Last week Chief Executive Matt Vincent led off his report to the council with the announcement the area's large employers had begun meeting again, and he noted that they voiced support for the Highland gold mine project. Here is that portion of Vincent's address. Below the video find the DEQ's decision to approve the mine and an ore-haul route.
The Montana Dept of Environmental Quality issued the following press release regarding the proposed Butte Highlands gold mine.
Helena – The Montana Department of Environmental Quality has issued its Record of Decision on the final Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Butte Highlands Joint Venture Mine, located approximately 14 miles south of Butte, Mont. The proposed mine is located near the historic Highland Mine adit at the head of Basin Creek.
Butte Highland Joint Venture submitted an application for an operating permit for an underground gold mine to DEQ in May 2010. A draft EIS was issued by DEQ on October 8, 2013 and a final EIS was published on December 18, 2014.
The purpose of the Record of Decision is to document DEQ’s decision on BHJV’s application for an operating permit and the reason for the decision. It documents the alternatives considered, including a discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of the alternatives considered.
DEQ has selected the Agency Mitigated Alternative, authorizing BHJV to construct and operate the proposed underground gold mine. This alternative meets the purpose and need for the proposal and complies with the substantive requirements of the Metal Mine Reclamation Act, the Montana Air or Water Quality acts, and the Montana Public Water Supply Act. It includes reasonable mitigation measures to address compliance issues associated with protecting water resources. The mitigation measures are described in detail in the ROD.
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If the Forest Service requires BHJV to haul ore west to Interstate 15, DEQ has selected the Highland Road (West) Parallel Route Alternative. Beginning at the Forest Service Boundary, a new haul route would be constructed that closely parallels the existing Highland Road. The haul route would rejoin Highland Road approximately one-third mile south of the proposed transfer facility located adjacent to Interstate 15. Haul truck traffic would be separated from public traffic on the portion of Highland Road west of the Forest Service boundary
This decision is subject to a court appeal by the applicant and other parties for 90 days after issuance of the Record of Decision. Any action or proceeding challenging a final agency decision alleging failure by DEQ to comply with or inadequate compliance with a requirement of MEPA must be brought within 60 days after issuance of the Record of Decision
Jan. 24, 2015
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The NAIA announced the fourth installment of the 2014-15 Men’s Basketball Poll today. Montana Tech received 24 votes in the poll and sits just outside of the Top 25 rankings.
This is the first time Tech has been ranked or received votes in the Coaches Poll in over a decade. The Orediggers upset No. 19 Lewis-Clark State 74-66 in overtime last weekend. Lewis-Clark dropped out of the poll receiving 13 votes.
Tech is now 12-5 overall and 3-0 in Frontier Conference action after winning their last eight games.
The University of Great Falls moved up to No. 19 in the poll after receiving votes last time. Montana Tech defeated Great Falls the opening weekend of conference action. No. 9 Montana Western saw no movement from the last poll.
A moment in crime
by Jim Larson
Officers observed a driver acting suspiciously on the 3900 block of Wynn.
The suspect’s car had plates that indicated it had been stolen in Great Falls.
When officer’s attempted to pull the driver over on Elizabeth Warren, a chase ensued.
The pursuit carried on to I-90, but speeds remained, for the most part, within legal limits.
Butte police requested assistance from Jefferson County, and the Highway Patrol joined in as well.
Butte officers blocked the exits at White Hall, and the suspect was finally apprehended by officers from
Jefferson County near Cardwell. Officers were able to lay down “Stop Sticks,” which disabled the stolen vehicle.
Officers from Jefferson County took Jason McNeese into custody. McNeese is 31 and from Butte.
Only the vehicle’s tires were damaged, police said.
Mean to mom
Police responded to the 3100 block of Keokuk to a report of a possible partner family member assault.
The suspect was gone when they arrived. The victim was afraid. She was the suspect’s mother.
Later the suspect was in an accident on highway near Bozeman. His mother drove to the scene to assist him.
There the suspect began to act up again, police said. He was arrested for disorderly conduct.
The suspect is Michael Ross Sorg. He is 28 and from Billings.
Bash on Broadway
Officers investigated a hit and run that took place at the intersection of Arizona and Broadway.
A moment in crime
Jan. 20, 2015
The County Attorney's office is still considering additional charges against an inmate caught with methamphetamine in the Silver-Bow County Detention Center, Undersheriff George Skuletich said.
Following a tip, officers brought Buster, the department's K-9 detection dog, to the jail. There Buster found methamphetamine in two locations.
Currently only inmate Jacob Lee Smith has been charged, and he has just been charged with possession, police said. Smith may face an additional charge of possessing contraband while in jail, Skuletich said.
Smith has been in the detention center since Jan. 8, when his deferred sentence was revoked. It is believed that Smith had the meth on his person when he was sentenced, police said.
Sheriff Ed Lester noted that sometimes officers were called to disturbances that involved individuals who would be better served by getting proper help rather than being arrested.
At the end of the week officers tested their new knowledge in live scenarios that involved actors.