Aug. 12 Montana News Briefs

Monday, August 12, 2019

Air quality safeguards among proposed rules for schools

BILLINGS (AP) — Health officials have proposed a series of rules for Montana schools, including requiring districts to create plans for how they would make buildings airtight. The Billings Gazette reported Monday that the state Department of Health and Human Services’ rule for sealing school buildings from the outside air aims to protect against wildfire smoke and other air hazards. The proposal also includes requirements for schools to regularly inspect air systems and to test water for lead. Education groups have critical of the proposed rules, saying the process was rushed and hoping the department would clarify its expectations. The department says several school groups had the chance to weigh in and it has considered the economic impact of the rules. The department is taking public comment on the proposal until Sept. 16.

Man killed in motorcycle accident over weekend

MARION (AP) — The Montana Highway Patrol says a 65-yearold Kalispell man died when he lost control of his motorcycle and was run over by a camper this past weekend. The Daily Inter Lake reports that the accident occurred about 10:30 a.m. Saturday on U.S. 2 west of Marion. According to the Patrol, a group of five motorcycles was driving west and attempted to pass a 2015 Dodge Ram truck hauling a camper. Two of the motorcycles passed safely, but as the truck slowed to make a left-hand turn, a third motorcycle, driven by the Kalispell man, braked in attempt to slow down and slid underneath the rig. The man was run over by the camper and he was pronounced dead at the scene. His name was not immediately released.

West Yellowstone to ask voters about increasing resort tax

BOZEMAN (AP) — The town of West Yellowstone is going to ask voters if they want to increase the resort tax to help expand water and sewer capacity and pay for other infrastructure projects. The Legislature passed a bill earlier this year allowing resort towns to increase their local option sales tax from 3% to 4% to fund specific projects. Town Manager Dan Sabolsky tells the Bozeman Daily Chronicle if voters approve the tax hike in November, it would raise an estimated $1.2 million annually. The money would be used to repay a $28 million bond used to finance a wastewater treatment facility, water storage tanks, new water and sewer lines and reconstruction of streets and sidewalks. The tax would expire after the bond is repaid in 20 years.

Missing Indigenous Persons Task Force wants more members

GREAT FALLS (AP) — Members of a state task force whose goal is to help various agencies work together in reporting and searching for missing Native Americans want to add more people to the panel. The Missing Indigenous Persons Task Force met in Great Falls on Saturday and decided it wanted to add representatives from Indian Health Services and the U.S. attorney’s office. The task force was created by the Montana Legislature to help state, local, federal and tribal law enforcement agencies to identify jurisdictional barriers that prevented the agencies from working together. The Great Falls Tribune reports task force members were told the Department of Justice has not yet found the right candidate for the new job of missing persons specialist to work with the various agencies and oversee databases of missing persons.