Sheriff: Grizzly kills bicyclist near Glacier National Park
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana authorities say a grizzly bear attacked and killed a 38-year-old mountain biker riding just outside Glacier National Park.
Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry says Brad Treat of West Glacier was killed Wednesday afternoon on a trail in the Halfmoon Lakes area of the Flathead National Forest.
Curry says Treat was biking with another person when they surprised the bear, which knocked Treat off his bike. The second rider left to look for help and was not injured.
Curry says authorities are looking for the bear.
Treat was a law-enforcement officer for the U.S. Forest Service.
The area is about 3 miles from the park entrance at West Glacier.
Before Wednesday, there had been 10 bear-related human deaths in Glacier since the park was created in 1910.
Report: Barry Beach propositioned 12-year-old girl
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A Billings woman says Barry Beach sexually propositioned her 12-year-old daughter about two months after he was granted clemency for a murder conviction that kept him in prison for three decades.
Clair Kindness tells the Bozeman Daily Chronicle that she filed a report against Beach with the Billings Police Department on Jan. 13 and has spoken to officers twice since then.
The report says Beach picked up the girl, drove her to his home and asked if he could touch her and whether she liked performing a sex act. She told him no and he eventually dropped her off at a house.
The girl’s name and age were blacked out of the report.
Beach told The Associated Press Wednesday evening that he has nothing to say, but that “it’s wrong what’s being done.”
Contractor denies more charges in tribal corruption case
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A Billings contractor has denied charges that he defrauded the Chippewa Cree Tribe and bribed tribal officials to get preferential treatment for $2.5 million in federally funded contracts.
The Billings Gazette reports that Kevin David McGovern pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges of conspiracy and scheme to defraud the tribe and the federal government and bribery. He has also pleaded not guilty on behalf of his company, CMG Construction.
McGovern is accused of paying kickbacks to tribal officials in exchange for noncompetitive and unadvertised construction contracts for projects paid for with federal aid money.
McGovern also pleaded not guilty in March to conspiracy and bribery charges related to the purchase of an overpriced and unneeded asphalt plant by the tribe’s construction company.
His attorney says the most recent charges are “a continuation largely of the same case.”
Farm Rescue adds more services, eyes geographical expansion
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A farm aid nonprofit in the Northern Plains is expanding its services again this year, with an eye toward spreading geographically in a year or two.
North Dakota-based Farm Rescue does physical labor for farmers in need in both Dakotas, Minnesota, Iowa and eastern Montana. It started out planting crops, then expanded to harvesting crops, and then into haying.
The organization this year also is offering hay bale-hauling and grain-hauling services.
Founder Bill Gross says Farm Rescue needs to boost its annual budget from about $750,000 to $1 million to expand to more states. It’s finding new ways to raise money, including selling downloads and CDs of a country music tune sung by North Dakota farmer Joe Schmidt. “My Field of Dreams” was written by Billy Ray Cyrus’ cousin, Bobby.
Glacier National Park to begin free shuttle service
KALISPELL, Mont. (AP) — Glacier National Park is set to start offering visitors free shuttle service along Going-to-the-Sun Road this weekend.
The Flathead Beacon reports that daily shuttle service will begin Friday and continue operating through Sept. 5.
Park official Jim Foster says limited shuttle service to Logan Pass from Apgar Visitor Center will continue through Sept. 18 in response to a growing demand.
The free shuttle service is wheelchair accessible and available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Regular shuttle bus service for the west side of the park, which will operate through Sept. 18, begins each day at 9 a.m. The east-side service begins at 7 a.m. and will continue running through Sept. 5.
State fines refinery $55K for emissions violations
GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) — State environmental regulators have fined a Great Falls refinery more than $55,000 for violating emissions limits.
Department of Environmental Quality officials said in a statement Wednesday that Calumet Montana Refining has paid the fine and corrected the violations.
DEQ officials say the refinery exceeded nitrous oxide limits during a test conducted in March 2014. The company also did not adequately monitor sulfur dioxide emissions during that same period.
John Rasmann of the DEQ told the Great Falls Tribune that the agency initially proposed a $100,000 fine, but lowered it after Calumet provided additional information.
The newspaper reports that Calumet produces gasoline, asphalt and other products that are sold in Washington state, Montana, Idaho and Alberta, Canada.
Court rejects case of woman charged after drunken horse ride
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Montana Supreme Court has rejected the appeal of a woman who claimed she was illegally arrested for drunken driving hours after police officers let her go for riding a horse on a Billings street while intoxicated.
Officers said Dawnalee Ellis-Peterson was trying to get back on the horse when they found her just after 7 a.m. on April 29, 2013.
They let her go when she said she’d just walk the horse home, but then went to her house later that morning after she called 911 to complain that she should be allowed to ride her horse without being pulled over.
The officers later arrested Ellis-Peterson when a neighbor called to say Ellis-Peterson had driven off in a truck.
Ellis-Peterson’s attorney argued there was no probable cause for an arrest.