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Helena News and Sports

Hearing set on gay marriage ban

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A judge has set a Nov. 20 hearing in Great Falls for arguments in a lawsuit challenging Montana's ban on gay marriage.

U.S. District Judge Brian Morris scheduled the hearing Monday after four gay couples filed a motion for summary judgment that asks the judge to decide the case without a trial.

The couples are backed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Montana. ACLU officials have said that the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' decision to strike down similar gay-marriage bans in Idaho and Nevada should mean a favorable ruling for the Montana couples.

Montana Department of Justice spokesman John Barnes has said the U.S. Supreme Court could still take up the issue in the future, so state attorneys plan to continue to defend the state's constitutional ban.

Investigation continues into Hastings incident

Here is the latest from Helena Police Captain Curt Stinson on the incident at Hastings yesterday:

The Helena Police Department responded to a call from Hastings at 3215 North Montana at about 12:57 pm concerning a possible theft from the store. Initial calls to the police department indicated a person had possibly been stabbed in the theft attempt. A citizen followed a vehicle that fled from the theft, during which time he reported being shot at by occupants of the vehicle as it fled northbo...und on North Montana Avenue. The vehicle was last seen on Beaverhead Drive off of North Montana Avenue. At this time, however, it is believed no one was injured in the incident

The department is searching for a 1998 black Dodge pickup, Montana license AZT418 with a topper shell. Please do not attempt to stop or detain anyone associated with the vehicle. If the vehicle is spotted please call 911 immediately. If anyone has any further information as to the vehicle or those involved in the incident, or if you witnessed the incident and have not been contacted by law enforcement, please contact the police department at 406-442-3233.

The police department arrested and charged two males this evening in connection with the incident at Hastings this afternoon. Arrested were: Shadric Macho Chippewa, 38yrs of age, transient. He was charged with Attempted Deliberate Homicide, Robbery, Tampering with Evidence and two counts of Burglary and Greg William Knows His Gun, 30yrs of age, transient. He was charged with Robbery, Tampering with Evidence and three counts of Burglary. Both were booked at the detention center.

The case remains under investigation. We are continuing to look for information on the female and black Dodge pickup from earlier releases. We are not releasing the name of the owner of the pickup truck yet and the truck has not been reported stolen

Helath officials talk about Ebola

County health officials, and officials at St. Peter's Hospital all assure citizens of Helena and Montana that Ebola is not a threat anywhere near here.  As a briefing this (yesterday) morning, Mike Henderson of the Lewis and Clark County Health Department emphasised that ebola is does not spread except in very specific circumstances: personal contact with a patient who has the disease.

Again, the virus does not spread through the air, water, or food.  St. Peter's Hospital  will be holding an informal, educational presentation for the public regarding Ebola symptoms, precautions, treatment, and how the hospital is preparing, on Tuesday, Oct. 21, from  5:30 - 6:30 p.m., in the Education Center. Dr. Don Skillman will be the presenter and representatives from the L&C Health Dept. will also be on hand.  


Walsh says he has no regrets in Senate run

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — U.S. Sen. John Walsh says he does not regret an election campaign that ended abruptly following a report that he plagiarized a paper while at the U.S. Army War College.

The Helena Democrat tells Lee Newspapers of Montana it has been an honor to serve and he still has work to do before his term ends in January.

The former lieutenant governor announced his Senate campaign last year after Max Baucus said he would not run for a sixth term. Gov. Steve Bullock appointed Walsh to the post when Baucus resigned early to become ambassador to China.

Walsh dropped his campaign to keep the seat for the next six years after The New York Times published a story showing he plagiarized parts of a paper required for his master's degree.

Poll says Daines, Zinke ahead 

A new poll conducted by Montana State University-Billings shows Republicans Steve Daines and Ryan Zinke leading their Democratic opponents . The MSU Billlings poll shows Daines leading Amanda Curtis with a margin of 47 percent to 31 percent, with 20 percent undecided.

The poll also puts Republican Ryan Zinke ahead of Democrat John Lewis with a margin of 40 percent to 33 percent, with 25 percent undecided.

The survey results have a 5 percentage point margin of error.

Correa pleads not guilty in relation to violent robbery

An inmate at the Montana State Prison pleaded not guilty to eight felony charges Thursday stemming from a violent confrontation in June.

Jopnah Correa was arraigned via video from the Montana State Prison.

He is accused of breaking into a Rodney Street home with another man  on June 17, beating and robbing four people.

Correa faces one count of robbery, one count of aggravated burglary, and six counts of assault, including assault with a weapon.

His trial has been set for January 13.

New charged for convicted muderer

A man convited of murdering his three-year-old daughter in Helena 17 years ago, was back in court yesterday on new charges.

Curtis hristianson pleaded guilty to mitigated deliberate homicide in 1997 for the death of his three-year-old daughter Taylor Salley. Court documents say Christianson punched the child in the stomach after she spilled Christianson's beer and unplugged a video game he was using.

She died of a severed bowel.

In 1997, District Judge Jeffery Sherlock gave Christianson a 40-year prison sentence with ten years suspended.

Christianson spent 1998 to 2011 in the custody of the Department of Corrections.

In 2012, he was discharged from the Billings Pre-release Center.

Christianson faces ten years in prison after a recent arrest for felony DUI and careless driving.

Guilty plea  to drug charges

A Helena woman has  pleaded guilty  to criminal possession of dangerous drugs in a plea agreement with prosecutors.

21 year old Nicki Marie Borgioliwas arrested following a medical call to a Shannon Court residence. Law enforcement officers found THC candies in her bedroom along with pipes used for smoking drugs.

Borgioli was given a two-year deferred sentence.

At the time of her arrest, Borgioli told investigators that the materials, including a 44-caliber pistol, did not belong to her.



Montana News and Sports



US House candidates debate in Kalispell

KALISPELL, Mont. (AP) — Republican Ryan Zinke and Democrat John Lewis are emphasizing their differences as they attempt to win over undecided voters in Montana's U.S. House election.

The wild card is Libertarian candidate Mike Fellows, who says the party candidates are compromised by big money and only he would work for more liberty and less government.

They met Sunday in Kalispell in only the second debate that featured all three candidates.

Lewis attempted to paint Zinke as waffling on issues from gun restrictions to his partial support of the budget by Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.

Zinke says voters have a clear choice. He pointed at Lewis and said they can vote for big government. He pointed at himself and said they can vote for little government. Or, he said, they can vote for no government, pointing at Fellows.


2 tribes miss deadlines to open election offices

(Information in the following story is from: Great Falls Tribune,

GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) — Tribal officials on the Fort Belknap and Northern Cheyenne reservations have missed a deadline to open satellite election offices meant to improve access to early voting.

A dozen plaintiffs from the two reservations, along with the Crow reservation, won the right to open the satellite offices in a lawsuit settlement with state and local elections officials.

The June settlement called for counties moving their election administration offices to tribal buildings at the reservations two days a week during the month leading up Election Day. The tribes had until Aug. 1 to notify the counties whether they wanted the offices.

The Great Falls Tribune reports the offices are running on the Crow Reservation, but Northern Cheyenne and Fort Belknap tribal officials missed the deadline.


Senate control could come to a few races

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Control of the state Senate could come down to a half-dozen key races in the Nov. 4 elections.

Republicans hold majorities in both the state Senate and House. Their 29-21 edge in the Senate is much narrower than their 61-39 advantage in the House.

Lee Newspapers of Montana reports control of the Senate may hinge on races in Billings, Helena, Bozeman, Great Falls and the Hi-Line.

If Democrats win four Republican-held seats and hold onto their own, that would mean a 25-25 tie in the Senate. Majority control would then go to the party of the governor, who's a Democrat.

Republicans in the House are expected to maintain a slightly smaller majority, at worst.

Leaders from both parties say they are confident their sides will make gains in November's elections.



Group awarded domestic violence prevention grant

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

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — A coalition of Gallatin County agencies has received a $550,000 federal grant to help victims of domestic and sexual violence.

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports the Gallatin Project was awarded the three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Project members say the grant will fund a number of existing positions and programs, but they also hope to use a portion to address violence against lesbians, gays, transgender people and immigrants.

Bozeman Deputy Police Chief Rich McLane says the grant also will allow officials to help find longer-term transitional housing for domestic violence victims.


Student accused of trying to enter woman's shower

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

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — A Montana State University student has been arrested after a woman said he tried to enter her shower stall on campus.

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports Alexander Nicolai Moreno was booked into Gallatin County Jail on Saturday on charges of misdemeanor assault, minor in possession and criminal trespass.

Police say Moreno twice tried to enter a woman's shower stall in her dormitory. The woman says she struck the man, who fled.

Police say Moreno also is a resident of the dormitory.


Ending Election Day registration sees no support

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A referendum on the November ballot could repeal Election Day voter registration, but voters have yet to see campaigning in support of the measure.

The only group rallying around the measure is pulling out all the stops to urge voters to say no to the repeal.

Montanans for Free and Fair Elections has ads, mailers and people on the ground in 17 cities with support from more than two dozen organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union of Montana, Montana Women Vote and the AARP.

If referendum LR-126 passes, people could not register to vote on Election Day in future elections. The voter registration deadline would move to 5 p.m. on the Friday before Election Day.

Republican Sen. Alan Olson who sponsored the referendum says supporters haven't organized.





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, and one for Newscast 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.