Archives for June 2018

Nursing Home Resident Caught Fire While Smoking

A resident of a Helena nursing home was on fire for ten minutes before staff reached her and called emergency medical service. The patient later died. She has been left outside, unsupervised, and she took a drag of another resident’s cigarette .Her oxygen ignited. She had second degree burns on her face and left hand.State health officials have found that Big Sky Healthcare Community was guilty of neglect.

One Obamacare Insurer Not Hiking 2019 Rates

If you are one of the 54 thousand Montana residents who buys health insurance on the Obamacare marketplace, there’s good for you about rate hikes for 2019. The state insurance commissioner released the proposed rates for next year on Thursday. Blue Cross and Blue Shield is not asking for any rate increase. Pacific Source proposed an average increase of 6.2 percent.The Montana Health Co-op proposed a hike of 10.6 percent.

Judge rules in years-long legal dispute over who should pay for cleanup at East Helena smelter site

A federal judge ruled Tuesday that the Atlantic Richfield Company must pay almost $29 million toward cleaning up the East Helena smelter site. This is the latest step in a years-long legal dispute between ARCO and ASARCO, its predecessors who operated a lead smelter outside East Helena, over who’s responsible for cleanup costs.

Uber and Lyft got the green light to continue operating in Helena

Uber and Lyft got the green light to continue operating in Helena. After a Helena judge dismissed a lawsuit challenging the legality of ride-sharing services, several area taxi companies are appealing to the Montana Supreme Court. The appeal names Gov. Steve Bullock, the Montana Public Service Commission, the Montana Department of Labor and Industry and the previous CEO of Uber. The judge dismissed the original case with prejudice in April, allowing ride-sharing services to continue operating. The PSC approved an operating license for Uber in 2015 and Lyft in 2017.

Goats Working At Malstrom Air Force Base

The Air Force is using some short, hairy employees to remove weeds around Malstrom Air Force Base. About 500 goats are hard at work for the second year in a row. The goats are eating weeds, and helping to reduce fire hazards.

Helena Doctor To Get License Back

A Helena doctor will be getting his license back. Dr. Mark Ibsen had his license suspended by the Montana Board of Medical Examiners in 2016, over allegations that Ibsen over-prescribed opioids. A district court judge yesterday reversed that decision.

Special Session Requested

Some GOP lawmakers have asked for a special session of the legislature next month. They want to consider proposals to override two ballot measures this fall. One of those would increase state tobacco taxes and extend Medicaid expansion. The other would require new hard-rock mines to have cleanup plans that don’t require perpetual treatment of polluted runoff.

Cars crushed by fallen tree in Cascade County

Three cars appeared to have been crushed by a fallen tree following a severe storm that moved through Cascade County on Monday evening bringing rain and strong winds. Officials said Tuesday, the storm also uprooted at least two trees at a home on First Road South in Fort Shaw, and another home nearby was littered with toppled trees and branches. Several sheds and at least two cars were also damaged, and across 11th Lane, a pivot was forced over by strong winds.

Rock slide damages Billings home crushes car

(BILLINGS) A large rock slide Tuesday evening damaged a Billings home and crushed a vehicle. According to a press release from the Billings Police Department a large chunk of rock fell from the Rims and slid down onto Mountain View Boulevard, blocking the upper portion of Mountain View. Utilities in the area also sustained some damage. There were no reports of anyone being injured.

Lewis and Clark County Scratch Gravel Waste Disposal District lowers yearly fees

The Scratch Gravel Waste Disposal District in Lewis and Clark County has dropped its yearly fees from $96 to $88, the first drop in fees since 2006. Lewis and Clark County officials said the rate drop will affect some 14,000 properties.