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Briefs: Flathead Reservation law enforcement; Malmstrom crash kills one, injures three

Lake County turns down Governor’s offer to fund temporary law enforcement on the Flathead Reservation

Aaron Bolton | Montana Public Radio

Lake County commissioners turned down Gov. Greg Gianforte’s offer to temporarily pay for law enforcement services on the Flathead Reservation. This is part of an ongoing fight over who will manage felony crimes.

Lake County this spring was set to leave a longstanding agreement to arrest and prosecute tribal members for felony crimes, citing the cost of those services. But Gov. Gianforte argued the county couldn’t leave because of a paperwork technicality.

Gianforte offered the county $1.3 million over the next three years. The governor said that money would give commissioners and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes time to work out funding.

The commissioners argued in a letter Monday that the state is trying to buy time while it too tries to step away from the deal. Commissioners say the state is responsible for law enforcement on the Flathead Reservation and the county will bill the state for the enforcement of felony crimes.

Gianforte has previously said the state is not responsible for law enforcement on the reservation. His office did not respond for comment by deadline.

Fatal car crash at Malmstrom AFB leaves one dead and three injured

Aaron Bolton | Montana Public Radio

One airman is dead and three were injured in a car crash while on duty on the Malmstrom Air Force Base Saturday.

Base officials say four airmen were driving in an armored Humvee when they crashed. Air Force Staff Sergeant Jorge Delgado, 37, died. The names of the three injured in the crash were not released. Two are said to be in stable condition.

Two first responders were also injured.

Officials did not say what led to the crash and say they’re investigating.

Aaron graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Journalism in 2015 after interning at Minnesota Public Radio. He landed his first reporting gig in Wrangell, Alaska where he enjoyed the remote Alaskan lifestyle and eventually moved back to the road system as the KBBI News Director in Homer, Alaska. He joined the MTPR team in 2019. Aaron now reports on all things in northwest Montana and statewide health care.
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