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Montana group releases "Top 10" list for animal collisions 

Montanans for Safe Wildlife Passage photo (BOZEMAN)- Two stretches of U-S 93 are among the Top 10 locations where you run the risk of striking an animal with your car, according to a new report.

The report, commissioned by Montanans for Safe Wildlife Passage analyzes the risk drivers face colliding with deer, elk and other "ungulates" during their fall migrations. The study analyzed several pieces of data, including the number of carcasses  along the roads that had been struck and killed by cars.

At the top of the list is Highway 93 along the west shore of Flathead Lake, where over 350-carcasses were counted during a five year period from October through December between 2010 and 2015. That works out to nearly 6-animals per mile over a ten mile stretch of highway at the north end of the lake. 

Coming in at Number 8 on the list was also on Highway 93, north of Hamilton in the Bitterroot Valley. Other trouble spots included the Beartooth Highway, portions of Interstate 90, and through Gallatin Canyon. 

The report cites Montana Highway Patrol stats showing over 250-injury crashes last year involving wildlife, with most of the crashes involving whitetail deer. 


Kalispell sets new record for all-time wettest October

Cloudy skies and rain have been the normal in NW Montana this year- GNP webcam photo (KALISPELL)- The last time it was this wet, you'd have to put the top up on your Model T. 

As of 6 a.m. this morning, Kalispell broke the record that's stood for more than a century, topping 3.41" of rain for the month of October. The old mark of 3.40" was set back in October of 2014. 

A very wet weather pattern which settled over the Northwest at the start of the month has continued to impact all of Western Montana's weather, but Northwest Montana has been getting the brunt of the storms. 

And with a few days left in the month, and more precipitation in the forecast, that record will just continue to add to the total. 

By comparison, Missoula has had just under 2" of rain so far this month. 


Authorities looking for Plains man who fled Washington courtroom

(KENNEWICK, WA.)- Authorities are on the lookout for a Plains man who fled an Eastern Washington courtroom after he was about to be convicted for sexually abusing a boy. 

The Tri-City Herald reports 79-year old William George Nicol escaped when he went to use the restroom during a break in proceedings, and then never returned to court. A witness saw him running for the parking lot. 

Nicol was convicted of multiple counts of child rape and molestation. He was accused of molesting a boy over a period of several years. 

The Benton County judge issued the arrest warrant, and authorities in Sanders County have been notified incase Nicol returns to Plains. 


Ryan to stump for Zinke re-election bid this weekend

(BILLINGS)- With just two weeks left to Election Day, GOP leaders are rallying forces hoping to ensure victory in House races like Montana.

And with Representative Ryan Zinke facing a strong challenge from Democratic challenger Denise Juneau, Republicans are turning to a heavy hitter to get the re-election message across. 

KTVQ is reporting House Speaker Paul Ryan will be campaigning for Zinke during a campaign appearance this coming weekend in Billings. The "grassroots rally" is set for 10 a.m. Sunday morning at the Corporate Air Hanger at the airport. Doors will open to the public an hour before that. 


Libby man pleads innocent to killing girlfriend

(LIBBY)- A 42-year old Libby man is declaring his innocence after being charged with killing his girlfriend earlier this month. 

Trevor Joseph Mercier is charged with deliberate homicide for the murder of 30-year old Sheena Devine October 5th. 

Prosecutors accuse Mercier of killing Devine at her home outside Libby following an altercation. He's claimed putting her in a "sleeper hold", but says she was alive when he left. Police were called to the home when a caller said a friend had been assaulted. 

The Flathead Beacon reports Mercier entered the "not guilty" plea in Lincoln County District Court Monday.