Long-awaited removal of mine tailings begins in Butte

BUTTE, Mont. - A project to remove a huge pile of toxic mining and smelting waste buried under Butte Hill is underway.

Gov. Steve Bullock and several state officials and community leaders celebrated the start of the removal of the Parrot tailings Thursday with a ceremonial dig.

State officials have spent about 12 years fighting with the Environment Protection Agency to remove the buried contamination to protect Blacktail and Silver Bow creeks.

A study conducted by the state found the contaminated underground water was traveling considerably faster toward the creeks than the agency had originally believed.

The state estimated last year that the removal could cost around $31 million.

Former Kennewick school superintendent expected to plead guilty to child sex case

KENNEWICK - A former Kennewick school superintendent accused of arranging to have sex with two teen girls at a Richland motel is expected to plead guilty next week.

The lawyer for 76-year-old Paul Rosier told the Tri-City Herald that a plea agreement has been reached with federal prosecutors. Defense lawyer Scott Johnson said Rosier will plead guilty to a new count of attempt child sex trafficking, which carries a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison.

Rosier was arrested in April 2017. The complaint alleges Rosier exchanged text messages with a 16-year-old girl, who was actually an undercover detective. Rosier was told the teen had a 13-year-old friend who could meet him in the Tri-Cities. Rosier allegedly planned to pay the 13-year-old for sex and the older teen for setting it up.

Oregon chiropractor pleads guilty to sexually abusing patients

MEDFORD, Ore. - An Oregon chiropractor has been sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty to sexually abusing female patients.

The Mail Tribune reported 54-year-old Scott Cooper was taken into custody immediately after pleading guilty Thursday to a felony count of second-degree sexual abuse and two misdemeanor counts of third-degree sexual abuse relating to three victims, including a 17-year-old.

The Medford chiropractor also entered no-contest pleas to nine other misdemeanors involving six other victims between June 2017 and January 2018.

Deputy District Attorney Virginia Greer said each victim described a similar pattern of abuse - seemingly accidental brushes becoming more deliberate.

Donald Trump Jr. rallies Montana Republicans

BILLINGS, Mont. - Donald Trump Jr. urged Montana Republicans to rally against U.S. Sen. Jon Tester in the fall election and said Friday that the two-term Democrat had fallen out of step with the state's voters on issues ranging from immigration to gun control.

Tester came into the crosshairs of President Donald Trump after releasing allegations in the spring that derailed the White House's Veterans Affairs nominee, Ronny Jackson.

Speaking at the Montana Republican Party's annual convention in Billings, the president's son warned that Democrats are highly motivated heading into the November election - but suggested Tester remains vulnerable.

He was joined onstage by U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte and Republican senate candidate and State Auditor Matt Rosendale, who is challenging Tester this fall. Rosendale touted his strong support for Trump's agenda and said Tester was being "corrupted by the swamp" in Washington, D.C.

Officials identify truck driver killed in Idaho crash

BOISE - Officials in southwestern Idaho have identified the driver of a commercial truck killed in a fiery, chain-reaction crash near Boise that also killed three airmen from Mountain Home Air Force Base.

The Ada County Coroner's Office in a news release Friday said 42-year-old Illya D. Tsar of Rochester, N.Y., died in the crash last Saturday on Interstate 84.

Officials say the cause of death was thermal and inhalation injuries because of a multi-vehicle crash.

Officials at Mountain Home Air Force Base earlier this week identified three airmen killed in the crash.

They are Senior Airman Carlos V. Johnson of Panama City, Panama, Senior Airman Lawrence P. Manlapit III of Bridgeport, Conn., and Senior Airman Karlie A. Westall of Sioux Falls, S.D.

Oregon woman accused of mistreating three children

HILLSBORO, Ore. - Police arrested an Oregon woman accused of criminally mistreating three children in her care.

Lt. Henry Reimann of the Hillsboro Police Department said Merlinda Avalos limited the kids to two peanut sandwiches a day, prevented them from using the bathroom at night and forced them to wear urine soaked clothing to school.

Moreover, he said the children were beaten with objects, and not allowed to go outside or watch TV.

Avalos faces charges of criminal mistreatment and tampering with evidence. She pleaded not guilty at Friday's arraignment.

Associated Press

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