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Victor woman dies in boating accident

A Victor woman died Sunday afternoon in a boating accident on the Bitterroot River.

Shortly after noon, Geraldine W. Jones, 61, and her husband, Hoyt, were floating the river less than a mile south of Main Street in Hamilton when their raft struck a partially submerged log, said Scott Burlingham, a Ravalli County detective. On impact, Jones was thrown from the boat and pinned against the log.

Rescue efforts by Jones' husband failed, and strong river currents pulled her under water by the time Ravalli County rescue teams arrived, Burlingham said.

The couple had started their float at Anglers Roost, south of Hamilton.

Betsy Cohen, Missoulian

Two dead in separate higway car crashes

HELENA (AP) - Two men died in widely separated traffic accidents Sunday, the Highway Patrol reported.

A 27-year-old Helena man was killed about 7 a.m. when the car in which he was a passenger drifted off U.S. 12 about seven miles east of Garrison and crashed into a tree. The patrol said the driver fell asleep at the wheel.

About 12:30 a.m., a 68-year-old man from Troy was killed when his 1974 Volkswagen Beetle crashed head-on with a tractor-trailer truck on U.S. 2 about two miles east of Troy.

The patrol said the Volkswagen driver, who was alone, was driving in the wrong lane of the highway.

Officials withheld names of both dead men until relatives could be notified.

The deaths raised Montana's traffic toll for the year to 64 compared with 67 as of May 13 last year.

Jail escapees identified from Butte-Silver Bow

BUTTE (AP) - Officials have identified the men who escaped from the Butte-Silver Bow Jail in Warm Springs for about two-and-a-half hours Saturday afternoon.

They are William L. Brown, 22, and John L. Hawkes Jr., 40.

Brown, of Anaconda, is charged with murder and is being held on $20,000 bail. Prosecutors allege Brown stabbed 25-year-old Anaconda resident Phil Nebeker to death on Dec. 18 at Nebeker's house.

Hawkes, of Gillette, Wyo., is facing a felony theft charge. Prosecutors allege he stole two snowmobiles from Rapid City, S.D., a 1992 Chevrolet truck from Nebraska and tools from Wyoming. He was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail.

Both men are expected to appear in court Monday on the escape charges. They have been placed in other jail facilities.

The Warm Springs jail remained locked down over the weekend, requiring inmates to stay in their cells at all times.

Brown and Hawkes broke out of the temporary jail's outdoor recreation yard around 1:15 p.m. Saturday after a guard was distracted by something inside the jail. The inmates might have staged the distraction, police have said.

The two were captured around 3:45 p.m. near the Anaconda airport.

Foundation gives $1,000 to market program

GREAT FALLS (AP) - An educational foundation has made a $1,000 donation to the Montana MarketManager program.

The Great Falls-based Dufresne Foundation made the contribution. Fred and Bertha Dufresne farmed in the Great Falls in the early 1900s. After the death of Fred Dufresne in 1958, the assets of the farm were endowed to support educational efforts in north-central Montana.

MarketManager is an educational and informational project of the Montana Grain Growers Association. The program is intended to improve the marketing skills of Montana producers.

Agriculture department seeks pesticide comment

HELENA (AP) - The state agriculture department is accepting comments on proposed rules for managing a pesticide found in the groundwater in the Fairfield Bench.

Department officials said state law requires a management plan for the pesticide - marketed under the trade name Assert - even though the contamination is below the level deemed an immediate health threat.

"The trace amounts of Assert are 100 times lower than the standard set by the Environmental Protection Agency," said state ag director Ralph Peck.

The Montana Department of Agriculture and the state Bureau of Mines and Geology has detected the pesticide in area wells in past years.

In accordance with the Montana Agricultural Chemical Groundwater Protection Act, the agriculture department is working with local residents to develop rules for preserving the water quality in Fairfield Bench, Peck said.

Comments will be accepted until June 7. The proposed rules can be found on the agency's website.

Legislature gets passing marks from MSU dean

BOZEMAN (AP) - A Montana State University dean says legislators did as much as they could for the College of Agriculture.

"Considering the shortfalls in funds, state legislators did as much as they could for us," said Sharon Quisenberry, dean of the College of Agriculture and director of the Montana Agriculture Experiment Station.

Quisenberry said legislators' choices show they have a sincere interest in economic development, particularly in agriculture.

Among other projects funded by the state, the Legislature approved $1 million for renovations to research centers - provided that the college raises matching funds from non-state sources.

"Raising money is always going to be a challenge," Quisenberry said. "But when there is an obvious need for the work, we're committed to raising the rest of the money."

Quisenberry said projects will be scheduled according to priority, and the college will go as far as it can with the funding provided.

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