5 Things to Know in Montana for Aug. 5
August 4, 2014
Your daily look at news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today.
CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTION LIMITS LIKELY TO STICK THROUGH ELECTIONS:
Officials say a court decision on whether individuals and political parties can give unlimited amounts of money to state candidates likely won't be made until after the Nov. 4 elections. Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl says the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals may schedule oral arguments months after a September legal brief is filed, which would push back the decision. A judge's ruling that Montana's campaign contribution limits are unconstitutional is on hold during the state's appeal.
HOMES EVACUATED NEAR FIRE:
A fire burning north of Missoula has led to the evacuation of at least two homes near Grant Creek. The fire is burning in grass and scattered timber on private land, prompting a response by the Helena Hotshots, along with state and U.S. Forest Service crews.
REWARD OFFERED FOR INFORMATION IN DISMEMBERMENT:
The family of a Helena-area man who was killed and dismembered three years ago is hoping a $10,000 reward might entice someone to come forward with information that will lead to a conviction in the death of John Michael Crites. Connie Crites of Denver says she believes someone knows something about her brother's death that could help the investigation. She says they may not think it's important or they may be afraid to come forward.
SHOOTING SUSPECT ARRESTED IN BOZEMAN:
A 37-year-old California man suspected of shooting another man in the calf in Butte has been arrested at a Bozeman-area residence. Officers arrested Luke Andrew Lapinski on Friday night after tracking his cellphone. He is expected to appear in court in Bozeman before being returned to Butte to face an aggravated assault charge.
WYOMING DRILLING DEFERRED BECAUSE OF SAGE GROUSE:
U.S. Bureau of Land Management figures show the total area of federal oil and gas leases currently deferred in Wyoming to protect the greater sage grouse exceeds the size of Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks combined. The 3.5 million acres of deferred leases include 10,000 acres that otherwise would be offered at a BLM oil and gas lease sale Tuesday. BLM officials say many deferred leases will become available in coming months, after they enact land-use regulations to protect the ground-dwelling bird in the Rocky Mountain region.