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  • Neighbors: Officials ignored reports before fire killed girl

    Published On: Oct 08 2015 10:57:04 AM MDT   Updated On: Oct 08 2015 03:09:34 PM MDT
    HELENA, Mont. -

    Neighbors of an 8-year-old Kalispell-area girl who died in a motor home fire say the Flathead County sheriff's office and child protective services didn't act on numerous reports alleging drug use and child neglect in the months before the fire.

    Child protection advocate Cheryl Hodges says she and about a dozen neighbors who made complaints plan to meet with the county prosecutor on Tuesday. Hodges says neighbors would like to see the Division of Child and Family Services held accountable for its inaction prior to the Oct. 1 death of Autumn Hawk.

    Members of the neighbors' group declined to comment ahead of their meeting with the county attorney.

    Hodges has been calling for reform within DCFS since the 2010 deaths of her grandchildren. She reported suspicions that the children were being abused, but they were left in the home.

    NBC Montana contacted the sheriff and prosecutor in Flathead County.  We are waiting for their comments.

  • Montana tourism headed for record-breaking year

    Published On: Oct 08 2015 05:57:25 PM MDT   Updated On: Oct 08 2015 06:53:40 PM MDT
    MISSOULA, Mont. -

    According to studies from the Montana Office of Tourism, the state is headed for a record-breaking year in tourism.

    "Across the board, we are looking at a record-breaking year, as of this point in the year compared to 2014," said communications officer Daniel Iverson, of the Office of Tourism & Business Development.

    Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park both saw an increase in visitors in 2015. Montana's Office of Tourism said this is due to the increase in international travel and the fact Yellowstone is on a lot of visitors' bucket list.

    Glacier National Park saw an increase in visitors due to the warm spring before fire season hit in August.

    "We're fortunate to be one of the states that have distinct seasons, and we have a very strong summer product and a very strong winter product," said Iverson.

    It's no doubt the national parks are a point of interest, but visitors trickle down to other attractions in Montana too. One big attraction is being out on the water.

    Jason Shreder owns Zoo Town Surfers in Missoula. He said that despite the hot, dry weather, business increased.  

    "We saw an increase in visitors here in our Missoula location and the rivers that surround Missoula, especially the section here in town, which a lot of older folks or folks with kids find really appealing," said Shreder.

    The dry, hot weather put a damper on some waterways, like the Lochsa River in Idaho, but the Clark Fork River's flow stayed.

    Shreder hopes tourism keeps increasing so Montana can keep breaking records.  

    The 2015 preliminary numbers are in and the office of tourism estimates there was a 4-percent increase in traffic over the domestic borders and a 2-percent increase in air travel and hotel rooms sold.

    Tourism officials say the bulk of visitors come to Montana in July and August, but ski slopes bring in a lot of visitors, too, especially in February.

  • Netflix raises monthly price

    Published On: Oct 08 2015 11:40:58 AM MDT   Updated On: Oct 08 2015 12:56:56 PM MDT
    Netflix offices

    From Netflix

    NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -

    Netflix is about to cost you a bit more.

    The popular streaming TV service is hiking the cost of its standard plan from $8.99 a month to $9.99.

    The standard plan lets households watch programming on two devices at the same time.

    The premium plan, meant for families who want to watch on up to four devices simultaneously, will continue to cost $11.99 a month. And the basic plan, with access on just one screen, will continue to cost $7.99.

    The one-dollar raise affects new subscribers in the United States, Canada and Latin America right away. But it won't affect existing subscribers for a year.

    Netflix adjusted its pricing in Europe in a similar way over the summer.

    "To continue adding more TV shows and movies including many Netflix original titles, we are modestly raising the price for some new members in the U.S., Canada and Latin America," the company said. "As a thank you to existing Netflix members -- who aren't already benefiting from a previous price guarantee -- we will maintain their current price for a year."

    The news was first reported by Bloomberg.

    Netflix stock, which was down earlier in the day, ticked up about 2% after the report.

  • Reward increased for person targeting pets with blow darts

    Published On: Oct 07 2015 05:37:45 PM MDT   Updated On: Oct 07 2015 06:10:20 PM MDT
    MISSOULA, Mont. -

    Missoula County authorities and donors are doubling down on their efforts to catch the person who's been shooting people's pets with blow darts.

    Residents in the Lolo area have reported finding more than 15 blow darts around their homes or lodged in their pets.

    The darts aren't toys. They are long, sharp and capable of killing a small animal, according to Missoula County animal patrol officer Cindy Syrjala.

    Wednesday morning, Syrjala said a Lolo resident found one of the darts lodged in a tree, which she said demonstrates how powerful they can be.

    Two more people pledged money Wednesday to help catch the shooter, Syrjala said, which brings the reward up to $1,100.

    "In Animal Control, we see a lot of negativity. We deal with that on a day to day basis, so it's great to see this outpouring of support and love of animals because we all love animals too," Syrjala said. "We want this done now. Any animal getting injured is too many."

    A sheriff's detective has also been assigned to the case. Anyone with information can call Missoula Animal Control at 541-7387 or the Missoula County Sheriff's Department at (406) 258-4810. 

  • Barry Beach files new clemency request after changes in law

    Published On: Oct 08 2015 02:53:59 PM MDT   Updated On: Oct 08 2015 03:11:21 PM MDT
    HELENA, Mont. -

    Barry Beach was convicted of killing a high-school classmate in 1979. He has filed a new clemency request now that the law has been changed to give the final decision to the governor instead of the Montana Board of Pardons and Parole.

    The board denied Barry Beach's last request - his fourth - last year even though Gov. Steve Bullock said he wanted to consider the application.

    Beach was sentenced to 100 years in prison after being convicted of deliberate homicide in the beating death of 17-year-old Kim Nees in Poplar. He has steadfastly denied killing Nees, and his cause has been taken up by several current and former Montana politicians.

    The law that went into effect Oct. 1 requires the board to forward the application to the governor within 10 days of completing an assessment.

  • First Alert Video Forecast: Summer like weather through Saturday

    Published On: Oct 08 2015 04:26:17 PM MDT

    Warm weather through Saturday followed by a strong cold front.

  • First Alert Weather: Warming temperatures through Saturday

    Published On: Oct 08 2015 07:53:12 AM MDT

    Afternoon highs will be in the upper 60s today.

    Partly to mostly sunny skies with highs in the upper 70s Friday and Saturday.

    We are tracking a cold front that will bring gusty winds to the region.  The front will also bring a few isolated showers to the area Sunday. Temperatures will be slightly cooler with highs dropping back to the upper 50s and 60.

  • First Alert Forecast: Showers overnight, warm late week

    Published On: Oct 07 2015 04:51:18 PM MDT

    A wave of Pacific moisture is moving across western Montana.

  • Missoula Co. commissioner explains employee raise discrepancy

    Published On: Oct 08 2015 10:51:50 PM MDT