Mar. 7 Montana News Briefs

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Manager knew safety concerns at Montana plant that exploded

BILLINGS (AP) — The manager of an oil processing plant in eastern Montana that exploded and burned in 2012 has pleaded guilty to violating the Clean Air Act. The Billings Gazette reports that the plea agreement by Mark Hurst was reached recently in U.S. District Court in Billings. Hurst was the project manager for Custom Carbon Processing’s Wibaux operation, where an explosion and fire on Dec. 29, 2012, injured three workers. If the court accepts the plea deal, Hurst is scheduled to be sentenced June 27. Federal prosecutors noted that in July 2012 Hurst acknowledged the facility was so poorly wired and ventilated that “we run the risk of killing someone.” A Montana trucking company and its owner were convicted of more than a dozen federal charges filed after a 2012 explosion destroyed.

Roof collapses on Montana State University campus

BOZEMAN (AP) — Part of the roof at a Montana State University fitness center in Bozeman has collapsed. The university says the collapse occurred early Thursday morning at the fitness center used by students. There were no injuries and the fitness center has been closed. The cause of the collapse is under investigation. The Bozeman Fire Department says firefighters were called around 2:20 a.m. Thursday and found a partial roof collapse on the backside of an unoccupied building. There was no fire but broken heating pipes were releasing steam.

Montana woman convicted in crash that killed pedestrian

GREAT FALLS (AP) — A Montana woman has been convicted in the crash that killed a pedestrian on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. The Great Falls Tribune reports a jury Wednesday found Shayanna Marie England guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the January 2018 death of Eljay Young Running Crane. England testified in federal court Tuesday that she was in an abusive relationship with Young Running Crane. She said his anger and jealousy caused her to speed out of Heart Butte at 90 mph (145 kph) that night. She said he appeared in the road, claiming he threw himself in front of her car. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Starnes told the court that her driving was “patently unreasonable,” noting she did not have reason to drive that fast. England is scheduled to be sentenced in June.