Feb 28, 2013 7:46 PM by KXLH

KXLH Evening Top Stories - Thu Feb 28

Top stories on KXLH for the evening of Thursday, February 28, 2013.

- Townsend Update: A report of an assault in Townsend early Thursday ended in what investigators are calling an apparent suicide. The 29-year old man died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound; authorities have not yet released his name. The state Division of Criminal Investigation is now in charge of the crime scene and are still reviewing evidence. Click here to read more.

- Smith Charged: Aaron Bruce Smith of Townsend has been charged with sexual intercourse without consent with a 12-year old girl. Smith was arrested after allegedly trying to flee the state earlier this month. Court documents say a warrant had been issued for Smith to provide his DNA regarding the case, which he refused.

- Gas Theft: Helena police say that on Tuesday, the U-Haul store on Lyndale Avenue reported that about 30 gallons of fuel had been stolen from a large truck. The gas is believed to have been siphoned. Further investigation shows the crime has been happening at the store for the past month.

- Road Re-opened: The Montana Department of Transportation says that I-15 northbound between Wolf Creek and the Augusta interchange has been re-opened. Crews had spent much Thursday cleaning up fertilizer spill that happened on Wednesday night.

- Mid-point: The 63rd Montana Legislature has reached the half-way mark and lawmakers are heading home for a short break. Democrats and Republicans both say this session feels different from past years; they seem to be getting along and treating each other with respect. However, there are still major differences in policy.

- Candidate: MT State Representative Champ Edmunds (R-Missoula) announced that he is entering the race to unseat incumbent U.S. Senator Max Baucus (D), who has served since 1978. Speaking to GOP party leaders, fellow lawmakers and residents from Missoula and the Bitterroot, Edmunds characterized himself as a "fighter" telling how he had worked throughout life to counter the facial palsy that afflicted him at birth. He told the crowd he has determination and wants to use that outlook to bring new changes to the country.

- NZ/MT: A partnership between the United States, New Zealand, and ten other countries is working on opening trade doors on an international level. New Zealand agricultural representative Alistair Polson is visiting Montana this week looking at the beef, wool, and grain industries. He says both the U.S. and New Zealand can benefit from doing business in that part of the world once trade tariffs are lessened.

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    Smith in court
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