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THE LATEST LOCAL NEWS

BLM Urges Drivers to use Caution on Secondary Roads
LEWISTOWN, Mont. (NMB) - Bureau of Land Management offices across the Hi-Line are warning drivers to be cautious this weekend when traveling secondary roads en route to or on BLM-managed lands, due to the damage caused by last week's multi-day rain event. Preliminary assessments by BLM personnel of Blaine, Phillips and Valley Counties' non-paved roads revealed a range of damage and dangerous situations.

Havre Field Manager Stanley Jaynes says that in Blaine County "Roads are wet, but drying has improved with sunshine the last few days. To prevent getting stuck or stranded, motorists should avoid dirt roads a few more days, if possible."

In Phillips County, Malta Field Manager Vinita Shea says staff members have been attempting to assess road damage, but access is an issue.

Here is a more detailed look at travel conditions:


BLAINE COUNTY

Road conditions in Blaine County continue to be wet but are slowly drying out with warmer temperatures the area is receiving.

All hazard class dams are holding but access continues to be an issue.


PHILLIPS COUNTY

Damage to the Alder Gulch and Pony Gulch Roads in the Little Rockies has been confirmed.

The Regina and Sun Prairie Roads have been closed by the Phillips County Road Department.

Hazardous areas have been marked along the Content Road.

Dry Fork Road is open and has been maintained by the BLM since the multi-day rain event.


(Copyright 2014 New Media Broadcasters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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Greg Kegel Named Interim Dean at MSUN
HAVRE, Mont. (NMB) - Montana State University-Northern Dean of the College of Technical Sciences Greg Kegel has been named Interim Chancellor at MSUN.

Montana State University President Waded Cruzado made the selection one day after former Chancellor Dr. James Limbaugh announced his resignation. In a press release, she stated that Kegel will serve as Chancellor for the "forseeable future."

In the same release Kegel states, "I'm humbled and honored to be asked to lead Northern. I love Northern and have made it my home. I look forward to working with our faculty, staff and proud community members to make Northern the best it can be for our students"

Kegel has been at the University since 1982, and will assume his new responsibilities effective August 30th.

(Copyright 2014 New Media Broadcasters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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Kindergartners Get Ready for First Day at Highland Park
HAVRE, Mont. (NMB) - Wednesday marked the first day of school for everyone within the Havre Public Schools District, with the exception of kindergarten students. Their first day starts today, although on Thursday most parents brought their child in for a half-hour conference with their teacher. As Highland Park Principal Maureen Odegard explains, the later start date helps those first-time students adjust to their new surroundings.

"It offers them an opportunity just to be more relaxed when they come in on that first day, which is Friday, which gives them 1 day of that separation before they go into that long weekend. And then they start the next week with a short week, so it kind of eases them into the process."

She adds that the popular Kindergarten Prep class is full once again, with 20 students signed up. Odegard says Kindergarten Prep is a great program for those parents whose children aren't quite ready for kindergarten.

"They realize that their child's old enough to be here at kindergarten, but they're just maybe not quite ready academically, emotionally or socially. So, Kindergarten Prep students are students that are 5 (years old) by that September 10th date, but just aren't quite ready to make that transition to kindergarten."

Overall, there are 160 kindergarten students enrolled at Highland Park this year.

(Copyright 2014 New Media Broadcasters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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Liberty Co. Finds Superintendent in Nick of Time
CHESTER, Mont. (NMB) - School officially began for students in Liberty County last Wednesday, and the new year almost began without a County Superintendent of Schools in place. Incumbent Republican Superintendent Rachel Ghekiere ran unopposed during June's primary election. However, as Liberty County Commissioner Larry Hendrickson explains, those plans changed this summer.

"The Superintendent of Schools filed to re-run for the position, and then she chose to take a teaching job during the summer. And so she was hired as a teacher for C-J-I and then she vacated her position."

With an empty position to fill, the Commissioners advertised for the position and found a candidate last Wednesday just before school started. Hendrickson says Kathy Armstrong formerly taught in the Chester-Joplin-Inverness School District and stepped forward.

"School's already started, so she was put on the ballot to fill the Republican spot for the County Superintendent of Schools, and then the Liberty County Commissioners will appoint her then to fill out the term."

Armstrong will complete the remainder of Ghekiere's term, which expires on January 1st, 2015. She is running unopposed in November's election, and will begin her "official" term on January 1st.

(Copyright 2014 New Media Broadcasters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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Health Committee Meets to Discuss Teen Pregnancy
HAVRE, Mont. (NMB) - A subcommittee of the Hill County Health Consortium has been working diligently over the past few months to address one major concern in the area: teen pregnancy. The subcommittee met Wednesday afternoon to further identify strategies to help spread awareness.

Jessica Kennedy is a Public Health Nurse with Hill County Family Planning and a member of the subcommittee. She says that the group is seeking additional community partners to participate in the discussion, especially those that are directly affected.

"We would love to include teens in our planning and strategy development. It would be great to see a teen group formed to where we can see it through their eyes."

The next meeting will be held in September. For more information, call 265-5481 extension 256.

(Copyright 2014 New Media Broadcasters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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MSUN Chancellor Limbaugh Resigns
HAVRE, Mont. (NMB) - Montana State University-Northern Chancellor Dr. James Limbaugh has announced his resignation. Montana State University Spokesman Tracy Ellig says that Limbaugh made the announcement to MSUN staff at 9:50 this morning. Dr. Limbaugh's resignation is effective as of Friday, August 29th.

In a letter Limbaugh shared with students, faculty and staff he states, "For almost three years, I have had the privilege to lead Montana State University-Northern as your Chancellor, working toward a shared vision of excellence in post-secondary education...However, continuing controversy on campus and in the community has become a significant distraction to the achievement of our common goals and has hampered severely our ability to move forward. Therefore, for the sake of this institution, I am resigning as the Chancellor of Montana State University-Northern."

In a press release, MSU President Waded Cruzado thanked Limbaugh for his dedication and service.

Here is the complete press release from Montana State University:


HAVRE - Montana State University Northern Chancellor James Limbaugh announced his resignation from the university's top post effective Friday, Aug 29.
Limbaugh shared the following letter with students, faculty and staff today:
Colleagues:

For almost three years, I have had the privilege to lead Montana State University-Northern as your Chancellor, working toward a shared vision of excellence in post-secondary education. Our students deserve our full attention in this endeavor; our community deserves a university of which it can be proud.

However, continuing controversy on campus and in the community has become a significant distraction to the achievement of our common goals and has hampered severely our ability to move forward. Therefore, for the sake of this institution, I am resigning as the Chancellor of Montana State University-Northern, effective Friday, August 29, 2014.

I wish each of you the best as you lead MSUN into its second century of service to the citizens of Montana.

Sincerely,

James Limbaugh

Montana State University President Waded Cruzado thanked Limbaugh for his dedication and service to Northern and its students.

"Chancellor Limbaugh is a life-long educator and he has always striven to do the best for students. Even in his resignation, he is putting students first so MSU Northern can continue to move forward," Cruzado said. "I want to thank Chancellor Limbaugh for his dedicated service to MSU Northern and for his collaboration with the MSU campuses."

Limbaugh came to MSU Northern in January 2012 from Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas, where he had served as provost and vice president for academic and student affairs.

During his tenure at Northern, Limbaugh was able to increase enrollment at Northern in the fall of 2013 after the university had experienced many years of enrollment decline. He also received praise from the Montana Board of Regents for fulfilling its request that campuses conduct academic prioritization reviews to determine which programs should be grown, maintained, combined, or eliminated.

He also advanced campus renovations that include a stabilization project of Donaldson Hall, the rebuilding of the campus' tennis courts, an extensive remodel of student dining facilities, the conservation and display of an impressive collection of Native American artifacts, as well as an extensive renovation of the gym floor and bleachers in the Armory Gym.

(Copyright 2014 New Media Broadcasters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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Things Remain Steady at Lincoln-McKinley School
HAVRE, Mont. (NMB) - Wednesday marked the opening day of school for everyone in the Havre Public Schools District. While other schools in the District have undergone extensive construction projects, at Lincoln-McKinley Elementary School things will be business as usual.

Principal Karla Geda says that among the minor tweaks made at Lincoln-McKinley is a few teachers switching from the smart board to a smart TV to teach lessons in the classroom.

"The smart TV will work basically in the same capacity as the smart board. (With) the smart boards, we have a projector that will project onto the board, and the life span of the bulbs of the projector seems to be an issue at times, so it begins to get fuzzy."

She adds that she will work hard to get acquainted with all of the new students that are coming in from Highland Park.

"I set a goal, and I make sure that by October 15th, I know every single student's name in our building."

Lincoln-McKinley Elementary is the school for all 2nd and 3rd graders within the Havre District.

(Copyright 2014 New Media Broadcasters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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Bergren First-Ever Addictions Counselor at HHS
HAVRE, Mont. (NMB) - Many new faces are in place at Havre High School this fall. 11 new staff members were hired to replace an unusual amount of departures this past spring.

Among the newcomers is Licensed Addictions Counselor Jesse Bergren. Bergren is employed by Bullhook Community Health Center, and will be at the High School through a grant secured by Bullhook. Bergren says it's important to reach out to students before their addiction becomes life-altering.

"Although many of the kids already crossed the line into addiction, there's still time to prevent many of the negative consequences, and even prevent some from crossing the line into addiction."

Bergren is a Havre High graduate himself, and a former addict. He says that both of those factors will hopefully allow him to connect with the students.

"I have been born and raised here, and I do have an intimate knowledge of both sides of addiction now. And I'm hoping that does make me more relatable and kids more willing to listen and maybe open up."

There is also a new School Resource Officer this year. Josh Holt takes over on a full-time basis after Ryan Pearson split his time between Havre High and MSU-Northern last year.

(Copyright 2014 New Media Broadcasters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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Big Changes at Sunnyside School in 2014-15
HAVRE, Mont. (NMB) - As we continue our 'Back to School' series, we settle upon Sunnyside Intermediate School, home to Havre's 4th and 5th graders.

The obvious change at Sunnyside is the classroom expansion project that is still being completed. But Sunnyside Principal Josh Preiss says he is just as excited about the new standards-based report cards that will be issued.

"When a report card comes home in the mail, you'll see it look a little different. Instead of a letter grade, you'll be seeing numbers. It also will be broken down into subjects, so you're not just going to see math overall. You're actually going to see some of the skills within math. You're not just seeing an overall math grade, but you're seeing which skills are being taught and when they're being taught."

He adds that Sunnyside is trying to ride the momentum of some great accomplishments from last year, as well.

"Our MBI program, that's the Montana Behavior Initiative, moved from silver status to gold status. And we were awarded by the state as gold, which means we have a lot of things in place to help support our kids. There's a lot of real positive things, and we're working on behavior things to help meet the needs of students."

The first phase of the Sunnyside renovations is expected to be complete in October, followed by the second phase. When the project is finished, Sunnyside will have 4 new classrooms, and increased space for the main office, library and special education rooms.

(Copyright 2014 New Media Broadcasters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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HasEagle Changes Plea in Assault Case
HAVRE, Mont. (NMB) - A Havre man and former Rocky Boy police officer currently serving a 5-year prison sentence changed his plea in a separate case on Tuesday morning. Donald HasEagle pleaded no contest to a single count of aggravated assault before state District Court Judge Dan Boucher in Havre.

HasEagle was sentenced in March to a 5-year prison term after repeatedly violating conditions of his release from a 2011 deferred sentence.

In the current case, HasEagle was charged with sexual intercourse without consent. Prosecutors allege that on April 14th, 2013, HasEagle began having consensual sex with the female victim. Against the female's wishes, HasEagle then began having sex with her in ways that made her feel uncomfortable.

In an amended motion filed Tuesday, the charge was changed from sexual intercourse without consent to aggravated assault. Boucher set sentencing for November 3rd at 9:30 AM.

(Copyright 2014 New Media Broadcasters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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* KPQX Local News *
KPQX local news emphasizes quality and substance. Audio is utilized to ensure accurate reporting - no misquotes or misinterpretations because listeners hear the actual quote and audio from the people and events making the news. You interpret this significance of the report yourself.

Our local news brings relevance to issues of importance - news coverage that relates to residents of North Central Montana. Accurate, timely information delivered in a prompt and cohesive manner.

Expanded hourly updates are delivered at the top of each hour at 6, 7, 8 and 9 a.m. and every afternoon at 4 and 5 p.m. Headline news, breaking stories and updates available all other hours. "Montana at Noon" is a more in-depth review of the news starting daily at 12:15 p.m. daily.

Residents of North Central Montana have long recognized the quality and timeliness of our newscasts. Additional recognition of our news at the national, regional and state level comes from the Associated Press, Society for Professional Journalists, the Greater Montana Foundation and the Radio and Television News Director Association's prestigious Edward R. Murrow award.
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