Aug. 14 Regional News Briefs

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

MSU president upbeat about school year

BOZEMAN (AP) — The president of Montana State University says the school is looking forward to a promising year. The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported Sunday that 59-yearold Waded Cruzado is optimistic about potential school year highlights including increased student enrollment. The university’s first female president says enrollment “looks very strong” as administrators wait to see whether the final figures will beat last year’s record of 16,902 students. MSU enrollment has grown 25% to make it the state’s biggest campus. As she approaches her 10-year anniversary as president in January, Cruzado is also overseeing five major construction projects on campus at a cost of more than $128 million. Cruzado says she also is looking forward to hosting the National Conference on Undergraduate Research and the return of the International Food Bazaar.

Girl killed when rocks fall on vehicle in Glacier park

WEST GLACIER (AP) — Falling rocks hit the top of a vehicle traveling on Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park, killing a 14-year-old Utah girl and injuring her parents and two other children. Park officials say the rock slide happened at about 7 p.m. Monday near the East Tunnel on the scenic highway. Rocks ranging from fist-sized to 12 inches (30 centimeters) in diameter fell from an unknown height, shattering the vehicle’s rear window. The girl’s name and hometown were being withheld until family members can be notified. Park officials say her parents suffered significant bruises while the other children had minor injuries. The last fatal injury from falling rocks on the Going-to-the-Sun Road was in 1996.

Grizzly euthanized for killing cattle near Wolf Creek

GREAT FALLS (AP) — Montana wildlife managers euthanized an adult male grizzly bear for killing cattle north of Wolf Creek, about 15 miles (24 kilometers) west of Holter Dam. Fish, Wildlife and Parks bear management specialist Mike Madel says the bear was 5 years old and weighed 474 pounds (215 kilograms). Madel says bears risk injury in trying to kill a cow, rather than a calf, but this bear killed two cows each weighing about 1,200 pounds (544 kilograms). Madel says it’s possible the bear was traveling with another bruin but he’s convinced the correct animal was captured Monday based on paw print measurements. Grizzly bears are protected as threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.

Yellowstone visitation in July exceeds 936,000

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. (AP) — Yellowstone National Park recorded 936,062 visits last month as the busy summer tourist season ramped up. The July visitation was down by about 4,500 from July 2018 when over 940,500 people visited the park. The park in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho typically sees its most visitors during the summer months So far this year, the first national park has hosted nearly 2.3 million visitors, which is down 1.19 percent from the same period last year and trails year-to-date visitation recorded in 2016 and 2017.

Woman charged with embezzling domestic violence grant money

BILLINGS (AP) — Federal prosecutors say two members of a statewide organization formed to advocate on behalf of Native American victims of domestic and sexual violence began stealing grant money from the group just months after the former executive director pleaded guilty to doing the same thing. Barbara Mary Daychief of Browning is a former board member of the Montana Native Women’s Coalition. She pleaded not guilty to fraud charges Tuesday in Billings. An indictment alleges Daychief and a co-defendant received advance payment for travel not completed or excessive payments for travel totaling about $4,800 between them. Authorities alleged other fraud, including claiming excess pay. The former executive director, Toni Louise Plummer-Alvernaz, pleaded guilty to fraud in March 2017, was sentenced to a year in prison and ordered to pay nearly $250,000 in restitution.

Landowner asks US Supreme Court to review pipeline dispute

MINOT, N.D. (AP) — A North Dakota landowner is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to take up his challenge of an energy company taking some of his land for a proposed natural gas pipeline near Minot. Montana-Dakota Utilities seeks to build a 3,000-foot-long (915 meters) pipeline to service a BNSF Railway facility. MDU needed eminent domain to cross private land, but a North Central district judge ruled in 2018 that harm to private landowner Lavern Behm outweighed any public benefits from the pipeline. The North Dakota Supreme Court reversed that this spring, ruling that the lower court misapplied state law when it decided that a taking was not necessary for a public use. The U.S. Supreme Court takes up only a tiny fraction of the petitions it receives each term.

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