Butte man killed in rollover crash on I-90 near Anaconda
BUTTE, Mont. (AP) — Authorities say a 40-year-old Butte man was killed in a rollover crash on Interstate 90 east of Anaconda.
The Montana Standard reports the man’s SUV rolled twice and crashed into a ditch after it drifted off of the interstate early Tuesday. The victim, whose name has not been released, died at the scene.
Investigators with the Montana Highway Patrol say the road was dry, and they suspect drugs played a role in the crash.
No other information was released.
The Latest: Republican pan governor’s budget plan
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Republican legislative leaders are calling Montana Gov. Steve Bullock’s proposed budget unrealistic in a time of declining revenues.
The Democratic governor on Tuesday released his two-year budget plan that calls for increasing overall spending $35 million, giving state workers pay raises, increasing education spending and a $292 million infrastructure package.
Bullock also wants to build back up the state’s rainy day fund to $300 million by mid-2019.
Republicans have majorities in both the House and Senate. Their leaders say the state will be in a deficit when the next budget cycle starts next year, and the only way to fund Bullock’s proposals is through raising taxes.
Bullock is calling for raising taxes on the wealthy and a new tax on medical marijuana.
Both House Speaker Austin Knudsen and Senate President-elect Scott Sales say they oppose any tax hikes.
Woman charged with homicide in Crow Tribal Court
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A woman has been charged in the death of a 38-year-old man whose body was found on the Crow Indian Reservation over the weekend.
Crow Tribal Court prosecutor Robert LaFountain tells The Billings Gazette (bit.ly/2fTZ5gV) that Vernelle Badbear has been arraigned on a charge of deliberate homicide in the death of Freman Bends of Benteen. Her bail was set at $100,000. LaFountain could not say where she was being held or when her next court appearance might be.
Big Horn County Coroner Terry Bullis said an investigation determined Bends died on Nov. 3. His body was found Nov. 5 along a road about four miles south of his home. Bends’ cause of death has not been released.
Report: Man who died in Yellowstone was looking to ‘hot pot’
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A 23-year-old Portland, Oregon, man who died after falling into a Yellowstone National Park hot spring this summer was looking for a place to “hot pot,” or soak in the park’s natural thermal features.
A report by Deputy Chief Ranger Lorant Veress says Sable Scott told investigators that she and her brother, Colin, left the boardwalk near Pork Chop Geyser on June 7. As she took video with her cellphone, her brother reached down to check the water temperature and fell into the scalding pool.
KULR-TV (bit.ly/2fulh4g) obtained the National Park Service’s final report through a Freedom of Information Act request.
Search and rescue rangers spotted Colin Scott’s body in the pool the day of the accident, but a lightning storm prevented recovery efforts. By the next day, workers could not find any remains.
Stevensville company announces layoffs, reduced hours
STEVENSVILLE, Mont. (AP) — One of the largest employers in Stevensville says a loss of projects is leading to reduced hours and layoffs for about 100 of its 120 employees.
Selway Corp. operations manager Randy Osgood tells KTMF-TV (bit.ly/2f27LV3) that he believes the reductions at the steel fabrication plant will be temporary.
Osgood says Selway is built on supporting the natural resource market, which is experiencing a downturn. He says there are some potential projects that could create more work next year and he hopes the reductions are temporary.
Selway Corp. is an employee-owned fabrication facility in Stevensville, a town of about 1,800 south of Missoula.
Groups, BNSF Railway reach agreement in coal dust lawsuit
SEATTLE (AP) — A tentative agreement has been reached between BNSF Railway and seven environmental groups that sued alleging coal spilled from trains pollutes waterways in Washington state.
Under the agreement announced Tuesday by both sides, BNSF agreed to conduct a two-year study on physical covers for coal and petroleum coke railcars. It also agreed to pay $1 million in environmental projects and clean up hotspots near waterways in Washington state.
Charlie Tebbutt, lead attorney for the plaintiffs, says the agreement puts BNSF on “a pathway to solving the problem and stopping the pollution.”
BNSF denied any violations of the Clean Water Act and said in a statement Tuesday that the settlement reflects its long-term efforts to address coal dust.
The groups sued BNSF in 2013, arguing that it violated federal environmental law by allowing its trains to discharge coal and other pollutants into state rivers and waterways without a permit.
The agreement came on the sixth day of trial in federal court in Seattle.