Jan. 13 Regional News Briefs

Monday, January 13, 2020

Four bodies recovered from small plane crash in Montana

BILLINGS (AP) — Authorities recovered the bodies of four people on Sunday from the wreckage of a small plane that crashed in southern Montana. The bodies were taken to the state morgue in Billings and autopsies were planned Monday to identify the victims, Yellowstone County Sheriff Mike Linder said. The single-engine Cessna 182 crashed around 6 p.m. Saturday, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. Searching in a helicopter, Linder was able to find the plane north of Billings at the bottom of a slope of Dunn Mountain on Sunday. It appeared the airplane hit a guy-wire on a 200-foot (61-meter) antenna tower on a mountain, went off the edge and tumbled down the side of the mountain, Linder told The Billings Gazette.

Child dies, 3 family members hurt in North Dakota house fire

McCLUSKY, N.D. (AP) — A house fire in central North Dakota has killed a child and injured three family members. Crews responded to the fire near McClusky around 2 p.m. Wednesday Flames engulfed the house, and crews were unable to enter the home. The remains of a child were recovered from the house Thursday. Three family members were airlifted to a burn center in St. Paul, Minnesota. Authorities have not released the names of the family members and the age of the child. The state fire marshal and Sheridan County sheriff’s officials are investigating, but foul play is not suspected.

Wyoming lawmaker sponsoring wolf-kill compensation bill

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — A Wyoming lawmaker is sponsoring legislation to create a new state compensation program for ranchers who lose livestock to wolves. The bill sponsored by Republican Rep. John Winter, of Thermopolis, would create a fund with $90,000 to reimburse ranchers over a two-year period. Currently only livestock killed within wolf-hunting zones in western Wyoming qualify for compensation. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department pays out about $385,000 a year under the program, the Casper Star-Tribune reports. Under Winter’s bill, ranchers who lose livestock to wolves outside wolf-hunting areas also would qualify for compensation. Other reimbursement programs have been discontinued since the U.S. government removed Wyoming’s wolves from federal protection in 2018. The bill would need a two-thirds vote to be introduced during this winter’s legislative session dedicated primarily to the budget. The four-week session begins Feb. 10.

Wyoming lawmakers to try again with Interstate 80 toll bill

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming lawmakers will try again to enact tolls on Interstate 80. The Legislature’s Joint Highways, Transportation and Military Affairs has endorsed an I-80 toll bill for the annual legislative session, which begins Feb. 10. This year’s session is dedicated primarily to the budget. The I-80 toll bill and other legislation not directly related to the state budget will require a two-thirds vote to be introduced. Lawmakers have been discussing I-80 tolls as a way to raise money for roadwork for at least a decade, KGAB Radio reports. The tolls would require federal approval and likely take a decade or more to implement.