Associated Press Montana News Summary
Monday, November 12th 2012
Latest Montana news, sports, business and entertainment
GUN THEFT-SENTENCING

2 men sentenced in Kalispell-area gun theft

HELENA, Mont. (AP) Two northwestern Montana men have been sentenced to prison for their roles in a robbery north of Kalispell in which a 16-year-old girl was held at gunpoint.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says Steven Alexander Acton of Libby was sentenced to 8.5 years in prison Thursday by U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen in Helena while Kevin Kenneth Gaethle of Kalispell received just over four years.

Prosecutors allege Acton and Bradley Thorpe Thompson of Kalispell robbed an acquaintance in July 2011 so they could sell the guns in Oregon and get money to buy drugs while Gaethle drove the getaway car.

All three men pleaded guilty to robbery affecting commerce and Acton and Thomas also pleaded guilty to using of a firearm during a crime of violence.

Thompson was sentenced to nearly six years in prison in September.

MEDICAL MARIJUANA

Montana pot advocates look to Colorado, Washington

HELENA, Mont. (AP) Medical marijuana advocates rebuffed by Montana voters think they found a silver lining in Colorado and Washington.

Voters in those states passed initiatives that remove criminal penalties for adults over 21 with small amounts of the drug.

Montana advocates were rejected at the ballot box in their attempt to overturn a state law that restricts the use and distribution of medical marijuana. But they say they are looking to those two states as possible templates for passing a broader initiative in 2014.

Bob Brigham says Montana's libertarian-minded citizens give such a ballot proposal a good chance of passage.

But the legislator who backed the medical marijuana restrictions thinks not.

Republican Sen. Jeff Essmann says he believes Montanans aren't ready for the legalization of recreational marijuana.

WATER PLAN

Officials announce proposed water rights compact

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

PABLO, Mont. (AP) Montana officials along with federal and tribal officials have completed a proposed compact involving rights from an 1855 treaty.

The Missoulian reports (http://bit.ly/SVBVrY) that negotiating teams including the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes on Thursday announced the completion of the proposed compact and that it's open for review.

That review will include a dozen meetings starting after Thanksgiving and where public comments will be taken.

Attorney Jay Weiner with the Montana Water Rights Compact Commission says the Hellgate Treaty of 1855 gave the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes "a strong legal basis to assert water rights off the reservation."

Negotiators have attempted to resolve that and other potential conflicts, including rights the treaty gives to tribes to hunt and fish in their traditional locations.

LOTTERY WINNER

Kalispell man claims $25K lottery prize

HELENA, Mont. (AP) A Kalispell man braved a winter storm to claim a $25,000 top prize from the "Battleship" scratch game.

Montana Lottery officials say Jimmy Worsham claimed his winnings Friday in Helena.

He bought the ticket at a Town Pump in Kalispell.

Worsham says he plans to use his winnings for fun and to pay bills.


Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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