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Helena News

  river arrested after using Dust Off

A Helena man has been arrested after witnesses say he crashed his vehicle through a chain-link fence and rolled into a field
 Zachariah Bennett was driving a maroon Lumina traveling eastbound on U.S. 12 between Helena and East Helena, when the vehicle crossed  oncoming lanes of traffic, almost hit another vehicle, and ended up on the north side of the road,
A Lewis and Clark County deputy found two cans of compressed air, or "CNC Dust," in the car after the crash.


Man arrested after death threat 

A Helena man was arrested Friday after a woman reported he threatened to kill her and her boss with a gun

Court documents say 33-year-old Shane Howard made the threats. The woman's boyfriend confirmed that the threats to kill her were made during a phone conversation, and the woman also showed officials several text messages that contained threats.

Police say Howard admitted sending the text messages and threats. Officers found a pipe with marijuana residue in his vehicle.

Howard was arrested for the charges of felony assault with a weapon and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

Police report

Yesterday was a day for arresting probation violations for Helena police.

2:31am. Officers were called to the 100 blk of Cutler Street concerning a civil situation. While responding, officers were advised a physical altercation was occurring. After an investigation, officers eventually arrested 32 year old Shane Allan Zielie for violating the terms of his probation.

at 10:04am. Officers responded to the state probation and parole offices to arrest 26 year old Jake Daniel Devine for violating the terms of his probation.

 Then at

11:28am. A sheriff's deputy was at an apartment in the 1500 blk of Broadwater Circle concerning another incident, and was aware a male was present on the property who had been previously trespassed from the apartment complex property. Officers responded, located and arrested 25 year old Spencer Scott Nelson for Criminal Trespass to Property, in addition to violating the terms of his probation.

     Montana judge censured over rape comments
     HELENA, Mont. (AP) - The Montana Supreme Court has publicly reprimanded a Billings judge over his comments about a 14-year-old rape victim.
     District Judge G. Todd Baugh appeared Tuesday afternoon for censure, which is a public declaration that he is guilty of misconduct. The Supreme Court has also suspended Baugh for 31 days, effective in December.
     Chief Justice Mike McGrath told Baugh that his actions and comments eroded the public's confidence in the court system.
     Baugh was not asked to speak and declined to answer a reporter's questions.
     Baugh sentenced Stacey Dean Rambold to 31 days in prison last year after Rambold pleaded guilty to sexual intercourse without consent.
     Baugh said during Rambold's sentencing that the teenager was "probably as much in control of the situation as the defendant" and she "appeared older than her chronological age."
     Supreme Court says candidate can appear on ballot
     HELENA, Mont. (AP) - The Montana Supreme Court has ruled in a 4-3 decision that former state solicitor general Lawrence VanDyke is eligible as a candidate for the high court.
     The Supreme Court reversed a previous decision by District Judge Mike Menahan of Helena that VanDyke could not run because he had not actively practiced law in Montana for five years before announcing his candidacy.
     But the majority of justices ruled Tuesday that VanDyke's admission to the state bar in 2005 satisfied the five-year eligibility requirement in the state constitution.
     VanDyke went on inactive status with the Montana bar from March 2007 to November 2012 while he worked out of state.
     VanDyke is challenging Supreme Court Justice Mike Wheat in November's election.  Wheat recused himself from the court's deliberations of VanDyke's eligibility
     State: Montanans won't lose health care subsidies
     HELENA, Mont. (AP) - State officials say they don't believe Montanans receiving tax credits to buy health insurance are in danger of losing them.
     Two contradictory federal appeals court rulings Tuesday have called President Barack Obama's health-care law subsidies into question.
     Montana Insurance Commissioner Monica Lindeen says one ruling against subsidies will be appealed and won't be decided anytime soon.
     In that ruling, an appellate court panel in Washington D.C. said credits can be granted only in states that have set up their own insurance markets, or exchanges. Montana is one of 36 states using the federal exchange.
     However, a separate ruling by a federal appeals court in Virginia said regulations allowing consumers in all 50 states to purchase subsidized coverage correctly interprets Congress' will in passing the health care law.
Commission approves tax abatement 

By a 3-2 vote, Helena's City Commission approved a tax abatement for a new aeronautics business

The 10-year tax abatement is for Pioneer Aerostructures. The business will make aircraft parts for companies such as Boeing, Lockheed and Airbus. All sales will be out of state.

Commissioners Katherine Haque-Hausrath and Andres Haladay were opposed to the tax break. Mayor Jim Smith and commissioners Dan Ellison and Matt Elsaesser voted aye.

Tom Hoffman, the president and managing partner of Pioneer Aerostructures, has said the company will create at least 50 jobs during the 10 years of the tax abatement, adding this is a conservative figure.

The city commission's vote comes after the Lewis and Clark County commission voted unanimously in June to grant the tax break that affected county taxes as well as those for Helena's public schools.

Had the tax abatement not been granted, the company's tax bill for the 10 years would have been $1,762,398 . With the tax abatement in place, Pioneer Aerostructures' tax bill for the period will be $1,201,661, according to the state Department of Revenue.

Kids Count report  

Montana has fallen in rankings for child well-being and remains last when it comes to children's health rankings, according to the new National Kids Count Data Book.

The report is being released today as part of the Annie E. Casey Foundation's 25th annual Kids Count, which weighs 16 factors in the areas of economic well-being, education, health and family and community.

While Montana retained its rank of 14 in the family and community area and remained No. 50 for children's health, the state dropped from 28th to 31st in child wellbeing, dropped from 15 to 25 for economic well-being and from 13 to 21 in education.

The rankings are based on data from 2008 to 2013

There was some good news for Montana: fewer teen births, fewer teens abusing drugs or alcohol, and more high school students graduating on time, and more youngsters participating in preschool programs.




Montana News and Sports




Man denies charge he tried to kidnap 10-year-old


(Information in the following story is from: Missoulian,


MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) - A man accused of grabbing a 10-year-old girl as she played with her brother in a Missoula park has pleaded not guilty to attempted kidnapping.


The Missoulian reports Coty James Low appeared before District Judge Karen Townsend on Tuesday via video from jail. She continued his bail at $100,000.


Prosecutors say Low ran up to the children on June 21 and grabbed the girl by the leg. He carried her about 25 feet before the girl's kicking and screaming caused him to drop her.


The girl's father chased after the man and held him for police.


Low initially said he was trying to save the girl from a dog, and then told police he was looking for companionship and wasn't thinking when he grabbed the girl.


Prosecutors say Low was convicted of sexually assaulting a nurse in April.




Copper mine project draws hundreds of comments


(Information in the following story is from: Bozeman Daily Chronicle,


BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) - A proposal to dig test wells at the site of a planned copper mine near White Sulphur Springs has drawn about 940 public comments.


A Tintina Resources subsidiary plans to apply for an operations permit for the Black Butte mining project, but first is asking state regulators permission to drill four wells to test how pumping water for the mining operation will affect the groundwater table.


The Department of Environmental Quality will review the comments. DEQ spokesman Chris Saeger tells the Bozeman Daily Chronicle officials plan to make a decision within three weeks because the company wants to complete the wells before winter.


Tintina vice president Jerry Zieg says he worked closely with DEQ officials on the plan and it would be remarkable if they turned it down.






Man found dead after apparent fall in Grand Teton


GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. (AP) - A 36-year-old man was found dead after he apparently fell from a cliff in Grand Teton National Park.


Park spokeswoman Jackie Skaggs says Will Cornyn of San Francisco was found dead near Inspiration Point at about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday after his girlfriend told authorities Monday he failed to return from a hike.


Cornyn headed out Sunday afternoon to hike to Lake Solitude in the North Fork of Cascade Canyon. He did not plan to camp and did not have the equipment necessary to spend a night in the mountains.


An aerial search was temporarily delayed as thunderstorms passed through the Teton Range and battered the area with heavy rain, strong winds and lightning.


Park officials did not say how far Cornyn apparently fell.

Jay Scott wins two state awards

WHITEFISH (Montana Broadcasters Association) -- For the ninth year in a row, KBLL Radio's Jay Scott has won several awards from the Montana Broadcasters Association.
Jay finished second for three of the "EB's," the E.B Craney awards: one as Sportscaster of the Year, one for Sports Enterprise of the Year. 
The Enterprise award recognizes contributions both in radio play-by-play and other areas.
Jay has been either first or second for the Newscaster of the Year award for the past 8 years as well, but could not enter this year's contest because of a schedule conflict.
The “EB Awards” are named in memory of Montana broadcast pioneer Ed Craney. The “EB's” recognize excellence in local news, production, promotion and public service. The awards will be presented during the Montana Broadcasters Association convention on Saturday, June 21st in Whitefish.