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Search suspended for plane, passengers in Idaho
BOISE, Idaho (AP) Authorities have finished their second day of searching for a small plane that disappeared in the mountains of central Idaho.
Crews on the ground along with helicopters and airplanes have been scanning the backcountry for a Beech Bonanza piloted by a California software executive.
Dale Smith, of San Jose, Calif., reported engine trouble Sunday before losing radio contact. He and four passengers were flying from Baker City, Ore., to Butte, Mont.
Authorities identified the passengers as Smith's son Daniel Smith and his wife, Sheree Smith. Also on board were Dale Smith's daughter, Amber Smith and her fiance Jonathon Norton.
Officials narrowed the search Tuesday to an area south of a backcountry landing strip near the tiny town of Yellow Pine after receiving a faint signal from the plane's emergency beacon.
MONTANA HEALTHCARE FOUNDATION
7 nominated for new health care foundation board
HELENA, Mont. (AP) A search committee has nominated seven people as trustees for the new Montana Healthcare Foundation.
The nominees are Paul Cook of Red Lodge; Michael Harrington of Missoula; Judith LaPan of Sidney; Joanne Pieper of Belgrade; Denis Prager of Clyde Park; William Underriner of Billings; and Mignon Waterman of Helena.
Interim trustee Edwin Eck forwarded the seven nominees to Attorney General Tim Fox, who will interview each of them and conduct background checks.
Fox spokesman John Barnes said Tuesday the process could take two to three weeks.
The foundation is being created with $40 million from the sale of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana to Health Care Service Corp.
How the foundation operates will be up to the new trustees.
Top Mont. Democrats endorse Lewis for US House
HELENA, Mont. (AP) The state's top three Democrats are endorsing John Lewis in the party's primary for U.S. House.
Lewis is a former staffer for U.S. Sen. Max Baucus. He is running for the open House seat in 2014.
Baucus, U.S. Sen. Jon Tester and Gov. Steve Bullock all made it clear Tuesday that they are backing Lewis.
Baucus says Lewis is problem-solver who will serve the state well.
Democrat Melinda Gopher of Missoula has also said she will run for the House. The writer and Native American activist finished in third place in a Democratic primary for the seat in 2010 after raising little money for the race.
Lewis has not held elected office before.
Incumbent Republican Steve Daines is running for the Baucus' Senate seat.
NEWSPAPER CARRIER ASSAULTED
Man charged with robbing newspaper carrier
(Information in the following story is from: The Billings Gazette, http://www.billingsgazette.com)
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) A Billings man is charged with attacking a newspaper carrier, leaving him with cracked ribs, a punctured lung and a fractured cheek.
The Billings Gazette reports that 18-year-old Perris Juwan Mansfield was charged with felony robbery Monday in Yellowstone County Justice Court. His bail was set at $30,000.
Prosecutors say Mansfield and another teen attacked a 35-year-old man delivering newspapers for The Billings Gazette on Nov. 16.
Charging documents say the two approached the carrier and asked him for money. When he said he didn't have any, the two punched him in the face, kicked him when he fell to the ground and took his wallet.
A witness saw the victim on the ground and he another person took him to the hospital. An officer says the man's eyes were almost swollen shut.
Helena man gets nearly 4 years for tax evasion
(Information in the following story is from: Independent Record, http://www.helenair.com)
HELENA, Mont. (AP) A former Helena man who was convicted of attempted tax evasion has been sentenced to nearly four years in federal prison and ordered to pay $730,000 in restitution.
U.S. District Judge Charles Lovell sentenced 51-year-old Brad Charles Fisher of Kenmore, Wash., on Tuesday. The Independent Record reports Fisher apologized, saying he was humiliated and had embarrassed his family and friends.
Court records say Fisher worked as an insurance salesman but did not file tax returns from 2001 to 2006. An IRS audit determined he owed nearly $445,000, plus penalties and interest. Fisher repaid about $44,000.
As the IRS sought to collect the money over the years, prosecutors say Fisher failed to disclose his ownership interest in five vehicles and a boat and took expensive vacations. The IRS eventually seized and sold his house.
Stillwater Mining Co. names McMullen as CEO
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) Stillwater Mining Co. officials say board member Michael "Mick" McMullen has been appointed the company's new chief executive officer.
The Billings-based precious metals mining company said in a statement Tuesday that McMullen's appointment is effective immediately and he will continue to serve on the board of directors.
Former Stillwater chairman and CEO Frank McCallister was ousted earlier this year in part due to investor discontent. That effort was joined by former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, who replaced McCallister as chairman.
Vice President of Corporate Development Terrell Ackerman had been serving as interim CEO since June.
Schweitzer says the board has confidence in McMullen to pursue the "change agenda" expected by shareholders.
Shares of Stillwater rose 1.36 percent Tuesday to close at $11.18 per share.
Megaload gets underway in E. Ore.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) A megaload of oil refinery equipment bound for western Canada has completed a leg of more than 40 miles in its planned six-day trip through Eastern Oregon.
State Department of Transportation spokesman Tom Strandberg says the load parked Tuesday south of Pendleton.
It left the Port of Umatilla Monday night despite protests from environmentalists and tribal members.
The previous night, two men locked themselves to it. By the time officers detached them, it was too late for the rig to make it to its first stop site.
The load is 22 feet wide, 380 feet long. It's allowed to move only at night to reduce traffic delays.
Strandberg said he didn't know whether the 450-ton load would resume its trip Tuesday night. Snow created difficult travel conditions in the region.
Rocky sweeps weekly Frontier basketball honors
WHITEFISH, Mont. (AP) Players from Rocky Mountain College have swept the Frontier Conference weekly basketball honors.
Senior guard Brittany Kumm of Great Falls won the women's award. She averaged 24 points, 5.5 rebounds, five assists and three steals as Rocky beat Mayville State 79-71 and lost to Jamestown College 88-77. She made 7-of-11 shots from 3-point range.
Senior forward Joel Barndt of Billings won the men's award. Barndt averaged 22 points, 5.5 rebounds and an assist as Rocky beat Mayville State 93-60 and Valley City State 81-58.
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