Montana man dies in rollover crash in northwest North Dakota
RAY, N.D. (AP) — Law enforcement authorities say a 70-year-old Montana man died in a rollover crash Monday in northwest North Dakota.
The North Dakota Highway Patrol says the man of Great Falls, Montana, was driving a semi heading southbound on Williams County Road 42 when the vehicle reached the top of a hill and failed to negotiate a curve. The semi then left the road, entered the ditch and rolled at 9:42 a.m. about 10 miles northwest of Ray.
The Highway Patrol says the man was partially ejected from the vehicle as it rolled and died from injuries sustained in the crash.
The man has not been publicly identified. Authorities say he was wearing a seatbelt. The crash remains under investigation.
Northern Cheyenne tribe to look at sites along railroad path
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Northern Cheyenne tribe plans additional investigations of cultural sites along the path of a proposed railroad that would open new areas of southeastern Montana to large-scale coal mining.
Tribal council member Conrad Fisher said elders will revisit areas previously surveyed for the Surface Transportation Board.
Fisher says the tribe wants to ensure sacred and important sites are protected as the agency considers the Tongue River Railroad.
Landowners and members of other tribes with ties to the area say Surface Transportation Board contractors misinterpreted the significance of some cultural sites and overlooked others.
The $403 million rail line from Colstrip to the town of Ashland north of the Wyoming border is proposed by BNSF Railway, Arch Coal and candy industry billionaire Forrest Mars Jr.
BNSF spokesman Matt Jones said the railroad had confidence in previous cultural survey work done by government contractors.
3 sets of twins born same day at Montana hospital
BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — Three sets of fraternal twins were born on the same day at a Bozeman, Montana, hospital — adding up to more than half of the hospital’s births that day.
The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports the first of the trio of twins was born at Bozeman Deaconess Hospital at 7:49 a.m. on July 22. The other two sets followed over the next seven hours, making it the first time in a decade the hospital has seen so many twins born in a day.
First-time parents Dustin and Davya Jackson say twins run in both their families, so it was almost inevitable when they found out they were having both Sonja Ryann and Landon Lee.
Including the three twins, 11 babies were born at the hospital that day.
Stillwater Mine workers to reconsider contract Monday night
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Union workers with expired contracts at Montana’s largest mining company will reconsider tonight the same contract they rejected in June.
Stillwater Mining Co. workers are scheduled to vote by 9 p.m. Monday on a contract that would keep most pay and benefits consistent with the four-year contract that ended in early June.
The union’s negotiating committee and Stillwater CEO Michael McMullen support it, but workers have said the contract could reduce the take-home pay of about 900 miners.
Workers are bitter over recent pay raises for some executives amid recent cuts, including the layoff of 11 workers two weeks ago.
McMullen has said he’s been slashing costs to keep Stillwater competitive with platinum and palladium mines in South Africa and Russia as precious metal prices decline.
Missoula police investigating shooting death
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — Police are investigating after a man who died of an apparent gunshot wound was brought to St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula.
Detective Sgt. Scott Pastian said officers were working with police in Spokane, Washington, to investigate the possibility that the shooting occurred there. He says the victim was driven to Missoula from Spokane on Sunday and either died on the way or was deceased for the entire trip.
Pastian said officers were investigating the death as a homicide. They were interviewing the driver and the victim’s family. No immediate arrests were made.
Missoula County sheriff’s spokeswoman Brenda Basset said the victim’s name would have to be released by the Spokane County coroner since the death apparently occurred there.
An autopsy was planned Monday.
Bullock appoints Nystuen to Board of Regents
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Gov. Steve Bullock has appointed Bob Nystuen of Lakeside to the state Board of Regents, which oversees the Montana university system.
Bullock announced Nystuen’s appointment Friday. Board members are generally appointed for a seven-year term.
Nystuen has served as the Board Chair for Flathead Valley Community College and is market president of Glacier Bank.
He replaces Bozeman Mayor Jeff Krauss. Krauss was appointed in 2012 to fill the last three years of the term vacated by Clay Christian, who is now the commissioner of higher education.
Cool, wet weather helping Glacier park firefighters
WEST GLACIER, Mont. (AP) — Fire crews were taking advantage of cooler, wet weather in battling the Reynolds Creek Fire in Glacier National Park.
The fire has burned about 5 square miles of timber, brush and grass in rugged terrain on the north shore of St. Mary Lake since it started on July 21. One hotshot team planned to work Monday building fire line above Going-to-the-Sun Road while another planned to extinguish hotspots at the head of the fire. Crews have completed fire line around the east end of the fire, which is now 30 percent contained.
Fire officials say when the sun comes out between rain showers, hot spots revive and fire spreads across the forest floor.
The St. Mary Visitor Center at the east entrance to the park reopened Monday, but an 18-mile stretch of Going-to-the-Sun Road remained closed.
Montana grandparents organize against Child, Family Services
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Dozens of Montana grandparents have organized to push back against a state agency they say has shut them out as caregivers and sometimes has placed grandchildren with parents they don’t know.
They say they are being prevented from stepping in to provide care when parents lose custody due to neglect or abuse.
A network of 24 grandparents has staged protests, told their stories to lawmakers and enlisted at least one former legislator to lobby state officials on their behalf.
Gov. Steve Bullock plans to meet with the grandparents about their concerns, says his spokesman, Dave Parker.
Montana Child and Family Services’ Sarah Corbally insists that the agency complies with state policy that requires placement with a biological parent unless a caseworker finds good cause to recommend otherwise.