Marko Lucich steps down
Marko Lucich is stepping down as the executive director of Butte’s Chamber of Commerce.
Chamber President Colin Higgins told chamber members in letter that Lucich is resigning to concentrate on his health and well-being. Lucich, who has directed the Chamber for 13 years, has been on an unpaid leave since August because of medical issues.
Stephanie Sorini will step in as interim executive director. She has served as the chamber’s director of marketing and membership services for the past three years.
Sorini told The Montana Standard the chamber will search for a new executive director sometime after Jan. 1.
Great Falls woman charged for role in stabbing death
GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) — A Great Falls woman has been charged for her alleged role in a weekend stabbing death that a witness says happened during an attempt to steal drugs.
Brianna Coombs was charged Monday with assault with a weapon by accountability, solicitation to commit distribution of dangerous drugs and tampering with evidence in the death of 18-year-old Megan Meriwether on Friday night.
Coombs did not enter a plea. Her bail was set at $100,000.
Court records say a witness told police that Coombs’ 16-year-old boyfriend confessed to stabbing Meriwether. He appeared in Juvenile Court, where he was detained with bail set at $100,000.
Cascade County Attorney John Parker says one of the defendants admitted there was a plan in place to steal marijuana from Meriwether. A witness told investigators that Meriwether stabbed Coombs in the leg and then Coombs’ boyfriend got involved in the fight and Meriwether was stabbed with her own knife.
The Latest: Yosemite park superintendent apologizes to staff
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP) — The head of Yosemite National Park has apologized to staff members following recently revealed allegations of harassment and other misconduct.
Superintendent Don Neubacher sent the apology Sunday in an email to all park employees, referencing “some serious staff concerns related to Yosemite’s workplace environment.”
It comes after a congressional oversight committee unveiled that at least 18 Yosemite staffers complained of a toxic work environment.
Officials say they’re also investigating complaints of sexual harassment and retaliation at Yellowstone and Grand Canyon national parks.
Neubacher says he has been Yosemite’s superintendent for nearly seven years and wasn’t aware of the concerns until recently, which make him sad. He says his goal has always been to make the park a positive workplace.
Park spokesman Scott Gediman declined to comment Monday.
Authorities ID man found dead in canyon near Bozeman
BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — Authorities have released the name of a man who was found dead in a canyon near Bozeman.
The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports 27-year-old Jeffrey Theodore Baysinger, of Belgrade, was found dead in Hyalite Canyon on Friday after state troopers found his vehicle abandoned in a ditch the previous Wednesday.
An autopsy is planned, but Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin says it appears Baysinger died of exposure.
Man gets 60 years for armed home invasion in Billings
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A Montana man has been sentenced to 60 years in prison for a home invasion in Billings that left him injured.
The Billings Gazette reports that 32-year-old Christopher James Michelotti was sentenced Monday for aggravated burglary and assault with a weapon.
Michelotti was already under a federal indictment from an incident in Great Falls when he entered the Billings home in May 2014. According to court documents, Michelotti was trying to coerce someone in the house to commit a crime when he entered the home. He was shot by a resident during the incident.
Michelotti has an extensive criminal record and District Judge Ingrid Gustafson called him a persistent felony offender in his sentence.
He was previously sentenced for a drive by shooting and was under investigation for drug and gun charges.
Man killed in 2-vehicle crash west of Billings
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Montana Highway Patrol says a man was killed in a two-vehicle crash west of Billings.
Sgt. Craig Baum says a 37-year-old Billings man was driving a pickup east on South Frontage Road on Monday morning when a truck headed the opposite direction crossed the centerline. The Billings Gazette reports the driver of the vehicle that crossed into the opposing lane died at the scene.
His name has not been released, but the coroner’s office says he is 35 years old and from Billings.
The 37-year-old man was not injured.
Man charged in sex trafficking scheme with underage girls
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Authorities say a man brought two women and three teenage girls into a sex trafficking scheme and had one of the women drive him to court for a probation hearing for a prior prostitution conviction.
Terrance Tyrell Edwards has been charged with sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion after he was arrested last week at a Billings hotel.
A sworn statement by Missoula police detective Guy Baker says Edwards arranged for one woman to meet men for money in Billings, Missoula and Salt Lake City.
Baker says Edwards brought in another woman from Washington state. Two days before he was arrested, he picked up three girls, ages 15, 16 and 17, in Fargo, North Dakota, and brought them to Billings.
Edwards is scheduled to make an initial court appearance Monday.