Archives for November 2018

Scientist Extracts Animal DNA From Snow

A genomics scientist at the University of Montana has invented a new way of identifying animals from their snow prints. Kevin McKelvey says instead of studying paw print shapes and tracking down fur strands, wildlife biologists can now scoop up a snow print and boil it to get the DNA. He says DNA left in snow resists UVA damage, so prints can be identified months later.

Murder On The Crow

A man charged with beating and burning a woman with two other people on the Crow Reservation has been denied a new trial. Sanchez is the last defendant to be convicted in the 2016 murder of 28-year-old Roylynn Rides Horse, who was beaten, strangled with a bandanna and set afire in a field. She died two months after the attack. Judge Susan Watters denied the motion for a new trial Monday in US District Court in Billings.

Midterm Legislative Recounts Coming Next Week

Just when you thought the 2018 midterm elections were over, recounts will be held next week in both Billings and Great Falls legislative races. Q2 reports Republican state Rep. Lola Sheldon-Galloway in House District 22 in south Great Falls and Republican Fred Fleming in House District 51 in south-central Billings are the official winners in each race. In both races, the losing candidate has requested the recount and posted a non-refundable bond to pay for the recount. Billings Democrat Darryl Wilson, who lost to Fleming by a mere 17 votes, has posted bond to finance his recount, which is scheduled next Tuesday. The Montana Democratic Party has posted bond to pay for the recount for Great Falls Democrat Laura Devers, who lost to Sheldon-Galloway by just 14 votes. The recount is not yet scheduled. Get the whole story at; KTVQ.com.

Billings Meth Dealer Sentenced

Q2 reports that 40-year-old Nichole Waldham of Billings, who was arrested for distributing methamphetamine in the Billings area, was sentenced to five years behind bars. Waldham will also have to serve five years of supervised release. She pleaded guilty on July 19, 2018 to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute meth. U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme released a statement that drug task force officers received information in October 2017 that Waldhalm was distributing drugs. Investigators worked with a confidential informant, who made a series of meth buys from Waldhalm. In December, she was arrested by the Montana Highway Patrol and was found to be in possession of an ounce of meth, an ounce of cocaine and a stolen firearm. Waldhalm admitted to law enforcement she and a co-defendant brought between two to four ounces of meth from California to Montana.

Judge Allows Keystone Pre-Construction, Zimmerman Reopened

Q2 reports that U.S. District Judge Brian Morris of Great Falls says TransCanada Corporation will be allowed to proceed with limited pre-construction activities on its Keystone XL Pipeline until further environmental analysis is finished. On Wednesday, Morris granted the request via teleconference. TransCanada sought the conference in a November 15th court filing. The list of projects was agreed upon by TransCanada and the Billings-based Northern Plains Resource Council, which has sued to block the pipeline.

Construction finally wrapped up Wednesday on the popular Zimmerman Trail from the top of the rims to the valley on the West End of Billings. Improvements include a roundabout at the top, wider lanes, new guardrails and better lighting. The trail was closed at the end of June when a large crack was discovered in the road bed. Get more online at; KTVQ.com.

Farm Bill Uncertainty

MTN News reports delays in the current draft of the federal Farm Bill are creating uncertainty among Montana’s agricultural community. Originally drafted in the 1930s following the Dust Bowl and Great Depression, the U.S. Farm Bill was designed to help American farmers get through tough times. But over the years, with the passage of new bills, It has opened the door for controversy in Congress revolving around the numerous programs covered by the Farm Bill. The 115th U.S. Congress began working on the current Farm Bill draft in 2016, which, despite a year and a half of work Congress, has yet to pass the 2018 Farm Bill. The previous bill expired in September of this year. Many obstacles don’t actually affect the farming community, as 80 percent of the bill covers nutrition programs. Get the whole story at; KTVQ.com.

Montana Millionaire Drawing, National Adoption Month

MTN News reports more than half the 150,000 Montana Millionaire tickets have been sold. This is the 12th year the game has been run by the Montana Lottery with the purpose of ensuring that one Montanan becomes a millionaire. Tickets are still available for purchase and officials say this is fastest selling year on record. The drawing will be held after all the tickets have been sold. Go to; montanalottery.com for more information.

The annual Missoula Adoption Ceremony was held at the Missoula Children’s Theater on Tuesday and the room was full of excitement and tears of joy. Each family has their own special story on how this day and these special families came to be. After months of anticipation, parents and kids were rewarded with each other. November is National Adoption Month. Get the whole story at; KTVQ.com.

Wednesday Morning Fire Downtown

Billings Firefighters responded to a structure fire at a downtown auto shop at approximately 1:30 a.m. Wednesday at 1620 2nd Avenue North. They worked to extinguish the fire at Cor Automotive, as the Billings Police Department shut down 1st Avenue North and 2nd Avenue North between North 15th Street and North 18th Street while crews responded to the blaze. Motorists were asked to find an alternate route. Q2 reports that at least two other businesses, including the Habitat for Humanity Restore Building and The Grindhouse, a martial arts academy, are also located in the building occupied by Cor Automotive. As of this report, fire officials haven’t stated if the flames reached other occupants in the building, or if it was contained to Cor Automotive. Crews were still putting out hot spots as of 3 a.m. Get more online at; KTVQ.com.

Yellowstone County Rape Trials

The Gazette reports attorneys in the rape of a pregnant woman are seeking a 5-year sentence after the man changed his plea Monday. 22-year-old Tyrelle Peterson entered an Alford plea in Yellowstone County District Court to one count of sexual intercourse without consent. The plea means Peterson does not admit his guilt, but admits the state has enough evidence to prove the elements of the crime.

A 25-year-old Lockwood man has denied charges he raped a 12-year-old. Stetson Bohn pleaded not guilty Monday to two counts of sexual intercourse without consent in Yellowstone County District Court. Bohn had an ongoing sexual relationship with a 12-year-old, according to charges. When asked, the girl told sheriff’s detectives she was being interviewed because “he was older than me” and she could not legally consent to sex. Read more online at; billingsgazette.com.

Billings Council Considers Trash, Plaza Proposals

Q2 reports the Billings City Council heard discussion Monday night on a non-agenda item regarding the possibility of moving all garbage collection from alleyway to curbside after council members said they had heard from residents concerned about the proposal. Public Works Director Dave Mumford said there is no immediate plan to make the change for all customers, but the city is considering the change. Mumford said the city has been changing out many of the larger alley garbage bins to smaller bins that can be rolled to curbside, but only in areas where garbage trucks have difficulty navigating.

Councilors also tabled a decision on whether to allow the Alberta Bair Theater to add a new plaza in the street on Third Avenue North, taking away four parking spots. The Council directed staff to take a second look at the proposal.