Rare Fall Snowstorm Blankets Montana

Pedestrians make their way along a snow covered street lined with trees that still have their leaves during a fall snowstorm in Helena, Mont., on Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019.

Pedestrians make their way along a snow covered street lined with trees that still have their leaves during a fall snowstorm in Helena, Mont., on Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019. AP Photo/Matt Volz


Connecting state and local government leaders

STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | One oil company has agreed to settle a coastal restoration lawsuit in Louisiana ... LAPD looks into controversial job ad ... Baltimore delegate temporarily kicked off Twitter for excessive hashtags.

Parts of Montana were hit with record-breaking snow fall this winter, with an unusual September storm prompting Gov. Steve Bullock to declare a state of emergency. In Great Falls in northcentral Montana, 14 inches of snow were recorded by 6:30 a.m. on Sunday, while Browning, near the Canadian border, had gotten more than two feet of snow. The Blackfeet Nation restricted travel to emergency vehicles, telling people to stay put because cars getting stuck were hurting efforts to plow away the snow. "With an unprecedented winter storm throwing our state a surprise in September, state and local governments are working closely together to protect the health and safety of Montanans and our top priority is making sure that happens,” Bullock said in a statement. There hasn’t been a fall storm this big in the state since 1934, the Great Falls Tribune reported. [KRTV; Great Falls Tribune; Weather.com]

COASTAL RESTORATION | One oil and gas company operating in Louisiana has agreed to a settlement with coastal governments suing to get the industry to repair damage to wetlands caused by the pipelines crisscrossing the state. Freeport-McMoRan Inc. agreed to payments up to $100 million, which would go to coastal restoration work, although the deal needs to be approved by parish governments (whose leaders said they are still learning the details). But the company is just one of 98 sued by the 12 parishes. “This is definitely a starting point, and I think they all understand that the ones that come first get the better deals,” said John Carmouche, a lawyer representing many of the plaintiffs. The big oil and gas companies have fought the lawsuits. Melissa Landry, a spokeswoman for BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and Shell, said the dispute shouldn’t be decided in a courtroom, adding the companies had been operating according to state law. [Nola.com; New York Times]

JOB AD | The Los Angeles Police Department is looking into why the agency posted a job advertisement on Breitbart.  Police Chief Michael Moore said the LAPD would not advertise on the right-wing website, with officials saying it conflicts with the department’s “core values.” A spokeswoman for the site responded that it is pro-law enforcement, adding that they know “we have strong readership among the rank-and-file in the LAPD.” [Los Angeles Times]

JAIL COSTS | Missouri owes cities and counties more than $30 million for the state share of holding people in jail before trial. To bring down costs, the state is now looking to lock up less people, putting $5 million toward electronic monitoring, but the program is still months away from getting off the ground. [St. Louis Public Radio]

HASHTAG ABUSE? | Twitter temporarily suspended a Maryland state delegate from Baltimore for using too many hashtags in her tweets. The social network reinstated Del. Robbyn Lewis the next day after criticism, but warned she had used hashtags excessively. Lewis, who tweeted about climate change and public transit before getting booted, noted that her content is hardly the most objectional on the site. “Apparently hashtags about transit and African-American women leaders are verboten! I never insult, fight, engage trolls. I just ride the bus and my bike to work and try to love everyone. Back to work! Srsly thank you all!,” Lewis tweeted when she got back on, adding the hashtag #FreeAtLast. [WJZ 13]

Laura Maggi is the Managing Editor of Route Fifty.

NEXT STORY: Trump Administration to Give State, Local Governments a Say in Refugee Resettlement