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AG says state will consider funding for PL 280
May 8, 2024 midnight

AG says state will consider funding for PL 280

Whether fueled by election-year largesse or Lake County’s impending withdrawal from Public Law 280, Attorney General Austin Knudsen delivered some long-awaited good news Monday. The office of Gov. Greg Gianforte, he said, “has authorized me to convey to you folks they would sign a bill through the Legislature that provided some law enforcement funding for Lake County.”

Mercer applies to fill judicial vacancy for Lake and Sanders counties
April 17, 2024 midnight

Mercer applies to fill judicial vacancy for Lake and Sanders counties

Longtime Polson attorney and former state legislator and Speaker of the House John Mercer has applied to fill the remaining office term of former District Court Judge Deborah “Kim” Christopher, who resigned from the bench effective April 5.

Officials look for answers from U.S. Attorney on Public Law 280
March 14, 2024 midnight

Officials look for answers from U.S. Attorney on Public Law 280

Frustration seemed to be the tenor this week at the Lake County Courthouse as public officials contemplate their withdrawal from Public Law 280, which has given the county felony jurisdiction over tribal members on the Flathead Reservation for nearly 60 years.

Jury finds Craig McCrea guilty of two counts of felony arson
February 8, 2024 midnight

Jury finds Craig McCrea guilty of two counts of felony arson

During opening statements in the trial against accused arsonist Craig McCrea, Assistant Attorney General Thorin Geist told jurors what to expect from the prosecution as the trial unfolded this week at the Lake County Courthouse. After three days of testimony, they began deliberations around 11:30 a.m. Thursday, and emerged five hours later with a verdict of guilty on two of four charges of arson.

Redistricting reshapes local House and Senate races
January 10, 2024 midnight

Redistricting reshapes local House and Senate races

Thinking of running for elected office? Filing opens Jan. 11 for a slew of county and state positions.

January 3, 2024 midnight

CSKT members elect new Tribal Council

Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes members chose incumbent James “Bing” Matt as an at-large representative on the Tribal Council.

Founder of Salish Kootenai College remembered for contributions to community
December 27, 2023 midnight

Founder of Salish Kootenai College remembered for contributions to community

Many flags across the Flathead Reservation are flying at half-mast this week in honor of Dr. Joe McDonald, a visionary educator and tribal leader who died last Thursday, Dec. 14. The founder of Salish Kootenai College was 92.

Public Law 280: The path forward
December 20, 2023 midnight

Public Law 280: The path forward

“You have my commitment that – no matter what happens going forward – if you call 911, we're coming,” Lake County Sheriff Don Bell said during a crowded meeting at the Lake County Courthouse last Thursday.

November 24, 2023 midnight

Lake County initiates withdrawal from law enforcement agreement

The Lake County Board of Commissioners sent a certified letter to Gov. Greg Gianforte on Monday, formally announcing their intention to withdraw from Public Law 280, the nearly 60-year-old agreement that gives the state jurisdiction over felonies committed by tribal members on the reservation.

The Last Harvest: Fleming brothers retire from growing seed potatoes
October 19, 2023 midnight

The Last Harvest: Fleming brothers retire from growing seed potatoes

The Fleming brothers, Pat and Neal, stand in front of their final crop of seed potatoes, heaped into a knobby mountain at one of their cellars near Pablo. It's the end of an era.

Fairgrounds offers sanctuary to fire evacuees
August 10, 2023 midnight

Fairgrounds offers sanctuary to fire evacuees

When mandatory evacuations for Walking Horse Lane and Early Dawn Road and adjacent areas near Big Arm were announced last Thursday afternoon by the Lake County Sheriff’s Department, Vicki Holmberg, Polson Fairgrounds caretaker, was immediately on the phone with people seeking shelter for their animals and places to park their campers and RVs. When she wasn’t on the phone, she was showing people where to put their animals.

May 31, 2023 midnight

Gianforte vetoes bill to fund law enforcement on Flathead Reservation

Gov. Greg Gianforte last week vetoed House Bill 479 – the only bill regarding Public Law 280 to make it through the 2023 Legislature.

March 1, 2023 midnight

Legislation to fund Public Law 280 advances in Senate

After a hearing that included testimony from several local officials, legislation that could help Lake County fund law enforcement under Public Law 280 is advancing in the Senate.

February 15, 2023 midnight

Compact settlement delivers $157 million to CSKT

In a press release last week the Department of the Interior announced the release of nearly $580 million to continue fulfilling settlements of Indian water rights claims.

Trout Creek's Sen. Brown introduces bill asking Congress to fund law enforcement on reservations
January 18, 2023 midnight

Trout Creek's Sen. Brown introduces bill asking Congress to fund law enforcement on reservations

Senate Joint Resolution 5, which had its first hearing Tuesday in the Senate Judiciary Committee, calls for Congress to fully fund the public safety and law enforcement needs of Montana’s tribal nations and reservations.

December 21, 2022 midnight

Lake Co. seeks to end law enforcement agreement on Flathead Reservation

Public Law 280, a unique agreement that has shaped law enforcement in Lake County and on the Flathead Reservation for nearly 60 years, has reached “a breaking point,” according to county officials.