewis of Tennessee found all six autopsies fell short of the standards.

The review released Wednesday found several children sustained injuries that should have prompted more investigation, but didn't. In one case, Lewis wrote she would have classified the death as a homicide instead of Bennett's "undetermined" finding.

Bennett says Lewis did not review all the information available because he keeps some evidence in his own files.

Before he resigned, former chief medical examiner Dr. Gary Dale raised concerns about the six autopsies, prompting the review.

MONTANA SHOOTING

Montana shooting suspect pleads not guilty to new charges

HELENA, Mont. (AP) A Wyoming man has pleaded not guilty to fatally shooting a Montana husband and wife who stopped to help what they believed was a stranded motorist.

A new grand jury indictment includes death as a possible punishment if 18-year-old Jesus Deniz Mendoza of Worland is convicted of murder in the July 26 deaths of Jason and Tana Shane. Their daughter, 26-year-old Jorah Shane, was wounded while trying to run away.

Investigators say the family stopped to help a man who claimed to be having car trouble in Pryor. They say Deniz demanded money and opened fire after they said they had none.

Deniz pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Billings federal court.

U.S. District Judge Susan Watters says a status conference on the case will be held in late November.

EXECUTION DRUG

Judge hears arguments on Montana's lethal injection method

HELENA, Mont. (AP) A District Court judge has heard arguments on the constitutionality of the state's method of lethal injection.

State attorneys and representatives for Montana's two death row inmates debated Wednesday whether an execution drug risks undue pain and suffering.

Judge Jeffrey Sherlock says he will decide Thursday whether to rule on the state's use of the sedative pentobarbital based on the hearing or move the case to a full trial Sept. 2.

Attorneys for inmates Ronald Allen Smith and William Gollehon contend pentobarbital is not ultra fast-acting, as Montana law requires.

Both sides argued the other's medical experts have been ineffective. The doctors have said "ultra fast-acting" is not a common medical term, so they could not speculate on its application to lethal chemicals.

TRIBAL CORRUPTION

New charges filed against Havre businessman in tribal probe

HELENA, Mont. (AP) A grand jury has handed down a new criminal indictment against a Havre businessman who already faces bribery, embezzlement and theft charges in a corruption investigation into the Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation.

The new case against Shad Huston was filed in July and unsealed on Tuesday. It charges Huston with making false claims in 2011, alleging that he charged $120,000 for services his trucking company had not performed for the Chippewa Cree Tribe.

The tribe had received $10.6 million in federal stimulus aid for road construction and maintenance.

Huston pleaded not guilty on Tuesday.

The new indictment is the fifth against Huston dating to 2013. He has pleaded not guilty to charges that he bribed tribal officials in exchange for contracts and overcharged for the work his various companies did on the reservation.

MISSOURI RIVER-BODY FOUND

Body recovered from Black Eagle Dam

GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) The Cascade County sheriff's department is investigating the death of a man whose body was recovered from the Missouri River near Great Falls.

Employees with NorthWestern Energy working at Black Eagle Dam spotted the body Tuesday afternoon.

Coroner Raymond Hitchcock identified the man as 40-year-old Cory James Rosales, most recently of Great Falls. Rosales was listed as a walk away from the Great Falls Pre-release center on Monday. State records indicate Rosales' criminal record dates back to 1992 and includes convictions for assault with a dangerous weapon, escape, failure to register as a violent offender and felony DUI.

Sheriff Bob Edwards says the man's body had likely been in the river for two or three days.

An autopsy is planned.

MOUNTAIN LION KILLED

Mountain lion killed in Missoula after attacking dog

(Information in the following story is from: Missoulian, http://www.missoulian.com)

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) State wildlife officials killed a young female mountain lion in a northeast Missoula neighborhood after receiving reports it was frequenting a residential area.

Fish, Wildlife and Parks wildlife management specialist Jamie Jonkel tells the Missoulian they received the report about a cat trying to take a dog last week. Since then, the agency received numerous reports about the lion being seen in the residential area.

Lion specialist Bob Wiesner tracked the cat using trained hounds and shot it late Tuesday.

Jonkel says deer in the area draw in the predators.

MISSING KALISPELL WOMAN

Missing woman's sister says arrest doesn't bring closure

(Information in the following story is from: Flathead Beacon, http://www.flatheadbeacon.com)

KALISPELL, Mont. (AP) The sister of a Kalispell woman who went missing in February 2013 and is presumed dead says the arrest of a suspect in the case is a step in the right direction, but said the family is still suffering because they don't know what happened to her.

Cody Wayne Johnston of Fairview was arrested Monday and charged Tuesday with deliberate homicide in the presumed death of 31-year-old Nicole Waller. Johnson and Waller had been involved in a turbulent relationship at the time of her disappearance.

Waller's sister, Carmen Keibler, tells the Flathead Beacon that if her sister's body is found the family will be able to move forward with the grieving process.

Johnston hasn't entered a plea. His arraignment is scheduled for Sept. 9.

DEATH PENALTY OVERTURNED

Public defender warns governor of death penalty costs

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) The state of Wyoming is bracing to cover the cost of a new death penalty sentencing hearing for a convicted murderer even as a federal court considers whether the state has lost legal standing to seek to put him to death.

Wyoming Public Defender Diane Lozano recently alerted Gov. Matt Mead that the state could be liable for unspecified legal expenses to defend Dale Wayne Eaton.

Eaton, 70, was sentenced to death in state court in 2004 for the 1988 murder of 18-year-old Lisa Marie Kimmell, of Billings, Montana.

U.S. District Judge Alan Johnson of Cheyenne last fall overturned Eaton's death penalty, finding he hadn't received an adequate defense. Johnson now is considering whether the state followed conditions he set on possibly seeking the death penalty against Eaton again.

MINE WASTE LEAK

Investigation: EPA, state underestimated spill potential

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) An internal government investigation has found that federal and state regulators underestimated the potential for a blowout from a Colorado mine.

The disclosure was contained in documents released Wednesday by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Investigators concluded that EPA and state regulators underestimated how much water pressure had built up inside the inactive mine before a government cleanup crew triggered the release. The EPA previously offered only impartial information on events leading up to the spill.

The Aug. 5 spill involved 3 million gallons of waste from the idled Gold King Mine near Silverton, Colorado, unleashing a torrent of toxic water that fouled rivers in three states.

The Associated Press reported Saturday that EPA managers knew that a large spill was a possibility yet had drafted only a cursory response plan for responding to a spill.


Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
KLTZ/MIX-93 and Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium. Neither these AP materials nor any portion thereof may be stored in a computer except for personal and non-commercial use. KLTZ/KLAN and AP will not be held liable for any delays, inaccuracies, errors or omissions therefrom or in the transmission or delivery of all or any part thereof or for any damages arising from any of the foregoing. Any problems, questions or concerns about this website, please e-mail us at kltz@kltz.com

Glasgow Broadcasting Corporation, KLTZ-AM and KLAN-FM, Mix-93, is an equal opportunity employer. When positions are available,they will be posted on this website. Recruitment sources are the Montana Job Services Division, and the Montana Broadcasters Association.

Glasgow Broadcasting Corporation, KLTZ-AM and KLAN-FM, Mix-93, has a public file available for inspection during business hours from 8:10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Click here for more information. Our EEO statement is also online.

Under FCC regulations Stations KLTZ and KLAN cannot discriminate in advertising arrangements on the basis of race or ethnicity. Any provision in any advertising agreement entered into with an advertiser whose intent is to discriminate in such manner shall be null and void.

Copyright ©1998-2015 KLTZ/KLAN Radio, and Tim Phillips Productions. All rights on this site reserved. Headquarters is located in Glasgow, MT.