Montana governor allows bison to roam outside Yellowstone
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Montana’s governor will allow wild bison to roam in portions of Montana north and west of Yellowstone National Park, breaking a longstanding impasse in a wildlife conflict that’s dragged on for decades.
Tuesday’s decision by Gov. Steve Bullock likely won’t end the periodic slaughters of bison migrating outside Yellowstone in search of food at lower elevations.
But it for the first time allows hundreds of the animals in areas outside the park year-round.
That’s a move long-sought by wildlife advocates and steadfastly opposed by livestock interests. Ranchers around Yellowstone are wary of a disease carried by many bison and the competition the animals will pose for grazing space.
Bullock, a Democrat, says he will continue to pressure the National Park Service to reduce Yellowstone’s population of roughly 5,000 bison.
Jailed Montana resort founder seeks release, cites Christmas
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The jailed founder of a Montana club for the ultra-rich has filed an emergency petition with a federal court asking for his release ahead of Christmas.
Yellowstone Club developer Tim Blixseth has spent more than eight months in a Montana jail under orders from U.S. District Judge Sam Haddon.
Three prior release petitions from Blixseth have been turned down by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court.
Creditors from the club’s 2008 bankruptcy say Blixseth took $286 million from the private ski and golf resort near Big Sky, Montana for his personal use.
In April, Haddon found Blixseth in contempt of court, for not fully accounting for $13.8 million from the 2011 sale of a luxury property in Mexico in defiance of a court order.
Suspect in Deer Lodge deaths to appear in court
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A Deer Lodge man who has reportedly confessed to killing a man and his mother is jailed in Hamilton pending a hearing there.
Ravalli County Attorney Bill Fulbright says 53-year-old David Wayne Nelson is scheduled to appear before District Judge Jeffrey Langton on Wednesday on Fulbright’s petition to revoke the suspended portion of Nelson’s sentence for a 1998 kidnapping and burglary.
The petition said Nelson confessed on Nov. 29 and told investigators where they could find the bodies of 79-year-old Beverly Giannonatti and 57-year-old Gregory Giannonatti.
The Giannonattis were believed to have been killed on Oct. 25, two days after Nelson reportedly sold 1,700 ounces of silver belonging to Greg Giannonatti to a Missoula shop for more than $26,000. Nelson has not been charged in their deaths.
Man jailed after student threatened over “Star Wars” spoiler
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — An 18-year-old Helena man is charged with threatening to shoot a boy for sharing information about a subplot of the new “Star Wars” movie during an online conversation.
Arthur Charles Roy was charged with felony assault with a weapon Monday during an appearance in Lewis and Clark County Justice Court. He remains jailed with his bail set at $10,000.
Prosecutors allege Roy became angry Thursday when he learned details about the “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” from a Facebook friend.
Court records said he sent the friend a picture of himself with a gun and threatened to come to the victim’s school to shoot him.
Helena’s alternative high school was locked down Friday morning. Police arrested Roy on Friday afternoon.
It’s unclear whether Roy has obtained a lawyer. A public defender is representing him in an ongoing separate case.
Avalanche warning for southwestern Montana mountains
BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — An avalanche warning is in effect for several mountainous areas in western Montana and western Wyoming.
The Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center rates the danger of avalanche as “high” in the Bridger Range north of Bozeman, the Gallatin and Madison mountain ranges south of Bozeman, the Lionhead area west of West Yellowstone and the mountains north of Cooke City.
A North Dakota man died in a weekend avalanche near Cooke City.
The avalanche danger also was rated high Tuesday in areas above 6,000 feet in the Swan Range in northwestern Montana.
Avalanche warnings are also in place for unstable snowpack in the mountains south of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.
Woman killed, another injured in Missoula knife attacks
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — Police in Missoula are searching for two suspects in knife attacks on two women, one of which was fatal.
Officers responded to a grocery store Monday where a 68-year-old woman was stabbed in the abdomen, suffering non-life-threatening injuries. The suspect escaped in a blue Honda driven by another man.
Soon after, officers were called to the Super 8 motel about a block away, where a woman had been killed.
Detective Lt. Bob Bouchee says a knife also was used in that attack.
A blue Honda was found near the Super 8 while the hotel victim’s red Chevrolet Malibu was missing. Police believe the attacks are related.
One suspect is described as being 6 feet tall, about 200 pounds and of unknown race. He was wearing a hat and a longer style black jacket.
Bozeman man pleads guilty to hit-and-run
(Information in the following story is from: Bozeman Daily Chronicle, http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com)
BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — A Bozeman man has pleaded guilty to striking and critically injuring a 72-year-old pedestrian in July.
The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports 31-year-old Jerry Edward Dickson pleaded guilty Tuesday to leaving the scene of a vehicle accident involving serious bodily injury to another person and tampering with evidence.
District Judge Holly Brown scheduled sentencing for Feb. 9.
Dickson was arrested on July 29, three days after William Kasun was found lying on a street, unresponsive, with injuries to his head and neck. Police found evidence indicating he had been hit by a vehicle.
An employee at an auto glass shop told police Dickson had asked to have his windshield replaced. The woman who owned the vehicle later told police that she had let Dickson use her car and she believed he hit Kasun.
Miles City murder suspect in custody in Idaho
(Information in the following story is from: Miles City Star, http://www.milescitystar.com)
MILES CITY, Mont. (AP) — A suspect in the Miles City slaying of an elderly man has been detained in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
The Miles City Star reports that 37-year-old Scott Austin Price has been at large since Monday. The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department of Coeur d’Alene confirmed the arrest Tuesday evening.
He is a suspect in the Dec. 14 murder of 78-year-old Ed Martin of Miles City. Martin was found dead on his camper.
An attorney for Price could not immediately be located.
Syracuse scores convincing 82-60 win over Montana State
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — Michael Gbinije scored 17 points and Dajuan Coleman hit for a season-high 13 points to help Syracuse on Tuesday night to a methodical 82-60 win over Montana State.
Trevor Cooney chipped in with 12 points, Chinonso Obokoh recorded a career-high 11 and Tyler Lydon had 10 for the Orange (9-3). The last time the Orange had five players score 10 or more points was against Villanova on Dec. 20, 2014.
The Orange continued to struggle from beyond the arc, hitting just 7 of 25 for 28 percent. They made 11 of 24 from the charity stripe.
Sarp Gobeloglu paced the Bobcats (5-7) with 13. Tyler Hall, the Bobcats’ second-leading scorer on the season, tallied 12. Montana State scored 18 points below its season average, shooting 36 percent from the field and 28 percent from 3-point range.
Montana breezes past Montana-Western 75-43
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — Martin Breunig scored 19 points and Montana breezed past Montana-Western 75-43 Tuesday.
Breunig was 6 of 6 from the field and 7 of 8 from the free-throw line, with eight rebounds, to lead the Grizzlies (5-6). Jack Lopez added 10 points. Montana shot nearly 53 percent and was 9 of 25 on 3-point attempts, with Bobby Moorehead hitting 3 of 6 from long-range. The Grizzlies outrebounded the NAIA-member Bulldogs 44-30 and recorded 23 assists on their 28 field goals.
Montana-Western was led by Shyke Smalls with 11 points. Kooper Kidgell added nine points off the bench. UMW was held to under 27 percent shooting and was 4 of 21 (19 percent) from beyond the arc.
Montana never trailed and built a 43-20 lead at intermission. The Grizzlies dominated in the paint with a 28-14 advantage.