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Man gets prison for fire at Habitat for Humanity ReStore

HELENA, Mont. (AP) -- A 32-year-old man will serve years in prison for setting fire that caused more than $500,000 in damage to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Helena....

Coroner avoids court action by updating causes of death

HELENA, Mont. (AP) -- The Lewis and Clark County coroner has met a mid-July deadline to complete 51 death certificates whose cause of death were initially registered as "pending."...

LEWISTOWN AREA CONSTRUCTION PROJECT REPORT

From the Montana Department of Transportation this is the Lewistown area highway construction report from   July 20 to July 26, 2016.  

Traffic fines double in highway work zones.  The law also sets fines and jail sentences for reckless endangerment of highway workers.  Minor delays can be expected through these projects with anything over fifteen minutes being noted in the description.  Watch for equipment, flaggers, workers on the road, and reduced speed limits.  

For additional information dial 511 or access our web page www.mdt.mt.gov/travinfo/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*NO changes*New projects / or old projects with changes    *weight, height, width restrictions

ACTIVE PROJECTS:

C-80 (MT 80) Downtown Stanford(mile marker 66.5 to 67.1) from the By Way Café to the corner into Stanford contractor is removing curb and gutter and sidewalks.  Travelers should expect a width restriction of 16 feet, loose gravel, gravel surface, intersection work and flaggers. *PM Kyle Dubbs 538-1322

Still a couple of weeks away the Montana Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Lewistown is planning another busy four-day affair.

The even will headquarter at Fergus High School, where cowboy food concessions will be available.  Jenelle Fulbright has more.

The annual mid-summer Cowboy Poetry and Music gathering in Lewistown attracts a lot of attention and talent, and Cowboy Bob plans to attend.  He was among the original performers at the first Montana cowyboy poetry gathering that held in Big Timber and says his interest in poetry started with a pony.

Allied Steel and First Bank of Montana is working with Central Montana Variety to provide school supplies for our Central Montana youth.  School supplies will be distributed on Tuesday July 26th from 6 pm to 8 pm.  Entrance for the distribution is at the First Bank of Montana back door.

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) - A judge sentenced a Montana man to 18 months in prison Wednesday for violating the federal Clean Water Act as protesters outside the courthouse decried the charges as government overreach.

U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy also ordered Joseph Robertson, 77, to pay $129,933 in restitution for ponds that he dug on Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest land and on private property near his mining claim in Basin.

The ponds that Robertson dug in 2013 and 2014 discharged dredged and fill materials into a tributary of Cataract Creek and into nearby wetlands, prosecutors said.

There’s a community service that needs more volunteers.

Lewistown Fire Chief Keith Kucera says his department needs part-paid volunteers.

The Central Montana Fair starts off with horse shows but quickly develops into regular exhibits, carnival rides, rodeos, a night show and some keen automotive competition.  Fair Board member Alan Shammel has more on the 4-day event at the Fergus County Fair grounds.

The Central Montana Fair starts off with horse shows, a two-day event.  Karen Mill has more:

Montana’s Cowboy Poetry and Music Gathering is a summer highlight.  Its original inception was not located in Lewistown, but the purpose remains the same as poet John Drivdahl explains.

The city of Lewistown often helps new businesses with opening their doors.  Monday night the Lewistown City Commission gave approval to help a Lewistown couple  through a property tax benefit.

Commission Chairman Dave Byerly explains how the benefit works.

The city of Lewistown is holding the line on street assessment. Interim City Manager Holly Phelps updates that business item approved by the Commission at it’s Monday night meeting.

Albany, NY - Baby-Friendly USA, announces that Central Montana Medical Center has received prestigious international recognition as a Baby-Friendly Designated birth facility.

Baby-Friendly USA, Inc is the U.S. authority for the implementation of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (“BFHI”), a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The initiative encourages and recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies. Based on the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, this prestigious international award recognizes birth facilities that offer breastfeeding mothers the information, confidence, and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies.

HELENA, MT- Ballot Initiative 181 (I-181) qualified for the General Election ballot and was certified by Secretary of State Linda McCulloch on Thursday, July 14, 2016. The total number of verified signatures required for I-181 to be placed on the ballot was 24,175.  At the time of certification, I-181 had 24,970 verified signatures.

I-181 is a ballot issue that establishes the Montana Biomedical Research Authority to oversee and review grant applications for the purpose of promoting the development of therapies and cures for brain diseases and injuries and mental illnesses. The ballot issue would authorize the creation of state bond debts for $20 million per year for a period of 10 years.

Montana Cowboy Poetry has always put the welcome mat out for young performers and participants.  In order to “preserve the heritage of the American cowboy” the torch has to be passed on to the next generation.  In response to this mission, this August 11-14, more youth than ever before have been recruited to participate at the gathering!

The Thursday night, August 11th, Welcome Chuck Wagon and Talent Showcase at Jack’s Hanger will be followed by an Official American Flag Retirement Ceremony (by burning) conducted by local Scout Troop 360.  This patriotic event will feature “Taps” played by Scout Kendal Barta, as well as harmonica solos by octogenarian, Tom Wilson.  Everyone is invited to the ceremony in front of Jack’s Hanger at the airport at 9:30 p.m. 

A rail road project 3 miles south of Eddie’s Corner is scheduled for July 26-27.  

Contractor will be digging out the asphalt around the rail road tracks to repair the crossing at mile post 37.1

Traffic will be detoured for most of the day; travelers should expect delays, reduced speeds, rough roadway surface, and single lanes.  Motorcycles should consider another route.

Local Boy Scout Troop Master Jeff Russell, and boy scouts Chlayo Smith and Logan Wisenbaugh discuss their many activities including an flag burning ceremony during cowboy poetry next month.

Jordan - The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) would like to notify the public and seek comments on a proposal to rebuild about 9.2 miles of Montana Highway 200, east of Jordan. The project begins approximately 20 miles east of Jordan at reference post 230.1 and extends east for 9.2 miles, ending just east of the Little Dry Creek Bridge at reference post 239.1.

Proposed work includes complete reconstruction of the roadway to current design standards, including new drainage structures, a new bridge over Little Dry Creek, paved 32-foot width roadway with a seal and cover (chip seal), and installation of upgraded pavement markings, signage and guardrail. 

The American Red Cross has issued an emergency call for blood and platelets, urging all eligible donors to give now to replenish extremely low summer blood supply.

Blood donations have fallen short of hospital needs for the past few months resulting in about 39,000 fewer donations than what’s needed. The independence day holiday may have caused many regular donors to postpone donations due to vacation plans. Donations are urgently needed now to meet the needs of hospital patients in the days and weeks ahead.