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  • Wolfpack ready to make championship history

    By Vince Bagby, Sports Director, vbagby@keci.com
    Published On: Nov 20 2014 07:17:08 PM MST

    It's been an almost flawless season so far for the Glacier High football team.  In 12 games played the Wolfpack have chalked up 12 wins, and this Friday night Glacier will be fighting for a state title as one of only two remaining teams in Class AA football.

    "You know you’re a good team when you’re practicing in the snow and the cold,” said Wolfpack head coach Grady Bennett.  “So it’s a good feeling, you know you’re doing something special."

    “I was thinking about it today walking through the halls that hey, this is the last game of my high school career,” said Glacier senior Logan Jones.  “I’m glad I could make it as far as you could possibly go and I’m just thankful to be here in this spot.”

    “It’s really exciting to know that there’s only two teams right now playing for a really good game, the state championship,” said junior running back Thomas Trefney.  “It feels really good to be out here.” 

    Championship week is a familiar feeling for many of these players.  Last year Glacier advanced to the title game but fell 10 points short against Bozeman.  What happened next is what's been driving the Wolfpack forward all year.

    "That night we got home at 3 a.m. from Bozeman and they went to the board, some of the senior leaders, and wrote 365," said Bennett.

    “It leaves a really bitter taste in your mouth,” explained senior QB Brady McChesney.  “Right after that we came back to Glacier and wrote 365 days on the white board.”

    “Right then and there we put the number 365 days,” echoed Jones.

    It’s now been 364 days.  Friday night's game isn't just big for Glacier High; it’s historic for the Flathead Valley.  It's the first time Kalispell has hosted a state football championship in 34 years.

    “It’s special for me just in the fact that I was a seventh grader and those are great memories of me down at Rawson field at the time.  Watching that state championship game in 1980,” said Bennett.  “It’s a real special thing that this group of kids has done to be able to bring that championship game back here.”

    “I’ve heard from a ton of people that they’re really excited for us,” said McChesney.  “It’s really awesome that the community has come together and we just want to bring it home for Kalispell and the Flathead Valley too.”

    “Being a little kid you always come and watch the varsity guys,” said Jones.  “I always watched the (Flathead) Braves when I was little and couldn’t wait to be one and now we’re here and we’re living it.  We’re in the state chipper, holding it here in Kalispell and I hope we can make everybody proud.”  

    The Wolfpack will battle against Great Falls CMR in Friday night’s title bout with kickoff set for 7:00 inside Legends Stadium.  Glacier defeated the Rustlers 49-31 when the two teams met during the regular season back on September 5th.

  • Friend remembers Charlo shooting victim

    By Andrea Olson, KECI Reporter, aolson@keci.com
    Published On: Nov 20 2014 09:52:43 PM MST
    Updated On: Nov 20 2014 11:19:52 PM MST
    MISSOULA, Mont. -

    A Charlo man charged with the shooting death of his wife appeared at the Lake County Courthouse Thursday afternoon.

    The shooting happened around 5 a.m. Tuesday morning on First Avenue West in Charlo, northwest of Missoula.

    Adrian McElderry, 32, was arrested Wednesday evening after evidence pointed to the death of his wife, 29-year-old RaeLynn Charlo.

    McElderry appeared in justice court in front of Judge Ann-Marie McNeel Thursday afternoon.   

    Investigators say Charlo's husband called 911 to report she'd committed suicide, but deputies say the evidence wasn't consistent with that claim.

    McElderry will remain in jail for an additional 10 days without bail.

    Autopsy results are currently pending.

    We found that Charlo was well-loved by the community.

    Roxana Colman-Herak scrolled through Facebook photos, remembering the 29-year-old woman who once worked for her.

    "I got to have six months of working with RaeLynn, who was absolutely a dream to work with. She kind of helped me to build activities that were going to be delivered in the community," said Colman-Herak.

    Charlo worked for Colman-Herak in 2007, with the Tribal Social Services Suicide Prevention Program. Charlo helped make brochures and gathered information.

    "Very caring, she was very loving, she had a smile that would light a room up and she was really compassionate about other people. She wanted to help, she wanted to make a difference in the community and I think she did just that," said Colman-Herak.

    Colman-Herak says that Charlo had strong cultural values and traditions. She loved her family, friends and the outdoors. Colman-Herak remembers vividly Charlo's fun personality.

    "I know she loved SpongeBob. Her desk was decorated with SpongeBob everywhere," said Colman-Herak.

    Now as the community mourns a lost loved one, Colman-Herak says it will take time to heal.

    "I don't know if you ever fully recover. It takes time. It takes a lot of support from the community and remembering that down every dark hallway, there's light at the end of the tunnel," said Colman-Herak.

    Charlo last worked at the Kicking Horse Job Corps in Ronan as a residential counselor for five years. Employees there say she was cheerful and bright.

    Right now, there are no court documents available. First officials have to wait for the autopsy from the state medical examiner’s office. They are hoping to have results in by the end of the week.

    McElderry will appear in district court within the next 10 days.

  • Opponents of same-sex marriage speak out

    By Lauren Bradley, Reporter, lbradley@keci.com
    Published On: Nov 20 2014 05:32:21 PM MST
    Updated On: Nov 20 2014 07:16:05 PM MST
    MISSOULA, Mont. -

    The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has received Montana Attorney General Tim Fox's appeal. Opponents of same sex marriage said they can do nothing now but watch that case as it moves through the courts.

    President of Montana Citizens for Decency through Law Dallas Erickson said same-sex marriage will hurt society.

    "Marriage is my biggest concern. Historically it's never involved gay situations, as far as we know on this earth" said Erickson.

    Erickson believes the problem will affect children.

    "I'm afraid it's going to be a major problem when we denigrate families to the point, when it's not to protect children but to allow anyone to join into that union, that want to join in for all different purposes," said Erickson.

    The President of Montana Family Foundation Jeff Laszloffy agrees. He too is worried about the affect it will have on children.

    "The redefinition of marriage is going to affect kids. They seem to be the lost voice in the equation, and remember for every same-sex marriage out there that has children, by definition are growing up without a mom or a dad," said Laszloffy.

    For now, both men will have to wait for Attorney General Tim Fox's appeal to cycle through the courts.

    The Ninth Circuit sent Montana a schedule of dates for the appeal. The first documents are due November 26.

  • Gov. Bullock outlines higher education plan

    By Paige Sedgewick, Reporter, psedgewick@kcfw.com
    Published On: Nov 20 2014 07:04:19 PM MST
    Updated On: Nov 20 2014 08:49:44 PM MST
    Governor Bullock outlines higher education plan
    MISSOULA, Mont. -

    Montana's governor unveiled his plan for higher education Thursday at the Board of Regents meeting in Missoula.

    Gov. Steve Bullock outlined his top priorities to improve early childhood education, so kids get a strong start for college. He's also pushing for hands-on, in-the-field learning and an increased investment in university research.

    A cornerstone of his proposal is a tuition freeze at all state colleges and universities.

    "At the end of the day, our two and four-year colleges are such a gateway for success, and when costs are going up and tuition increases -- essentially a tax on every working family that's trying to make ends meet -- to make sure that student can get into the colleges and universities," said Bullock.

    A tuition freeze could also help bolster enrollment and getting more students to enroll in state schools is a key goal for the board of regents.

    Just under 14,000 students are enrolled this fall at the University of Montana. That's a 3.9-percent decrease from the previous year, but an increase of about 7 percent in the freshman class.

    Montana State University set another new enrollment record with more than 15,000 students.

  • Bozeman police chief to retire in January

    By Jennifer Ready, Reporter, jready@ktvm.com
    Published On: Nov 20 2014 10:30:40 PM MST
    Updated On: Nov 20 2014 11:10:15 PM MST
    BOZEMAN, Mont. -

    Bozeman Police Chief Ron Price will retire at the beginning of 2015. City officials and the chief made the official announcement at a press conference in City Hall.

    After serving the Bozeman community as police chief for more than four years, Price announced Thursday he will retire in January, a decision based on balancing out his life.

    "There's never a good time to leave an organization, but there's a right time to leave one, and for me it's an intensely personal decision that involves both the organization and what I think you need to be effective as a human being and that's a balance with a personal life," said Price.

    City manager Chris Kukulski said Price's initial commitment when he started was 5 to 10 years. He said he would've loved to see Price continue and his impact on the community will be felt for years to come.

    "The decisions he made on hiring and promotions will be felt for decades," said Kukulski.

    It's been a controversial year for the police department. Kevin Briggs escaped from the Law and Justice Center, there was debate over the way the BearCat armored vehicle was acquired, and a new Law and Justice Center that voters did not approve. However, Price said he has been planning on his retirement for several months, despite those issues.

    "This is a career of events and each adds pebbles to your plate and some of them take pebbles off your plate and to say the pebbles -- or maybe rocks that some of those issues were -- weighed the plate a little, but at the same time to me it has less to do about the event and how you as a leader and individual stand up," said Price.

    Kukulski said Deputy Chief Rich McLane will serve as acting chief while they undergo national recruitment efforts, but he said he is hopeful some who apply come from inside the department.

    "I frankly would be very disappointed if we don't have several individuals from within the department," said Kukulski. "I would expect several of them to step up, express an interest, apply and compete for the job."

    Price's last day will be January 5. Kukulski said the recruitment process typically takes about 90 days.

  • Wis. town pummeled by 73 inches of snow

    Like much of New York, people in one Wisconsin town are also buried in snow -- 73 inches of it.

  • Mark Heyka's First Alert Video Forecast

    A strong storm system will  impact western Montana this weekend. Rain and snow are expected across the area.

  • Brooke's First Alert Video Forecast

    A wave of Pacific moisture will bring a chance of very light rain, freezing rain and snow across mainly northwest Montana today.  Cloudy elsewhere. Milder air will warm highs above freezing to the 30s to lower 40s.

  • Brooke's First Alert Video Forecast

    Increasing clouds early in the day with showers moving in by mid-day. Areas of light rain and snow will be possible, with the best chance west of the divide around Missoula and Kalispell with just a slight chance in Butte and Bozeman. High temperatures will be in 30s.

  • Victor High student spearheads community playground