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  • Idaho woman's platform diving mishap goes viral

    Published On: Jul 29 2014 03:06:27 PM MDT
    Updated On: Jul 29 2014 03:15:23 PM MDT

    A YouTube video showing a high dive gone wrong at an Idaho water park gained more than 1.8 million views after the video went viral.

    An unidentified woman was preparing to jump from the high platform at Lava Hot Springs Water Park, when she was apparently spooked by a man running up behind her and jumping before she had a chance.

    She fell from the high platform onto the platform below, before falling into the water.

    A pool spokesperson told the NBC affiliate in Pocatello that the woman escaped the accident with only a strained pinky.

    The pool requires all jumpers to sign a waiver before attempting any platform dives.

  • Health alert: Skin cancer cases increasing

    By Matt Gray, Meteorologist/Reporter, mgray@keci.com
    Published On: Jul 29 2014 05:53:10 PM MDT
    Updated On: Jul 29 2014 06:55:06 PM MDT
    MISSOULA, Mont. -

    The acting U.S. surgeon general is asking Americans to give up their love of sunbathing and indoor tanning beds, citing an alarming 200-percent jump in the number of deadly melanoma cases diagnosed since 1973.

    Rear Adm. Boris Lushniak says in a new report that nearly 5 million people in the U.S. are treated for all forms of skin cancer each year, at a cost of $8 billion.

    He says state and local officials should do more to help people cover up, such as providing more shade at parks, and that colleges should discourage indoor tanning beds on their campuses, much as they would tobacco use.

    In Montana, the American Cancer Society is proposing that lawmakers in Helena do something -- banning minors from tanning beds.

    Government Relations Director Kristin Page-Nie is leading the campaign.

    "Children are so much more susceptible to melanoma. It's so important for us to take those precautions and to also prevent them from being in tanning beds and tanning devices."

    NBC Montana learned that Montana has some of the highest skin cancer rates in the nation.

    Roughly 2 to 3 percent of Montanans have skin cancer, according to a 2010 study by the Centers for Disease Control. That equates to 20,000 to 30,000 people.

    Many of the counties with the highest rates are in western Montana. Altitude may play a factor. With less atmosphere between the ground and open space, there's less resistance to ultraviolet rays that cause sunburn.

    Another factor proposed by Page-Nie may be the outdoor lifestyle of the region.

    "I think sometimes we forget some of the very simple things that we can do, like wearing long-sleeve shirts or clothing that protects you from the UV rays."

    The entire Pacific Northwest has the highest rates of skin cancer in the nation, in addition to Kentucky, Vermont and New Hampshire.

    The complete reason for high skin cancer rates in the region has not been determined.

    The most important thing is to wear sunscreen and reapply often. A broad spectrum sunscreen protects agains UVA and UVB rays.

    Type A causes premature aging and type B causes sunburns. Both can lead to Melanoma over time.

    The U.S. House passed a bill on Tuesday to get sunscreens that had been selling overseas into U.S. consumers' hands. The Sunscreen Innovation Act helps streamline the FDA approval process to give consumers more choices when it comes to sun protection.

  • Suspect in string of electronics thefts faces charges

    By Lauren Bradley, KECI Reporter
    Published On: Jul 29 2014 06:49:40 PM MDT
    Updated On: Jul 29 2014 06:57:08 PM MDT
    MISSOULA, Mont. -

    Nicole Holmes, 19, faces a felony charge for theft and a misdemeanor charge for driving without a valid driver's license. She appeared in Missoula County Justice Court Tuesday afternoon.

    Holmes was arrested Monday morning for stealing a laser range finder from Cabela's on Brooks Street. She allegedly admitted to stealing nearly $3,000 worth of electronics from Cabela's on several occasions.

    The items include GoPro cameras, Garmin GPS and camera accessories.

    She told detectives she was working with her former 17-year-old boyfriend to steal and then sell the electronics to fund their living expenses. Holmes also admitted to detectives she had marijuana and drug paraphernalia in her vehicle.

    Holmes was released under the care of her mother who lives in Butte.

  • Montana State Prison in need of correctional officers

    By Jacqueline Gedeon, KTVM Butte Reporter, jgedeon@ktvm.com
    Published On: Jul 29 2014 05:39:17 PM MDT
    Updated On: Jul 29 2014 09:24:44 PM MDT
    DEER LODGE, Mont. -

    Montana State Prison Officials need to fill 65 openings. Until they do, guards are working mandatory double shifts and being called in on their days off to cover shifts.

    It is so bad that in May, the prison eliminated two visitation days because there weren't enough workers to staff them.

    Montana State Prison Captain Scott McNeil led us through the prison gates.

    "It's been going on the past couple of years and it's continuing to grow bigger and bigger," said McNeil.

    McNeil is talking about the decreasing number of workers. The prison is down 65 correctional officers, which means officers are required to work 16 hours overtime a week and come on their days off.

    "It's getting to the point where it's getting to be scary around here, as far as I'm concerned," said McNeil.

    McNeil said he can see the correctional officers that work behind the Montana State Prison fences are becoming more exhausted and taking more sick days because of the shortage in staff.

    "When you start getting tired and fatigued in this job, you start not thinking correctly," said McNeil. "Which affects the safety of the officers which affects the safety of the inmates, and the general public."

    Prison Warden Leroy Kirkegard said he's known about the problem since 2012. That's when he went to the legislature and asked for help.  

    "We've posted in newspapers throughout the state and entire region actually -- Wyoming, Idaho, attendance at job fairs," he said.

    Kirkegard said that's not enough. He's competing with other detention centers, the Bakken and mining jobs that pay more.

    He is raising officers' $13.50 an hour starting wage by 5 percent this November. We did the math, that's an increase of less than $1 an hour.

    So the officers' union is working with the prison to find a solution, but right now times are tough.

    "I'm extremely proud of all the people that are working here," said Kirkegard. "And that's the support staff all the way up to the correction officers and management team."

    "People are stepping up to the plate and everyone in DOC is doing what they can to make everything work the best they possibly can and as safe as we possibly can," said McNeil. "We have an issue and it needs to be corrected."

    There's no timeline for when the prison will be at full staff again. Prison staffing representatives have plans to attend job fairs, and they're also utilizing social media to help recruit employees.

    The Montana State Prison has become re-accredited through the National Commission on Correctional Health Care. The prison met all 68 standards with no recorded deficiencies.

    Standards range from administrative meetings, to timely patient care, to cleanliness of the clinic area.

    The prison was accredited for the first time in 2011 and needs to be re-accredited every three years.

    "It carries over into the community," said Assistant Director of Nursing Heidi Abbott. "That we all live in and that we love and so it helps to improve the health care of the inmates, not only when they're incarcerated, but after they are out in our communities."

    The prison will need to go through the accreditation process and inspection again in 2017.

  • Legion baseball state tournament results

    Published On: Jul 29 2014 11:29:52 AM MDT
    Updated On: Jul 29 2014 10:55:18 PM MDT
    Mavericks baseball 2

    The AA state tournament kicked off for legion baseball teams Tuesday in Lethbridge, AB.  The A state tournament also began Tuesday morning in Lewistown.  Check here for updated tournament results.


    The Billings Royals (16-6) just edged out Missoula (17-7) for the #1 seed heading into this week's 'AA' state tournament.  The Royals are hunting for their third state title in a row this week in Lethbridge, Alberta.  The Billings Scarlets have the most AA state titles in tournament history with eight championships, followed by the Missoula Mavericks (6) and the Billings Royals (5).

    Tuesday, 1st Round

    #5 Bozeman Bucks7FINAL
    #4 Billings Scarlets   16
    #7 Medicine Hat17FINAL
    #2 Missoula Mavericks 12
    #1 Billings Royals7FINAL
    #8 Helena Senators1
    #3 Great Falls Chargers6FINAL
    #6 Lethbridge Elks7


    Tuesday, 1st Round

    Medicine Hat2
    Gallatin Valley1FINAL
    Glacier Twins6
    Mission Valley6FINAL
    Belgrade Bandits  4

  • Mark Heyka's First Alert Video Forecast

    The hot weather will continue across western Montana.  There will be a daily chance of afternoon thunderstorms, especially across southwest areas of the state.

  • Brooke's First Alert Video Forecast

    Isolated thunderstorms for southwest Montana. Otherwise, mostly sunny with highs in the 80s and 90s.