Archives for October 2018

Helena man accused of elaborate embezzlement scheme

A Helena man is accused of an elaborate scheme to steal money from Van’s Thriftway where he worked. Brody Gordon Sheehan is accused of stealing more than $100,000 from the store, after surveillance video showed him allegedly ringing up an item as a “price check” before taking cash from a customer which he would keep, and then registering the item as a “no sale.” Sheehan had been working at Van’s since March 2014 and in that time had stolen more than $130,000, according to court documents. Sheehan is facing felony theft and embezzlement charges.
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Residents escape Helena house fire

Fortunately no one was injured in a Helena house fire. Helena firefighters quickly extinguished the blaze at the home along Country Club Avenue in Helena Monday night, and said the occupants were able to escape the smoke filled home unharmed. The fire was contained to the front of the house, according to reports, and the exact cause of the fire remains under investigation.
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Helena mayor declares Family Promise Week

HELENA – Helena Mayor Wilmot Collins has declared October 20-26 “Family Promise Week.” He made the declaration on Tuesday at an open house at the nonprofit, which works to help families overcome homelessness. The new executive director of Family Promise said Family Promise Week is a way to thank the almost 1,000 volunteers in the Capital City, plus raise awareness about homeless families living in Helena.
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Bullock praised $800,000 federal grant for respite services in the state

HELENA – Governor Bullock praised a $800,000 federal grant for respite services in the state. During a gathering in the State Capitol on Tuesday (October 23), Bullock and the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services announced the grant and said the funding will further strengthen DPHHS respite services and the Montana families who are in need of them. DPHHS officials say they were not awarded the grant in 2017 and without this federal funding, the Montana Lifespan Respite program would not have been able to continue.
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Confederate Memorial Fountain on track to being replaced

The Confederate Memorial Fountain removed from Helena’s Hill Park in August of 2017 is on track to being replaced. Lewis and Clark County Commissioners were updated Tuesday morning on the status of the Equity Fountain Project replacement, with the four potential designs recently displayed at the Holter Museum of Art. The final design will be announced to the Helena City Commission at their November 5 meeting. The fountain could be unveiled by the summer of 2019, officials said.

MEANWHILE….

Saying it is a part of Helena’s heritage that will now be lost, several people gathered carrying U.S. flags, Montana flags and Confederate battle flags to protest the removal of the confederate fountain which had been there for decades. But others came to support the city’s decision, citing confederate monuments like the fountain cannot be separated from a history of racist hate in the U.S. The fountain was donated in 1916 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy.
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Helena residents are being asked to help plan the city’s future green space

Helena residents are being asked to help plan the city’s future green space. The city of Helena and Lewis and Clark County have already conducted listening sessions and recently mailed out 3,500 postcards to residents encouraging them to take an online survey, aimed at getting community feedback about parks, recreation, trails and open space. The survey focuses on residents’ experiences and whether they would like to see anything added. Residents can take the online survey at helenaparks.org. The survey goes live on June 15.

IN RELATED NEWS…

The director of Helena’s parks and recreation announced her plans Monday to retire from the post. Amy Teegarden, who has been at the helm since since 2008, says her last day in the office will be Nov. 16, but she will take vacation leave for Thanksgiving week and officially retire Nov. 23.
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UPDATE – Victims in double murder at Missoula hotel identified

The names of two people who were found dead in a Missoula hotel on Friday have been released. The Missoula County Sheriff’s Office said officers responded to a report of a “disturbance” at the Mountain Valley Inn on West Broadway and discovered three victims with gunshot wounds, two of whom were already dead. The victims were identified as, Jason J. Flink, 23, and Megan M. McLaughlin, 31. Police said the other wounded man was taken to the hospital.

MEANWHILE…

Over the weekend, law enforcement officers in Missoula arrested two suspects in connection with the double murder, including the man who has been on the run since the incident. Missoula County Sheriff T.J. McDermott said Jonathan Whitworth was arrested on Sunday without incident near the Missoula International Airport. A second suspect, identified as, Preston Rossbach, 18 years old, was taken into custody Friday, according to the Missoula County Detention Center inmate roster.
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Name of man fatally shot in Helena’s old Kmart parking lot released

The name of the man who died Sunday after suffering a gunshot wound in Helena’s old Kmart parking lot has been released. The Lewis and Clark County Coroner’s office identified the victim Monday morning as, Dr. Eugene “Buzz” Walton II. According to reports, the 48 year old who was a doctor at Performance Injury Care and Sports Medicine died after authorities say a hunting rifle may have accidentally discharged and a round struck him, after Walton and another man had just returned from a hunting trip.
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Helena teen accused of making online threats at White Sulphur Springs School

A Helena teen is accused of making online threats that canceled classes at White Sulphur Springs School Monday. The Meagher County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page states that due to a social media threat discovered on Sunday (October 21), officials decided to close the campus on Monday, (October 22), as a safety precaution and to allow for a complete investigation. According to Helena police, the person responsible for the social media posts was charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct for the incident. The nature of the threat has not been released.
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Love trumps Hate rally in Missoula

MISSOULA – Hundreds rallied at Missoula’s Playfair Park Thursday to protest what organizers call “hateful rhetoric” from Donald Trump. The activist group Missoula Rises held a “Love Trumps Hate” rally, just before Trump arrived in Missoula for his rally supporting Republican U.S. Senate candidate Matt Rosendale. Demonstrators carried signs criticizing what they call divisive language from Trump, and said they thought it was important to get the community together and respond to his divisive hate speech by coming together, and getting out the vote.
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