Cold snap felt across Rockies, Midwest
HELENA, Mont. (AP) - The wind chill could drop to 30 degrees below zero in parts of Montana Wednesday.
AccuWeather meteorologist Tom Kines says the jet stream is much farther south than normal, allowing the cold air to push in from the Arctic and drop temperatures by 20 to 40 degrees below normal levels.
Areas of Montana and the Dakotas are forecast to reach lows in the minus-20s.
The storm hit the northern Rockies on Monday and Tuesday, dumping up to 2 feet of snow in the mountains and in Yellowstone National Park.
A four-vehicle crash in central Montana killed 21-year-old Chelsea Stanfield of Great Falls. Authorities said Stanfield was driving too quickly for the icy conditions.
MSU PLAYER-BAR FIGHT
MSU football player denies charge in bar fight
BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) - A Montana State University football player has denied a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge stemming from a fight outside a Bozeman bar.
The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports 22-year-old Jonathan Ellis II appeared in Bozeman Municipal Court Wednesday to enter his not guilty plea.
Ellis was arrested on Nov. 23 after police said Ellis punched a man who hit his girlfriend.
Two Butte men also were arrested.
Michael Christopher Simmons has pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and was fined $100 while Riley James Masters has pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor charge.
Police said Simmons tried to punch Ellis, but missed, hitting Ellis' girlfriend instead. Officers said Ellis then punched Simmons and Masters was challenging Ellis when police arrived.
Teachers take pension argument to court
HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Teachers are taking their argument against pension cuts to court in an effort to preserve inflationary increases.
The lawsuit was filed by the Montana teachers' union and six retired and current employees.
The plaintiffs told a state judge on Wednesday that cost-saving cuts to their pension payments are an unconstitutional change to the contract.
The retirees warned lawmakers earlier this year that they would oppose any reduction in their guaranteed inflation increases of 1.5 percent.
State lawmakers put those increases in place in 1999.
The overhaul measure reduces the inflationary increase to 0.5 percent starting in January.
Other changes not being challenged increase contributions from both employers and employees.
The state argues the changes were necessary, and that employment benefits are constantly changing.
Omega Morgan applies for MT megaload permit
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) - Montana Department of Transportation officials are considering an application from an Oregon company to move an oversized load of refinery equipment through the state to an oil sands project in Alberta, Canada.
Omega Morgan began this week moving the water purification equipment from the Port of Umatilla in Oregon. With the transport vehicles, the unit is almost 380 feet long and weighs more than 900,000 pounds. The load is 19 feet high and 22 feet wide.
Motor Carrier Services administrator Duane Williams tells the Missoulian he doesn't see anything alarming in the application.
A court order in Idaho diverted the route away from the northern part of the state. The equipment will instead travel through eastern Oregon, across central Idaho and into Montana over Lost Trail Pass.
Mountain sheep crashes Thanksgiving at MT home
HAMILTON, Mont. (AP) - A southwestern Montana family had an interesting party butt in on their Thanksgiving this year.
Peter Silcher tells the Ravalli Republic that he, his wife and two sons were hanging out that afternoon in their home southeast of Hamilton when they felt the house shake and heard a "resounding thud."
When all four gathered and realized nothing had happened to anyone inside the house they began looking for the cause of the disturbance.
One of the boys spotted a male mountain sheep coming around the corner of the house. Soon after, the family found windows in their daylight basement had been broken.
Peter Silcher says they figured the ram must have seen his reflection in the widow and "chose to do battle with the ram staring back at him."
DSU names longtime assistant Stanton as head coach
DICKINSON, N.D. (AP) - Longtime Dickinson State assistant football coach Pete Stanton now has the top job.
The university has named Stanton to succeed Hank Biesiot (BEE'-zhew), who is retiring as head coach after 38 years. Stanton has been an assistant under Biesiot the past 14 years.
Stanton is a Baker, Mont., native and Dickinson State alum and former Blue Hawk standout as a safety and says the western North Dakota school is a special place to him. He says it's "a privilege and an honor" to take over for Biesiot.
Biesiot won 258 games and led the Blue Hawks to 17 conference championships and 15 NAIA playoff appearances. He challenged the record for all-time NAIA victories, and was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in 2006.
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