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Montana Man Gets Into Wrong Car, Stranger's Dog in Back Seat

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Montana Man Gets Into Wrong Car, Stranger's Dog in Back Seat


After discovering a stranger’s dog in the back seat, a man realized he got into the wrong car. The funny incident occurred in Montana when the man was driving home after picking up his pizza.

Montana man realizes he is in wrong car, discovers unknown dog in the back seat

A video of a man getting into a stranger’s vehicle has been going viral after he made the discovery upon realizing there was an unknown pup in the back seat. While getting pizza, he not only entered the wrong car but realized much later that he might have accidentally kidnapped someone’s beloved dog.

Vincent Zepeda went to pick up a pizza on April 25. However, when it was time to return home, he told USA Today that it was raining and freezing cold. Thus, he had to run to his car with low visibility with only a pizza box over his head to help keep him dry. This led to the 53-year-old mixing up the two cars that looked identical, except one of them had a cargo carrier.

In the viral clip, the Montana resident begins by pointing at his car, noting that the one he is sitting in isn’t his. He clarifies that the dog behind him also doesn’t belong to him. The video was meant to warn his children from leaving their key fobs in the car while they are out and about.

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The dog’s calm demeanor caught the internet’s eye as the white canine sat there drooling over the pizza. Moreover, Zepeda’s friend knew the car owner and was able to arrange the 53-year-old’s meeting with them and their beloved dog, Fletcher. The duo shared a good laugh about the incident, and Zepeda got to enjoy the pup’s company, per People.

Moreover, when the Montana resident met the dog he came across when he got into the wrong car, he noticed the pup sitting in the same spot and asked Fletcher if it was his spot. The canine’s owner jokingly noted that he probably wanted a slice of Zepeda’s pizza.



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Montana

Montana FWP encourages homeowners to bear-proof their properties

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Montana FWP encourages homeowners to bear-proof their properties


ANACONDA — ANACONDA — An Anaconda woman got a huge surprise when she looked out her window around 9 p.m. on June 12 and saw a giant black bear getting into her garbage can just outside her home on Yankee Flats.

“I looked out the window and the bear was just out there snacking away. I’m still, like, a little shocked and startled because I knew that they were going to be out here and around me but I didn’t know like that close,” says Kayla Hicks.

Hicks is originally from Kansas and is renting the property while she works on assignment until November. She says this isn’t the first time a bear has rummaged through her garbage but it’s the first time she has seen it do so and that’s why she called Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks for help.

“If a bear is coming into some type of food source at your house, it’s good to secure that attractant now because bears have a really good memory and so they’ll remember, you know, where they got food frequently or when they got food. So, it is good to try to think about securing that attractant so that it doesn’t become a reoccurring problem,” says Brad Balis, a bear management technician for the Upper Clark Fork and part of the Big Hole region for Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks.

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Balis says this is the first he has learned of a bear in the Yankee Flats area but he encourages homeowners to call FWP if they spot a bear causing problems on their property. He says the more a bear frequents a residential area like the one located just 10 miles outside of Anaconda, the more the bear will become used to humans, and that can be life-threatening for the bear.

“The danger for the bear is those food rewards, getting those food rewards. It kind of starts associating homes with that food reward and then, you know, from it being around a house it’s going to start seeing people more frequently. That’s going to be less of a concern. If they are getting into trouble we try to give them a second chance but if they do continue to get into trouble and we know it’s the same bear then occasionally we do have to lethally remove them,” says Balis.

Balis says issues with bears are usually preventable because they let their noses guide them to food sources like garbage, bird feeders, and grease traps on bbq grills. Bears are also drawn to chickens because of their scattered feed and the noise they make. Securing these items for the long term is the best deterrent and Kayla Hicks now keeps her trash can locked up in a shed until collection day.

“I mean, I may not be from here but I like the wildlife and everything so I want to learn more about how to handle the situation,” says Hicks.

“My worry is that I have an active two-year-old. So, just trying to keep her safe and everything and she likes being outside too. So we just have to be careful and watch the surroundings.”

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Balis says there are resources available to help homeowners purchase bear-proof garbage cans and other items that are bear deterrents from organizations likeDefenders of Wildlife, People and Carnivores, and The American Bear Foundation. Balis says if a homeowner is willing to switch to a bear-resistant container, People and Carnivores will cover half of the cost associated with the purchase of the container.

“A lot of times folks will wait before they reach out to us but I would encourage people if they do have a bear hanging around their home or getting into trouble, just contact the Region 2 office directly and the number for them is 406-542-5500,” says Balis.





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Montana Renewables, Calumet have pending tax appeals before state board – The Electric

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Montana Renewables, Calumet have pending tax appeals before state board – The Electric


Montana Renewables filed an appeal over their tax classification.

The biodiesel production company with a Great Falls facility asked the Montana Department of Environmental Quality to certify the plant as a pollution control facility.

Under state law, air and water pollution and carbon capture equipment certified as such by DEQ is tax exempt.

In November 2021, Calumet Montana Refining spun off some assets to create Montana Renewables, which is a separate company and taxpaying entity.

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Montana Renewables asked DEQ to certify the entire facility as an air and water pollution control facility, which would render the entire facility tax exempt, but DEQ certified only certain equipment, representing eight  percent of the facility, according to the appeal filed in April with the Montana Tax Appeal Board.

County board upholds state’s revised tax valuation for Calumet

Montana Renewables argued in its appeal that DEQ has made a “mistake of fact and failed to recognize that the MRL facility is a fully-integrated facility which provides identifiable and substantial environmental benefits that can be achieved only by operation of the biomass conversion plant and all of its equipment together as one emissions-reducing unit.”

Montana Renewables argued that the state law changes over the last 30 years showed legislative intent to make refineries that added pollution control equipment eligible for certification, as well as biofuels operations.

Dave McAlpin, chair of the Montana Tax Appeal Board told The Electric that the board recently set a schedule for the appeal.

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Unless the case is settled or a motion for summary judgment is filed by March 14, 2025, the board will heard the case May 6-9, 2025 in Helena, he said.

Calumet appeals county tax board denial to state [2023]

During an April hearing at the Cascade County Tax Appeal Board, Jennifer Sadler, sales and property tax manager for Calumet, said the company reported their property values to DOR in March 2022.

The company received and paid its assessments that summer.

DOR had initially valued Calumet at $165 million and Montana Renewables at $195 million, Sadler said.

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Calumet has two pending tax appeal cases before the state board and during a hearing last fall, Calumet officials said they weren’t protesting the Montana Renewables valuation or taxes.

Calumet asked the county board in April to reject a reappraisal issued by the Department of Revenue last fall for the company’s 2022 taxes after discovering that $79 million of assets had been missed in the initial appraisal.

Calumet settles with EPA over 2019 violations [2023]

The board voted 2-1 to accept the DOR’s revised valuation.

Kim Beatty, a lawyer for Calumet, told the board that Calumet had paid their 2022 taxes without protest though the company didn’t fully agree with the assessment, but said it had been in range with the 2021 agreed upon value.

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Phil Murphy for Calumet said that the company agreed to a $355 million valuation in May 2021 for the entire Great Falls facility.

That case has a scheduling conference set for July 2, McAlpine said.

County tax appeal board denies $189.5 million Calumet protest [2023]

Calumet also has a pending tax appeal before the Montana Tax Appeal Board, asking them to override the county tax appeal board’s denial and lower their taxable value for 2023 by about $189 million.

DOR valued Calumet’s land at $118,944; and the buildings, equipment and improvements at $299,428,094 for a total of $299,547,035.

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During a November hearing, Calumet asked the Cascade County Tax Appeal Board to lower their valuation for the buildings, equipment and improvements to $109,881,000 for a total of $109,999,944.

That’s a reduction of $189.5 million.

City beginning budget process

The county board denied the request.

In mid-December, Calumet appealed the decision to the Montana Tax Appeal Board as they did in 2018.

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McAlpin told The Electric that Calumet is scheduled to update the board by June 18 on this appeal.

The scheduling conference was vacated by stipulation and hasn’t yet been rescheduled since Calumet and DOR are discussing narrowing the issues, settling the case or consolidating the cases, McAlpin said.

County Commission adopts budget [2023}

According to the appeal filed with the state board in December, Calumet is asking for their total valuation to be lowered to $110,000,000.

In their appeal, Calumet states that the county board and the DOR used the incorrect methodology to determine their valuation and that they’d be prepared for a hearing by Sept. 30, 2024.

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Until that appeal is finalized, Calumet’s property taxes are held and unusable for the county and city. For the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, city finance officials have said that amounts to roughly $1 million in tax revenue not available to the city for operations.

Local officials waiting for details of potential tax appeal [2023]

During their November hearing, Philip Murphy for Calumet, said that their taxes have quadrupled since the company purchased the refinery in 2012.

He said that in 2012, their taxes were $1.4 million. In 2021, Calumet paid $5.5 million and in 2022, $6.2 million in taxes.

Calumet protested their taxes in 2019, which was a continuation of the 2017-2018 protest case that was settled in 2020.

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Dept. of Revenue files appeal over Calumet taxes [2018]

The Montana Department of Revenue set Calumet’s value at $538 million for 2017. In February 2018, the three-person county tax appeal board lowered the value to $312.5 million. Calumet had requested their value be lowered to $190.7 million.

Both Calumet and the DOR appealed that decision to the Montana Tax Appeal Board in 2018.

In 2020, the parties settled and according to DoR, of the roughly $17 million paid by Calumet under protest for tax years 2017-2019, about $9.5 million was released to the local jurisdictions and $1.5 million to the state.

Calumet protests taxes, county tax appeal board lowers taxable value by more than $200 million [2018]

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Once the protest was settled, the county issued a refund of $4.7 million to Calumet and milled a special levy to recoup $1.2 million of funds the school district had to pay back to Calumet since they accessed their portion of protested taxes.





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Top stories from today's Montana This Morning, June 13, 2024

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Top stories from today's Montana This Morning, June 13, 2024


Top stories from today’s Montana This Morning, Thursday, June 13, 2024 – Latest local news and headlines from across the world.

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