Aug. 27 Regional News Briefs

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

2 killed, 1 injured when semitrailer hits car near Hardin

BILLINGS (AP) — A semitractor-trailer crossed the centerline and collided head-on with a car just south of Hardin, killing the driver and a passenger in the car and injuring another passenger. The Montana Highway Patrol says the semi caught fire after the crash Sunday afternoon, sparking a small grass fire. Big Horn County Coroner Terry Bullis says the crash killed 58-year-old Thomas Tauscher and 67-year-old Jerry Wayne Lively, both of Hardin. A 58-year-old woman from Hardin was flown to a Billings hospital for treatment. Patrol Sgt. Kyle Hater says the driver of the semi, a 17-year-old boy from Hardin, was not injured.

Man who discussed US attack reaches guilty plea

MISSOULA (AP) — A man arrested in Montana after witnesses said he talked about joining the Islamic State and avenging the New Zealand mosque shootings has reached a plea agreement with federal prosecutors. ABC FOX Montana reports Fabjan Alameti is scheduled to plead guilty Wednesday in Missoula to two counts of lying to a federal officer about making terrorism related comments to an informant. Court records say authorities first interviewed Alameti in 2018 and he later made pro-Islamic State social media posts. Prosecutors say Alameti was traveling to Montana via bus on March 15 when a gunman killed 50 people in Christchurch. Court records said Alametii told an informant that he would “attack random people to avenge the blood.” Alameti was arrested at a Bozeman gun range on April 3. His trial had been scheduled to start next week.

Minnesota man dies in Montana climbing accident

BILLINGS (AP) — A 65-year-old Minnesota man has died while trying to summit Montana’s highest mountain peak. Park County officials say the experienced climber slipped and fell about 150 feet (46 meters) Saturday afternoon when he and a climbing partner were about 200 feet (61 meters) from the summit of Granite Peak in the Beartooth Mountains north of Yellowstone National Park. Sheriff Brad Bichler tells The Billings Gazette the man’s climbing partner called Park County dispatchers at 2 a.m. Sunday, after climbing down from the 12,799-foot (3,901-meter) peak to get to an area with cellphone service. Bichler says bad weather was delaying Monday’s effort to recover the man’s body. The name of the man was being withheld until family members could be notified.

ND Highway Patrol plans saturation enforcement on I-94

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota Highway Patrol says it will conduct a border-to-border saturation enforcement effort on Interstate 94 from Monday through next Sunday in the run-up to the Labor Day holiday. The Highway Patrol says it will focus on aggressive driving. Troopers will be watching for excessive speeding, following too close, lane change violations, hands free violations, failure to signal and other unsafe behaviors. The southwest regional commander, Lt. Steve Fischer, says the enforcement effort doesn’t mean writing more tickets — it means saving more lives. Although troopers will be focusing on aggressive behaviors, Fischer reminds drivers to share the road, be courteous, patient, and focus on safe driving practices.

Game and Fish doles out all pronghorn hunting licenses

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota’s pronghorn hunting license lottery has been held, and all 1,335 licenses that were made available in 12 units were issued. Hunters who went after pronghorn in North Dakota last year largely enjoyed success. The state Game and Fish Department says 81 percent of 976 hunters bagged an animal last year. Most were bucks. The agency last year made 1,075 licenses available more than doubling the number of pronghorn licenses from the previous year, due to a rebound in the population of the animals that resemble the African antelope. A string of harsh winters that decimated pronghorn numbers led to hunting being banned from 2010 through 2013 to allow the animals to recover.

Wyoming miners locked out of jobs face health insurance loss

GILLETTE, Wyo. (AP) — Hundreds of Wyoming coal miners locked out of their jobs could lose health insurance. The Gillette News Record reports that Blackjewel LLC Wyoming has filed a motion with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to terminate its medical insurance Aug. 31. Blackjewel is seeking to terminate a medical plan purchased under Revelation Energy, which would prevent employee eligibility for continued coverage under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, commonly known as COBRA. The lockout that began July 1 has affected 1,700 workers, including nearly 600 in Wyoming. The company says the employees have not been fired, but the miners have been denied access to their jobs and pay has been withheld. A company notice says workers should move to family members’ heath care plans or utilize the federal Health Insurance Marketplace.

Fire near reservoir grows

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — A wildfire burning near Pathfinder Reservoir in central Wyoming has grown to more than 14.5 square miles (37.5 square kilometers) since it began last weekend from lightning. The fire is located about 40 miles north of Rawlins and is burning a rural area of timber, brush and grass. Additional firefighters reached the fire on Monday, bringing the total personnel fighting the fire to over 260. They are being aided by several helicopters. By Tuesday morning, they had gained about 10 percent containment on the fire.