George W. Bush in Billings for ministry fundraiser

(Information in the following story is from: Billings Gazette, http://www.billingsgazette.com)

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Former President George W. Bush has made a Friday night appearance at a Billings fundraiser and says he won't be among President Barack Obama's critics.

Bush was the keynote speaker Friday night at the Montana Missions Banquet, which raises money for Provision International. The nonprofit Christian ministry aids people around the world.

Bush told the crowd he won't get into the election-year partisan back-and-forth, saying he's "trying to get out of the swamp."

Curtis Cole of Provision International tells The Billings Gazette 1,200 tickets were sold for the event. The event's website listed individual tickets starting at $200 apiece, with a table for eight going for $1,500 and a table for 10 going for $2,000.


Bozeman museum awarded $2.3M in donation lawsuit

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — A Bozeman-area developer says he's devastated after a jury ordered his company to pay $2.3 million to the Museum of the Rockies Inc. for failing to pay a promised endowment and research gift.

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports the jury on Thursday found Wade Dokken's company, Ameya Preserve, liable for negligent misrepresentation, fraud and constructive fraud, after using the museum and paleontologist Jack Horner in promotional materials for a proposed upscale housing development.

The development failed, and in April 2009, Dokken said he couldn't make the donation.

Dokken said the planned $2 million donation was only if success occurred.

The museum argued that Ameya Preserve signed a contract to make the donation, and also agreed to pay more than $1.2 million over 15 years for field work.


Whooping cough cancels middle school concert

(Information in the following story is from: Daily Inter Lake, http://www.dailyinterlake.com)

KALISPELL, Mont. (AP) — The Flathead City-County Health Department asked Kalispell Middle School to cancel a sixth-grade concert after a student was diagnosed with whooping cough.

Principal Barry Grace tells the Daily Inter Lake the cancellation notice went out a little after 3 p.m. Thursday for the concert scheduled for Thursday night. He said they hope to reschedule the concert.

The school also contacted the parents of students who might have been exposed to the ill student to begin precautionary treatment with antibiotics.

Also Thursday, a child at a Kalispell day care was confirmed to have the bacterial infection that can cause uncontrollable cough

Hill County also reported its first two cases earlier this week.

State officials say as of Friday, Montana has 142 cases of whooping cough confirmed since Jan. 1.


Montana sect leader gets 6 to life in rape case

(Information in the following story is from: The Salt Lake Tribune, http://www.sltrib.com)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The leader of a Montana-based religious sect has been sentenced to six years to life in prison after he was convicted in Utah of raping a 15-year-old girl and ordering her to have sex with another leader.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports Terrill Dalton was sentenced Friday in Salt Lake City for two counts of rape. He is president of the Church of the Firstborn of the General Assembly of Heaven. The sect was in Magna, Utah, before moving to Idaho and then Montana.

Prosecutors say Dalton convinced the girl in 2005 to have sex with him by telling her he was "the Holy Ghost" and she'd receive blessings. They say he told her to have sex with another leader because it was God's will.

Dalton's maintained he's innocent.


UM student asks police to drop assault probe

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — Missoula authorities say a University of Montana student has asked police to drop an investigation into her earlier complaint that she was sexually assaulted in her dorm room.

The 19-year-old woman reported last Saturday that the assault happened between two and three weeks ago.

But on Friday, Detective Sgt. Travis Welsh says the woman asked Missoula police to discontinue their investigation. Welsh did not say why, but said the case would be reopened if the woman changed her mind.

The U.S. Department of Justice announced May 1 that it would investigate how 80 sexual assault cases from the past three years were handled by Missoula police, University of Montana campus police and the county attorney's office.


2 Havre sisters face marijuana charges

(Information in the following story is from: Havre Daily News, http://www.havredailynews.com)

HAVRE, Mont. (AP) — Two north-central Montana medical marijuana providers who had 2010 drug charges thrown out because an undercover officer used a fake medical marijuana card during the investigation face new charges after their arrests last month.

The Havre Daily News reports the Hill County attorney's office filed five felony drug charges against Malisa Fitzpatrick on Thursday and 10 against Delaine "Lainey" Fitzpatrick.

Court records say a confidential informant working for the Tri-Agency Safe Trails Task Force purchased marijuana, hashish and a synthetic marijuana called "spice" from the Havre sisters.

In a search, officers found the women had a total of 44 registered medical marijuana patients, which would have allowed them to possess 2.75 pounds of marijuana. Officers seized nearly 13 pounds of marijuana, 44 plants, hashish, marijuana infused butter and $36,600 in cash.