FAKE DEATH ARREST
Fla. man suspected of faking death found in Wyo.
CODY, Wyo. (AP) - A Florida man suspected of faking his own death has been arrested in Wyoming.
Fifty-year-old David Leon Lashley was arrested Monday in the Clark area near the Montana border by U.S. Marshals and U.S. Coast Guard investigators.
Park County Sheriff Scott A. Steward said that Lashley, who fled Florida in a motor home, had been living there under an assumed name, Wesley Byrd.
Steward said Lashley is wanted by the Coast Guard in connection with the disappearance of a houseboat in which he allegedly attempted to fake his death. He is also wanted for failing to appear in court in March.
The Powell Tribune reported that Lashley waived his right to fight extradition to Florida in court today.
It wasn't immediately clear if he had a lawyer.
KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE
Obama opposes GOP bill on Keystone XL oil pipeline
WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House says President Barack Obama opposes a House bill that would speed approval of the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to Texas.
The White House said that the bill "seeks to circumvent longstanding and proven processes" by removing a requirement for a presidential permit. The legislation also says no new environmental studies are needed.
House Republicans say the bill is needed to ensure the long-delayed pipeline is built. The project, which first was proposed in 2008, would carry oil extracted from tar sands in western Canada to refineries along the Texas Gulf Coast.
Opponents say the pipeline would carry "dirty oil" that could trigger global warming, while supporters say it would create jobs and bolster North American energy resources.
A House vote is expected Wednesday.
Montana tea party protest IRS targeting
HELENA, Mont. (AP) - About a half-dozen tea party activists have gathered outside the federal building in Helena to protest IRS scrutiny of conservative groups and to warn that the agency could target other organizations next.
The protest was 1 of several taking place at IRS locations across the nation.
Big Sky Tea Party Association Ed Arganbright says everybody should be outraged by the Internal Revenue Service's targeting certain conservative groups. Arganbright says if the IRS can do it to the tea party, it can do it to other groups of different political stripes.
He and the others held signs saying "Stop IRS Targeting" and "Audit the IRS."
IRS officials have acknowledged that some conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status were screened through searches for terms that include "tea party" and "patriot."
WESTERN LANDS-UTAH GOVERNOR
Utah Gov. Herbert rails against US Land management
WASHINGTON (AP) - Utah Gov. Gary Herbert says his state does a better job than federal managers and has a bigger stake than the bureaucrats in protecting the natural resources and rugged beauty that drives Utah's outdoor recreation and tourism industry.
Herbert, the chairman of the Western Governors' Association, was the lone witness to testify in Washington on Tuesday before a congressional subcommittee examining the role of state and federal governments in managing national parks, forests and public rangelands.
The Republican governor says no one understands state challenges and demographics better than the people who reside and govern there. He says federal managers are hamstrung by regulatory and statutory frameworks that keep them from effectively addressing pressing needs, including rapid declines in the health of national forests and rangelands.
Idaho panel backs delisting of grizzly bears
BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Idaho wildlife officials are urging the federal government to remove grizzly bears from the endangered species list.
The Idaho Fish and Game Commission voted in favor of delisting during its meeting last week, saying the state is in a better position to manage the species.
The commission approved a position statement that asserts the grizzly population have increased enough in core areas and warrant delisting.
Commissioners say prolonged protection for grizzly bears in Idaho is counterproductive to building and maintaining support for a healthy population.
Idaho has a couple of areas inhabited by grizzly bears, including eastern Idaho and the Yellowstone population and northern Idaho along the Montana border.
Court denies request to block bison hazing
HELENA, Mont. (AP) - A federal appeals court has denied a conservation group's request to block the use of a helicopter to haze wild bison in southwestern Montana back into Yellowstone National Park.
A three-judge panel from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied the injunction request Monday.
The Alliance for the Wild Rockies filed the request as part of its legal challenge that low-altitude helicopter hazing harasses and displaces federally protected grizzly bears in the area.
The group is appealing U.S. District Judge Charles Lovell's ruling in March against its lawsuit.
Montana Department of Livestock spokesman Steve Merritt said the annual bison-hazing operation appears to be wrapping up for the season.
He says state officials moved about 350 bison Monday from the Hebgen Basin west of Yellowstone.
Sheriff investigating horse strangulation death
STEVENSVILLE, Mont. (AP) - The Ravalli County sheriff's office is investigating after a horse was strangled to death in its corral northeast of Stevensville over the weekend.
The Ravalli Republic reports Patricia Cregan awakened Saturday to find her riding horse, Cooper, dead with a piece of nylon rope tied around its neck. The corral is about 100 feet from her house.
Cregan says she had raised the horse since it was a foal and that it was 7 or 8 years old.
Sheriff Chris Hoffman is asking anyone with information to call his office.
Cabela's, Kohl's planned for Missoula
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) - The company that owns the former Kmart building in Missoula plans to raze it and construct buildings to house a Cabela's Outpost and a Kohl's Department Store.
The Missoulian reports the new tenants were announced in a memo about the project that Woodbury Corp. of Salt Lake City presented to the Missoula Redevelopment Agency board on May 15.
Woodbury project manager Darrin Smith says demolition is set to begin June 1, but he declined to confirm the names of the tenants.
The $24.5 million retail construction project will also include three smaller buildings while another building on the property will be renovated and broken into two smaller spaces. The tenants in two other leased spaces are expected to remain.
Woodbury expects the new businesses will create over 400 new full-time, part-time and seasonal jobs.
MSU PROFESSOR DEATH
MSU professor dies in landslide in Nepal
BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) - An associate professor at Montana State University has died in a landslide in Nepal, where she was leading a group of students taking an honors program course.
MSU spokesman Tracy Ellig says Betsy Palmer and 16 students were on an extended trek to a remote village in the Arun River Valley in the Himalayas when landslide hit. Palmer was airlifted to a hospital in Katmandu, but died of her injuries Monday. None of the students was injured.
Palmer came to MSU in 2001 and taught statistics and research methods courses. She met her husband in Nepal in 2005. They have 5-year-old twins.
MSU officials were working to get the students and co-trip leader Anna Greenberg back to the United States.
MAN STABS SELF
Intoxicated transient stabs self in Billings
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - Police in Billings say an intoxicated transient stabbed himself in the chest several times in front of law enforcement officers trying to take him into custody after officers with the U.S. Marshals Service removed him from the federal courthouse.
Police Chief Rich St. John says deputies with the Marshals Service called police because they believed the man might need to go to the Community Crisis Center.
Once outside, the man waved the knife at deputies, who drew their guns.
A police officer twice deployed a stun gun to shock the man, but the probes didn't go through his coat. St. John says the man then stabbed himself in the chest five times. He was taken to a Billings hospital.
Browning man gets life sentence for rape
HELENA, Mont. (AP) - A 49-year-old Browning man has been sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of sexually assaulting a 51-year-old woman last year.
The Independent Record reports Donald Carl Salois was sentenced Monday by U.S. District Judge Sam Haddon during a hearing in Helena.
Laura Weiss with the U.S. Attorney's Office sought the life sentence, saying Salois offered the woman a ride home in February 2012, but then took her outside a housing area and raped her.
Salois has previous convictions for sexually abusing one girl when she was 3 and another when she was 6. He served 10 years in state prison for those offenses.
Salois has been in custody since his arrest in August 2012. He was convicted of aggravated sexual assault in January.
Woman charged with kidnapping niece released
POLSON, Mont. (AP) - A Hot Springs woman charged with kidnapping her niece over the weekend made an initial court appearance Monday and was released on her own recognizance.
Justice of the Peace Joey Jayne rejected a request by Lake County prosecutors to set a $5,000 bond for 34-year-old Jamie T. Finley.
Finley is charged with abducting her 2-year-old niece from a Polson home on Saturday night, prompting a statewide Amber Alert.
Public defender Steve Eschenbacher told the judge that Finley took the girl to protect her.
Several of Finley's relatives told the Missoulian after the hearing that Finley took the girl to keep her sister from taking the girl out of town with a boyfriend they say abuses both the mother and the girl.
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