State wants input on plan to limit motorized watercraft use
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A series of public hearings will begin next week on a proposal to limit motorized watercraft use on nearly 50 western Montana river and stream segments.
The Independent Record reports that the proposal comes from the Backcountry Hunters and Anglers’ Quiet Waters. The group cites advancements of motorized technology for bringing the initiative forward.
Under the proposal, there would be several seasonal and horsepower restrictions on motorized watercraft use as well as the closure of several small tributaries.
Some of the proposed changes would affect the Yellowstone, Flathead, Stillwater, Missouri and Whitefish rivers.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is gathering feedback on the group’s plan during six public meetings in January, with the first held Tuesday in Kalispell.
Great Falls lawmaker to resign after daughter had triplets
GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) — A Great Falls lawmaker says she plans to resign from the legislature in late January to help her daughter care for her infant triplets.
The Great Falls Tribune (gftrib.com/2iBltNi) reports Sen. Mary Sheehy-Moe wrote a letter to her constituents saying she plans to resign from the legislature in late January, shortly before the Cascade County Democratic Central Committee is scheduled to meet. The committee will forward the names of three candidates to the Cascade County Commission, which will choose Sheehy-Moe’s replacement.
Sheehy-Moe says Montana law does not allow a legislator who resigns to serve until a replacement is sworn in.
Sheehy-Moe says her triplet grandchildren were born prematurely and remain in a neonatal intensive care unit, but may be ready to go home by late February. She says at that point her daughter will need her help.
Liberty County commissioner to replace Havre senator
HAVRE, Mont. (AP) — Commissioners from four north-central Montana counties have selected a Liberty County commissioner to replace Republican Sen. Kristin Hansen of Havre, who resigned to take a job in the state auditor’s office.
The Havre Daily News reports (bit.ly/2hksr8k) commissioners from Cascade, Chouteau, Hill and Liberty counties met last week in Fort Benton and selected Russ Tempel to serve Senate District 14.
Hansen announced earlier this month she was resigning to take the position of chief legal counsel for incoming Auditor Matt Rosendale.
The 2017 Legislature convenes on Jan. 2.
Broken pipes lead to unusable water on Rocky Boy’s
HAVRE, Mont. (AP) — About half the residents of the Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation are receiving bottled water after several water pipes broke last week.
The Havre Daily News reports (bit.ly/2hqxcRe) that as of Tuesday morning, the pipes had been repaired and pressure was being restored to the system. However, interim director of Tribal Water Resources Dustin White said it could be another two weeks or more before the 1,500 to 2,000 residents affected will be able to drink water from their faucets.
The pipes broke on Dec. 22.
White says once water pressure is restored, water samples must be submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency to make sure the water is safe. White says those results are expected to be back Friday.
At that point, people will be able to use water for laundry and toilet flushing. Further testing will be needed to ensure it is safe for drinking.
Billings man sentenced for raping 2-year-old
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A 28-year-old Billings man who pleaded guilty to raping a 2-year-old girl he was babysitting has been given a 40-year sentence with the Department of Public Health and Human Services.
The Billings Gazette reports District Judge Russell Fagg sentenced Daniel Joseph Degele to 100 years with 60 suspended and ordered him to begin serving his sentence at the Montana State Hospital. A psychologist testified that Degele has been diagnosed with schizophrenia.
As soon as Degele is medically stable, Fagg ordered that he serve the rest of his sentence at the Montana State Prison. Degele must serve at least 25 years.
Prosecutors say the victim required surgery to repair the internal damage she suffered in the November 2014 attack and that she likely will not be able to have children.
Degele was sentenced on Dec. 20.
Helena man dies of carbon monoxide poisoning
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A 28-year-old Helena man has died and five other people were sickened after being exposed to high levels of carbon monoxide in a Helena residence.
Lewis and Clark County Coroner Bryan Backeberg tells the Independent Record (bit.ly/2ivMZjv) that Kevin Faultleroy died Saturday morning. Five other adult family members were taken to the hospital, but were expected to make a full recovery.
Capt. Vince Williams with the Helena Fire Department says someone in the home called 911 at about 8:20 a.m. Saturday.
Williams says the cause of the high level of carbon monoxide is under investigation.