RAPE CASE-HUNG JURY
Mistrial declared in N. Idaho rape trial
(Information in the following story is from: Bonner County (Idaho) Daily Bee, http://www.bonnercountydailybee.com)
SANDPOINT, Idaho (AP) - A northern Idaho judge has declared a mistrial after the jury deadlocked in a case involving a Montana man charged with rape.
The Bonner County Daily Bee reports 1st District Judge Barbara Buchanan also on Wednesday set a retrial for September.
Jury members told Buchannan they were hopelessly deadlocked in the case involving 53-year-old James Stephen Anderson, a logger from Bigfork, Mont.
Police say he raped an intoxicated 17-year-old girl at a motel west of Priest River in August 2011. Anderson didn't testify at the trial.
The girl testified that Anderson gave her alcohol and pinned her on the bed.
In a video-recorded interview by a sheriff's deputy, Anderson denied the girl was ever in his room.
BODY FOUND-EAST RIDGE
Man's body found in rugged terrain near Butte
BUTTE, Mont. (AP) - The partially decomposed body of a Butte man found in a rugged area near the city has been sent to the Montana Crime Lab.
Butte-Silver Bow Sheriff Ed Lester tells the Montana Standard that the body was reported late Thursday by hikers and recovered by authorities on Friday.
Lester says the body of the man in his mid-50s was dressed in hiking clothes, and he might have fallen in the treacherous terrain.
He says the man might have been dead for five days or longer.
The body was found by three hikers on the East Ridge heading down from Our Lady of the Rockies statue.
The man's name hasn't been released.
Hamilton woman killed in rollover crash
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) - A 41-year-old Hamilton woman has died in a rollover crash in western Montana.
The Montana Highway Patrol tells the Missoulian the crash occurred about 9:40 p.m. Friday on the Eastside Highway near Bell Crossing.
Police say the Chevy Suburban drifted off the right side of the highway on a gradual curve to the left.
Police say the woman wasn't wearing a seatbelt and was ejected. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Her name hasn't been released.
SHEEP RESEARCH STATION-LAWSUIT
Groups sue federal agency after grizzly death
BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Four environmental groups are asking a federal judge to order the temporary shutdown of a sheep research station on the Idaho-Montana border they say is harming the region's grizzly bear population.
The lawsuit was filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Boise against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The agency operates the Sheep Experiment Station in the Centennial Mountain Range.
Lawyers for the environmental groups say sheep grazing and other activities at the station are jeopardizing the Yellowstone grizzly population. The lawsuit comes after the groups investigated the disappearance of a collared grizzly bear last fall.
They say documents obtained in a public records request show other grizzly bear mortality near the station in the last eight years.
The station was established in 1918 for breeding and grazing research.
Montana investigating bison deaths north of YNP
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) - State veterinarians have been sent to examine bison carcasses north of Yellowstone National Park amid concerns the bison might have acquired a deadly disease from domestic sheep.
Pat Flowers of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks tells the Independent Record that a veterinarian from his agency and the state Department of Livestock this weekend hope to do necropsies on the bison.
At least two bison and possibly four have been found dead in the last week.
The Gallatin Wildlife Association says state officials should check for the presence of malignant catarrhal fever that can be transferred from sheep to bison, cattle, deer and moose.
Flowers says dead bison in the area this time of year aren't unusual, but the presence of domestic sheep is new for the agency, so it will investigate.
ELK FOUNDATION-LAND DONATION
Elk foundation donates 40 acres of habitat
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) - The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has donated 40 acres to the U.S. Forest Service that will give backcountry travelers access to the Lolo National Forest from the Rattlesnake Wilderness.
The Missoulian reports the foundation made the donation in the last week.
Foundation Vice President Blake Henning says the foundation maintained the property for 18 years and always wanted to transfer it into public ownership. He says an outright donation turned out to be the best way.
Missoula District Ranger Paul Matter says the area doesn't have any real road access and is popular with wildlife.
The donation also removes a problem with so-called corner-crossing, where hikers try to stay on public land in areas with checkerboard private ownership.
ELECTRIC CITY POWER
Great Falls eyes making $2.5M payment
GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) - The Great Falls city manager has asked departments to save money in the wake of a $3.25 million settlement agreement that extricated the city from ties with a bankrupt Montana power cooperative.
The Great Falls Tribune reports that Greg Doyon at a city commission meeting last week gave commissioners a proposal to make the first $2.5 million payment.
He says objections to the settlement are due in bankruptcy court by Wednesday and none have been filed so far.
He says if none are filed, the city will have 14 days from the final order to make the first payment.
City officials on May 1 signed the settlement to leave bankrupt power supplier Southern Montana Electric Generation and Transmission Cooperative.
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