Helena looks to Forest Service land swap for water
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — City officials in Helena are asking the U.S. Forest Service to consider trading land in mountain drainages which supply drinking water to the city.
The city proposes trading 217 acres of city land in three drainages for close to 400 acres located in one of those drainages located in Helena National Forest.
The Helena Independent Record reports most of the city’s water comes from the Tenmile Creek drainage where the city owns and manages numerous control structures.
City officials say they’ve been discussing a land swap with the Forest Service for 10 years and expect the latest proposal to take at least five years to see through.
Alert faulted in Montana State rape investigation
BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — The Gallatin County attorney says a decision by Montana State University to send a campus-wide alert about two reported rapes might have interfered with the police investigation.
County Attorney Marty Lambert decided not to prosecute either rape alleged at two fraternities over the same weekend in September, 2013.
The allegations prompted Montana State to suspend recognition of both fraternities. The university lifted the suspensions but sanctioned the Sigma Chi and Pi Kappa Alpha chapters.
Lambert told Montana State University police in a letter Oct. 9 lack of physical evidence and doubt that sexual contact occurred were reasons he didn’t prosecute one of the cases.
The Bozeman Chronicle reports Lambert also told police the campus-wide alert could have interfered with witness testimony or led to destruction or loss of evidence.
Montana woman gets prison for Medicaid fraud
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — A respiratory therapist from northwest Montana has been sentenced to a year and a day in prison for defrauding Medicaid of over $1.4 million.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said 67-year-old Anna Sue Tope of Rexford, Montana overbilled Medicaid for medical supplies. She was also accused of filing tax returns that failed to report her correct income, resulting in a tax loss of over $200,000
Tope was vice-president of Eagle Calf Technical Corporation, which provides medical equipment and services on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation.
Authorities alleged that she furnished a patient with one type of relatively inexpensive catheter, then billed Medicaid for more than 108,000 more expensive catheters.
The case was investigated by Montana Medicaid, the Internal Revenue Service, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Livingston Civil Air Patrol seeks hangar space
LIVINGSTON, Mont. (AP) — A new squadron of the Civil Air Patrol is looking for a place to park its plane indoors.
The Civil Air Patrol in Livingston is seeking donations to cover the $150 or so a month it will cost to rent a hangar for the single-engine plane.
Greg Brainerd and his 18-year-old daughter Heidi helped start the Livingston squadron last summer. The Civil Air Patrol squadron in Bozeman donated the 1984 Cessna 182 for them to fly.
The plane already has taken part in dozens of searches in southwestern Montana.
The Livingston Enterprise reports the plane currently is kept in Billings but Brainerd wants it closer to Livingston.
The U.S. Air Force covers maintenance and fuel costs for Civil Air Patrol aircraft but not the cost of hangar space.
Tester to ESPN: Air more FCS playoff games
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Jon Tester is calling on ESPN to expand its coverage of Football Championship Series playoff games, in particular those featuring the University of Montana and Montana State University.
Both teams enter the first round of the Division I playoffs this weekend. The Grizzlies host San Diego and the Bobcats host South Dakota State.
Watching the games in Montana won’t be as easy as turning on ROOT Sports. The games only can be watched on ESPN3 or by purchasing access to ESPN’s web coverage or GamePlan program.
This week, Tester asked ESPN President John Skipper in a letter to consider working with regional broadcasters or cable providers to put more Football Championship Series games on the air.
Attempts by the Missoulian to get comment from ESPN weren’t successful.