Sept. 3 Montana News Briefs

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Montana to distribute money to upgrade voting equipment

HELENA (AP) — The Montana Secretary of State’s Office has decided how to distribute $750,000 in federal grant money to upgrade voting equipment across the state’s 56 counties. A statement by Secretary Corey Stapleton on Tuesday shows the amount of each sub-grant will range from $3,500 for the smallest counties to $33,527 for Lewis and Clark County. Stapleton says the money will help counties buy new voting machines for people with disabilities. Every polling place is required to have at least one, and each costs at least $3,500. Montana received $3 million total from the federal government to improve its election system and security. Most of the money, $2 million, was earmarked for a new voter registration system. Another $150,000 is going toward information technology security and $100,000 went toward the state’s election supervisor’s salary.

State investigating officer-involved shooting in Missoula

MISSOULA (AP) — Agents with the state Division of Criminal Investigation are investigating an officer-involved shooting in Missoula. Detective Sgt. Travis Welsh tells the Missoulian no officers were injured. Police say officers responded to a report of suspected drug activity at or near a recreational vehicle parked in a dirt lot near the Orange Street Exit off Interstate 90 at 4:40 p.m. Monday. A press release from the police department said “shots were fired involving responding officers.” Police did not say if anyone else was injured. Department of Justice spokesman John Barnes said the agency would likely release more information later Tuesday.

Stolen sign from Bozeman drive-in theater returned to owner

BOZEMAN (AP) — A landmark sign from Bozeman’s old Starlite drive-In theater has been returned to its owner after it was stolen last month. The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported Saturday the second half of the two-piece “Starlite” sign was taken from outside Media Station Design Works, which specializes in making signs and artwork. Owner Ole Nelson contacted police, who found the sign in the possession of two college students. Nelson says both wrote him to apologize. It wasn’t clear if they face charges. The sign was resting on the ground when the part that said “lite” was stolen. Nelson plans to mount it on the wall so it’s harder to steal. He says people sometimes stop in to share stories about proposing to spouses or going on first dates at the Starlite.