Associated Press Montana News Summary
Tuesday, November 13th 2012
Latest Montana news, sports, business and entertainment

Montana man accused of slitting man's throat

(Information in the following story is from: Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner,

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) A Montana man is being held on assault charges after allegedly slitting the throat of a man at a bar.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the 37-year-old unidentified victim left the bar and called police from the parking lot, identifying his attacker.

Forty-five-year-old Lance Arthur Johnson of Polson, Mont., was arraigned Saturday on an assault charge and held on bail. Police Sgt. Kurt Lockwood says a grand jury could amend charges.

Police say there was no apparent altercation between the men before the attack that left a gash up to six inches on the man's throat.

Lockwood says there were no arteries or veins cut. The victim was taken to a hospital, sewn up and is recovering at home.


Troy man dies in fatal vehicle crash

(Information in the following story is from: Missoulian,

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) A Troy man has died in a one-vehicle crash in northwestern Montana.

Sgt. Duane Bowers of the Montana Highway Patrol says 29-year-old Billy Don Norman crossed into the southbound lane of Montana Highway 56 Sunday night and crashed into a ditch.

The Missoulian reports the car rolled several times before it stopped and Norman was ejected from the vehicle.

Norman was the only person in the car and he was not wearing a seatbelt.

Authorities say the accident is under investigation but preliminary reports say he may have tried swerving around an animal or an obstruction in the roadway.


Billings criticized for ambulance exemptions

(Information in the following story is from: Billings Gazette,

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) Billings has granted hundreds of waivers in recent years to an ambulance service required to have a response time of eight minutes or less on 90 percent of emergency calls.

Critics say Billings Fire Chief Paul Dextras grants just enough exemptions to American Medical Response for the private ambulance company to meet that threshold.

Firefighter and former emergency medical services director Alan Lohof tells the Billings Gazette that Dextras approved at least 314 exemptions from January 2010 through December 2011.

Lohof alleges the exemptions are made without proper review.

Dextras says he believes AMR is doing everything it can to meet standards. He says he has heard only one complaint about emergency services.

AMR operations manager Melody Westmoreland says the company asks for an exemption whenever appropriate.


Yellowstone snags 300,000 lake trout

(Information in the following story is from: Jackson Hole (Wyo.) News And Guide,

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. (AP) An effort to cull invasive species from Yellowstone Lake has removed more than 300,000 lake trout from the lake this year.

The number of lake trout caught is the most in one year since fisheries managers first discovered the fish in 1994 in Yellowstone National Park's largest lake. The presence of lake trout has decimated populations of cutthroat trout, which are native to Yellowstone Lake.

The culling operation is finally reaching kill levels necessary to effectively suppress the ecologically damaging lake trout population, estimated at about 500,000 adult fish.

Yellowstone spokesman Dan Hottle tells the Jackson Hole News & Guide that officials are satisfied with the intensity of the lake trout kill and plan to hold netting at current levels into the near future.


Kennedy says check not meant for WTP

HELENA, Mont. (AP) A Montana candidate whose check ended up in the account of a secretive conservative group says he doesn't know how it got there.

Bank records show Western Tradition Partnership deposited a payment of $557.50 from Republican legislator Dan Kennedy of Laurel shortly after he won a 2010 primary.

WTP had been assailing Kennedy's opponent with mailers and spending. The group's opponents argue evidence suggests it has been illegally coordinating with candidates.

Kennedy says he wrote his check out to a company called "Direct Mail," and doesn't know how it ended up being deposited in a WTP account.

Kennedy refused to answer questions about who he was working with at the "Direct Mail" company.

The WTP bank records were released as part of the state's case against WTP for illegal electioneering.


Montana coal railroad line faces federal review

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) Eastern Montana residents will weigh in this week on a proposed 83-mile coal railroad with the potential to usher in a dramatic expansion of mining in the state.

The Surface Transportation Board is hosting a series of public meetings beginning Monday in Lame Deer for its environmental review of the proposed Tongue River Railroad.

The $490 million line would haul up to 20 million tons of fuel annually equal to about half the state's current coal production.

Backers say that would boost the Montana economy and bring thousands of construction and mining jobs.

But opponents say the line will industrialize rural areas, and burning the coal could worsen climate change.

The long-stalled railroad was bought last year by BNSF Railway, Arch Coal and billionaire Forrest Mars, Jr.

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