Archives for February 2017

BPD Investigating Shots Fired at JC Penney

The Billings Police Department is investigating the circumstances surrounding a citizen who opened fire on the vehicle of suspected shoplifters to determine if the armed citizen violated any Montana laws. Witnesses who captured photos and video show a man and woman allegedly shoplifting from JCPenney on Saturday, which led to the confrontation between the suspects and the man who tried to stop them. James Newman of Billings warned the suspects to stop, then drew his weapon when the vehicle began to move backward. He fired six shots after the Buick hit him. Newman said he aimed at the vehicle’s tires, but the suspects still got away.
Police have not yet apprehended the man or woman in the Buick, although they are being sought for questioning.
The situation has caused an uproar online over the actions of the armed citizen.

Race For Zinke Replacement Set To Begin

With the confirmation of Montana Republican Congressman Ryan Zinke to head President Trump’s Department of Interior, the race to replace him has all but begun. Democrat Dan West, an Obama administration appointee, says he’s best prepared to replace Zinke and navigate Washington D.C.’s turbulent waters.
The Missoula native and professional kayak instructor produced a campaign video that’s circulating online, with West paddling in an icy Montana river, saying [quote] “If you want a representative who’s tough and represents all Montanans, pick me. I’m ready to dive in.” [end quote]
West spent five years working on Capitol Hill, and more recently worked as a political appointee at NASA under the Obama Administration. White Nationalist Richard Spencer has suggested he may also run for the open seat, in a race sure to draw a wide field of candidates across the ideological spectrum.

SD2 Trustees Working On Spring Levies

School District 2 Trustees agreed in principal on Monday night to guidelines for spring levies for both the elementary and high school district. The $1.3 million for the elementary district and $1.2 for the high school district would raise taxes about $9 and $6 per year respectively on a $100,000 home.
Trustees said they could put a lower figure on the ballot for the May 2 vote, depending on final approval of the state budget. On Monday, they focused on what will change from last year’s failed levies.
A political advocacy group called Yes For Kids, has spearheaded the pro-levy campaign. SD2 officials and administrators can’t take an advocacy position on levies, but can distribute educational information about why the district is running a levy. District officials will host several community meetings. Yes For Kids plans to target supportive voters.

Fire in Blue Creek, Zinke Confirmation Soon

Fire destroyed an outbuilding in the Blue Creek area this morning. The blaze did not appear to spread but the barn looked to be a total loss. Firefighters responded after the blaze was reported at about 6:30 a.m. on Samantha Lane, near Helfrick Road. The Blue Creek Volunteer Fire Department responded with multiple engines and a water tender but the damage was already extensive. The fire consumed the building.

The Senate voted 67-31 Monday evening to limit debate on the nomination of Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke, President Donald Trump’s nominee to head the Interior Department. A final vote on confirmation could occur on Tuesday or Wednesday. At his confirmation hearing, the Montana Republican rejected Trump’s claims that climate change is a hoax, saying it is indisputable that environmental changes are affecting the world’s temperature and human activity is a major reason.

Inquest Into Shooting death Next Month

An inquest has been scheduled for next month surrounding the shooting death of a Wyoming man at the hands of Montana law enforcement following a stand off in a hotel lobby, according to Yellowstone County Attorney Scott Twito. 32-year-old Kyle Killough of Gillette, was shot in Billings by Officer David Raschkow [RASH-cow] on Oct. 27. Authorities say Killough was shot three times when he refused to drop a handgun following 25 minutes of negotiations and then turned toward police, brandishing the weapon. It was the seventh fatal shooting since 2012 by Billings law enforcement, five of which involved evidence of methamphetamine in the victim’s bodies.
Killough’s mother, Jan Urioste, said today she suspects her son had been using illegal drugs and had stopped taking medications for mental illness.
She also praised the Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office and prosecutors for sharing information.

Shoplifting,Shots Fired at Rimrock Mall

Shots fired and shoplifting at the Rimrock Mall over the weekend. The Billings Police Department is investigating an incident where a man shot at the car of suspected shoplifters. Police were dispatched to the Mall at about 5:40 p.m. Saturday on a report of shots fired, according to BPD Sgt. Matt Chaney. The unidentified shooter reportedly confronted a male and female suspect in the parking lot who were [quote] “in the process of shoplifting,” [end quote]
Sgt. Chaney said the citizen was openly carrying a sidearm and told the suspects if they tried to run him over he would shoot them. They backed toward the man who fired several shots at the tires of the suspect vehicle, a black 2009 Buick Enclave. The man who fired the shots was questioned at the scene and released. The investigation is ongoing.

Apartment Altercation Sunday

Just before 3 p.m. Sunday, Billings police were called to the Sage Tower apartments on the 100 block of North 24th Street after a stabbing was falsely reported. Police arrived at the scene to discover the initial report was erroneous, but quickly determined that a woman was injured, allegedly by another resident of the apartment complex. The woman was injured by a large rock in an altercation with the man who was later arrested. The injured woman was taken to the hospital.
The unidentified 36-year-old woman and her 18-year-old daughter got into an argument with the as-yet-unidentified man, who reportedly resides in the same building complex. The unidentified 36-year-old man became involved and reportedly displayed a knife to the women. He did not use the knife, but picked up a large rock and threw it at the mother’s face.

Posted to kctr.vncnews.com
Feb. 27, 2017 8:54 AM CST
by rhancock

Billings Considers Repeal Of Hotel Ordinance

The Billings City Council will consider repealing a municipal ordinance that requires hotels and motels to give police unfrettered access to their guest registry. Today’s meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at city hall on N. 27th St.
Police Chief Rich St. John and Deputy Yellowstone County Attorney Dan Schwarz, along with City Attorney Brent Brooks, met with the Yellowstone County Lodging Association to discuss whether to repeal or amend the 2015 ordinance. The consensus was to repeal it.
Brooks said in a memo to the Council that the ordinance has “mostly remained unutilized over the past few years,” especially after the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision to strike down a similar ordinance in Los Angeles. Police can still obtain hotel registry information in an emergency, employing the hotel’s consent or through a warrant.

Posted to kctr.vncnews.com
Feb. 27, 2017 9:11 AM CST
by rhancock

Billings Considers Repeal of Hotel Registry Ordinance

The Billings City Council will consider repealing a municipal ordinance that requires hotels and motels to give police unfrettered access to their guest registry. Today’s meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at city hall on N. 27th St.
Police Chief Rich St. John and Deputy Yellowstone County Attorney Dan Schwarz, along with City Attorney Brent Brooks, met with the Yellowstone County Lodging Association to discuss whether to repeal or amend the 2015 ordinance. The consensus was to repeal it, rather than amend the existing ordinance.
Brooks said in a memo to the Council that the ordinance has “mostly remained unutilized over the past few years,” especially after the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision to strike down a similar ordinance in Los Angeles. Police can still obtain hotel registry information in an emergency, employing the hotel’s consent or through a warrant.

Apartment Altercation Sunday

Just before 3 p.m. Billings police were called to the Sage Tower apartments on the 100 block of North 24th Street after a stabbing was falsely reported. A woman was, however injured by a large rock in an altercation with a man who was later arrested. The injured woman was taken to the hospital Sunday.
Police were called just before 3 p.m. to the Sage Tower apartments on North 24th Street after the initial erroneous report. Police quickly determined there was no stabbing but a woman was injured.
The unidentified 36-year-old woman and her 18-year-old daughter got into an argument with a resident of the apartment complex. An unidentified 36-year-old man became involved and displayed a knife to the women. He did not use the knife, but picked up a large rock and threw it at the mother’s face.