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KRTV.com

KRTV Morning News - Thu Aug 21

Top stories for the morning of Thursday, August 21st, 2014:

- Cascade County Sheriff's Deputy Joseph Dunn, killed in the line of duty last week, will be laid to rest Thursday with full military honors. Click here for more details.

- 40-year-old Adam Sanchez, the man accused of killing Deputy Dunn, will appear in a Chouteau County courtroom this morning. Click here for more details.

- Firefighters had the Blakeslee Fire, which is centered about seven miles northeast of Grass Range, at 70% containment on Tuesday evening. Click here for more details.

- A fire near the Log Gulch campground at Holter Lake has grown to 215 acres. Click here for more details.

- Representative Steve Daines says he'll stay focused on his campaign message in the race for U.S. Senate, even though he has a new opponent, Butte Democrat Amanda Curtis.

- A new poll released Wednesday shows Curtis trails Daines by 20 points.

- U.S. House Majority leader John Boehner made a stop in the Flathead Valley Wednesday to support Ryan Zinke, the Republican candidate for Montana's seat in the house.

- Elaine Olson has been selected to replace Evan Bowser as the Democratic candidate for Montana House District 19.

- Montana State University-Northern has named a new Director of Nursing. Dr. Janice Starr, previously the Director of Nursing and Allied Health at New Mexico State University, has been appointed after an extensive nation wide search.

- Thousands of freshman will continue to move into residence halls at Montana State University - Bozeman this week.

- Countless movies have been made about life on other planets; but two decades of research, conducted by Montana State University, culminated with a discovery that shows life might be found on other planets.

- A new athletics and academic center is in the works at the University of Montana.

 



2 people arrested after pipe bomb found in Missoula garage

MISSOULA -- Two arrests have been made after a pipe bomb that was found in a Missoula garage on Tuesday afternoon.

What started as a probation officer conducting a home visit is what led to the discovery of not only a bomb, but also bomb- making materials inside the home.

The roommates arrested are 27-year old Andrew Charles Ibey and 40-year old Shelly Turbitt.

Ibey has been charged with felony possession of explosives and burglarizing a residence. He is currently being held on $100,000 bail and is expected to appear in court Thursday.

Turbitt, who was found with meth and marijuana in her system, is now on a 72-hour hold as authorities investigate.

State Parole Officer Kathleen Beccari says Turbitt's probation officer, Andrea Bethel, called authorities after she identified the explosive device inside the garage at 919 Spartan Drive at around 3 p.m. on Tuesday.

City and County law enforcement - as well as a bomb squad - responded to the scene, taped off the street, and evacuated four homes.

A police robot was sent into the home to retrieve the device as bystanders gathered along the caution tape.

Bomb technicians were able to confirm the explosive device as a pipe bomb and destroyed it, sending a loud boom through the area, but causing no significant damage.

 



Woman dies in two-vehicle crash near Whitefish

WHITEFISH -- A 23-year-old Montana woman died after her car was hit head-on by another vehicle on US highway 93 north of Whitefish on Wednesday afternoon.

Montana Highway Patrol Trooper John Underwood says a Mazda SUV was heading south on Highway 93 when the driver swerved off into the right shoulder and then over-corrected.

The SUV then veered into the northbound lane where it struck a smaller Honda car being driven by the 23-year-old woman, sending her car into the ditch.

Trooper Underwood tells us the Mazda that swerved into the northbound lane was being driven by a man from Alberta, Canada.

The woman was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, while the driver of the car from Alberta and a female passenger were flown to Kalispell Regional Medical Center with serious, but not life-threatening, injuries.

The victim's name has not yet been released.

The MHP is investigating to determine whether alcohol or excessive speed were factors, and whether seatbelts were worn.



Megaload bound for Great Falls enters NW Montana

GREAT FALLS - The first of three Bigge Crane megaloads carrying refinery equipment destined for Great Falls has now crossed from Idaho into Montana.

The megaload is currently east of Libby along U.S. Highway 2 and will next travel to the weigh station just west of Kalispell overnight.

The Montana Department of Transportation says that the load dimensions are a width of 21 feet, 1 inch; and a height of 16 feet, 9 inches. The length and gross weight will vary depending on the number of push and pull trucks, for example additional trucks may be needed when it is moving uphill. The maximum permitted length is 400 feet 5 inches, and the maximum gross weight will be 1,086,500 pounds.

The two other modules will travel a route along I-15 with loading taking place south of Dillon; the travel date for those departures has not yet been set.

All three megaloads should be at the Calumet Refinery in Great Falls by the end of August; officials hope to travel up to 100 miles a day.

The move, which has been planned for seven stages, will travel at night to minimize travel disruptions. Drivers traveling at night along the route may experience traffic delays of up to 10 minutes.

Here is the scheduled route of the first megaload:

Entering Montana on MT 200
North on MT 56 to US 2
East on US 2 to Meridian Road in Kalispell
North on Meridian Road to US 93
North on US 93 to MT 40
East on MT 40 to Secondary 206
South on Secondary 206 to Mt 35
South on MT 35 to MT 83
South on MT 83 to MT 200
East on MT 200 to the Vaughn Frontage Road
Vaughn Frontage Road to the NW Bypass in Great Falls
NW Bypass to 3rd Street.

Here are some frequently-asked questions and answers about megaloads from MDT:

What if an emergency vehicle needs to get around a mega load?

Carriers have to submit a transportation plan to MDT as part of the permit process. In most cases, procedures for emergency vehicles are included as part of the transportation plan. Local law enforcement is notified of any load travelling through their jurisdictions. In some cases, a load may be traveling with a law enforcement escort.

Will the mega load traveling interrupt traffic and adversely impact communities?

The administrative rules of Montana require that loads over 18 feet wide, 17 feet high, or 150 feet long not delay traffic in excess of 10 minutes. In developing a transportation plan for the movement of mega loads, carriers examine the route and develop a system to clear traffic using pilot cars and existing turnouts that will comply with the 10 minute rule. MDT has the authority to revoke permits and issue fines if the carrier does not comply with the ten minute maximum traffic delay rule set forth in § 18.8.1101, ARM. MDT also implements time and date restrictions on the travel time to avoid conflicts with weekend, holiday and commuter traffic.

Will the highways be able to carry the weight of the loads?

Prior to granting a permit for a mega load, MDT analyzes the potential impact to bridges along the route by listing each bridge location and "design live load capacity" for each structure based upon the proposed load configuration. Based upon in service design, structure condition, bridge span and other load allowances for the structures, MDT determines those bridges with most limited capacity for the proposed configuration and identifies those structures as "controlling bridges." MDT then analyzes the proposed configuration for those controlling bridges, and applies appropriate load and travel restrictions. If the bridge live load capacity is less than the overload, the permit is not approved.

Below is a more detailed route for the first megaload; click here to read more at the MDT website.

Day 1 - Start at ID/MT state line on SR200. The preferred stopping Point is in front of the MDOT Maintenance Station at M.P. 35.3 on US2 right after Granite Cr. Barrels will be placed around the combination on both sides since traffic will have to move around it to access the State Facility. The Power Units can be removed if it is necessary to provide access. There are several large parking areas before Libby that can be used (refer to the Route Study), but this one puts us close to the Construction Area around M.P. 45 to 48 to simplify coordination for the following night. The night's travel will be 63.8 miles

Day 2 - Start at M.P. 35.3 and park at the Weigh Station at M.P. 115.7 on US2. Barrels will be placed between any potential traffic and the load. The night's travel will be 78.1 miles.

Day 3 - Start at M.P. 113.4 on US2 and park at the turnout at M.P. 77.7 on SR83. Barrels will be placed between any potential traffic and the load. The night's travel will be 51.4 miles.

Day 4 - Start at M.P. 73.5 on SR83 and park at the turnout at M.P. 00.3 on SR83. The load will be parked as far away from the travel lanes as possible and barrels placed between any potential traffic. The nights travel will be 77.4 miles.

Day 5 - Start at M.P. 00.3 on SR83 and park at the turnout at M.P. 93.5 next to the MDT Maintenance Station on SR200. Barrels will be placed between any potential traffic and the load. The night's travel will be 63.0 miles.

Day 6 - Start at M.P. 93.5 and travel to the Calumet Site in Great falls. The nights travel would be 66.3 miles


Megaload bound for Great Falls enters NW Montana



Funding needed for DEQ building remediation

HELENA -- Montana Department of Environmental Quality discontinued use of its Last Chance Gulch location last year because of lead contamination. The building is still empty and will probably stay that way as the state seeks funding for remediation.

Nearly 100 DEQ workers moved out of the historic Art Deco building last October.

Testing of the building was completed in March and showed high lead levels in ceilings and on some surfaces, but not in the air.

State officials say that there's no indication so far that any state workers have suffered health effects from the lead. Officials are looking for the funds to pay for the cleanup in the what used to be a National Guard armory with a firing range in the basement.

"The lead dust has migrated from the old firing range that is in the basement, just over years of use and it's made its way into the ceiling tile above the ceiling tile and into the light fixtures," said Russ Katherman, engineering manager and contract officer with the Montana Department of Administration.

Remediation of the lead (inlcuding replacement of some items that cannot be cleaned, like ceiling tiles) will be "quite a chore," but needs to be done, Katherman said.

Before the serious work of remediation can begin the state needs to find funding.

 



POW-MIA flag stolen in Helena

HELENA -- The Helena Police Department is asking for help in recovering a POW-MIA memorial flag that was stolen from its holder near Highway 12 East and 18th Street over the weekend.

The section of Highways 12 and 287 running from Helena to West Yellowstone were designated as a POW-MIA Memorial Highway in May.

The road was decorated with flags embroidered with the names of 55 Montana service members who remain unaccounted for since the time of World War II. The flags were put up on Friday, August 15, in preparation for the inaugural "Ride To Remember" from Helena to West Yellowstone.

The stolen flag is a black POW MIA flag with the words "William Wesley Bjork US Army Korea" embroidered on it.

The flag was located along Highway 12 in the area between Trico Federal Credit Union and Burger King.

The flag was discovered missing on August 17 and witnesses say that they saw two white men, one standing on the other's shoulders, stealing the flag on Saturday night. The two men then went across the highway toward the Montana Department of Transportation. The witnesses were unable to follow the suspects at that point and lost track of their location.

Anyone with information that may help in recovering the flag is asked to call the Helena Police Department at 406-447-8233, or Crimestoppers at 406-443-2000.

 



Log Gulch fire near Holter Lake has burned 215 acres

WOLF CREEK -- A wildfire broke out north of Log Gulch campground on Holter Lake on Wednesday.

The fire was reported around 12:30 p.m. and several fire crews were on scene including three helicopters and two retardant planes.

Log Gulch campground has been evacuated and a law enforcement checkpoint has been set up just south of Holter Lake campground.

Lewis & Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton says that the public is welcome to continue use of Holter Lake campground, but cautions boaters to stay away from the areas where helicopters are dipping from the lake.

Log Gulch campground remains closed at this time.

Area residents may access their property but have been notified to be ready in case they are ordered to evacuate.

The fire has burned approximately 215 acres as of Wednesday evening.

Suppression efforts are continuing, and the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

A public information phone line has been set up at 406-447-1605.



KRTV 10pm Top Stories-Wed Aug 20

Dunn funeral Thursday: Cascade County Sheriff's Deputy Joseph Dunn, killed in the line of duty last week, will be laid to rest Thursday with full military honors.   Click here to read more.

Blakeslee Fire: A lightning-sparked fire in Fergus County has now burned over 1,100 acres.   Click here to read more.

Log Gulch fire: A fire near the Log Gulch campground at Holter Lake has grown to 215 acres.   Click here to read more.

Journalist killed: U.S. officials say a chilling and cruel video released online showing the execution of kidnapped American Journalist James Foley is authentic.

Daines focused on campaign: Representative Steve Daines says he'll stay focused on his campaign message in the race for U.S. Senate, even though he has a new opponent, Butte Democrat Amanda Curtis.

Curtis faces uphill battle: A new poll released Wednesday shows Curtis trails Daines by 20 points.

Boehner stumps for Zinke: U.S. House Majority leader John Boehner made a stop in the Flathead Valley Wednesday to support Ryan Zinke, the Republican candidate for Montana's seat in the house.

New Montana House candidate: Elaine Olson has been selected to replace Evan Bowser as the Democratic candidate for Montana House District 19.

 



14 Teams in 14 Days: Belt Huskies haunted by semi-final loss

BELT - Belt Head coach Jeff Graham called Friday's practice the best first day ever. And after eight seasons as head coach, that says a lot about the expectations for this year's Huskies.

"Everything was good," Graham said. "The seniors we've had the past couple of years have set the tone for practices. This year we have seven seniors and seven juniors and they just follow the path. We just look sharp. You can tell they had a good summer."

That's because the Huskies have a lot on their minds this summer. Belt was four points short of a trip to a state championship, falling 18-14 to Wibaux in the Class C 8-man semifinals. Since then there's been a drive to get better in the offseason.

"The guys have been talking about it since November, so that's been kind of cool," Graham said. "Hopefully that's back there in the back of our minds making us practice good every day."

With several all conference players returning, another Northern C title and playoff run would appear to be in the works for these Huskies.

"We might rotate four or five different offensive linemen but we feel in the third and fourth quarter we'll be fresh so the depth is a blessing."

 



Sanchez charged with deliberate homicide in death of Cascade County Sheriff's Deputy

GREAT FALLS -- Adam Sanchez Jr. has been charged with deliberate homicide for the death of Cascade County Sheriff's Deputy Joe Dunn.

Cascade County Attorney John Parker made the announcement on Wednesday evening.

Sanchez is currently being held in the Chouteau County jail, and is scheduled to make his initial appearance in a Chouteau County courtroom on Thursday at 8:30 a.m.

Court documents allege that Sanchez led officers on a high-speed chase on Thursday, August 14th, from Great Falls to Geyser, and then turned around and began heading back to Great Falls. At approximately mile marker 77, Sanchez's vehicle hit Dunn, fatally injuring him, and Sanchez then continued driving at speeds of more than 100 miles per hour back toward Great Falls.

The chase ended near 15th Street and Smelter Avenue in Black Eagle, where witnesses say that officers drew their guns on Sanchez, yelling at him to get out of the car, and one of the officers then broke out a car window and used a Taser on Sanchez. Officers then called for an ambulance and held Sanchez down until EMTs arrived; he was then taken to Benefis hospital, and later transferred to the Chouteau County jail.

Governor Steve Bullock (D-MT) has ordered all flags flown in the State of Montana to be flown at half staff on Thursday, August 21st, to honor Deputy Joe Dunn.

Dunn, 33 years old, had served with the Sheriff's Office for 2 1/2 years, and also served in the U.S. Marine Corps. He is survived by his parents, two siblings, a wife and two small children.

Here is the funeral procession information from Cascade County Sheriff Bob Edwards:

Deputy Dunn's Funeral will be August 21st at 1:00 at the Montana ExpoPark (Four Seasons Arena)

The procession after the funeral will start between 2:00PM and 2:30PM. The times are contingent on the length of the service.

- After the funeral we will exit the Expo Park through the north gate onto the NW Bypass eastbound to 3rd Street NW.

- Turning southbound on to 3rd Street NW to Central Avenue West turning East to go over the 1st Avenue North bridge.

- From the 1st Avenue North bridge, we will turn right on to River Drive and up and over flag hill (Overlook Drive) to 10th Avenue South where we will merge to go eastbound

- We will then proceed to 13th Street South and proceed southbound on 13th to 33rd Avenue South where we will turn left and proceed eastbound to Highland Cemetery.

 



Bloof Witzer & Walsh in a Sityourbuttdown Room interview

Recently Senator-By-Political-Crony-Appointment-Not-The-Will-Of-The-People John Walsh, Democrat from Montana, sat down with CNN’s Bloof Witzer on his show “The Sityourbuttdown Room” to discuss revelations that Walsh plagiarized a research paper required for his masters degree.

Bloof: Thank you for coming on the show Senator-By-Political-Crony-Appointment-Not-The-Will-Of-The-People Walsh.

Walsh: I want to thank you for letting me be myself again.

Bloof: Sure. Tell us a little about yourself.

Walsh: My home’s in Montana I wear a bandana my spurs are of silver my pony is gray While riding the ranges my luck never changes.

Bloof: Well, your luck may have changed a little here recently, but before we get into that please tell our viewers a little about your political beliefs.

Walsh: I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.

Bloof: Okay. Tell us a little about your philosophy on life and how it is that you have become a successful Senator-By-Political-Crony-Appointment-Not-The-Will-Of-The-People.

Walsh: Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise. Never leave that till to-morrow which you can do to-day. Oh, and he that goes a borrowing goes a sorrowing.

Bloof: A recent New York Times piece has revealed that you apparently plagiarized a large portion of a research paper required to get your masters degree. What do you say to those who criticize you for doing that?

Walsh: To err is human, to forgive divine and God helps them that help themselves. Well, I’m not a crook. I’ve earned everything I’ve got.

Bloof: But some say that plagiarism is a dis-qualifier for a Senate candidate, what say you?

Walsh: It depends what the meaning of ‘is’ is.

Bloof: Okay, let’s talk about a few issues. Ukraine; what are your views concerning the rebel separatists there and their attempt to break from Ukraine.

Walsh: When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

Bloof: How about the conflict between the Palestinians and Israel?

Walsh: Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses.

Bloof: Wait a minute, are you saying that Palestine is actually the ancient homeland of the Jews and is their possession by birthright?

Walsh: It depends what the meaning of ‘is’ is.

Bloof: Hmmm…well, let’s talk about the crisis on our southern border, what would you do to solve the problems down there?

Walsh: You may all go to hell, and I will go to Texas. God bless Texas. Ay carumba and uhm, er…out in the west Texas town of El Paso I fell in love with a Mexican girl.

Bloof: What? Okay, ahhh..what are your own personal thoughts about allegations that the President has overreached and is violating the Constitution through executive fiat?

Walsh: We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union,establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

Bloof: Seems like I’ve heard that somewhere before. Oh well, wrapping things up now, how do you intend to handle these latest revelations that you plagiarized to earn a degree and what do you say to allegations coming from some that it proves that you’re either too dumb, lazy, dishonest or all three to be a U.S. Senator?

Walsh: Damn the torpedos, full speed ahead! I have not yet begun to fight! Give me liberty or give me death! An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! If you like pina coladas and gettin’ caught in the rain! Hey macarena!

Bloof: Wow, sounds like you have some real deeply held convictions here, straight from the heart. Care to leave our viewers with a final word?

Walsh: You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time…er oops, I mean NO COMMENT.

Bloof: Thank you for joining us today on “The Sityourbuttdown Room” Senator-By-Political-Crony-Appointment-Not-The-Will-Of-The-People Walsh.

Walsh: I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal….

Bloof: Cut his microphone, cut it…

Fair questions about fairgrounds

Good observations and questions about Expo Park here in Cascade County from a listener to the radio show:

“The financial situation at the Fairgrounds is very concerning. It seems the most fundamental  accounting procedures to ensure employee accountability and prevent theft have not traditionally been in place. Since the Fairgrounds is a public entity, this is very surprising. Along with proper daily procedures of cash handling, an annual audit is the rule.

I applaud whoever “blew the horn” on the situation and brought these unfortunate circumstances to light. I can only hope that as we move forward, the County continues to remain transparent, and inform and reassure the public that the correct procedures are in place.

Will we see an annual audit from a private accounting firm, and will the audit be publicly noticed and available to voters? And has anyone estimated the total amount of loss to taxpayers from this situation?”

Worse than Nixon? Wow!

Obama is the worst President since WWII.
Worse than Bush.
Worse than Nixon.
According to FOX News? No, according to 1446 registered voters in a new Quinnipiac poll. And the numbers get worse and worse as you look further into the poll. It’s devastating for the President and his party.

The President could turn it around though if he would stop behaving like a third grader with the taunting, mocking, “so sue me” cocky attitude and start behaving like the adult in the room.

Democrats will start jumping ship pretty quickly now because the Presidents antics and woeful lack of anything remotely resembling leadership will not yield the intended results of sufficiently firing up the base for November. Captain Obama is steering the Titanic directly at the iceberg and will sink his party and this country if not checked. Apparently he’s too arrogant and confident in his golden lifeboat waiting in 2016 to give a rip.

Wednesday radio show featuring former GOP state senator Jerry Black

This Wednesday, June 25th live in the studio will be former GOP state senator and longtime north central Montana broadcaster Jerry Black. Topics will include state and local politics and issues, political polarization and the state of the Montana Republican Party.
As always the show features listener call-ins and emails. The call-in number is 452-1073 and the email is ricktryon@msn.com.

Two good reasons for war no more

We should all hope and pray that our great country is not sucked into another foreign war for two reasons:

First, we should have all learned the lesson that nation building and trying to solve ancient feuds when the people directly involved don’t want us to is impossible and not worth even one drop of American blood or one penny of American treasure. Thanks to the blindness and ignorance of neo-cons like Cheney and the inept prosecution of the war by the then CINC G.W. Bush that lesson was learned at the expense of our brave young soldiers and an economic debt we may never pay off.

Second, the notion of engaging in another war under the “leadership” of Obama should frighten the crap out of all of us. The weakness, indecision and incompetence of the current CINC would make W look like a military genius by comparison. Just imagine a war-time president like Obama who thinks global warming or climate change or whatever they’re calling it this week is the greatest threat facing us and who can’t even manage a web site…or his own State Department. Imagine a CINC who has no idea whats going on in the world, or his own administration for that matter, until he learns about it from the newspaper after it’s too late.

Yikes!

Let’s bake a bigger pie

It’s distressing to see this community being divided once again over a school levy vote. Political vendettas, personal attacks, name calling and disrespect on all sides. Folks who oppose the levy have legitimate reasons and aren’t trying to hurt the community and those who support the levy do so for noble reasons as well and aren’t trying to rip off taxpayers.

Instead of squabbling over how to divide up the crumbs and thin slices of a shrinking pie we should be WORKING TOGETHER TO GROW THE PIE. I want to hear the sound of hammer and saw building new homes, businesses and infrastructure. I want to see a thriving economy where lot’s of people have good full time jobs, where shops and restaurants are so busy they can barely keep up.

We can have a growing community where we don’t even think twice about paying a little more for public schools because we’re prosperous and student enrollment is expanding because people want to move here and live here and raise their kids here.

We CAN be that. Why not here? Let’s get to work!

GFPS levy issue: BOTH sides need to compromise

When it comes to funding our schools at the local district level we need to find common ground and make arguments based on facts rather than casting aspersions on those we disagree with. We have to come to some kind of a consensus on funding education so we can build and maintain a prosperous economy and attract and keep good jobs here. It’s not rocket science; unless we show we are able to agree and make a commitment to excellence in public education we have little chance of growing and developing a thriving economy in Cascade County. Unfortunately many levy proponents always make the same silly mistake: they just can’t seem to stop themselves from referring to levy opponents as “haters” and “gripers” etc. This kind of name-calling really hurts the pro-levy cause. I’m not sure why those who favor a levy don’t seem to understand that most of those who oppose a levy have good reasons for doing so and are not “against kids” or “cheapskates” or “selfish” or “vandals” or “naysayers” – all terms I’ve heard and read recently referring to the “anti-levy crowd” which recently has been the majority “crowd”. Instead of characterizing opponents negatively try understanding their point of view. Instead of putting all of the responsibility on local taxpayers to buck up and just “hand over the money because it’s for the kids”, why not suggest, no DEMAND, that administrators and teachers also make some sacrifices. Most levy opponents I’ve spoken with are FOR more transparency, FOR more accountability, FOR more frugality, FOR more shared responsibility between taxpayers and district employees.

The district is asking for about $500,000 of this levy request to pay for the increase in health insurance premiums for district employees which is largely due to ObamaCare mandates. A 2% raise was just approved for teachers. The GFPS Athletic Director makes $96,569 per year. Where are the sacrifices being made by district employees? Where is the compromise and attempt to find common ground? We’re still waiting for information on how much of our property and money was stolen from OUR school district by a district employee. How can we be expected to give more money to an administration that doesn’t do everything possible to account for the money we have already given?

I want to make sure we provide a world class education to our kids, my own daughters got that education here and I am proud of our community and school system. That’s why I am urging the pro-levy voices, along with their advocacy for good public education, to ask for some accountability, responsibility and shared sacrifice by the GFPS and employees. I believe this is the key. If we want to see the levy pass there has to be a GENUINE attempt by the school board, the administration and the teachers union to compromise, find solutions and work together, otherwise everyone will suffer the consequences. I stand ready to help in the effort in any way I can.

A couple of random musings

Cynical political tip #113:  Draft a bill, it can have anything at all in it as long as you’re sure the opposing party will vote against it, then call it either the “Fairness and Equality For The Kids Act” or the “America Super Patriot Hero of the Republic Act”. Then when all of your political foes vote against it because of the actual content of the bill (if they actually read it) you can say that they’re against “Fairness and equality for children” or they’re against “American patriotism” in your stupid, lying-ass, hypocritical, selfish, evil, cynical, expensive campaign ads.

Cost of the ACA – According to Great Falls Public Schools Superintendent Tammy Lacey about $500,000 of the proposed $1.6 million dollar school funding levy will be used for increased health insurance premiums for district employees. The increase, according to Lacey, is mostly due to the ACA mandates which lead to more claims thus requiring the districts insurance provider, Signa, to raise premiums. You can hear all of Ms. Laceys remarks on my radio show podcast here.  This is not necessarily a reason to vote against the levy but it is necessarily a reason to question all of the pie-in-sky claims originally made to sell ObamaCare

 

 

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