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A pair of Canadian farm boys who attend school in Montana have run afoul of the war on terrorism, according to Billings Gazette reporter James Hagengruber. Jude and Logan Chabot used to be able to use a voice-recognition system to cross the U.S.-Canadian border as they came and went from the Scobey high school. But changes in border security have revoked that option. The family must now drive two hours to a 24-hour crossing station or live with relatives in Scobey. The Chabots are trying to get help from Rep. Denny Rehberg. The policy change also affects many farmers whose operations cross both sides of the border.

Montana can't recover damages from Arco for Superfund claims near Anaconda, a Great Falls federal judge ruled Tuesday. The Great Falls Tribune reports the decision could undermine millions of dollars in claims to repair damage from decades of mining and smelting wastes between Butte and Anaconda in the Clark Fork River basin. U.S. District Judge Sam Haddon's ruling doesn't affect a 1999 agreement between the state and Arco requiring the company to pay $260 million for Clark Fork basin cleanup. But it does affect many other mine-waste concerns that are still unresolved.

The Tribune also updates the story of Darlene Heatherton, the Lethbridge city official whose disappearance triggered a massive search effort last week. She later turned up unharmed in Las Vegas. Although Heatherton was facing criminal charges for filing false police reports, Great Falls officials say they may reach an agreement for no jail time if she gets psychological counseling and pays some court costs.

Florence residents are fighting a proposed sewer system they say would be a "stinky, costly and unnecessary mess," Ravalli Republic reporter Jared Miller writes today. A group called Concerned Citizens Committee of Florence wants to derail the $2.5 million project. All 203 homes in the area use individual septic systems. The Florence aquifer is showing signs of nitrate contamination. The Florence Sewer and Water District board will hold a public meeting on May 29 at Montana Westgate Realty, 185 Westgate Way in Florence. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the meeting starts at 7 p.m.

A Helena couple has avoided prison time but will lose much of their parenting rights for leaving two of their children duct-taped to their beds while they left town for a weekend, Carolynn Bright of the Helena Independent Record writes. Alex and Lori Plummer will be under court supervision for nine years and agreed to drop challenges to state decision to cancel their daycare business license.

Affordable housing is a hot issue in Bozeman, although that community looks nowhere closer to finding solutions than Missoula is. The Bozeman Daily Chronicle followed a Monday City Commission meeting where housing advocates proposed offering incentives such as density bonuses, impact fee waivers, and fast-track administrative approvals to encourage more construction. Others said those policies already exist and haven't helped. Instead they recommended ordinances requiring developers to contribute to affordable housing stock as a condition of annexation to the city.

Also in the Chronicle, Three Forks folks are proposing an ordinance that would banish strip clubs to the edge of town. Proponents claimed such businesses bring crime and disease to the community. While the town can't make it illegal to open a strip club, the ordinance would prohibit one from being located within 450 feet of a church, school, park, residential area or another sexually-oriented business. They would also be prohibited from selling alcohol or using signs that depicted exotic dancers.

A Helena couple has avoided prison time but will lose much of their parenting rights for leaving two of their children duct-taped to their beds while they left town for a weekend, Carolynn Bright of the Helena Independent Record writes. Alex and Lori Plummer will be under court supervision for nine years and agreed to drop challenges to state decision to cancel their daycare business license.

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