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Kalispell firm tabbed for Glacier Rail Park construction

(KALISPELL)- A local Kalispell firm is being hired to build the city's new Glacier Rail Park, assembling one of the largest public industrial developments in the Flathead in several years. 

Monday, the Kalispell City Council awarded the $11-million contract to LHC to build the 43-acre development in the northeastern corner of the city off U.S. 2. The Flathead Beacon reports LHC was one of six contractors that competed for the contract, with a bid that was just over $356,000 below the city's estimate. 

LHC was one of the major contractors involved in building the Kalispell Bypass. 

The rail park has been under development for several years and forms the basis of of a plan to move rail traffic out of the Kalispell downtown, opening new opportunities for companies to ship products by rail. 


GNP trail closure likely to last for "several days" 

Avalanche Lake is one of the most popular day hikes in Glacier- GNP photo (WEST GLACIER)- Glacier National Park rangers say the closure of one of the most popular day hiking trails in the park is likely to last for several days, until they're sure grizzlies seen in the area have moved on. 

The park announced Monday the Avalanche Lake Trail off the Going-to-the-Sun Road was being closed from the trailhead to the head of the lake after a group of hikers surrounded a grizzly cub along the lake shore. Rangers say the cub had to swim out into the lake to get away from the growing crowd. 

The closure is expected to continue until biologists have a chance to determine the bears movement around the lake.

The park always recommended people maintain at least a 300' buffer between themselves and any bears to allow their natural behavior and keep both park visitors and bears safe.


Thunderstorms hammer North Central Montana

A viewer sent this picture of storm damage to KRTV (HAVRE)- Residents from the Front to the Hi-Line are cleaning up today after a series of severe thunderstorms swept across the region Thursday evening. 

The storms had developed over Western Montana late in the afternoon and picked up additional strength as they crossed the Divide and moved onto the Plains. Many communities experienced brief, heavy rain and hail with winds gusting to more than 80-miles per hour. 

KRTV reports there were reports of power outages, and a greenhouse was destroyed in Conrad, but no one was injured in the storms. 

With a second cold front passing through the region Friday, forecasters say more storms are possible, although likely not with the intensity of what happened yesterday. 


Judge denies motion by former Vann's CEO to delay prison

(MISSOULA)- A federal judge is denying a motion by the former CEO of Vann's to postpone his date to begin serving time for fraud and other offenses. 

Earlier this year, George Manlove was convicted of 1-hundred-70 counts of theft and fraud. A jury found him guilty of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from Vann's, the Missoula-based electronics and appliance retailer which eventually went out of business.

Prosecutors had wanted to send him to prison for a decade, but defense attorneys argued a year was sufficient. Last month, Judge Dana Christensen split the difference, sentencing Manlove to 5-years in prison with 3-years of supervised release. 

Manlove is scheduled for a hearing to determine how much restitution he will have to pay to his victims on June 19th. But he was arguing for more time before reporting to a corrections center in Oregon, saying his mother was terminally ill and he needed more travel time. 

However, yesterday Christensen denied Manlove's request to remain free until mid-July, saying the court had given him "more time than the usual defendant to self-surrender" and that another 30-days "is not warranted." However, the judge did agree to give Manlove until June 22nd to self-surrender at the Oregon prison, allowing him time to travel from his Southwest Idaho home to Missoula for the restitution hearing, and then make it to Oregon. 



Montana temperatures to soar mid-week

Rivers will continue to run high this week- Dennis Bragg photo(MISSOULA)- After more thunderstorms rumbled across the Northern Rockies to finish the weekend, forecasters are expecting a dramatic rise, and then fall, in temperatures this first full week in June. 

While the northern half of the state was waking up to cloudy skies Monday morning, conditions were rapidly clearing across Southwest and West Central Montana, with highs expected to rebound into the mid to upper 70s. 

But the more dramatic change is still to come.

Forecasts are for many locations, especially in the Western Montana valleys, to climb back into the low-to-mid 80s Tuesday, and then top 90-degrees for the first time this year on Wednesday. That's expected to release some more significant runoff from snowmelt, with rivers and streams experiencing more high water this week. 

The heat wave won't last however. By the second half of the week, thunderstorms will develop and weekend highs are only expected to be in the upper 50s with showers Saturday and Sunday. 

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