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Gianforte still a "no show" for court appearance on assault charge

KBZK photo by Lena Blietz(BOZEMAN)- Protesters both critical and supportive were out with signs this morning, but Congressman-elect Greg Gianforte was a "no show" in Bozeman this morning, with time running out for him to answer to charges of assaulting a reporter. 

Gianforte, who won Montana's lone House seat in the May 25th Special election, is accused of "body slamming" a newspaper reporter the night before the polls opened during a Bozeman campaign appearance. 

Reporters, as well as Gianforte supporters and critics were back in Bozeman this morning anticipating his appearance on the assault charge. But KBZK TV is reporting Gianforte didn't come to court. The station reports his last chance to appear will be Wednesday morning, unless he requests a continuance. 


Speed, alcohol lead to Mission Valley traffic death

(PABLO)- Montana Highway Patrol troopers are now saying speed and alcohol were factors in the accident which killed a Washington State man in the Mission Valley over the weekend. 

The victim's name hasn't been released, but he's been identified as a 47-year old man from Kent, Washington who was riding in a car that crashed on a secondary road outside Pablo Saturday night. Troopers say the driver lost control and the car rolled over, with the victim partially thrown from the wreckage. 

KPAX TV reports the 70-year old driver was also hurt. 


State to ask for REAL ID extension

MT Department of Justice photo(HELENA)- Now that the state has ironed out a system for allowing residents to apply for a REAL ID compliant driver's license, Montana Governor Steve Bullock will be asking the federal government for another extension giving time for the new system to get up and running.

For years, Montana lawmakers had fought the system, which has been pressed by federal officials for more than a decade as a more secure form of identification, especially for people crossing U.S. Borders. But when the final extension expired last fall, Montana residents are facing problems of not having a identification card that will be accepted for federal requirements, such as boarding airplanes.

Under the new system signed into law by Governor Bullock, Montanans can keep their existing licenses. But if they have need for entry to federal facilities, are frequent fliers, or regularly cross the borders, they can now obtain a REAL ID compliant license. 

The new licenses probably won't be available until next year, so Bullock will be asking the Department of Homeland Security for one more extension. 


Montana gas prices creeping up 

Gas is still a bargain when you compare it with a few years ago, but prices are steadly creeping upward according to the latest survey.

Average retail gasoline prices in Montana have risen 0.7 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.37 a gallon Sunday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 615 gas outlets in Montana. This compares with the national average that has increased 0.9 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.37 a gallon, according to gasoline price website

Including the change in gas prices in Montana during the past week, prices yesterday were 8.9 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 0.4 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has increased 1.9 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 0.5 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.

According to GasBuddy historical data, gasoline prices on June 5 in Montana have ranged widely over the last five years, from as low as $2.28 cents a gallon last year to a high of $3.76 a gallon in 2012. 


Special Olympics opening for Summer Games moved indoors as weather turns wintery

Athletes are welcomed during the 2015 Opening Ceremonies in the Adams Center (MISSOULA)- With the weather forecast turning from bad to worse, organizers of the Special Olympics Summer Games are beating a retreat indoors.

Wednesday marks the Opening Ceremonies for the third, and final year the Summer Games will be hosted in Missoula. But Wednesday's weather promises to anything but summery, with highs only the 40s and a combination of rain, and even snow showers. 

That's a big turn around from last year when the event was held outdoors in Washington Grizzly Stadium. 

Missoula County Public Schools announced tonight that for the comfort of the athletes and their guests, the ceremony is being moved back indoors to the Adams Center. That could make for more of a crowd, so if you're going it's best to plan to an early arrival.