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Entries in Montana (17)

Friday
Jan132012

Missing Montana Teacher Sherry Arnold Dead, School Says

Comstock/Thinkstock(SIDNEY, Mont.) -- Missing Montana mother and teacher Sherry Arnold is dead, according to a post on her school district's website. The FBI announced Friday that they have one person in custody and another being questioned.

Arnold, 43, disappeared around 6:30 a.m. on Dec. 7 when she went out for an early morning run near her home in Sidney, Mont. A single running shoe was the only trace of Arnold left behind.

"Based on a tip from the public, law enforcement took one adult male into custody, and another adult male is being questioned by police," FBI spokeswoman Debbie Dujanovic Bertram said in a statement. "The investigation to determine what happened to Ms. Arnold continues."

Sidney Public School officials posted a message on the school district's website saying that they were informed of her death Friday morning, after Arnold's family was notified. Arnold was a married mother of two, and stepmother of three.

Arnold was a teacher in Sidney since 1993, teaching at both the middle school and high school, where she was a math teacher at the time of her death.

Search and rescue teams used canine units, private planes, a helicopter, and searchers on ATVs and horseback. Hundreds of community members turned out to help the Sidney Police Department and the FBI search for Arnold.

Sidney is a small town of roughly 5,000 people that has experienced a sudden influx of out-of-towner oil workers following the Bakken oil boom in North Dakota, according to the Billings Gazette.

Sidney Police Chief Frank DiFonzo told the newspaper that crime rates have gone up since the influx in areas including bar fights, domestic violence and drunk driving.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan112012

FBI Joins Search for Missing Montana Teacher

Ryan McVay/Thinkstock(SIDNEY, Mont.) -- Police and now the FBI are racing against the clock to find clues leading to a missing Montana teacher, but will scale back searches in her hometown which began when the 43-year-old mother of two vanished four days ago.

Sherry Arnold disappeared near her Sidney, Mont., home after she went for a jog Saturday morning.

Investigators interviewed a local resident Tuesday who believed he was the last to see Arnold when she jogged past his car at about 6:30 a.m. Saturday.

"I'm not 100 percent sure, but I have a strong feeling it might have been [Arnold]," local resident Lonnie Lyttle told ABC News.

Investigators searching for Arnold are becoming desperate for a break and say they don't have much to go on, but police told ABC News that they will reduce their search on Wednesday, calling off the sizeable search parties that have involved more than 1,000 members of the community in the past few days.

Some are now concerned that the teacher, who has worked in Sidney since 1993, could have been abducted and taken across the nearby Canadian border. Others, including Sidney Police Chief Frank Difonzo, believe she will be found.

"I'm going to be optimistic that we are going to find Sherry.  I want us to find Sherry," Difonzo said.

Since she disappeared on Saturday, so many volunteers showed up to help in the search that school buses were needed to move them.  Searchers scoured countless square miles of terrain, but they've found only one clue so far: one of her running shoes.

Hundreds of Arnold's friends and neighbors packed a family church to pray overnight, and husband Gary Arnold has said that while the turnout for his wife has brought tears to his eyes, it has felt like an eternity since she went missing Saturday.

"It's horrible," he said. "It's a nightmare, but it's what you go through to get somebody back you love, I suppose."

The couple have five children between them from previous marriages.  Gary Arnold has three and she has two.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jan102012

Search Continues for Missing Montana Teacher; Running Shoe Found

Ryan McVay/Thinkstock(SIDNEY, Mont.) -- Montana police are searching for a mother and math teacher who was last seen when she went out for an early morning jog on Saturday and did not return.

Police found a running shoe identified as Sherry Arnold's near a truck route that is reportedly part of her normal jogging route, but say they have been unable to determine what may have happened to her.

Arnold's stunned family is praying for her return.

"I'm hoping she's found.  I'm hoping that she's healthy.  I miss her so badly," Arnold's husband Gary Arnold told ABC News.  "We miss her so badly.  This community needs her back."

Sherry Arnold, 43, was last seen at about 6:30 a.m. on Saturday when she was leaving home for her usual early-morning jog.

When asked what he thinks may have happened to his wife, Arnold said in a choked voice, "I don't even want to go there at this point."

The couple has five children between them from previous marriages.  Gary Arnold has three and Sherry Arnold has two.

She has been a teacher in Sidney, Mont., since 1993, teaching at both the middle school and high school, where she is currently a math teacher.

The Sidney Police Department is working with about 40 soldiers from the Montana Army National Guard in the search for Arnold, according to ABC News' Great Falls, Mont., affiliate KFBB-TV.  Search and rescue teams have used canine units, private planes, a helicopter, and searchers on ATVs and on horseback.

"We'll keep looking and we'll maintain looking until we've exhausted all of our resources, which hasn't happened yet," Bob Burnison of the Sidney Police Department told KFBB.

Arnold has brown eyes and black hair.  She is 5 feet, 10 inches tall with a slender build, weighing about 140 pounds.  She was last seen wearing a hooded sweatshirt with white stripes on the sleeves, red nylon pants with black leggings and black gloves.

Authorities are asking that anyone with information regarding Arnold's whereabouts please call the Sidney Police Department at 406-433-2210.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul052011

Exxon Mobil: Leak Spreads Past Yellowstone River

Jupiterimages/ Photos.com/ ThinkStock(LAUREL, Mont.) -- Exxon Mobil Corp. says damage caused by its oil pipeline leak into the Yellowstone River could go beyond the confines of the waterway.

An Exxon Mobil pipeline ruptured Friday night releasing tens of thousands of gallons of oil into the river. The pipeline typically transports 40,000 gallon barrels of oil each day.

Since the spill, the Texas based oil company reports more than 280 people are working to clean the contaminated area, a span which has extended miles from the original site. Cleanup crews faced extra obstacles this weekend as they worked in rough, high, and muddy water.

Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer is scheduled to survey the damage Tuesday.

Investigations into the cause of the leak are ongoing.

Copyright 2011 ABC news Radio

Friday
Jul012011

Planned Parenthood Fights Defunding Laws

PlannedParenthood [dot] org(WASHINGTON) -- After federal attempts to defund Planned Parenthood as part of Congress' Continuing Resolution spending bill failed in April, pro-life activists took to state legislatures to continue the battle.

Four states have passed laws this year that cut funds to the group and a host of others have passed legislation that places restrictions on abortions, spurring legal backlash from Planned Parenthood.  Many of the new state laws go into effect on Friday.

"There is a huge tidal wave of support sweeping across the country right now to defund Planned Parenthood," said Ciara Matthews, a spokesperson for the Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life activist group.  "What the states are doing is what the federal government has failed to do, and that is to strip tax dollars from America's abortion giant."

In response to the defunding efforts, Planned Parenthood has filed lawsuits in three states -- Indiana, Kansas and Montana -- with possibly two more to come in North Carolina and Wisconsin.

"It's unprecedented that so many states have enacted legislation to bar public funding for Planned Parenthood," said Tait Sye, a national spokesperson for Planned Parenthood.

Sye said the group has never been involved in this many legal battles simultaneously.

Planned Parented won one such battle Thursday when a South Dakota judge granted the group's injunction, blocking a state abortion law from going into effect Friday.  The state law would have required women seeking abortions to wait three days and receive counseling at a crisis pregnancy center that discourages abortions.

"This law represents a blatant intrusion by politicians into difficult decisions women and families sometimes need to make," said Sarah Stoesz, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota.  "We trust women and families in South Dakota to know and do what is best for them, without being coerced by the government.  And we stand with them in our efforts to overturn this outrageous law."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jun142011

Montana Manhunt for David Burgert, Survivalist Militia Leader

Comstock/Thinkstock(FLATHEAD COUNTY, Mont.) -- The FBI, U.S. Marshals and Montana police are hunting a former militia leader who's considered armed and dangerous.

Officials have been canvassing the rural region where David Burgert disappeared Sunday, searching highways and keeping watch over Flathead County, Mont., where they anticipate he might return. But so far, he has managed to elude authorities.

"He is dangerous to the public," Flathead County Undersherriff Jordan White told ABC News. Though Burgert's "primary aggression has been towards government agencies," White said he might steal equipment, food or even another vehicle from citizens. He is alleged to have stolen the guns he has in his possession.

The search for Burgert, 47, started Sunday, when officers followed up on a call they received about the ex-convict, who is under federal and state probation after being released from prison.

David Burgert, who used to be in the Marines, went AWOL, according to his stepmother, Sandra Burgert, in the early '80s.

For the past two decades, however, Burgert has been arrested several times. He was charged with assaulting Flathead County deputies in 2001 and Undersherrif White said police ultimately discovered his disturbing goal: to "start a revolution."

Investigators learned Burgert was leading Project 7, a militia group named after Flathead County, which is the seventh county in the state. When police found Burgert in 2002, he was prosecuted and sentenced to federal prison, White said.

The FBI declined to comment for this story.

Authorities say Burgert is six feet two inches tall and weighs at least 230 pounds, possibly 250. He has brown eyes and brown hair, and was last seen wearing a blue-ish shirt, khaki pants, and a fanny pack. Police believe he is armed with a handgun and possibly a rifle.

If anyone has information about Burgert or his whereabouts they can call the Flathead County Sherriff's office at 406-758-5610.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct252010

Library of the Future Could Mean Bye-Bye Story Lady

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK)  The library of the future may look more like a combination bike rack and locker room than the marble-floored, musty-smelling buildings full of stacks and oak card catalogues found in small towns and cities across the country.

The Wall Street Journal says the "Library Express" in Hugo, Minnesota is essentially a stack of metal lockers outside city hall.  When you want a book or DVD, you order it online and retrieve it from a digitally-locked cubby a few days later.  It's a little like the red boxes in supermarkets where you can rent movies.

Its convenient and more in line with the new digital way of doing business in so many aspects of life.  Library afficionadoes worry, though, that it will remove the human element.  Reference librarians, library directors and even "the story lady" could become a thing of the past, as distant as those marble floors and hushed aisles between stacks of books just waiting for you to dive into.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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