Cold drives up number of homeless seeking shelter
HELENA, Mont. (AP) - The bitter cold is driving homeless people into shelters at record numbers.
Eran Fowler-Pehan, executive director of the Poverello Center in Missoula, says 119 people checked into the center's shelter this weekend.
She says is the highest number in more than 30 years the center has operated, and similar numbers of people have shown up each night this week.
Fowler-Pehan says the shelter has beds for 68 people, but it doesn't turn anybody away.
People are left to find space on the floor for themselves and their bedrolls.
She says the center also is sending outreach teams to find homeless people and persuade them to stay indoors instead of in tents.
TRIBAL CORRUPTION CHARGES
Former tribal official charged with embezzlement
HAVRE, Mont. (AP) - A former director of the Chippewa Cree tribe's wellness center has been charged with embezzling money.
The Havre Daily News reports that 48-year-old Wilford Harlan "Huck" Sunchild pleaded not guilty Wednesday to theft from a tribal government receiving federal grants, theft from an Indian tribal organization and theft from a health care facility.
U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen set a Jan. 28 trial date.
The indictment says Sunchild deposited tribal funds between February and March of last year into an account that he had control over, and later withdrew the money from ATMs.
The amount Sunchild allegedly stole has not been released.
Federal prosecutors say Sunchild's prosecution is part of the Guardians Project, an initiative by the U.S. attorney's office to investigate fraud and embezzlement in Montana's Indian Country.
SNOWY OWL INVASION
Unusual number of Arctic snowy owls seen in US
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Snow-white owls with luminous yellow eyes are thrilling bird-watchers as the magnificent Arctic birds set up winter residence at airports, fields and beaches in the United States far south of their normal range.
Snowy owls, familiar to children as Harry Potter's pet, made a noticeable appearance in the northern half of the U.S. in 2011.
This year, bird-watchers are reporting on eBird.org snowy owl sightings at dozens of locations across the Midwest, Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states as far south as Cape Hatteras, N.C.
The owls live in the Arctic, but when their population spikes or lemmings are scarce, many must fly south to find food.
Lillian Stokes, a co-author of Stokes field guides, says a few snowy owls are seen in the U.S. every year, "but this year is phenomenal."
CARROLL (MONT)-BOISE ST
Boise State cruises past Carroll College 80-52
BOISE, Idaho (AP) -Seniors Thomas Bropleh and Jeff Elorriaga scored 18 points apiece as Boise State overwhelmed Carroll College 80-52 Thursday night.
Boise State (8-0) never trailed against their NAIA foe. The Broncos used a 12-0 run to take an 18-3 lead less than 6 minutes into the game, and the Saints never got closer than eight points.
Boise State played without leading scorer Anthony Drmic. The junior forward, who averages 20.4 points per game, sat out with an undisclosed illness. The Broncos hardly missed him as Elorriaga and Bropleh made all nine of the team's 3-point baskets.
Ryan Watkins posted his fourth double-double of the season with 12 points and 14 rebounds. Derrick Marks finished with 11 points for the Broncos, who play at No. 3 Kentucky on Tuesday.
Carroll (4-6) was paced by Dennis Mikelonis, who scored 26 points and grabbed seven rebounds. The Saints were outrebounded 41-20.
Tanner Bleskin earns academic all-America honors
BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) - Montana State's record-setting wide receiver Tanner Bleskin has been named to the Capital One Academic All-America football team for Division I schools.
The senior from Great Falls received first-team honors this year after being named to the second team last year. The award is voted on by college sports information directors.
Bleskin is a microbiology major with a 3.85 grade point average. He holds MSU career records with 194 catches and 2,816 receiving yards. Bleskin ranks among the top 15 receivers in Big Sky Conference history in both categories.
Bleskin, who had 64 catches for 969 yards and three touchdowns this season, is a three-time Academic All-Big Sky honoree.
Montana State's most recent first-team academic all-America honoree was quarterback Travis Lulay in 2005.
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