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Five Things to Know in Montana for August 26th, 2014

Photo courtesy of Jon King

Your daily look at news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today.

BOZEMAN DEBATE ONLY ONE SCHEDULED SO FAR: With just over two months to go before the general election, the only confirmed U.S. House and Senate candidate debates will be on Oct. 4 in Bozeman. They are to be aired on Montana Television Network stations. In the U.S. House race, Republican candidate Ryan Zinke declined to participate in a debate in Billings. The Billings Gazette says his Democratic opponent John Lewis will receive a full hour of air time on Sept. 29.

MORE THAN HALF OF SEX OFFENDERS DON’T HAVE TIER DESGINATION: More than half of all sexual offenders registered in Montana don’t have a designation that indicates how likely they are to re-offend. Since 1997, convicted sexual offenders are supposed to be given a tier 1, 2 or 3 designation, identifying them from least to most likely to re-offend. Out-of-state offenders and those convicted before 1997 are treated as though they’re tier 1 offenders, meaning they only have to check in once per year. The 2013 Legislature passed a bill that gave District Court judges the authority to assign a tier level to an offender after sentencing. Since then, 200 offenders have been evaluated and assigned tier levels.

CHILD ESCAPES INJURY AFTER 3-STORY FALL: A 1-year-old girl escaped injury after falling out of a third-story apartment window in Butte and landing in the grass below. Butte-Silver Bow Undersheriff George Skuletich says the girl was on a bed below the window when she heard a dog bark Friday evening. The girl got up to look at the dog, leaned up against a screened window and the screen popped out, causing her to fall.

FIRE CHIEF DIES A MONTH AFTER CRASH: A volunteer fire chief has died a month after being critically injured in a crash between a water tender and a fire truck as both vehicles responded to a grass fire west of Great Falls. Dave Anderson of Fort Shaw was injured on July 22 when the water tender he was driving collided with a brush truck. Montana Highway Patrol says the driver of the brush truck was making a U-turn on U.S. Highway 89 after missing a turnoff.

KALISPELL WALMART EMPLOYEE FALLS OFF LADDER, DIES: The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating after an employee at the Kalispell Walmart fell from a ladder and died. OSHA Area Director Jeff Funke says the worker was on a very tall ladder retrieving merchandise when he fell on Friday. Witnesses believe the man was unconscious for about 20 minutes before he was found. He later died of his injuries. The man’s name hasn’t been released.

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