$24M gift pushes UM to raise money for new forestry building
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — The University of Montana plans to raise money for a new building for its College of Forestry and Conservation after receiving a record $24 million pledge.
The Missoulian reports the donation from Bill and Carolyn Franke and their children was announced earlier this month. The money is going to the College of Forestry and Conservation and the Global Leadership Initiative.
The university will work to acquire funding for a new building as part of the agreement outlining the terms of the donation.
UM President Royce Engstrom says the plans “will be a long-term discussion.” He says it’s too early to identify possible funding sources, location and timing for the project.
The board of regents will discuss the donation and renaming the forestry school after Franke at a November meeting.
Montana State University raises over $300 million
BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — Montana State University has brought in $308 million to hit a fundraising goal two years earlier than planned.
The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports the money will be spent on scholarships, classrooms and other projects.
The university set out to have $300 million raised by the 125th anniversary of the school’s founding in 2018.
MSU Alumni Foundation president and CEO Chris Murray said this was the biggest fundraising campaign ever in Montana.
He said the foundation will continue to raise funds for the next two years.
Land transfer would resolve 127-year-old debt
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Montana and the Bureau of Land Management are working to resolve a 127-year-old debt.
The Billings Gazette reports about 10,000 acres would be transferred from the bureau to the state and grazing fees for ranchers could increase by 500 percent.
A Montana Stockgrowers Association official said lessees will not lose permits, but will pay more for longer state leases.
The bureau owes Montana $4.1 million for land covered in the Enabling Act of 1889 that was already slated for national parks or reservations.
State officials gave the bureau its prioritized list of land requests to resolve what remains of the debt by a target date in July 2017.
Ranchers who could be impacted have been notified.
People can provide input during hearings in November.
Meat market accepts big game meat donations
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A Billings meat market has accepted big game donations to give to organizations for more than 20 years.
KULR-TV reports 4th Avenue Meat Market sends donated meat to Billings Food Bank and the Wounded Warrior Project.
Owner Kevin Harrell said the market gets about 100 wild game every hunting season.
He said it’s nice to provide meals to the many needy families out there.
The market asks for a small monetary donation that goes toward processing costs.
Deer and elk hunting season started Oct. 22.
Father sentenced to 1,503 years in prison in daughter’s rape
FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — A 41-year-old Fresno man has been sentenced to 1,503 years in prison for raping his teenage daughter over a four-year period.
The Fresno Bee reports the man was sentenced Friday to the longest-known prison sentence in Fresno Superior Court history.
The Associated Press is not naming the man to avoid identifying his daughter. The AP does not name sexual abuse victims.
A jury in September found him guilty of 186 felony counts of sexual assault, including dozens of counts of rape of a minor.
Prosecutors say the victim was raped two to three times a week from May 2009 to May 2013, when the girl got the courage to leave.
Judge Edward Sarkisian Jr. noted that Lopez had never shown remorse and has blamed his daughter for his predicament.
Montana judge sparks outrage with no prison time for incest
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A judge’s decision not to order prison time for a Montana man who raped his 12-year-old daughter has sparked national outrage and a call to close the loophole in state law that allowed for the lenient sentence.
Montana, like many others states, requires a minimum sentence of 25 years in prison for anyone convicted of rape, incest or sexual abuse of a child 12 or younger.
But the state law also allows judges to dole out far less punishment if an evaluator determines that ordering sex offender treatment outside prison will rehabilitate the offender and protect the victim and society.
District Judge John McKeon ordered the father to spend 60 days in jail and suspended a 30-year prison sentence.
A commission studying Montana’s sentencing laws is recommending the legislature eliminate the loophole that allowed for the lesser punishment in this case.