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  • Neighborhood reacts to dog's death leading to DUI, assult charges

    By Jacqueline Gedeon, KTVM Butte Reporter, jgedeon@ktvm.com
    Published On: Sep 17 2014 05:31:17 PM MDT
    Updated On: Sep 17 2014 11:18:02 PM MDT
    BUTTE, Mont. -

    The death of a dog ended with an assault charge for the dog's owner and a DUI charge for the man who reportedly ran over the pet.

    People in the neighborhood said they were surprised to hear about the incident.

    It happened in the 1200 block of E Third Street in Anaconda, a quiet family neighborhood near a park.

    Jasmine Allison loves pets and her neighborhood. She'll tell you typically there's not much crime that happens around here.

    "Everybody knows everybody, and so its generally a quite and nice neighborhood," she said.

    But then the worst happened, her neighbor's son was walking his family's dog and she'll never forget what she heard.

    "His family was out front and they were all sort of collected out there and all of a sudden some drunk guy flew through in his vehicle and and just, right over the dog and kept going over to the park," Allison said.

    Reports said when the driver, Anaconda resident Tony Marry, came back around the block, the dog's owner, Jeff Carney, allegedly jumped on the side of the driver's vehicle and punched Marry several times in the face through the open window.

    We found out that's Marry's fifth DUI arrest and some in this neighborhood wonder why the prosecutor would even charge Carney.

    "It could have been his son, it could have been his daughter. When you put somebody's family in jeopardy that tends to happen, people get upset," said Allison.

    And other residents agree with Allison, like Perry David who comes to the park across the street from this neighborhood every day to play with his dogs.

    "It could have been a little kid, hit by a drunk driver," said David. "Going to fast or whatever his problem was being drunk. It could have, it could have been a kid."

    David said if something like this happened to his dogs, he may have acted the same way.

    "I can feel his pain at that time," he said. "And if there was ever a traumatic experience that would generate something like that there it is."

    "If they have a disagreement they need to use the police," said neighbor Ossie T. Watkins III.

    But for those who think both suspects deserve to be charged, but even they agree this could have been easily avoided and a life could have been saved.

    Jeff Carney faces a misdemeanor charge of assault. Tony Marry was charged with a felony DUI.

  • An act of kindness keeps many from being homeless

    By Paige Sedgewick, Reporter, psedgewick@kcfw.com
    Published On: Sep 17 2014 08:36:55 PM MDT
    MISSOULA, Mont. -

    The kindness of a stranger helped save 30 to 40 homes in Missoula.

    Missoula County planned to auction them off today because of delinquent taxes.

    More than 60 mobile homes were on that list to be sold.

    But yesterday on the last day to pay up before the auction, an anonymous donor saved the occupied homes by paying $9,600 in taxes, interest and fees.

    Meet Sharon Pendleton, she paid her taxes but some of her neighbors didn't.

    "I don't think something should be taken away from somebody because I can say that if they'd had the money, they probably would have paid them," said neighbor Sharon Pendleton.  

    But they would have been, along with people who live in another 30 to 40 trailers, except for the kindness of a stranger.

    "Just was upset that people were going to lose their homes for such a small amount of money," explained Delinquent Tax Clerk Annie Cathey.

    Cathey had the list ready of mobile homes to be auctioned off, all because the owners didn't pay their personal property taxes. The cut off was 5pm Tuesday. It was pay up or move out, until a good Samaritan showed up.

    "I get maybe one, maybe two people that want to do an anonymous payment for somebody, but usually it's just one family taken care of, so it's never been where they really just wanted to take care of the list and most of the people on the list," said Cathey.

    This time the donor was a company and paid with a cashier's check. Keeping the company's name secret was part of the deal.

    Sharon is just glad her neighbors can stay.

    "I think it's wonderful. These people would have paid those taxes had they had the money, so some nice person helped them out," expressed Sharon.  

    County officials say they don't keep personal records of the mobile home owners; instead they just go by tax records. So late Tuesday night Delinquent Tax Clerk Annie Cathey started getting calls from people wondering why their mobile home had been taken off the auction list and once she told them, the people were so surprised and grateful for this generous donation.

  • Cyber security course kicks off at the University of Montana

    By Lauren Bradley, Reporter, lbradley@keci.com
    Published On: Sep 19 2014 06:47:08 PM MDT
    Updated On: Sep 19 2014 11:21:13 PM MDT
    MISSOULA, Mont. -

    The University of Montana aims to educate students about cyber security with a new class.

    Recent security breaches raise many concerns so now it's more important than ever to understand cyber security.

    Instructor of the course Sherri Davidoff is busy running a security business, taking care of her kids and now teaching a cyber security course at the university.

    "First of all there is a real need in our society for these skills. Again it's rare to find people that have hands on practical experience there is just not a whole lot of education," said Davidoff.

    The class meets once a week for three hours. Davidoff said students get hands on experience in computer hacking. Davidoff said it's important for students to learn to think like the attacker in order to learn how to prevent security breaches.

    The class is broken up into three parts which include cyber security testing, digital forensics and network traffic analysis.

    Davidoff showed NBC Montana the computer software her students use to practice hacking.

    Zachary Falkner is in the cyber security class. He said he likes the class because it's unique.

    "It's a super exciting and bleeding edge class there aren't a lot of classes in the nation or at all that are like this," said Falkner.

    Ethics are part of the curriculum that includes quizzes on ethical hacking and seven rules that apply to using what they've learned to help, not to hurt.

    After all once the class if over, what they've learned here becomes real.

    "Students aren't just learning about it in theory, they are doing it and I do think this is bleeding edge," said Davidoff.

    Davidoff will team up with the business school at the university to teach a cyber security management class next semester.

  • 19th Avenue sculpture depicts community issues

    By Jennifer Ready, Reporter, jready@ktvm.com
    Published On: Sep 19 2014 10:40:16 PM MDT
    BOZEMAN, Mont. -

    A large sculpture on the west side of 19th Avenue in Bozeman raised eyebows this week. The sculpture is 10 feet tall and 26 feet wide. It is on a stretch of land between Baxter and Dead Man's gulch.

    At first glance the sculpture seems pretty normal. It has the mountains and the "M," but it also shows a different picture.  

    Derek Rinehart works at Blitz Motorsports, just down the street from where the sculpture sits, he said he never took note of the silhouette.

    "I drive by twice a day and I never noticed it," said Rinehart.

    Many others also said they had the same reaction.

    The black wooden silhouette shows the mountains with the MSU logo and a man standing next to it. Underneath the mountains there are a few other images including what appears to be a man and woman engaged in a sexual activity, a noose, a pregnant cheerleader, an inverted cross symbol,a homeless man with a help sign and a dog sitting next to feces.

    Rinehart said it took him a little to see what each part really was.

    "It took me a little bit to figure out what I was looking at, I didn't see a whole lot there that I understood," said Rinehart.

    However, they aren't just images, they're symbols for community issues. MSU professor Jim Zimpel said his sculpture class created the project to portray issues they want to raise awareness about such as sexual assault, homelessness and suicide.

    Rinehart said he'll definitely take notice of the silhouettes next time he drives by.

    Zimpel said the class voted on what issues and pictures to depict and that they plan to have the sculpture in place for a couple of weeks.

  • Missoula stays course to own Mountain Water amid Carlyle sale

    By KECI Staff
    Published On: Sep 19 2014 09:07:27 AM MDT
    Updated On: Sep 19 2014 06:55:42 PM MDT
    MISSOULA, Mont. -

    Carlyle plans to sell Mountain Water Company's parent company to a utilities corporation based in Oakville, Ontario, Canada.

    It's expected to cost $327 million dollars. Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp will assume $77 million in existing long term debt.

    The purchase still needs to be approved by Montana's Public Service Commission.

    The city of Missoula is currently attempting to force the sale of Mountain Water Company to the city through an eminent domain lawsuit.

    The city alleges that Carlyle went back on a 2011 agreement to sell Mountain Water to the city.

    Missoula’s mayor and other city council members held a news conference to respond to the proposed sale of Mountain Water to Algonquin Power and Utilities Corp.

    Missoula is suing to force Carlyle, the company that owns Mountain Water, to sale to the city under eminent domain.

    “We began the legal process to buy our water utility because we knew this announcement was coming, and we wanted to be prepared,” said Missoula Mayor John Engen.  “Carlyle can make announcements all day long, but ownership of Missoula’s water company is not a unilateral decision made by anonymous investors, but a decision of a Missoula judge.”

    John Kappes, president of Mountain Water Company would not answer questions today but did provide the following statement::

    "We at Mountain Water Company are very pleased to hear that our company is going to be part of a long term utility owner that understands and supports a local, responsive and caring approach to the provision of utility services. Liberty has a long history of providing reliable utility service in other communities and is committed to making continued investment in Missoula’s water distribution system. We hope the community will join us in giving them a warm welcome."

    The following is Missoula Mayor John Engens full statement: No Change in Our Approach, Mayor Says in Wake of Carlyle’s Attempt to Sell Mountain Water

    Today’s announcement that Carlyle Infrastructure Partners reached an agreement to sell Mountain Water and its sister companies to a Canadian corporation won’t change the way the City of Missoula litigates its case against Carlyle and its pursuit of public ownership of the private utility.

    “We began the legal process to buy our water utility because we knew this announcement was coming, and we wanted to be prepared,” said Missoula Mayor John Engen. “Carlyle can make announcements all day long, but ownership of Missoula’s water company is not a unilateral decision made by anonymous investors, but a decision of a Missoula judge. I’m assuming the Canadian corporation is aware of that fact, but if not, we certainly intend to make them aware.”

    The City’s effort to acquire Mountain Water, the for-profit company owned by Carlyle that provides the majority of Missoula its water, is based on its belief that a privately owned monopoly utility cannot operate in the best interests of the public.

    “The City of Missoula is committed to fair rates, continued investment in critical infrastructure, protecting this essential resource and ensuring that clean, safe, affordable water is available for generations to come,” Engen said. “We believe that such a critical resource should be owned and operated by the citizens of Missoula, not investors whose only interest is profit. It doesn’t matter whether those are Carlyle’s investors or investors in this Canadian company, their interest in profit will always outweigh the best interests of Missoulians.”

    Mayor Engen and City of Missoula staff and attorneys learned of Carlyle’s proposed sale of Park Water Company to Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. early Friday morning. Public information made available by Algonquin quotes a purchase price of $327 million and cites “constructive regulatory environments in California and Montana” as favorable to “stable and predictable earnings.” It also says the sale aligns with its “on-going roll-up strategy of U.S. regulated utilities.”

    A municipal water system should provide public service to the residents and businesses of a community, rather than profits to global investors, said City Council representative Bryan von Lossberg.

    “Today’s announcement from yet another company interested in Missoula’s water highlights in stark relief that despite their assertion that they are not in the business of flipping assets, that is exactly what Carlyle is in the business of doing – to the surprise of no one,” von Lossberg said. “And it will be on the backs of Missoula ratepayers to finance continued successive sales to profit-driven companies.”

    The City of Missoula supported the sale of Park Water Company to the Carlyle Group in December 2011 with the understanding that Carlyle would consider in good faith any City of Missoula offers to purchase Mountain Water and intended to sell Mountain Water to the City after one year of ownership. However, Carlyle instead rejected all City offers to purchase the company, beginning in January 2013. The City of Missoula filed for an order of condemnation under Montana’s eminent domain law in District Court. The City and its legal counsel are preparing for a March court date before Judge Karen Townsend.

    Mayor John Engen, City Council President Marilyn Marler and Council representatives Jason Wiener and Bryan von Lossberg spoke with reporters on Friday afternoon in the Mayor’s Office.

    The following press release was posted on Algonquin Power & Utilities website:

    Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. ("APUC") (TSX: AQN) today announced that Liberty Utilities, APUC's regulated utility business, has entered into an agreement with Western Water Holdings, a wholly-owned investment of Carlyle Infrastructure, to acquire the regulated water distribution utility Park Water Company ("Park Water"). Park Water owns and operates three regulated water utilities engaged in the production, treatment, storage, distribution, and sale of water in Southern California and Western Montana. The three utilities collectively serve approximately 74,000 customer connections and have more than 1,000 miles of distribution mains.

    Total consideration for the utility purchase is expected to be approximately U.S. $327 million, which includes the assumption of approximately U.S. $77 million of existing long-term utility debt. The acquisition will maintain APUC's strategic business mix and further enhance its investment grade consolidated capital structure. The acquisition is expected to have net property, plant and equipment and other assets for rate making purposes at closing of U.S. $259 million.

    "The acquisition of Park Water strategically expands our utility presence in California and marks our entry into the state of Montana," commented Ian Robertson, Chief Executive Officer of APUC. "The acquisition builds on our strong water utility expertise, provides continuing opportunity for organic growth, and increases the proportion of our earnings from long-term, stable utility assets. We look forward to bringing our caring, local and responsive business approach to the communities served by Park Water."

    Carlyle Managing Director Robert Dove said, "We are delighted to have reached a signed agreement with Liberty, an experienced U.S.-regulated utility, to acquire Park Water and its subsidiaries. Liberty Utilities' water utility expertise, commitment to customer service and long term ownership approach will enable Park Water to continue to provide excellent service to its customers."

    The acquisition is subject to certain approvals and conditions, including state and federal regulatory approval, and is expected to close in the latter half of 2015.

    Scotiabank acted as financial advisor to APUC as part of the transaction. Wells Fargo served as financial advisor to Carlyle.

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