DOJ hires missing persons specialist, grant coordinator

HELENA, Mont. — Montana’s Department of Justice has hired two people to oversee efforts to better report and track missing persons cases.

Attorney General Tim Fox announced Monday that former Glacier County Deputy Sheriff Misty LaPlant is the agency’s new missing person’s specialist. She is a member of the Blackfeet Tribe and was a police officer on the reservation.

Tina Chamberlain of Helena is coordinator of the Looping In Native Communities, or LINC, grant program. She is a former grants coordinator with the Montana Bureau of Crime Control.

Lawmakers created both positions along with the Missing Indigenous Persons Task Force, which is working to identify barriers to local, state, federal and tribal agencies working together on missing persons cases.

The task force will award grants to tribal colleges to better track missing American Indians.

NWS confirms tornado touched down near Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. — A storm cell that passed over Portland prompted two tornado warnings after trained storm spotters saw funnel clouds north and south of the Columbia River.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reported that forecasters said the Sunday evening storm that created the funnel clouds also brought heavy rain on top of the day’s earlier rain showers. The rain prompted a flood advisory in Clark County. Local authorities said standing water covered some parts of Interstate 5 in southwest Washington.

The National Weather Service confirmed the storm cell produced an EF-0 tornado that briefly touched down on a farm northwest of Portland in Multnomah County. Forecasters issued the first tornado warning for that area at 6:46 p.m. after a trained spotter saw a funnel cloud approaching the ground.

The second warning came at 8:06 p.m. after a funnel cloud was spotted near Orchards, north of Vancouver, Wash.

Authorities haven’t received reports of damage.

TV anchor gives on-air rebuttal to viewer critique of attire

PORTLAND, Ore. — A weekend news anchor and TV reporter in Portland is doubling down on her preference for high-waisted pants after a male viewer told her to “dress like a normal woman” in a message sent to her Facebook work account.

Maggie Vespa, who works at Portland’s NBC affiliate KGW-TV, posted photos of herself wearing a different pair of high-waisted pants on five separate news casts over the weekend as a rebuttal.

She also delivered an on-air commentary about the remarks on Sunday’s late-night news.

Vespa said Monday that she received two messages from the viewer before blocking him.

In one, he said she was too pretty to wear pants that “ride half-way up your torso.”

In another, he said she should dress like a normal woman because she looked ridiculous.

Washington teachers resign over policy considered anti-gay

SEATTLE — Teachers at a Seattle-area high school have resigned over a policy and language they consider discriminatory toward the gay community.

The Seattle Times reported Sunday that at least five teachers at King’s High School in Shoreline quit in protest or left because they felt pushed out of the interdenominational Christian school.

Teachers say an administrative mandate requires disavowing same-sex relationships within the school and their personal lives.

They also objected to what they consider anti-gay language by Jacinta Tegman, the leader of the school’s parent organization, CRISTA Ministries.

A July email from Head of School Eric Rasmussen to families repeats a previous statement by Tegman that sexual expression only occurs within heterosexual marriage.

School administrators dispute the number of departures and say they did not ask any teachers to leave.

Reward for info on shooting of pelicans along Montana river

BILLINGS, Mont. — Montana wildlife officials are offering a $1,000 reward for information in the shooting of possibly dozens of pelicans along the Bighorn River.

State game wardens have reported retrieving about a dozen dead pelicans along a stretch of the river downstream of Yellowtail Dam. The river in that area is popular among fly fishers.

Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokesman Robert Gibson said the birds are being killed with a shotgun.

Officials believe dozens more may have been shot and killed this summer in the same area. Gibson said that estimate is based on dead birds seen but not retrieved by wardens and reports they’ve received.

Pelicans are protected under federal law as migratory birds.

The reward is offered for information that leads to the conviction of those responsible. Call 1-800-TIP-MONT.

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