Supreme Court: Smoking shelters violate clean indoor air act
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The Montana Supreme Court has overturned a lower court ruling that allowed Great Falls casino owners to circumvent the Clean Indoor Air Act by building a separate shack with permanent vents for its smoking customers.
Tuesday’s ruling came in the Cascade City-County Board of Health’s appeal of District Judge Greg Pinski’s decision. In November 2013, Pinski found the wording of several laws coupled with the health board’s acknowledgement that the shelters were “partially open to the outside air,” negated the board’s argument that the shelters were “places of work” where smoking is disallowed under the Montana Clean Indoor Air Act.
The Supreme Court found that the board was wrong to say the shelters were partially open and also found that they were places of work, thus subjecting them to the no-smoking law.
Man sentenced for trying to kidnap 10-year-old girl
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — A 34-year-old man who was convicted of sexually assaulting a nurse last spring has been sentenced for trying to kidnap a 10-year-old girl as she played with her brother in a Missoula park.
District Judge Karen Townsend on Tuesday sentenced Coty James Low to 10 years under the supervision of the Department of Corrections with eight suspended. He is also required to register as a sex offender.
The Missoulian reports Low has been jailed since his June 21 arrest. Witnesses said he grabbed the girl’s leg and carried her away, but she kicked and screamed and he dropped her about 25 feet away. The girl’s father held Low until police arrived.
Low entered an Alford plea to attempted kidnapping. Under such a plea, a defendant does not admit guilt but acknowledges prosecutors have enough evidence to gain a conviction.
Woman guilty of obstructing justice in murder investigation
HAMILTON, Mont. (AP) — The wife of a Hamilton man charged with stomping another man to death a year ago has pleaded guilty to obstructing justice and possessing methamphetamine.
The Ravalli Republic reports 29-year-old Candace E. Sullivan entered her plea earlier this month under an agreement that calls for a 5-year sentence with the Department of Corrections. Sentencing is set for April 9.
Richard Sullivan is charged with beating and stomping 25-year-old Robert Thaut in his home. His deliberate homicide trial is set to start on April 24.
Prosecutors say Sullivan and his wife had been drinking at Thaut’s house on Jan. 29, 2014, when Sullivan became angry because Thaut smelled his wife’s hair.
An autopsy found Thaut suffered blunt-force trauma to his abdomen up to two hours before a 911 call was made and could have survived with prompt medical attention.
Some roads in Yellowstone National Park set to close Sunday
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. (AP) — Yellowstone’s winter season is coming to an end, which means roads that allow guided snowmobiles and snowcoach travel to some of the park’s most iconic sites will be closed in stages beginning Sunday.
The road from Yellowstone’s east entrance over Sylvan Pass will be closed, and oversnow travel south into the park from Mammoth Hot Springs will end at 9 p.m. Sunday. Other road closures will happen over the next two weeks.
After the roads close to oversnow travel, crews will begin to clear them so they can reopen to automobile travel beginning April 17, weather permitting.
The road from Gardiner, Montana, through the park’s north entrance to Mammoth Hot Springs and Cooke City, Montana, is open to automobiles all year, if the weather cooperates.