Montana man charged in fatal 2017 shuttle crash accepts plea agreement

A Montana man has signed a plea agreement for 30 years in state prison after he was accused of causing a shuttle car to crash killing two passengers. The Missoulian reported Wednesday that 44-year-old James Bayford agreed Monday to plead guilty to two counts of negligent homicide and six counts of negligent endangerment, in connection to the August 2017 incident, in which he is accused of jerking the shuttle’s steering wheel after becoming upset with the driver, causing the vehicle to overturn on Interstate 90 on the way back to Missoula from the Testical Festival known for consumption of animal testicles.
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Suspect in 2018 murder on Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation sentenced

A man from the Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation who pleaded guilty to a 2018 murder has learned his fate. Gavin Tyrone Sutherland was sentenced in federal court in Great Falls on Thursday to 21.3 years in prison on second-degree murder charges in the death of Shannon Dora Licht, court documents state. The 34-year-old admitted to strangling Licht to death in the early morning hours of July 7. He stated he did not know why he hurt her.
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Helena’s best and brightest were on display in the Capitol City Thursday night

Helena’s best and brightest were on display in the Capitol City Thursday night. The “ Accelerated Startups Demo Night” was held at the Lewis and Clark county Fairgrounds, where new and young businesses were spotlighted. The program builds to the Demo Night, when participants have the opportunity to introduce their business to the community and potential investors.
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Montana vape shops hot under the collar over E-cig ban

Three Montana vape shops and their trade association filed suit Thursday to overturn Gov. Steve Bullock’s emergency ban on flavored e-cigarette products. The lawsuit, filed in state District Court in Hamilton, also asked the judge to block Bullock’s rule from taking effect while its legality is decided. The suit says the “arbitrary and capricious” ban ordered would put the shops out of business and deprive them of their “primary source of revenue. Last week, Bullock announced the order banning flavored e-cigarette products after Montana had two reported cases of vaping-related lung disease and one death. The ban isn’t effective until next Tuesday.
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Missoula priest is facing sexual allegations

A Missoula priest is facing sexual allegations. Rich Perry, a Jesuit priest at St. Francis Xavier church, is under investigation, after reports of misconduct against women clergy members. A Jesuit West spokesperson confirmed that Perry is currently being relocated to California. Once the investigation is completed a province review board will make its recommendation, MTN News reports.
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Butte police investigating possible out of state kidnapping

BUTTE – Police in Butte are investigating a possible out of state kidnapping case. A woman at the Flying J Truck Stop west of Butte told police she just escaped from a man who had offered her a ride just two days earlier from California, and held her hostage as he drove to Montana. She was able to get away when he stopped at the truck stop. Anyone with information about this incident is urged to call Butte police.
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Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Cooney challenged his opponents to swear off big money donors

HELENA – Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Cooney challenged his opponents to swear off big money donors. The current lieutenant governor introduced a proposal Wednesday, which he dubbed the “Big Sky People’s Pledge,” which would keep “dark money” spent by Super PACs, and other special-interest group spending out of the 2020 governor’s race, and promote the importance of smaller donors. Cooney is asking his primary opponents to sign the pledge.
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Rollover crash brings traffic to standstill on I-90

Motorists on I-90 were at a standstill after a rollover crash on I-90 Wednesday afternoon backed up traffic for more than an hour. According to MHP reports, a mother and her five children miraculously walked away with only minor injuries, after the severe crash in Bozeman in which police said a load of lumber fell from a truck and scattered all over I-90 near mile marker 304, forcing the woman to hit her brakes, which caused her to roll several times before the vehicle landed upside down. The investigation is ongoing.
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Man accused in death of Helena doctor sentenced

HELENA – The man who pleaded guilty in the death of a Helena doctor will serve time in prison. Gregg Trude will serve 3-1/2 years of a 20 year prison sentence. Trude pleaded guilty to the 2018 shooting death of Dr. Eugene “Buzz” Walton after the two returned from a hunting trip.
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Mail-in voting is currently underway in Lewis and Clark County

Mail-in voting is currently underway in Lewis and Clark County. Ballots must be returned by Election Day Nov. 5. Helena voters will elect two people to the city commission and one municipal judge. East Helena voters will elect one city council member in Ward 2 and one city council member in Ward 1. Nobody registered to run for the Ward 1 seat. Voters can write in the name of anyone who meets the qualifications for the position.
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