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Montana News - AP

MONTANA WILDERNESS - CORRECTION

President Obama signs Montana wilderness law

(Information in the following story is from: Missoulian, http://www.missoulian.com)

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — President Barack Obama has signed wilderness legislation that preserves large areas of land in the North Fork of the Flathead and on the Rocky Mountain Front.

Democratic Sen. Jon Tester of Montana hailed the legislation as a victory both for Montana and for bipartisanship.

The Missoulian reports that Obama signed the measure shortly after Tester met with wild land advocates in the North Fork to celebrate their success.

The measures were added as riders to the National Defense Authorization Act. Tester and Sen. John Walsh worked with Senator-elect Steve Daines to include the wilderness designations and six other Montana lands bills in a broader lands package.

BURGLARY CHARGE

Police: man rammed motorists after failed burglary

(Information in the following story is from: The Billings Gazette, http://www.billingsgazette.com)

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Police say a Billings man trying to flee an attempted burglary in an SUV drove into two other vehicles, injuring two people.

The Billings Gazette reports that 47-year-old Marshall Edward Sarratt made an initial appearance in Yellowstone County Justice Court on Friday.

Sarratt is charged with five felony counts of criminal endangerment, felony criminal mischief, felony DUI and three misdemeanors.

Justice of the Peace David Carter set bond for Sarratt at $60,000.

Deputy Yellowstone County Attorney Paul Chaon says Sarratt has five prior DUIs, two of them felonies. Chaon says Sarratt has 14 felony convictions dating to 1987 for offenses including theft, assault, escape, robbery and illegal firearm possession.

HELENA RAPE

Jury convicts Helena man of rape and kidnapping

(Information in the following story is from: Independent Record, http://www.helenair.com)

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A Helena Valley man faces a possible life sentence after his conviction on charges of raping and kidnapping a 13-year-old girl.

The Helena Independent Record reports that a jury on Friday night found 37-year-old David Gary Burton guilty of aggravated kidnapping and sexual intercourse without consent. The jury acquitted him on a charge or burglary.

Prosecutors said Burton took the girl from her home in the Scratchgravel Hills in December 2011.

The jury of six men and six women deliberated for nearly two hours after hearing four days of testimony before District Judge Kathy Seeley.

Burton could face life in prison when he's sentenced March 13.

VANN'S BANKRUPTCY-LAWSUIT

Settlement awards Vann's employees $7.3 million

(Information in the following story is from: Missoulian, http://www.missoulian.com)

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — As many as 200 former employees of Vann's will split $7.3 million under a settlement agreement in a lawsuit against former corporate officers.

The Missoulian reports that the notice of settlement of the employees' lawsuit was filed in federal court in Missoula on Friday.

Employees had alleged that they lost $9.2 million due to gross mismanagement of the retail appliance store by former CEO George Manlove and former CFO Paul Nisbet.

According to the court, the terms of the settlement were mistakenly filed in an open exhibit along with the settlement. The court later sealed the document. The newspaper reports it was not immediately able to reach lawyers in the case.

Vann's filed for bankruptcy in 2012 and is now defunct.

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