The Billings Gazette reports the state has been stepping up its efforts to keep Montana waters safe following last fall’s discovery of invasive mussel larvae at Tiber Reservoir and a suspect sample from Canyon Ferry Reservoir.
Watercraft owners now have the opportunity to get certified as local boaters at the reservoirs so they don’t have to go through the decontamination stations.
The online training course is available at musselresponse.mt.gov. It will provide participants will information about the threat of invasive mussels and how to appropriately clean, drain and dry watercraft to keep Montana’s waters safe.
Truck driver involved in fatal hit-run in northern Montana
GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) — Authorities are looking for the driver of a tractor-trailer who left the scene of a fatal crash on Interstate 15 in northern Montana.
The accident happened as the truck was crossing a median to enter a weigh station just south of Great Falls International Airport late Saturday. The Great Falls Tribune reports the driver of the minivan that hit the truck died at the scene.
Investigators with the Montana Highway Patrol say the truck driver stopped briefly and then continued north on I-15.
The name and age of the victim have not been released.
Montana man charged with starting house fire
KALISPELL, Mont. (AP) — A 23-year-old Montana man has been accused of arson and other charges in the connection with a house fire last November that started while the owner slept inside.
Shane Thomas Northweather was booked into the Lake County jail April 6 on charges of arson, aggravated burglary and attempted homicide.
The Daily Inter Lake reports Northweather is suspected of starting a fire at a home on Nov. 20. The homeowner inside was woken by a fire alarm and escaped unharmed, but the house was deemed a total loss.
It wasn’t immediately clear if Northweather has an attorney.
Elk foundation awards grant money for Wyoming projects
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has awarded nearly $315,000 in grant money to assist with elk research, habitat enhancement, permanent land protection and improving public access in Wyoming.
Grant money will benefit projects and programs in Albany, Big Horn, Campbell, Carbon, Converse, Fremont, Johnson, Hot Springs, Lincoln, Park, Sheridan, Sublette, Sweetwater, Teton and Washakie counties.
In addition, the Montana-based foundation will continue sponsorship of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s Access Yes Program that seeks to secure access for hunters and anglers to private lands across the state.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks gets new director
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The Montana Senate has confirmed Martha Williams as the next director of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
Williams cleared Senate confirmation on a 47-3 vote this past week.
The Independent Record reports that the attorney and former university professor has been acting director for about two months after her nomination by Gov. Steve Bullock.
Williams, who formerly worked at FWP as an attorney, says she’s honored and excited to lead the agency.
She says there are challenges ahead, but she’s looking forward to taking them on.