Sep 21, 2012 8:36 PM by KXLH
Top stories on KXLH for the evening of Friday, September 21, 2012.
- FireWatch: Volunteer fire crews quickly handled a fire near Canyon Ferry Lake on Friday afternoon. Tri-Lakes Fire Department Chief Bob Drake says the call came in around 1 o' clock and firefighters responded to the corner of Canyon Ferry Drive and Lake Point Drive. The fire burned some grass, bushes, and even melted siding on a home. Drake says the homeowners are lucky because initial attack crews responded quickly and were able to protect structures. The cause of the fire is still being investigated.
- Heritage Act: A new report from the Coalition To Protect The Rocky Mountains claims that that passing the Heritage Act will benefit local economies. It's a proposal which designates more than 200,000 acres of land as a conservation management area, and places nearly 70,000 acres into wilderness. The proposal has been met with controversy as landowners have voiced concerns about how it will impact livestock grazing, and oil and gas development.
- Bison Case: Several state officials could face jail time in a case involving the relocation of bison. District Court Judge John McKeon heard a case between several landowners and ranchers, and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. The landowners accuse FWP of criminal contempt for the transfer of bison to Fort Peck Indian Reservation. The case is part of a larger lawsuit against FWP alleging the agency's mismanagement of bison. Landowners are concerned that by moving bison from a quarantine facility they could risk spreading brucellosis to livestock, and that bison will get out and trample fencing and eat rancher's hay.
- Train Derails: BNSF crews are cleaning up a 14 car derailment between Chinook and Havre. It happend early Friday morning as the 106 car train was leaving a siding, carrying grain from Minnesota to Washington. The rail cars and spilled grain are blocking the tracks, and several dozen BNSF personnel are working on the blockage. No injuries were reported.
- Purse Thieves: Police are investigating a series of thefts of women's purses from Walmart. Security video from the store indicates that two women are involved in the crimes. One suspect distracts a woman shopper, while the other suspect grabs the purse out of the shopper's cart and walks away.
- Unemployment Update: Montana's unemployment rate dropped by one-tenth of one-percent in August. The rate is sitting at 6.3%; the national rate is 8.1%.
- Corny Fun: The Field of Dreams at the Helena Valley Corn Maze is celebrating the arrival of autumn a few hours early with a kick-off event on Friday night. On Friday night, they will have a live band, a beer and wine garden, and a giant slide. Click here for more details.
- NAMI Walk: The National Alliance on Mental Illness is hosting their NAMI Montana walk on Sunday at Memorial Park in Helena. Their goal this year is to raise $150,000 and host over 2,500 walkers. Click here for more information.
- Adoptable Cats: Earlier this week we reported on overcrowding of adult cats at the Lewis & Clark County Humane Society. Since then, there have been as many as 50 adoptions of adult cats. On Tuesday, the Humane Society began to waive adoption fees for adult cats-that's six months or older-because they had 75 of them. The Humane Society still has between 25 and 30 adult cats left and will continue to waive adoption fees on adult cats until next Wednesday. All these cats are spayed or neutered, have shots, have been micro-chipped, and their first vet visit is free.