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Region in brief

West Glacier crash victim identified KALISPELL — Authorities Thursday released the name of a man killed in a head-on collision near West Glacier, one of five people killed on Montana roads the previous day.

The victim was Park “Monty” Parratt, 56, who had homes in West Glacier and Marysville, Wash., officials said. The other driver in that crash was critically injured, and was flown to a hospital in Missoula.

In another crash, two vehicles collided near Columbia Falls, killing Murial Ketterling, 79, of Columbia Falls.

Three people died in two separate crashes near Libby. One was from Washington and two were residents of Texas.

The deaths Wednesday pushed Montana’s 2001 highway fatality toll to 101, compared to 117 on July 11, 2000.Fire officials expect containment of Libby-area blaze Friday LIBBY — Crews fighting a forest fire south of here made progress Thursday, and officials said the blaze likely would be contained Friday.

The estimated size of the Libby Creek fire remained at 135 acres, information officer Wayne Johnson said.

The fire about 10 miles south of Libby was discovered Monday. Johnson said someone at a swimming hole started the fire.

It is in the Kootenai National Forest.Young wolves seen in Glacier ParkWEST GLACIER — Two wolf pups were spotted in the northern part of Glacier National Park, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

It said the pups were observed in the North Fork area, near the Canadian border.

Glacier has three wolf packs. Each has four or five wolves, not counting any pups born this year.

Typically, the adults move their litters to a series of rendezvous areas throughout the summer, as the pups grow and mature. Missoula raises parking ratesMISSOULA — Motorists who want to park downtown here are going to need twice the pocket change.

The Missoula Parking Commission voted to double metered parking fees to 50 cents an hour, and city workers soon expect to begin updating Missoula’s 1,100 downtown parking meters.

That task will take some time, said Anne Guest, director of the parking commission.

“They have to physically change four parts in all of the meters,” she said. “It’s quite a laborious job. I wish we could raise a magic wand and change them all.”

She said the fee increase is Missoula’s first in 20 years.

Part of the new money will be spent to promote alternative transportation, such as buses and car pools. Man gets suspended sentence in wreckANACONDA — A man accused of supplying alcohol to teenagers involved in a fatal car wreck has pleaded guilty, under an agreement with prosecutors.

In exchange for the guilty plea to felony criminal endangerment, prosecutors agreed to recommend Robert J. Fleming of Anaconda receive a five-year suspended sentence.

Fleming, 33, was charged after a Dec. 30 accident on Highway 48 east of Anaconda. Leslie Chandler, an Anaconda 15-year-old, was killed and another girl 15 was injured seriously.

Court documents say Fleming gave the girls beer and later bought vodka for them. Controlled burns planned in Gallatin CanyonBOZEMAN — The Gallatin National Forest plans a 10-year project of controlled burns and thinning to reduce fire danger in the Gallatin Canyon.

The goal is to protect about 70 homes, between Big Sky and Gallatin Gateway, from the threat of a runaway fire on public land.

“We’re trying to get ahead of the game,” said Fred Jones, a Forest Service fire officer for the Bozeman and West Yellowstone areas. “We’re lessening the fire risk.”

The work, expected to cost about $210,000, will help maintain some existing firebreaks, expand others and create more “defensible space” around homes. Firefighters leave post in protestLIVINGSTON — Two officials from the volunteer Paradise Valley Fire District quit in protest, accusing the district’s governing board of ignoring its firefighters.

“The taxpayers right now are in dire straits,” said Phil Lawson, chief for seven of his 11 years with the department. “It’s about one more week and there isn’t going to be a fire department.”

A group of firefighters issued an ultimatum to the board two weeks ago, demanding it work with them to resolve problems. About 14 firefighters threatened to quit if issues weren’t settled within 30 days.

Lawson and assistant chief Sid Frissell submitted resignation letters Wednesday. Lawson said the board has not addressed firefighters’ concerns, such as building a firefighting water source for new subdivisions.

The board disagrees with Lawson’s assessment. Trustee Eric Newhouse said the board has always been committed to working with the firefighters, and said the district’s problems center on personality conflicts.

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