Mar. 5 Regional News Briefs

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

46 below reading at Elk Park could be statewide record

BUTTE (AP) — The thermometer hit minus 46 degrees Monday morning at Elk Park in southwest Montana, and a National Weather Service official says it could be the lowest temperature recorded in state history during the month of March. Meteorologist Dave Bernhardt tells The Montana Standard that the bone-chilling temperature was recorded at 5:14 a.m. Monday. But Bernhardt says the Elk Park temperature won’t become an official record until it is reviewed by the extremes committee of the National Centers for Environmental Information. The group, among other things, evaluates the scientific legitimacy of extreme weather observations. For now, the current record-holding lows in Montana for the month of March are two minus 45-degree readings in Glasgow and Fort Logan in 1897 and 1906.

72-year-old man dies in Great Falls home fire

GREAT FALLS (AP) — Cascade County authorities say a 72-year-old man died in a house fire over the weekend. Sheriff’s officials say the fire was reported in Great Falls early Saturday morning. After it was put out, authorities discovered the body of Wayne Edward Jensen in the living room. Fire officials concluded that’s where the fire started, possibly due to a dropped cigarette. Sheriff’s officials say there were no witnesses. Officials say an autopsy will be performed on Jensen’s body.

New BLM Nevada director has 20 years with federal agencies

RENO, Nev. (AP) — The new state director for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in Nevada has spent more than two decades working for federal land management agencies in Washington D.C. and the West. Jon Raby was officially sworn in Monday by Brian Steed, BLM’s deputy director for policy. Raby has worked for the BLM in Oregon, Montana and Washington D.C. He also worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Forest Service. In his new role, he’ll oversee about 925 employees with an annual budget of about $108 million in Nevada, which has BLM’s largest mining and wild horse programs, and its largest fire program outside of Alaska.

Bill creating Idaho Medal of Honor Highway goes to governor

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Legislation to designate a roadway that crosses southern Idaho as the Idaho Medal of Honor Highway is headed to the governor. The Senate on Monday voted 35-0 to send to Gov. Brad Little the legislation for U.S. Highway 20 that has already passed the House. Backers say Idaho’s portion will be part of a larger plan to have the entire highway that begins in Newport, Oregon, and ends in Boston, Massachusetts, receive the designation. In Idaho, the highway starts near Parma and ends on Targhee Pass where it enters Montana. The estimated cost to the state is expected to be less than $30,000.

Bill to allow guns in South Dakota Capitol heads to Noem

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — A bill that would allow people with enhanced concealed carry permits to bring guns into the South Dakota Capitol is headed to Gov. Kristi Noem. KELO-TV reports the House voted 44-19 Monday for the bill. Majority Leader Lee Qualm, a co-sponsor, says constitutional officers in the Capitol would benefit most from the self-protection. House Minority Leader Jamie Smith opposed the measure during a recent hearing, saying he supports the Capitol’s current safety system. The measure would require notifying security before carrying in the Capitol. It wouldn’t extend to the Supreme Court chamber or private offices that have controlled access, like the governor’s office. Last year, 1,615 enhanced permits were issued. They come with requirements that include completing a training course. Noem signed a bill in January to let people carry concealed pistols without a permit.

No prison time for law officer convicted of corrupting boy

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — A former northwestern North Dakota law officer convicted of having sex with a teenage boy will not serve prison time if he stays out of trouble over the next three years. Bryton Dahl was accused of having sex with the boy while employed as a Williston police officer and as a McKenzie County Sheriff’s deputy. The boy was 16 and Dahl 22 at the time. Dahl was convicted last November of felony corruption or solicitation of a minor and faced up to five years in prison. Judge Benjamen Johnson on Monday gave him credit for about four months he spent behind bars and sentenced him to three years of probation.

15-year-old killed, 4 injured in SUV-semi crash

WATFORD CITY, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota Highway Patrol says a 15-year-old boy has died and four others have been injured in a crash involving a semi and SUV. The patrol says the driver of a GMC Yukon was heading east on Highway 23 near Watford City late Monday afternoon when it struck the back of a semi that had slowed down to make a turn. The boy who died was in the SUV as where the people who were injured. They include a 7-year-old boy, 11- and 14-year--old girls and an 18-year-old man, all from Mandaree.