5 things to know about Montana today
June 18, 2014
Your daily look at news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today.
SPRING STORM DUMPS MORE RAIN, SNOW ON NORTHERN MONTANA:
National Weather Service forecasters say an additional 3 to 6 inches of rain is expected to fall in around Glacier National Park, with 4 to 8 inches of snow expected at higher elevations, before the deluge relents during the day Thursday. Up to 5 inches of rain and 14 inches of snow already have fallen in parts of the park, with Kalispell and Cut Bank also reporting record single-day amount of rain. The rain and snow have caused waterways to rise and minor flooding, and forecasters say mud and debris slides are expected.
US GOVERNMENT SAYS OIL TRAIN DATA NOT SECRET:
Federal transportation officials say details about volatile oil train shipments are not sensitive information that should be withheld from the public to protect security. The U.S. Department of Transportation ordered railroads to give state emergency officials specifics on oil-train routes and shipment volumes to prepare for accidents, and railroads have convinced some states to sign agreements restricting the information's release for business and security reasons. Montana officials say they will publicly release the oil-train information next week.
PLEA DEAL NEAR IN MURDER-FOR-HIRE CASE:
Lake County prosecutor and a defense attorney say they're close to reaching a plea agreement in the case of a Polson man charged with raping his former girlfriend, stalking her and trying to hire someone to kill her to prevent her from testifying against him. Deputy County Attorney Jessica Cole-Hodgkinson told District Judge James Manley the agreement will cover all the charges against 57-year-old Dennis Hobbs.
CRACKDOWN ON DEADBEAT JURORS:
A northwestern Montana district judge is cracking down on people who fail to show up for jury duty. Judge James Manley threatened to fine nine people who failed to appear when called. Several of them have written letters of apology and so far no one has been fined.
AUTHORITIES TENTATIVELY IDENTIFY PLANE CRASH VICTIM:
Ravalli County authorities say they have tentatively identified the pilot who died in a small-plane crash Tuesday near the Lost Trail ski area, but aren't releasing the name until the family is notified. Sheriff Chris Hoffman says the crash occurred just north of the ski lodge near the Montana-Idaho border. The FAA says the pilot was the only person on board.