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Five apply for Justice of Peace job

The Teton County commissioners invite all county residents to attend a public forum on Wednesday, March 29, at 6:30 p.m. in the courtroom of the county courthouse in Choteau to meet the five applicants for interim Teton County justice of the peace. The five candidates are Devonna McCartney, Dianna Fellers Nelson, Pete Rasmussen and Janie Zwerneman, all of Choteau, and Ashley Johnson of Pendroy. Three of the applicants, Nelson, Rasmussen and Zwerneman, all ran against Myhre in the last primary election, seeking the elected position. During the forum, each of the five applicants will give a brief speech about why they have applied, and then the applicants will take questions from the audience.

The five Teton County residents have applied to be appointed to fill out the remainder of elected Justice of the Peace Wes Myhre s first four-year term in office. Myhre resigned as of March 20 to take a position as a federal courthouse security officer in Great Falls. The justice of the peace position, which is three-quarters time, pays $33,701.15 annually. Myrhe s term ends on Dec. 31, 2018, and will be open for election in 2018. The commissioners advertised for applicants with March 22 being the deadline to apply. All five applicants have either completed the state s Justice of the Peace certification training or are able to become certified within six months of being appointed.

Applicants had to be at least 18 years old, U.S. citizens and residents of Teton County for at least one year before the appointment. The Teton County commissioners will interview the applicants on Thursday, March 30, as follows: 9 a.m., Devonna McCartney of Choteau; 9:30 a.m., Ashley Johnson of Pendroy; 10 a.m., Dianna Fellers Nelson of Choteau; 10:30 a.m., Pete Rasmussen of Choteau; 11 a.m., Janie Zwerneman of Choteau. All interviews will be conducted in the courthouse in the conference room on the main floor. Following the conclusion of the interviews, the commissioners will hold their regular business meeting at 1 p.m. in the conference room and will appoint the new justice of the peace at that time.

Here is biographical and work information from each applicant s resume:

Dianna L. Fellers Nelson

A 1978 graduate of Turner High School, Nelson has a 1993 associate degree in paralegal studies from an Atlanta, Georgia, college, a general certificate from the Great Falls Vo-Tech in 1993 and a pharmacy technician certification from the State Board of Pharmacy. She is also certified as a justice court clerk and has taken numerous courses in paralegal and legal studies. She currently works 20 hours a week in Justice Court, where she has worked for more than 20 years as the court clerk. She also has worked part-time for the past 12 years as a pharmacy technician at Choteau Drug. From 2003 to 2005, she also worked as a part-time deputy clerk and election clerk in the Teton County Clerk and Recorder s Office. From 1996 to January 2015, she was also the Choteau City Court clerk.

As the current Justice Court clerk, Nelson performs all secretarial and bookkeeping responsibilities for the court, including scheduling, accounting for funds, collecting fines, preparing notices and restraining orders, and assisting with small claims and civil actions. Through her work at Justice Court, she has worked with law enforcement, city and county attorneys, District Court judges and clerks, city court judges and clerks and many other agencies in the county and the area and works with the public on a daily basis.

Ashley A. Johnson

Johnson s education includes an associate of arts degree from Great Falls College-Montana State University, completed in 2014, and she is taking online classes to earn a bachelor s degree in sociology from Grand Canyon University, based in Phoenix, Arizona. She has worked as the Pondera County Justice Court clerk since March 2015, where her duties include serving as receptionist, secretary, office manager and clerk. She is responsible for keeping all books, papers and records field with the court; collecting, tracking and processing money received; and attending hearings, and preparing documents, orders and correspondence for the judge.

Previously she worked as a teller at Independence Bank in Conrad from June 2014 to March 2015. She also worked for Loenbro, based in Black Eagle, as a recruiter from March 2013 to June 2014, and as an receptionist/clerk for Express Employment in Great Falls from July 2012 to March 2013.

Devonna McCartney

McCartney attended George Wythe College in Cedar City, Utah, studying political science in the 1996-97 school year. She also completed 12 semester credits at the Great Falls College-MSU in 2006. She has been the co-owner of Fly Girlz Embroidery in Choteau since 2013 and worked in embroidery at Black Sheep Sports and Graphics in Choteau from December 2009 to July 2011. From December 2008 to October 2009 she was a veterinary technician at Bridger Veterinary Hospital in a Helena and has also worked as a seasonal employee at Sun Canyon Lodge, a nanny, a bookkeeper, a heavy equipment operator and as a self-employed rancher. Since February 2012, she has been a trained Court Appointed Special Advocate volunteer for Front Range CASA, working with children, parents, foster parents, attorneys, child protective services workers, teachers and counselors as she advocates for children whose families are in the court system.

Pete Rasmussen

Rasmussen is a 1985 graduate of Choteau High School, who attended Western Montana College at Dillon and Miles Community College in Miles City. Since 1996 he has maintained his real estate broker s license, attending various real estate education schools and workshops. Since 1996, he has been a broker with R&R Real Estate in Choteau, where he works in marketing and sales of residential, farm and ranch and commercial real estate. As a part-owner, he also works with the public daily and does general computer and office work. He also owns and operates a commercial Angus and Corriente cow/calf business and works in general farm and ranch labor on area ranches on an as-needed basis.

He served from 1999 to 2007 on the Choteau City Council, where he was president of the council. He is a member of the Choteau Volunteer Fire Department and the Choteau Chamber of Commerce, and a past board member of the Teton WeatherBeater Corporation. He is also a past member of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and the Northern Rodeo Association.

Janie Zwerneman

Zwerneman is a 1986 graduate of Choteau High School who earned an associate s degree in general education with a communications emphasis from the University of Montana at Missoula. From June 2015 to Feb. 2017, she worked as a rehabilitation specialist with the nonprofit Center for Mental Health in its Choteau office. She aided clients with recovery, assisted clients as they applied for assistance from other agencies, helped clients obtain community services, provided transportation and assistance with daily living skills and did front-office reception and scheduling. From December 2009 to May 2015, she was the office manager for Dr. Brian McCollom s optometry practice in Choteau, where she handled reception, insurance and patient billing, collections, scheduling, inventory and eyeglass sales, fitting and repair. From 2005 to 2009 she was the site manager at the Skyline Lodge in Choteau. She and her husband owned their own business, the Big Sky Bronze foundry from 1993 to 2005, and from January 2005 to July 2005 she was a part-time dispatcher for the Sheriff s Office.

She is a member of the Teton County GOP Central Committee and has been a volunteer emergency medical technician and a ski patrol member. She is a past president of the Choteau Chamber of Commerce and was a member of the Choteau Jaycees and served on the Shadows of the Past Art Auction Committee.

Lawsuit claims hackers stole customer data at 1000 Arby’s stores

ATLANTA Georgia-based Arby s restaurant chain failed to prevent hackers from stealing customer information at hundreds of its stores, a Connecticut couple said in a new federal lawsuit. Since early February, eight credit unions and banks from Indiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Montana have filed seven other federal lawsuits. All make similar allegations about what the credit unions describe as a massive data breach. Arby s said in a statement Monday that it s not commenting on the pending litigation, but we believe the claims are without merit and intend to vigorously defend against them.

From late October through Jan. 19, hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of credit and debit cards issued by financial institutions, including Plaintiff, were compromised due to Arby s severely inadequate security practices, North Alabama Educators Credit Union states in its lawsuit filed last month.

Arby s actions and omissions left highly sensitive Payment Card Data of the Plaintiff s customers exposed and accessible for hackers to steal for nearly three months, the Alabama credit union maintains. In the latest lawsuit, Jacqueline and Joseph Weiss of Glastonbury, Conn., say computer hackers used data-looting malware to penetrate systems at about 1,000 Arby s restaurants during the breach. In December 2016, the couple discovered thousands of dollars in unauthorized charges on the Visa card they d used at an Arby s in Connecticut, they say in their lawsuit filed last week.

The Weiesses lawsuit asserts that a credit union organization alerted its members that at least 355,000 credit and debit cards were compromised by the Arby s breach. By installing malware at the Point Of Sale or cash register, hackers were able to steal payment card data from remote locations as a card was swiped for payment, Indiana-based Midwest America Federal Credit Union claimed in a February lawsuit. Arby s knew the danger of not safeguarding its POS network as various high profile data breaches have occurred in the same way, including data breaches of Target, Home Depot and, most recently, Wendy s, the Indiana credit union maintains in its lawsuit.

Lawyers for the Weisse s say the threat isn t over.

There is a strong probability that entire batches of stolen information have yet to be dumped on the black market, they state, meaning Arby s customers could be at risk of fraud and identity theft for years into the future.

It s not clear whether a criminal investigation has been opened in the Arby s breach. The FBI s policy is not to confirm or deny whether a matter is being investigated, FBI Special Agent Stephen Emmett said Monday.

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Police review transit bus video from Las Vegas shooting that killed Montana man

LAS VEGAS Police and prosecutors were reviewing transit bus video Monday ahead of an initial court appearance for a man suspected of killing one passenger and wounding another for what authorities called no apparent reason when the double-decker bus stopped during the weekend on the Las Vegas Strip. The recording was considered evidence and was not being made public, Las Vegas police officer Larry Hadfield said. Bus security video systems are equipped to record sound. But Hadfield said the suspected gunman, Rolando Cardenas, may not have said anything before he started shooting.

“There doesn’t seem to be anything that preceded it,” the Hadfield said. “There were no incidents prior that we know of.”

Prosecutors are expected to file murder, attempted murder, weapon and other charges Wednesday during Cardenas’ initial court appearance in Las Vegas. The 55-year-old Las Vegas man refused for several hours to leave the bus surrounded by SWAT officers, and fired at least one shot during the standoff before his arrest Saturday afternoon, police said. He was jailed without bail, and is expected to have a lawyer appointed to his case when he appears in Las Vegas Justice Court. Attempts to reach his relatives were unsuccessful.

“Any time something like this happens on the Las Vegas Strip we pay special attention,” Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said. “Taking over a bus in the middle of the day and shooting someone in cold blood. We consider this one of our highest priorities.”

Gary Breitling, 57, of Sidney, Montana, died at University Medical Center of a gunshot to the chest, the Clark County coroner said. His death was ruled a homicide. Messages left at telephone numbers associated with Brietling and family members were not immediately returned. A 39-year-old Las Vegas man who was wounded in the stomach was discharged from the same hospital, a spokeswoman said Monday. Police had said that man’s injury did not appear life-threatening. He was not identified.

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Hadfield said homicide investigators were still trying to identify bus passengers and sidewalk pedestrians who fled when shots were fired. The double-decker bus, dubbed the Deuce and operated by the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada, had stopped near the Cosmopolitan hotel-casino in the heart of the tourist district when Cardenas stood up and fired several times, police said.

Assistant Clark County Sheriff Tom Roberts said the gunman did not fire all the bullets in his gun, but shot at least once at police during the standoff.

Police did not return fire. Roberts said it appeared Cardenas may have had “mental issues.”

Police said both shooting victims were seated at the back of the bus near Cardenas.

Associated Press writer Sally Ho contributed to this report.

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