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Region in brief

Former Corrections boss gets new jobHELENA – Former Montana Corrections Director Rick Day has been hired as executive director of the Washington State Gambling Commission, the agency in charge of regulating and enforcing gambling laws in that state.

Agency officials confirmed Friday that Day will take the post beginning Aug 27, replacing Ben Bishop, who is retiring after 21 years with the commission.

Day was up for a job as Idaho corrections director in recent weeks. He ran Montana’s prison system for eight years under Gov. Marc Racicot, but was not retained by Gov. Judy Martz when she took office in January.

Saying she wanted to build a new team, Martz hired former Gallatin County Sheriff Bill Slaughter as her corrections director. Day said then he had hoped to continue in the position.

MHSA director will step down after 25 years HELENA – Jim Haugen is resigning as executive director of the Montana High School Association, effective in July 2002, his 25th anniversary with the organization.

He has been executive director since 1997. He was hired as assistant MHSA director in 1977.

President Joe Brott, superintendent of Powell County High School in Deer Lodge, said the MHSA board will discuss the process for hiring a successor at coming meetings. He said the board is saddened at the prospect of losing Haugen.

Haugen began his career in 1958 in Fairview, where he taught English and speech and coached. He then held the same jobs, plus athletic director, at his hometown, Sidney, until he was hired by the MHSA.

Paleontologists call in big guns on dino skull WINNETT – With dinosaur researchers watching nervously, a military helicopter gingerly hoisted what is believed to be the largest dinosaur skull ever found out of a secluded hillside near here Friday.

“It’s nice to see it out of the ground,” paleontologist Jack Horner said as the first of two skull pieces was slowly lifted from the hillside.

The two pieces, each wrapped in protective plaster casts and secured to the helicopter with straps, were carried about a mile to waiting flatbed trucks.

From there, they are being taken to the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman for further study. Horner, the museum’s curator, said he hopes to have the skull on display in about four weeks.

The two skull pieces were discovered by The Rev. Ken Olson, a research associate at the museum and a retired Lutheran pastor from White Sulphur Springs. Crews spent most of last summer uncovering the bones and preparing them for transport.

Man burned trying to save dog from thermal pool

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK – A man was scalded trying to rescue his dog after it bolted from the family’s motor home and jumped into a thermal pool, Yellowstone National Park officials said Friday.

Donald E. Hansen, 39, of Shoreline, Wash., was taken to University of Utah Burn Center in Salt Lake City after Thursday’s incident. He was released Friday after being treated for first- and second-degree burns from his elbows down and first-degree burns to his knees, park officials said.

The dog, a brown Labrador retriever named Mocha, ran after the family stopped the motor home to view a thermal area near the Firehole River in the Lower Geyser Basin, about five miles from Old Faithful, officials said.

Hansen called for the dog, but it ignored him and jumped into the 192- to 200-degree unnamed pool, officials said. Hansen knelt behind the pool and was able to grab the dog, but the hot water prevented him from pulling the dog out.

The dog was dead by the time rangers retrieved it from the pool, said park spokeswoman Cheryl Matthews.

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