West News

California Wildfire Guts 18 Homes

Flames raced down a steep hillside “like a freight train,” leaving smoldering remains of homes and forcing thousands to flee the wildfire churning through tinder-dry canyons in Southern California, authorities said Sunday. The fire that has destroyed at least 18 …

Pilot Likely Experienced Spatial Disorientation Before Oregon Plane Crash

John Belnap would have experienced a “black hole” of darkness within moments after taking off from Brookings, Ore., on the moonless night of July 4, when his Cessna 172 crashed into the Pacific Ocean. The relatively inexperienced pilot from Grants …

EPA, Forest Service Want Permanent Firefighters Near Montana Mine

The Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Forest Service want to station 10 firefighters near Libby, Mont., this summer so crews are immediately available to fight any fire that night burn in or near a former vermiculite mine contaminated with …

California Homeowner Sued for $25M Over Wildfire Damage

The federal government sued a homeowner for nearly $25 million on Thursday, contending his negligence sparked a 2013 fire in the mountains east of Los Angeles that forced 5,000 people from their homes. The lawsuit contends that a short in …

Federal Suit Alleges Las Vegas Bus Stop Shelters Too Close to Busy Roads

A man who lost a leg at age 15 when he was struck by a vehicle as he sat on a Las Vegas, Nev., bus stop bench is suing for damages, saying that the shelters were built dangerously close to …

Nordic Skiing Race Damage Closes Montana Airport

The Whitefish Airport is still closed after the runway was damaged during a Nordic skiing event last winter, and it may be closed for the rest of the year. Horses that were used to drag skiers during the skijoring competition …

Multiple Thefts Under One Scheme Restricts Property Claim to One “Occurrence” Policy Limit, But Subjects Recovery to Single Deductible

In a partial trade-off, a U.S. District Court in California ruled that a series of storage facility thefts, all committed as part of one criminal scheme, qualified as a claim for a single “occurrence” property insurance policy limit, but that …

Montana Air Ambulance Bill Legislation Proposed

A working group trying to find a way to reconcile the difference between Montana air ambulance companies’ bills and insurers’ reimbursement rates discussed proposed legislation that would require insurers and out-of-network providers to negotiate a payment, leaving the patient responsible …

Colorado Companies Offer Bonded, Insured Dog Hikes

Dog owners in just about any city in America can hire someone to walk their dogs. But only in a few special places can you hire someone to hike your dog. Fortunately, Boulder is one of those. Our notoriously canine-crazy …

Homicide Ruling in SEAL Training Death Raises Safety Questions

The Navy SEALs basic training is designed to be a difficult selection process to find the U.S. military’s strongest fighters and turn them into an elite force able to dive into the world’s deadliest places from Somalia to Syria. Seaman …

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