Billings oral surgeon sentenced to federal prison

(Information in the following story is from: Billings Gazette,

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A Billings oral surgeon convicted of possessing and distributing cocaine has been sentenced to 16 months in federal prison and fined $10,000.

The Billings Gazette reports that 44-year-old Jerome Daniel Mancuso was sentenced Friday by Chief U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull.

A jury in October convicted Mancuso of possessing cocaine with intent to distribute, distribution and two counts of maintaining drug-involved premises.

Cebull continued Mancuso's release until he is assigned to a prison.

After being charged in September Mancuso closed his practice and voluntarily surrendered his dentistry licenses.

Mancuso apologized and blamed his legal problems on his addiction to drugs and alcohol.


Teen sentenced for attack on N. Idaho woman

(Information in the following story is from: Bonner County (Idaho) Daily Bee,

SANDPOINT, Idaho (AP) — A Colorado teenager who pleaded guilty to attacking a 66-year-old northern Idaho woman has been sentenced to 15 years in adult prison.

The Bonner County Daily Bee reports that 17-year-old Joseph John Martin of Denver was sentenced Friday in 1st District Court.

Authorities say Martin and 17-year-old Marshall Owens Dittrich of Danville, Calif., ran away from a boarding school in Montana and were hitchhiking last July when the Bonner County woman offered them a ride in her vehicle.

Deputies say the woman was choked with a cord and hit with a bottle before she managed to flee the attack.

Martin pleaded guilty to battery with intent to commit robbery. Dittrich is scheduled to be tried in June in 1st District Court.


Toddler dies after falling in creek

(Information in the following story is from: Missoulian,

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — The Missoula County Sheriff's Office says a 2-year-old girl has died after wandering away from her home and falling into a creek.

Spokesman Jason Johnson tells the Missoulian that the girl died Friday after disappearing about 2:45 p.m. and being reported missing by her parents at 3:30 p.m.

Searchers found her about an hour later in a creek and tried to revive her. Efforts to revive her continued on the way to the hospital and at St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula.

Johnson says she was pronounced dead about 10 p.m.

Johnson says the cause of death appears to be drowning and foul play is not suspected. Her name hasn't been released.


BLM to buy private land in Missouri Breaks

(Information in the following story is from: Billings Gazette,

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Bureau of Land Management has agreed to purchase a 652-acre piece of property within the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument from a conservation group that acquired the land from private owners.

Gates Watson of The Conservation Fund tells the Billings Gazette that the group bought the land from the Brink family that was homestead by Nellie (Brink) Whitcraft in 1925.

Monument manager Gary Slagel on Tuesday signed off on an agreement to buy the land in Fergus County from the conservation group for $425,000. The conservation group is holding the land until the BLM can write a check.

The property is along the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail and the Nez Perce Historic Trail, and near the Judith Landing on the Missouri River.


Police: ATV theft leads to 15-minute chase

(Information in the following story is from: Daily Inter Lake,

KALISPELL, Mont. (AP) — A 21-year-old Ronan man who police say stole an all-terrain vehicle and then led police on a 15-minute chase at speeds up to 60 mph before crashing and then being subdued with a Taser has been taken into custody.

The Lake County Sheriff's office tells the Daily Inter Lake that Leroy Black III was arrested Friday morning on suspicion of theft, driving under the influence and eluding police.

Authorities say Black was taken St. Luke's Hospital to be treated for injuries sustained in the crash and then taken to the Lake County Jail.

Authorities say he's being held without bond until his arraignment.


Black bear captured in Billings

(Information in the following story is from: Billings Gazette,

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Wildlife officials in Billings say a black bear wandering through a neighborhood Saturday morning has been captured and is being taken to the Pryor Mountains to be released.

Officials tell the Billings Gazette that the bear was reported about 6 a.m. and treed about 9 a.m. in a resident's backyard.

Kevin Holland of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks says the bear was darted twice with tranquilizers and passed out in the tree.

He says a ladder truck reached the bear and it was lowered 40 feet to the ground using a rope.


Billings Police Department gets new K-9 member

(Information in the following story is from: Billings Gazette,

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A 17-month-old Belgian Malinois is the newest member of the Billings Police Department.

The yet-to-be-named dog joined the force on Friday after arriving at the Billings Logan International Airport from a kennel in Pennsylvania.

The Billings Gazette reports that the new member of the K-9 unit is replacing a seasoned Malinois named Condor who is officially retiring in June after seven years of service and nearly 100 arrests.

Officer Jim Nyquist is the new dog's trainer and welcomed him at the airport with hot dog treats.

Nyquist plans to spend the next six weeks spending four hours a day every day training the dog in patrol work, tracking and narcotic arrests and detection.


CMR's Mahoney commits to Bobcat football

GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) — Offensive tackle Dylan Mahoney of C.M. Russell High School in Great Falls says he's made a verbal commitment to play football at Montana state.

Mahoney will be a senior at CMR this fall and a team captain.

Mahoney says he's been a Bobcat fan since he was about 12 and always wanted to go to school at Montana State. He can sign with the Bobcats in February 2013.