Montana News – July 19, 2017

Remains of Butte vet to return home

The remains of the only Butte area service member missing in the Vietnam War will be returned home later this week. Capt. Robert Holton was shot down in his F4 Phantom over Laos in January 1969, and his remains were identified by United States Air Force officials last month. Holton’s casket is scheduled to arrive in Butte Friday, July 21, 2017.


Evacuations ordered in Musselshell County

Residents of the North Delphia subdivision, northeast of Roundup, have been “strongly advised” to evacuate their homes due to a fire currently threatening the 35 homes in the area. The fire was discovered during the afternoon of Friday, July 14, and quickly grew to cover more than three square miles. State helicopter crews and seven different fire departments are now fighting the blaze.


Weyerhaeuser bans campfires in western Montana

The Weyerhaeuser Company has issued an order banning campfires on all of its land in western Montana, including Flathead, Lake, Lincoln, Sanders, and Ravalli counties due to high fire danger. The ban will remain in effect until further notice. The company is still allowing public access for hunting, fishing, hiking, biking, and other recreation.


Montana officials receive pay raises

Effective July 1, Montana’s elected officials were given pay increases in accordance with a state law requiring Montana to set salaries at the average salary paid for similar jobs in Idaho, Wyoming, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Attorney General Tim Fox received the highest increase, going up 11 percent to $137,000 per year. Fox is the highest paid elected official in Montana. State Auditor Matt Rosendale declined his increase, which would have elevated his salary to $95,700 annually, citing the need to make budget cuts in all departments.


Kootenai National Forest to begin road projects

A pavement patching project on the Koocanusa Westside Road #228 is tentatively set to start on Monday, July 17 and be completed by Thursday, July 20. The contractor will be in the area between the Koocanusa Bridge and milepost 19. They will start at the green bridge and work their way south. Caution signs will be posted at both ends of the work area. Please obey all traffic signs and slow down as workers will be in the area.

Another road project that will soon be underway is chip sealing on the Forest Development Road #228. This is tentatively set to start on Tuesday, July 25 as weather and other conditions dictate. The chip sealing is on 28.5 miles of road and is expected to last five days. Heavy equipment will be present and expect minor delays as a pilot car will be present. Sweepers will also be about after surfacing placement and approximately two weeks later a paint truck will apply the pavement striping.