Former Great Falls man charged with killing veteran
GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) — A former Great Falls man is charged with killing a disabled military veteran in February, hiding his body and using the victim’s debit card to steal his veteran’s benefits.
The Great Falls Tribune reports an arrest warrant was issued Wednesday for Brandon Lee Craft in the death of 28-year-old Adam Petzack.
Court records say Craft was in custody in Washington state when he admitted killing Petzack with a .22-caliber rifle, pawning the rifle, selling Petzack’s truck and abandoning his service dog somewhere between Great Falls and Valier.
Investigators said Craft also drew a map showing the location of Petzack’s body on Craft’s former property near Great Falls, where Petzack had lived in a rental unit.
Craft is charged with deliberate homicide, evidence tampering and exploitation.
Great Falls police declined to say where Craft was being held.
Commissioner faults shooting association for 2014 violations
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana’s campaign regulator says the Montana Shooting Sports Association violated state campaign laws in the 2014 elections.
Commissioner Jonathan Motl says in the findings released Wednesday that the group did not provide enough detail about its contributors.
The association’s federal political-action committee took in $4,744 in contributions that weren’t attributed to individual donors. In 2014, the group only spent money on Montana elections.
The group said the money came from fundraisers such as rifle matches. Motl says political committees must report collections made at fundraising events.
Motl says the group also failed to name on its statement of organization the 18 candidates it supported or opposed through independent expenditures in the 2014 elections.
Association president Gary Marbut says he is speaking with attorneys about Motl’s findings.
Most campaign finance violations are resolved through a settlement and fine.
MSU receives $5.7 million grant from Charles Koch Foundation
BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — Montana State University has announced that two professors have been awarded a $5.7 million grant from the Charles Koch Foundation that could be used to create a research center.
The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports that economics professors Vince Smith and Wendy Stock plan for the center to focus on the impacts of government policies and regulations on society. Stock says MSU will ask the Montana Board of Regents for approval of the facility.
Other plans for the five-year grant include the creation of two new faculty jobs, fellowships, grants and research assistant positions.
The multimillion dollar gift comes from Republican donor Charles Koch, who is known for supporting limited government and lower taxes.
Stock says the goal for their research is to be objective and unbiased.
Some parts of Montana expected to get several inches of snow
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Despite temperatures reaching 90 degrees this week, the National Weather Service is forecasting snow for some parts of Montana.
The Independent Record reports that meteorologist Don Emanuel says there’s going to be a cold front starting Thursday that will bring rain, thunderstorms and snow. The cold is moving in from the northwest in Canada.
About 1 to 3 inches of snow is expected in the high peaks of Glacier National Park, along the Rocky Mountain front and King’s Hill in the Little Belt Mountains.
The weather service is advising those spending time at higher elevations who are not prepared for winter weather to consider moving to lower elevations.
Emanuel says snow levels are expected to drop as low as 7,000 feet.
The Latest: State denies anti-pot group’s initiative request
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Secretary of State Linda McCulloch says she will not count the 3,200 signatures that anti-marijuana advocates submitted in an attempt to certify a ballot initiative after the deadline.
Safe Montana’s Steve Zabawa says the signatures he turned in Wednesday were wrongly rejected by county officials across the state.
McCulloch says in a letter to Zabawa that her office is not able to tabulate the signatures because the deadline for submittal was July 15.
That leaves Zabawa and his group to seek intervention by the courts. A hearing is scheduled Friday in Flathead County district court on Zabawa’s request to count those signatures and another 2,500 signatures he claims county officials lost.
Time is short. McCulloch says she and her staff will certify the November election ballots on Monday to prepare them for printing.
Montana coach Schweyen names Mike Petrino as assistant
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — Montana women’s basketball coach Shannon Schweyen has named Mike Petrino as an assistant.
Petrino, who was raised in Kalispell, comes to UM after four seasons as an assistant at Wyoming and one as director of recruiting and video at Colorado. He says he’s glad to return to his home state.
Schweyen, who was hired after longtime coach Robin Selvig retired, said the administration encouraged her to bring in some new ideas and maybe hire an assistant who hadn’t been involved in Lady Griz basketball. Schweyen played for the Lady Griz and was an assistant for 24 years.
Petrino’s wife, Kelly, is the daughter of Eric Hays, who played basketball at UM and coached Hellgate High to three state titles. His brother, Jason, is the head football coach at Rocky Mountain College while another brother, Jared, is an assistant at Rocky.
Schweyen still has to hire another assistant.