Editor's note: Each week, the Missoulian provides readers with a sampling of news gleaned from weekly newspapers around western Montana.
BIGFORK - A good crime novel can be fine company on a cold winter's night, but fiction writers occasionally gloss over the finer points of the legal system, making the story seem implausible.
To remedy this, a Bigfork attorney and novelist recently released her first work of nonfiction in order to spread her legal knowledge with other members of the mystery writing community.
Leslie Budewitz, who has penned several fictional works since beginning her career as an author about 10 years ago, recently published her first nonfiction book: "Books, Crooks and Counselors: How to Write Accurately About Criminal Law and Courtroom Procedure," according to an article in the Bigfork Eagle.
The book is meant to be a resource for writers who are not familiar with the nuances of the legal system.
"I don't expect others to know what I know about the law," Budewitz told the Bigfork Eagle. "But there are certain things that do make a difference and do need to be right."
According to Budewitz, missing an important detail can throw off an entire story because it severs the connection to the real world, making the plot and the characters less believable.
"If something is wrong, you don't go where the writer wants you to go, and the book is a failure," Budewitz said. "If a mistake breaks that fragile hold a story has on you, you're not hooked and you're not going to continue reading."
Columbia Falls veteran rescues boy from heart attack
COLUMBIA FALLS - An Army veteran saved the life of a 12-year-old boy who collapsed from a heart attack last month while riding his bike in Kalispell.
Beau Bronson of Columbia Falls has been diagnosed with a congenital heart defect, according to a feature article in the Hungry Horse News. Bronson was fortunate to be outside the home of Army vet Kyle Lockwood when the heart attack struck.
"I looked out the window and saw an older couple who had stopped their van at the intersection and were looking at a boy laying on the ground," Lockwood told reporter Richard Hanners of the Hungry Horse News.
Lockwood raced out of his house and immediately began CPR.
"He was blue in the face," Lockwood said. "His heart had stopped, and he wasn't breathing."
Lockwood told Hanners that he performed artificial respiration and chest compressions until he heard Beau gasp for breath and his eyes rolled back down. Lockwood then turned Beau on his side so his throat wouldn't become blocked if he started vomiting.
Beau was taken to the emergency room at Kalispell Regional Medical Center until his heart stabilized and then flown by Life Flight helicopter to St. Patrick Hospital. From there, he was taken to Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, Wash., where staff cooled his body to 90 degrees to reduce brain swelling, according to the Hungry Horse News report.
Doctors diagnosed Beau's condition as catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia, a rare disorder that affects 1 in 10,000 people, mostly children.
On Oct. 20, surgeons installed a combination pacemaker-defibrillator-monitor that Beau may have to wear for the rest of his life.
St. Louis boy gets gifts from Drummond
DRUMMOND - Sandy LaRouche of St. Louis had an idea for her grandson's birthday. Drummond Thorne Johnson of nearby Jefferson City, Mo., turned 9 on Columbus Day.
Wouldn't it be something if she could find some novelty items with his first name on them? LaRouche wondered. The Philipsburg Mail reports she got on the Internet and located Drummond High School in Montana. LaRouche phoned the school to try to buy a shirt or a hat.
School secretary Lisa Jesse returned the call and told LaRouche that while there wasn't anything new available, she had some "gently used" shirts in her son's closet that might answer her needs.
And so when an excited "Drum" opened his birthday present in Missouri he found lots of things with his name on them: a postcard, a football sweatshirt proclaiming the Trojans as four-time state champs, a track and field shirt, a "Big Cats of the West" card and a coffee mug proclaiming "Drummond Bullshippers to the World."
"Lisa Jesse ... made friends for life here in Missouri. The things she sent to Drum were as clean and fresh as if they were new," LaRouche wrote in a note to the newspaper. "I swear she ironed the sweatshirt. She even apologized for taking so long to send them."
Drum, whose family recently moved from St. Louis, wears the Drummond Trojan jersey proudly at his new school. He's trying to talk his parents in visiting Drummond next summer, although that could be a problem, the Mail said. His dad Brandon is allergic to horses.
There's another situation LaRouche may have a hard time addressing, the Mail reported. "His big sister, Annabella, wants grandma to find a high school named after her."
Weeklies Reader is compiled by reporters Vince Devlin, Tristan Scott and Kim Briggeman.