Bill Roberts fees increasing
HELENA (KBLL) -- Fees for some season passes at Bill Roberts Golf Course will increase next year
The proposed increase in the price of season passes, cart leases and storage and adding an active military price in season passes is expected to yield about $13,300 in new revenue for the golf course.
An unrestricted season pass for an adult will go from $680 to $700, and an adult couple will pay $30 more next year for their unrestricted season pass that is currently $1,060, according to the golf course's website.
Season passes that allow limited play time will rise by $15 for an adult to $575. An adult couple currently pays $850 and will pay $25 more next year.
The daily fee to play nine holes of golf remains $20 and the cost for 18 holes continues to be $34. Those who qualify for the senior discount will still pay $2 less than these rates.
The increases came during Monday night's City Commission meeting where Amy Teegarden, Helena's parks and recreation director, explained projected revenues and expenses for the golf course.
Revenues for the coming year are anticipated to be $1,277,271 and expenses are projected at $1,231,574, Teegarden said.
While the projections lead the city to expect to see the course end the year about $45,000 above expenses, the increases would help pay for anticipated rises in the cost of fuel, fertilizer and utilities, she explained to the commission.
An increase in fees would also help fund capital expenditure items planned for the golf course: work on the irrigation system and landscaping for the golf course entryway.
The irrigation system work is budgeted at about $500,000 and the only bid received for the work came in about $400,000 above the anticipated cost, Teegarden said.
Woman cited for shoplifting, leaving toddler
HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Police in Helena say a woman who reportedly left her 1-year-old child in a shopping cart after being confronted about shoplifting at Walmart was arrested when she returned to the store with the stolen items and to retrieve her child.
Police Chief Troy McGee says that 20-year-old Seneca Jensen was at Walmart with two other people at about 4:30 p.m. Monday and tried to leave without paying for about $44 in makeup and clothing.
McGee says when they were confronted by store security the adults ran to a vehicle and drove off.
Jensen returned a short time later with the merchandise and left with her child.
Police stopped her vehicle a short distance away. Jensen was cited for shoplifting and endangering the welfare of a child.
Teachers take pension argument to court
By MATT GOURAS
HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Teachers are taking their argument against pension cuts to court in an effort to preserve inflationary increases.
The lawsuit was filed by the Montana teachers' union and six retired and current employees.
The plaintiffs told a state judge on Wednesday that cost-saving cuts to their pension payments are an unconstitutional change to the contract.
The retirees warned lawmakers earlier this year that they would oppose any reduction in their guaranteed inflation increases of 1.5 percent.
State lawmakers put those increases in place in 1999.
The overhaul measure reduces the inflationary increase to 0.5 percent starting in January.
Other changes not being challenged increase contributions from both employers and employees.
The state argues the changes were necessary, and that employment benefits are constantly changing.
Supco rules in favor of state for Bresnan taxes
HELENA, Mont. (AP) - The Montana Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the state Revenue Department in a dispute over how Bresnan Communications property is assessed for tax purposes. The decision increases the company's taxes by millions of dollars each year.
District Judge Susan Watters ruled last year that Bresnan's properties should continue to be split between two tax classifications - a 3 percent rate for cable television services and a 6 percent rate for its telecommunications services.
The Supreme Court overturned that ruling Monday, saying Bresnan's business has evolved into a full telecommunications services company and should be taxed at the higher rate.
Bresnan is now owned by Charter Communications. Spokeswoman Anita Lamont tells Lee Newspapers of Montana that the company is extremely disappointed. The ruling raises the company's taxes from $1.7 million to $7.3 million annually.Inquest clears deputy in shooting
Deputy cleared in shooting
HELENA (KBLL) -- A jury has cleared Lewis and Clark County Deputy Matthew Reighard. in the May shooting of Douglas Harper
Reighard shot and killed Harper, on May 29, after Deputies were called to perform a welfare check on Harper who was wanted in connection with an arson in Musselshell County.
When deputies arrived at Treib's house that evening, Harper was sitting in his vehicle with a handgun and pointed it at the deputy, according to accounts of the incident.
He did not comply with orders to drop the weapon and then Reighard fired his, according to video and audio recordings.
A psychological evaluation - required when any use of force by an officer results in a death - determined Reighard to be in good mental standing, according to Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton.
In June, an internal review board found that Reighard was justified in the shooting.
Omega Morgan applies for MT megaload permit
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) - Montana Department of Transportation officials are considering an application from an Oregon company to move an oversized load of refinery equipment through the state to an oil sands project in Alberta, Canada.
Omega Morgan began this week moving the water purification equipment from the Port of Umatilla in Oregon. With the transport vehicles, the unit is almost 380 feet long and weighs more than 900,000 pounds. The load is 19 feet high and 22 feet wide.
Motor Carrier Services administrator Duane Williams tells the Missoulian (http://bit.ly/1bIk3Lq ) he doesn't see anything alarming in the application.
A court order in Idaho diverted the route away from the northern part of the state. The equipment will instead travel through eastern Oregon, across central Idaho and into Montana over Lost Trail Pass.