Associated Press Montana News Summary
Monday, December 3rd 2012
Latest Montana news, sports, business and entertainment

Officials investigating death involving explosives

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

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) State and federal officials say they are investigating the death of a man in what is being described as an "explosives incident."

Brad Beyersdorf of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives says several people were at the scene about five miles east of Laurel when law enforcement and emergency personnel responded Saturday afternoon.

Sgt. David Muhlbeier of the Yellowstone County Sheriff's Office tells the Billings Gazette that the man was transported by helicopter to St. Vincent Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Information about the man has not been released.


Police ID man killed in two-vehicle collision

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

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) Authorities have identified a 60-year-old Molt man who died when police say he failed to stop at a stop sign about eight miles north of Billings and collided with another vehicle.

Police tell the Billings Gazette that Daniel Charles Downs was driving a Ford F-250 and died at the scene Friday evening at the intersection of Shepherd Acton Road and Highway 87.

The driver of the other vehicle was treated for minor injuries at the scene.

The Montana Highway Patrol says the F-250 rolled and crushed the cab, pinning Downs inside.


Casino manager ordered to pay back embezzled money

(Information in the following story is from: Missoulian,

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) A former manager of three Lucky Diamond casinos in Missoula and Billings owned by his family members and a friend has been ordered to repay nearly $1 million he embezzled.

Missoula County District Court Judge John Larson last week issued the restitution order against Scott Peterson. Larson in July pleaded guilty to two counts of embezzlement and one of tampering or fabricating physical evidence.

Deputy Missoula County Attorney Shaun Donovan says some family members didn't want the case prosecuted.

Donovan told the Missoulian that Peterson's restitution amount could have been about $260,000 more but his mother-in-law and wife didn't want to pursue the case against him.

Besides restitution, Larson's order also included 22 years of suspended and deferred prison sentences.


Church affiliation of Mont. kids' ranch questioned

HELENA, Mont. (AP) The dispute between Montana regulators and a ranch for troubled children adopted abroad may come down to a judge's definition of a church.

Ranch For Kids owner Joyce Sterkel says her boarding school in Eureka should be free from state oversight because of an exemption in the law for ministries of local churches.

She and the head of the Epicenter International Missions Ministry signed an agreement last year making the ranch Epicenter's "adjunct ministry."

A state Department of Labor and Industry board charges that Sterkel is hiding behind the religious exemption to skirt its fees and regulations. The regulators say Epicenter is not a church at all, but a mission created by one of its employees.

A Libby judge will be asked Tuesday to decide which side is right.


Time running out for remnants of Bozeman Brewery

(Information in the following story is from: Bozeman Daily Chronicle,

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) Time appears to be running out for a 117-year-old, four-story brick facade that is part of the Bozeman Brewery district listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports that a 2-year stay of demolition expires Jan. 10, meaning the owner could apply for a permit to tear it down.

The Bozeman City Commission will hear an update on the wall on Monday.

The Bozeman Brewery was built in 1895 and produced up to 40,000 barrels of beer annually up to 1919. Part of it was torn down in 2007 and 2008 for a condominium and office project, but that plan stalled.

After that the City Commission created a policy requiring permits and impact fees before a historic building could be demolished.


White House to appoint Montana State president

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) President Barack Obama has announced his intent to appoint the president of Montana State University to the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development.

The president last week announced that Waded Cruzado (WAH'-ded cru-SAH'-doh) was among seven individuals appointed to various administrative posts.

The board advises the U.S. Agency for International Development on matters involving agriculture and higher education having to do with producing enough food in developing countries.

Cruzado says she's honored to have the opportunity to serve on the board.

Montana Democratic Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester congratulated Cruzado and say she will help in the fight against global hunger.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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