Bail set at $100K for suspect in child's deathPublished On: Oct 24 2014 10:57:07 AM MDT
Updated On: Oct 24 2014 07:02:31 PM MDT
Bail is set at $100,000 for a Lake County man accused of shooting and killing a 3-year-old boy.
Galen Hawk, 26, appeared in a Polson courtroom Friday afternoon on a negligent homicide charge.
Court documents say Hawk shot and killed 3-year-old Lonato Moran-Allen in a Ninepipes-area home Wednesday night.
Investigators say Hawk and two others took the boy to a Ronan hospital, where he died.
Court documents say Hawk and Moran-Allen were playing "gun tag." Moran-Allen had a toy gun and Hawk had a real one.
Prosecutors say Hawk told detectives he'd been drinking whiskey and alcoholic lemonade the night of the shooting.
Lake County officials say the incident happened at a home off Eagle Trail Pass, right before 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday. It's northeast of Ninepipes, off Highway 93, north of Missoula.
Investigators say several people, including Hawk and Lonato, were inside the Ninepipes home.
Karen Sargeant with the Lake County Sheriff's Office says investigators don't know much about Hawk.
"We don't know anything about Galen, except we believe he is not a relative of the victim," said Sargeant.
Court documents say Hawk claims he didn't know his handgun, a 380, was loaded. He claimed he and Moran-Allen were just playing.
Prosecutors brought in a gun to court they say is similar to the one Hawk fired.
Investigators report a single round hit the little boy in the back.
"He chose to take a handgun, similar to this one. A 380 handgun, loaded, while he was intoxicated, and pointed it at a child," said Lake County Deputy Attorney James Lapotka.
Court documents say Hawk tried to perform CPR on the boy. He died later at St. Luke's Hospital in Ronan.
For now, deputies say no other suspects are involved.
"At this point in time, in this investigation, has not led us to believe there was anybody else involved," said Sergeant.
Hawk is still in custody in the Lake County Detention Center. If Hawk is released from jail he can't have alcohol in his possession and cannot go to bars.
Hawk's defense attorney told the court Hawk would like to attend the little boy's funeral, but the judge did not weigh in on whether that would be a possibility.
Hawk faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and/or a $50,000 fine if convicted on the negligent homicide charge.
Montana approves license for bobcat fur farmPublished On: Oct 25 2014 11:53:56 AM MDT
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has approved a license for a bobcat fur farm in Fergus County.
The license allows the owners of the Schultz Fur Farm to keep captive bobcats for the sale of their pelts to the commercial fur industry.
The farm is owned by a North Dakota couple seeking to relocate to central Montana.
FWP officials say they received more than 21,000 comments about the license application, mainly opposition from animal-rights advocacy groups and individuals.
The Great Falls Tribune reports (http://gftrib.com/1t2x48M ) just 20 comments were in support of the proposal.
FWP officials say fur farms are a legal business that are controlled and monitored under state law.
Farm owner Larry Schultz said after the approval that wildlife regulators had no reason not to grant the permit.
Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Griz fall to Mustangs 41-21Published On: Oct 25 2014 12:57:33 PM MDT
Updated On: Oct 25 2014 10:03:25 PM MDT
The Montana Grizzly football team fell to Cal Poly 41-21 Saturday night.
Saturday night the University of Montana Grizzlies are on the road playing the Cal Poly Mustangs in a Big Sky Conference game in San Luis Obispo, Calif.
The biggest key for Montana on the defensive side of the ball will be containing Cal Poly's tricky triple option offense, meaning the Mustangs will try and confuse Montana with multiple running options to choose from on any given play.
Last year in Missoula the Griz defense was able to contain the Mustangs offense to just 14 points as Montana won in overtime, however Cal Poly did rush for over 300 yards in that game.
So far this season Cal poly is top five in the conference offensively for both points per game and yards per game.
Suspect arrested in connection with Heritage Christian School firePublished On: Oct 24 2014 11:00:11 AM MDT
Updated On: Oct 24 2014 06:51:16 PM MDT
The Gallatin County Sheriff's Office announced Friday evening that they arrested Zachary James Silflow, 25, in connection with an early morning fire at Heritage Christian School.
He is charged with two counts of arson and burglary for Friday morning's fire, and another that took place in 2012.
Silflow has been booked into the detention center and is expected to appear in Justice Court next week.
Fire crews rushed to the blaze early Friday morning and now investigators are trying to figure out how it started.
The fire broke out just after 5 a.m. in the school's gym. No one was injured.
Surveillance video shows a suspect holding a large container.
Throughout the day Friday, investigators worked behind yellow caution tape to find out how the fire started. They are considering the possibility that it's connected to an arson at the school two years ago, which was also set in the gym.
In August 2012, the gym was gutted by another suspicious fire. It caused millions of dollars in damage, but in the remodel, the school added a sprinkler system. It stopped this fire before it did more damage.
"It's heat-related, so once the heat gets high enough it realizes there's a fire and then water turns on for that area, and that's what put out the fire this morning," said administrator Jerry Goede.
He said that the fire was contained to the gym, but wasn't sure how much was lost.
"Most of it's on the gym floor right now, but we can't see it because it's covered with foam and water," said Goede.
School officials said students were not in school Friday because of a statewide volleyball tournament for all Christian schools. Goede hopes they can return to school early next week.
"However it started, however this happened, we just pray for that person or for the situation, that God will get the honor and glory from everything that happens here," said Goede.
School was set to be closed at Heritage Christian Friday because of a statewide Montana Christian Athletic Association volleyball tournament,
but after the fire, organizers scrambled to move the daytime games from Heritage Christian to Petra Academy and the evening games from Chief Joseph Middle School.
The 5 p.m. volleyball game is now scheduled for 7:30 p.m., and the 7 p.m. game will immediately follow at CJMS.
All Saturday games will be at Petra Academy and will begin at 9 a.m. instead of 10 a.m.
At the time of the 2012 fire at the school, officers were investigating another suspicious blaze set at a business two miles away, and set within a half hour of the Heritage Christian fire.
A few weeks later, police investigated several other suspicious fires set around town, though they never said whether they thought the fires were linked.
If you have any information related to the fire, call the Gallatin County Sheriff's Office immediately. The number is (406) 582-2121.
Trixi's Antler Saloon in Ovando for salePublished On: Oct 24 2014 06:06:07 PM MDT
Updated On: Oct 24 2014 07:00:09 PM MDT
A western Montana institution, Trixi's Antler Saloon, has been put up for sale. If you haven't been there, Trixi's is located on Highway 200, about 55 miles northeast of Missoula in Ovando.
Owners Ray and Cindy Francis say business isn't bad, they're just ready to move on.
It won't be easy saying goodbye to the regulars and the visitors from all over the world who stop by.
Since 1963, when local cowgirl Trixi McCormick moved Trixi's to its post on a hill above Ovando, it's been a frequented stop for travelers, truck drivers and regulars looking to take a step back in time.
But after two decades at the helm, the Francises say it's time to move on.
"When we first took over for my dad, we said, 'OK, we'll give it 20 years,'" said Cindy. "Ray's going to be 65 in May. It's about that time to retire."
It's been a good run. The Francises say they've made lifelong friends, many who've been coming to Trixi's their whole lives.
For dozens of summers, they've provided a rest stop for weary -- and interesting -- travelers.
"We meet the coolest people from all over," says Cindy.
"We just had a guy here a couple weeks ago," adds Ray. "He was doing a record unicycle ride. We've got pictures we put up on Facebook."
The Francises say when you do something long enough, especially something you and everyone else enjoy, it becomes a part of you.
"There's a certain routine," says Ray. "You know, I come over every day, and get things ready, so there will be things that we miss about it."
"We're so tied into it, our whole identity is wrapped into Trixi's," says Cindy. "But life just goes on and changes."
The Francises say they'll stay open through hunting season, and up until they sell Trixi's, when the new owner takes over.