Officials identify Idaho man killed in Montana crash
BUTTE, Mont. (AP) — Butte-Silver Bow County officials have released the name of a 47-year-old Idaho man who died after being struck by a semitrailer while pushing his car off the interstate in southwestern Montana because it had run out of gas.
The Montana Standard reports (bit.ly/2mNFUsU) Michael Joseph Bailey of Harrison, Idaho, died at about 1 a.m. Saturday near Rocker.
The Montana Highway Patrol said Bailey’s car had its emergency lights on and that the semi driver tried to stop, but was unable to avoid hitting the car. Trooper James Beck says a woman who was helping to push the car was thrown into the ditch and suffered a broken finger and some cuts.
Beck says the truck driver, who was from Pocatello, Idaho, was hauling three trailers.
2013 landslide leads to new lake in Montana state park
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A Montana newspaper is accepting submissions for a contest to name a new lake that formed in eastern Montana’s Makoshika State Park after a 2013 landslide.
The Glendive Ranger Review is taking submissions through the end of the month and will present them to Montana State Parks.
The Billings Gazette reports that Doug Habermann with Montana State Parks says the landslide took place in a remote area of Makoshika and dammed up one side of a ravine, creating space for the lake, which is surrounded by steep hillsides.
Rain and snow trapped in the pool has collected enough to form a small lake that’s about 200 yards long and five feet deep.
According to the Ranger Review, the winning name chosen for the lake will be announced June 10.
Warmer weather prompts flooding in northeastern Montana
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Warm weather brought flooding to northeastern Montana over the weekend and at least one waterway reached record depths.
The Billings Gazette reports Big Muddy Creek near Antelope peaked at 17.84 feet Monday, a new record that is nearly 6 feet above the flood stage. Tanja Fransen with the National Weather Service says the stream’s previous record flood depth of 17.37 feet was set in 1982.
The Poplar River also flooded in Roosevelt County, rising from about 3.5 feet to a peak of roughly 15.5 feet Saturday.
Ice on the river had started breaking up with temperatures recently beginning to warm up.
Fransen says flooding was reported on several major roadways, including Highway 2 in Roosevelt and Valley counties, Highway 248 and Highway 13.
Flooding also closed roads in Bainville.
Colstrip loan would be new territory for Montana board
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The head of the Montana Board of Investments says the board has never made a loan like the one House Speaker Austin Knudsen is proposing for an owner of the Colstrip power plant.
Knudsen is sponsoring a bill that would allow the board to grant Talen Energy loans of $10 million a year to keep two units of the coal-fired plant open until 2022.
The loans are meant to help a company that says it’s losing $30 million a year. Talen lobbyist John Metropoulos says the units could close this year without assistance.
Board of Investments Executive Director David Ewer said Monday the board has never before loaned money for a company’s operations.
He says that he anticipates the loan would have to be secured with some asset for the board to believe it would be prudent.
Montana Legislature set to pass anti-Sharia law bill
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The Montana Legislature is poised to pass a bill to ban Sharia and other foreign laws from being used in courtrooms in the state.
The state House endorsed the measure 56-44 on Monday. It must pass a final vote before it goes to Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock.
The bill does not mention Sharia law, which is used in some parts of the Islamic world, but says that state judges may not apply foreign laws in their courtrooms.
Opponents say the bill targets Muslims, and the only reason Sharia law is not mentioned is because similar legislation in other states that specifically sought Sharia law bans have been ruled unconstitutional.
Republican Rep. Brad Tschida of Missoula says the bill is only meant to uphold the state and U.S. constitutions, and to call it xenophobic is insulting.
This story has been corrected to show Monday’s vote was 56-44.
Ralphie IV, CU’s buffalo mascot from 1998-2008, dies
BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — Ralphie IV, the retired buffalo mascot of the University of Colorado, has died.
The Daily Camera reports the buffalo, which was CU’s mascot from 1998-2008, had recently developed a growth on her left side and was suffering from liver failure when she died Sunday. She was a month shy of turning 20.
Caretaker John Graves says Ralphie IV “was ready to go” and she lived a long life for a buffalo.
Ralphie IV was born in April 1997 in Montana and was donated to CU by media mogul Ted Turner the following year. University officials say she was separated from her mother and was found in the jaws of a coyote.
She led the team onto the field for 75 games.