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  • Stevensville man living with ALS is grateful for ice bucket challenge

    By Andrea Olson, KECI Reporter, aolson@keci.com
    Published On: Aug 21 2014 08:13:08 PM MDT
    Updated On: Aug 22 2014 10:03:30 AM MDT
    MISSOULA, Mont. -

    The ice bucket challenge has taken social media by storm. The viral effort has raised $41.8 million in donations from July 29 to August 21 for the ALS Association, a Washington-based nonprofit that funds global research to find treatments and a cure for the disease.

    ALS is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. It's a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Eventually, motor neurons reach the brain and spinal cord causing the muscles to not work as much.

    Patients in later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed. It also affects speech. So far, there is no cure.

    NBC Montana found that most patients are men and get diagnosed around the ages of 40 to 70.

    For one Stevensville man living with ALS, he's overwhelmed by what's happening with the ice bucket challenge.

    "It's been amazing. A month ago, it was estimated that less than half of the population knew what ALS was. Now I think everyone knows," said Scott Thomas, 26.

    Doctors diagnosed Thomas with sporadic ALS, the most common form, when he was just 24-years-old. That's what up to 95 percent of ALS patients have. The doctor told Thomas he'd live just two or three more years.

    "They're finding a lot more young people who are getting diagnosed," said Thomas.

    But he's not fighting it alone. He’s got his fiancée, Sarah Lidstrom, and his family all supporting him.

    "Scott's just an extremely positive person and kind of is the one that makes me and his family feel good about what's going on and so he kind of puts on a tough face," said Lidstrom.

    Lidstrom met him long before ALS started to slowly steal him. She showed NBC Montana what his everyday life is like, from getting around, to wearing a special mask at night to clear carbon dioxide from his lungs.

    "It's been a hard two years. I think more than anything, watching someone you care about that much go through the worst thing imaginable," said Lidstrom.

    They’ve traveled around the U.S. to search for a cure. Thomas says his No. 1 priority is to raise awareness. The ice bucket challenge has done a lot.

    "The hope that it's brought, really for the first time, is just substantial," said Lidstrom.

    For now, Lidstrom and Thomas wait and hope and thank the kindness of strangers for raising awareness of ALS.

    Lidstrom and Thomas tell NBC Montana that they have their own Facebook page where you can donate money to help find a cure. Click here to go to that page.

    You can click on their link to the website ALS TDI and 100 percent of the money goes to research.

    If you want to learn more about ALS click here

  • 3-year-old in stable condition after being rescued at Currents

    By KECI Staff
    Published On: Aug 22 2014 12:39:06 PM MDT
    Updated On: Aug 22 2014 02:00:42 PM MDT
    missoula's currents

    Google Maps

    MISSOULA, Mont. -

    Missoula parks officials told NBC Montana a 3-year old boy wandered out too far in a spray pool this afternoon and had to be rescued by life guard.

    Officials explain the boy’s parents were not watching him but a life guard spotted him under water.

    Water is about 2 ½ feet to 3 feet deep in that area of the pool.

    The boy was pulled to safety.

    We’re told he was breathing on his own and conscious.

    Emergency crews took him to the hospital.

     

    The pool was closed for a short time but is now open again.

  • Student suspended for saying 'bless you' after sneeze

    Published On: Aug 21 2014 08:18:40 AM MDT
    Updated On: Aug 22 2014 07:12:29 AM MDT

    A student in Tennessee claims she was suspended for breaking a class rule of saying "bless you" to a classmate that sneezed.

    A student was sent to the principal's office after saying "bless you" to another student who sneezed in class. 

    Kendra Turner, 17, of Dyersburg, Tennessee claims the phrase was on a list of things students were not allowed to say in that class, including "my bad," ''hang out," ''dumb," ''stupid" and "stuff."

    The Associated Press reports that after a fellow classmate sneezed, Turner said "Bless you." The teacher then asked her why she said it.

    "I told her I was being courteous, and she asked me who told me that it was courtesy?" Turner said. "I told her my pastor and my parents taught me to say it."

    Turner was then told to go to the principal's office, where she was placed in in-school-suspension for the remainder of the period.

    Assistant Principal Lynn Garner said teachers can set their own classroom rules, which includes asking their students to avoid distraction in the classroom.

    During a news conference outside of a church following the incident, Turner said that she wishes God could be able to be talked about more in school.

    Garner stated, "In this case, this was not a religious issue at all, but more of an issue the teacher felt was a distraction in her class."

  • Officials warn Montanans about phone spoofing

    By Paige Sedgewick, Reporter, psedgewick@kcfw.com
    Published On: Aug 21 2014 10:29:44 PM MDT
    Updated On: Aug 21 2014 10:54:45 PM MDT
    MISSOULA, Mont. -

    Bozeman Deaconess Health Services is warning the public,that scammers have hijacked their phone number with a 414 prefix.

    The number may pop up on your phone, but in many recent incidents it's been scammers calling, not the hospital at all. 

    When NBC Montana found out that scammers are getting sophisticated enough to disguise their call with a Montana number that may look familiar to you, we reached out to our state's attorney general's office.

    Assistant Attorney General Chuck Munson told us the office has been receiving a lot of calls about this high-tech scheme.  Munson says no formal investigation is underway, but the office is warning the public to watch out for these hijacked numbers.

    "Just don't give out personal information to entities that call you when you didn't contact them first," said Munson.

    Callers might ask for your Social Security number, credit card number, birthday and sometimes mother's maiden name.

    Experts warn the more you pick up the calls the more frequently you'll receive them. Bottom line, it’s best to not answer them.

    When we asked locals about answering calls, people have varying phone habits.

    "I look at my phone sometimes and see that someone called me; I normally don't call them back but whenever I do get a call, I answer it," said Sam Orr.

    "I do. It could be somebody I hung out with the day before, like I don't remember," said Frederick Olson.

    Drew Larson does not answer calls from any unfamiliar numbers.

    "I like to go into a conversation prepared; if they leave me a message then I know what I am going to be talking about afterwards," explained Larson.

    There are apps you can download to screen calls.

    "Keep up-to-date with the technology. There are services out there that can help people screen and block and report these annoying and harassing calls,” explained Munson.

    The biggest warning from the attorney general’s office is if you do answer a phone call from an unknown number don't give out any personal information.

    Despite scammers unlawfully using Bozeman Deaconess's number, the medical center does contact patients with legitimate calls.  Managers say if you are unsure, you can ask the medical worker's name and number and call back.

  • Montana woman gets 13 years in prison for child's death

    Published On: Aug 21 2014 04:08:50 PM MDT
    Updated On: Aug 21 2014 06:07:10 PM MDT
    Kaidynce Small

    Kaidynce Small

    HAVRE, Mont. -

    A Box Elder woman has been sentenced to just over 13 years in prison for her role in the death of her boyfriend's 11-month-old son.
        
    U.S. District Judge Brian Morris of Great Falls sentenced Cecilia Rose Gardipee on Thursday for the Oct. 21 death of Kaidynce Small.
        
    The boy's father, Garrett "Kirby" Lafromboise, received the same sentence in April.
        
    The Havre Daily News reports Jasmine Small asked Morris to impose a life sentence in her son's death.
        
    Gardipee and Lafromboise both pleaded guilty to assault resulting in serious bodily injury and second-degree murder charges were dismissed.
        
    Lafromboise admitted sticking his finger down his son's throat and hitting him in the stomach. Gardipee said she shook the toddler for 90 seconds after covering his mouth and nose to try to get him to stop crying.

  • Matt Gray's First Alert Video Forecast

    Cool, wet, and high mountain snow?

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    Widespread showers and thunderstorms today. High temperatures will be in the 60s to right around 70.

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    Partly to mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and isolated thunder today. Rain likely Friday and Saturday.

  • Crops survive hail storm, farmers wary of more

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