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Teacher fired for pregnancy sues Catholic school

BUTTE, Mont. (AP) - A former Montana Catholic school teacher who was fired for being pregnant and unmarried is suing the school district.

The Montana Standard reports Shaela Evenson filed the lawsuit Thursday alleging the firing violated federal and state laws that prohibit discrimination based on pregnancy.

Evenson taught literature and physical education for grades 6 through 8 for nine years. She was fired in January after the Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena received a letter about her pregnancy.

Evenson became pregnant through artificial insemination and gave birth to a boy on March 7, the first child for Evenson and her partner, Marilyn Tobin.

The district said it fired Evenson for violating the terms of her contract, which required her to practice the tenets of the Catholic faith.

Evenson's attorney won a $170,000 jury award in a similar case in Ohio.


Bozeman man gets prison, to pay $369K for fraud

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) - A 50-year-old Bozeman man who pleaded guilty to embezzling nearly $370,000 from his elderly and disabled clients has been sentenced to 2-1/2 years in prison and ordered to pay restitution.

William Wise was sentenced Thursday by U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen in Missoula. Wise pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud in May.

Defense attorney Al Avignone says Christensen recommended Wise serve his time at a low-security prison camp in South Dakota.

Prosecutors said Wise and another man started a business called Walking Cross Inc. to manage the finances of the elderly and disabled, including those who received benefits from Social Security, the Veteran's Administration and the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board.

Charging documents say that between September 2008 and January 2012 Wise took client money to pay his own bills.


Deputy remembered for his faith, family, service

GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) - Mourners are remembering a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and Cascade County sheriff's deputy as a man who put faith, family and service first.

Joe Dunn was buried Thursday after a memorial service attended by hundreds of law-enforcement officers from across the state and as far away as North Dakota and Idaho.

His widow, Robynn Dunn, told those assembled at Four Seasons Arena that the 33-year-old deputy gave the community his all and his family even more.

Dunn was killed Aug. 14 when he was struck by a car during a police chase. Before the memorial service for Dunn, Adam Sanchez Jr. appeared in court on a charge of deliberate homicide in the deputy's death.

Prosecutors say Sanchez was high on methamphetamines and deliberately swerved to strike Dunn.


Farm Rescue nonprofit nears another milestone

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The Farm Rescue nonprofit in the Upper Midwest is approaching another milestone.

The volunteer organization based in North Dakota will help its 300th farm family in the region by the end of the year.

Farm Rescue plants and harvests crops for farmers in need in the Dakotas, Minnesota, Iowa and eastern Montana. It's been operating since 2006, supported by donations, business sponsors and about 1,000 people who volunteer to help with fieldwork in the spring, summer and fall.

It helped its 100th farm family in 2009 and its 200th in 2012.

Founder Bill Gross says if Farm Rescue can increase funding, it hopes to expand assistance in a year or two. The organization currently is helping about 50 farm families each year, on an annual cash budget of about $450,000.


EPA to open environmental crimes office in ND

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The Environmental Protection Agency is establishing an environmental crimes office in North Dakota.

The Bismarck Tribune reports the EPA's Criminal Investigation Division is opening an office in Bismarck to address issues in the state's western oil patch.

EPA spokeswoman Lisa McClain-Vanderpool says the agency signed an agreement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to rent office space in Bismarck. She says four agents from Denver and Helena, Montana, will use the office for investigations.

U.S. Attorney Tim Purdon says he has been pushing to bring environmental crime investigators to North Dakota. He says he hopes the office is the first step toward getting permanent agents assigned to the state.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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