New lawsuit filed over forest priorities
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A new lawsuit has been filed over Gov. Steve Bullock’s nomination of 5.1 million acres of U.S. Forest Service land for priority management.
The complaint filed last week by Wildwest Institute, Conservation Congress and Friends of the Bitterroot is the second since Bullock forwarded his choices for expedited restoration and management to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in April. The Independent Record reports the groups allege the state violated open meetings laws and the right to public participation when a committee advised the governor on which forest lands to choose. The groups say no notice was given of the committee’s meetings and no minutes were recorded.
The lawsuit asks a state judge to void the nominations. Administration officials declined comment. Steve Kelly of Bozeman filed a similar lawsuit last month.
Authorities identify woman killed in fire
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — Authorities identified the victim in a Missoula house fire as the home’s 67-year-old occupant. Missoula Rural Fire District deputy chief Chris Newman says family members were attempting to resuscitate Karen Louis Miller when firefighters arrived Sunday night. The Missoulian reports Miller suffered burns and severe smoke inhalation. She was transported to a Missoula hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Newman says a man, woman and boy also were treated for minor burns and smoke inhalation. KECI-TV reports Miller’s grandson, Colter Miller, spotted smoke coming from the home. The Big Sky High School senior punched through a window screen and pulled his grandmother from the house. Newman says an initial investigation shows cigarette smoking materials near oxygen likely started the fire in the bedroom, where the blaze was contained.
California guard commits to Montana State
BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — Montana State officials say a point guard from a California high school will play for the Bobcats’ men’s basketball team next season. Joey Frenchwood is a 6-foot-1, 170-pound guard from Newark, California. He averaged 17 points, six assists and four rebounds as a senior at Memorial High School. Montana State coach Brian Fish says Frenchwood will bring toughness and leadership to the program, and he will add depth to the position. Senior Michael Dison and junior Marcus Colbert are also point guards on the Bobcat roster. Fish says Frenchwood’s signing completes the new coach’s first recruiting class with 13 scholarship players.
Ravens sign ex-Montana Tech linebacker Ryan Jones
BUTTE, Mont. (AP) — The Baltimore Ravens have signed former Montana Tech linebacker Ryan Jones to a free-agent contract. The Montana Standard reports the Reno, Nevada, native signed with the Ravens on Tuesday. Jones played with the Orediggers for two seasons after transferring from Sierra College in Sacramento, California. He made 127 tackles, 10.5 sacks, 16 tackles for losses and an interception in his two seasons with Montana Tech. Orediggers coach Chuck Morrell says the new contract is something Jones worked really hard for and is a great opportunity for him to continue his playing career.