Blog Cabin

Former principal accepts contract buyout

(MISSOULA)- Weeks after stepping down for an undisclosed incident involving his Vice Principal, former Sentinel High School Principal Tom Blakely will go one leave for the rest of the year, with Missoula County Public Schools buying out his remaining contract.

Blakely was forced to step down earlier this month following an incident at the high school involving Vice Principal Libby Oliver. Although school administrators never elaborated on the details of what they called a "personnel matter", but both were forced to step down from their positions at Sentinel. 

Now, MCPS is announcing Blakely is resigning, effective June 15th, 2015. He'll remain on leave for the remainder of the year. As part of the structured settlement, Blakely has agreed to retire, with the district buying out the remaining $90,000 on his contract. 

In a statement, MCPS officials said they appreciated "the public's patience during this difficult time."

Blakely's position is being filled on an interim basis by Ted Fuller, with Margo Duneman filling in as interim assistant principal. 

Oliver was re-assigned to Hellgate High School as an interim assistant principal. 


Bring your nose, city wants help solving smell

(MISSOULA)- Missoula officials are hoping residents' sense of smell will help them in tracking down a smell that's raising a stink on the city's north side. 

Last month the Missoula City County Health Department decided to form a special task force to explore the problems with what appears to be a natural gas or oil smell that's been strong enough to make some people sick in Northside and Westside neighborhoods. Dozens of complaints have been received since the problem was first noticed last spring. 

Neighbors are worried the smell may be toxic. But pinning down the source has been difficult. 

Now, the task force is holding a special meeting to collect more information from residents to help with its investigation. The panel is hoping to hear from people who've experienced the odors, and especially to hear specific dates, times and weather conditions. 

That meeting starts at 7 tonight at the Health Department at 301 West Alder. 


Authorities looking for another missing UM student 

(MISSOULA)- Missoula County Sheriff's deputies are asking for the public's help to locate a missing University of Montana student who is overdue from a weekend fishing trip.

The Missoula County Sheriff's Office says 21-year old August Kramer hasn't been seen since he told his roommate he was going fishing on Sunday. His last debit card transaction was in Lolo. 

Kramer is described as tall and lean, 6'2" tall, and was driving a dark Toyota Landcruiser.


USFS will start renovating new administrative offices this month

(MISSOULA)- Renovation will start this month for the U.S. Forest Service's planned move to Fort Missoula. However the actual operations of the Northern Region Office won't be shifted out of downtown Missoula until sometime next summer.

The Forest Service Northern Region Office has been using leased office space in the old federal courthouse in downtown Missoula for decades. But in response to budget cuts, the agency first vacated one floor last November, and will now be moving out entirely. 

The Forest Service plans to move about 170-employees to a building the Army no longer uses at Fort Missoula, with others moving to existing facilities adjacent to Missoula International Airport. 


Missoula firefighters limit damage in storage unit fire

(MISSOULA)- Quick work by Missoula firefighters limited damage, and prevented injuries, during an early morning fire Sunday. 

The Missoula Fire Department sent crews to the report of a structure fire in the 500 block of Toole Street, finding smoke and flames coming from a corner storage unit. They were able to get that fire knocked down quickly, but had to force their way into two more units to completely extinguish the blaze.

MFD says firefighters were able to confine the fire to those three units, but there was smoke and water damage to some adjacent units. Cause of the fire is under investigation with damage estimated at $10,000.

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