This Week’s Missoula News Highlights-Week of July 29


Missoula police see change in leadership to help implement DOJ agreement

The Department of Justice report on changes needed to be made by the Missoula Police Department released last May, has led Police Chief Mike Muir to hand over his position’s daily operations to Assistant Chief of Police Mike Brady. Muir will now concentrate on implementing steps reached in an agreement between his department and the DOJ outlining ways in which the Missoula Police Department handles sexual assault cases. Muir, who is already set to retire in December, wants to set forth changes laid forth in the agreement, but stated that he will never concede the department violated citizen’s civil rights as per the reason behind the DOJ’s investigation. (read more) other links: City Attorney’s response

Griz LogoNCAA hands down sanctions to the University of Montana Football program

With the kickoff to the 2013 University of Montana Grizzly’s football season less than a month away, the NCAA probe into the school’s football program has resulted in several penalties. The NCAA findings included that former coach Robin Pflugrad failed to monitor the football program. Violations included, allowing boosters to provide benefits to players, consisting of monetary assistance, free legal representation, free meals, clothing, transportation, and lodging.

As a result of the infractions the program will have to forfeit four scholarships in each of the next three seasons and vacate five wins in which ineligible athletes played after receiving legal help. Coach Pflugrad, who is now the offensive coordinator for Weber State, is suspended from coaching during the first game of the school’s 2013 season as well as facing recruiting restrictions. (read more) other links: UM reaction

Missoula non-profit program Dress for Success is in need of volunteers

The Missoula Dress for Success program helps disadvantaged women find work through employment programs and then gives them professional make-overs to help them secure career success. The non-profit is in need of volunteers for fundraising programs including the Powerwalk for Success in September. While Missoulian’s are usually quick to help non-profit programs, CEO Teresa Sanford says the charity is in short supply right now. Sanford sees the shortage of volunteers as a unique opportunity for those who have had similar problems entering the workforce to help others in need. Women, as well as men are encouraged to contact her organization to help fill volunteer positions. The group meetings are at Liquid Planet every Wednesday. (read more) other links: Dress For Success, Powerwalk for Success

GoodwillMissoula’s Goodwill reopens in new location

When uncertain economic times hit second hand stores become the new place to shop and save money. The Missoula Goodwill has seen an increased need for their goods in recent years and with that an opportunity to enlarge.

The store recently made the move from their location across from the Missoula County Fair Grounds to the old Missoula Armory across Reserve Street from Shopko. Long lines were seen outside the store as customers waited for the opening at 8 am Thursday morning. The new location will also house the Goodwill warehouse as well as the stores usual items. (read more) other links: larger space, historic move

Western Montana sees much needed rainfall

July in Western Montana brought hot and dry conditions to the area and several wildfires. However, as August was ushered in on Thursday, so were rainy conditions and lower temperatures. Missoula experienced much needed precipitation throughout most of the day and the National Weather Service is calling for continuing widespread showers and storms through Friday. The changing weather pattern has given local wildfire crews a slight reprieve from the previously dry conditions feeding the fires. (read more) other links: wildfire updates


Tom Diddel has lived in Missoula on and off for nearly thirty-eight years. He enjoys skiing, hiking, and many other outdoor activities. He holds a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Montana and is currently working as a Freelance Writer and a Para-Educator.




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