Archive for October 9th, 2009


Story Published: Oct 9, 2009 at 2:49 PM MDT

Story Updated: Oct 9, 2009 at 5:26 PM MDT

BILLINGS – A California company drops its proposal to take over the Hardin jail. The news comes just days before the Montana Attorney General’s deadline for American Police Force to hand over critical information concerning the group’s previous business ventures.

Attorney General Steve Bullock also demanded the group identify their current owners, which is something that was never revealed to the public.

American Police Force spokeswoman Becky Shay said Friday the deal with Hardin had “gone sour” after press revelations about the criminal past of company founder Michael Hilton. Hilton has a history of fraud and theft going back at least two decades. He signed a contract in September to take over the jail and run local law enforcement but it was never ratified.

KULR-8 News currently has reporters on the scene of a news conference related to the unraveling of the contract between American Police Force and Two Rivers Authority. Stay tuned to the KULR-8 First News at Five, the KULR-8 News at Six and Ten for the latest developments on this story

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Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize

KARL RITTER and MATT MOORE | 10/ 9/09 11:42 AM | AP

OSLO — President Barack Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday in a stunning decision designed to build momentum behind his initiatives to reduce nuclear arms, ease tensions with the Muslim world and stress diplomacy and cooperation rather than unilateralism.

Obama said he was surprised and deeply humbled by the honor, and planned to travel to Oslo to accept the prize, which he said he does not see “as a recognition of my own accomplishments,” but rather as a recognition of goals he has set for the United States and the world.

“I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many transformative figures that have been honored by this prize,” Obama said.

Many observers were shocked by the unexpected choice so early in the Obama presidency, which began less than two weeks before the Feb. 1 nomination deadline and has yet to yield concrete achievements in peacemaking.

Some around the world objected to the choice of Obama, who still oversees wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and has launched deadly counter-terror strikes in Pakistan and Somalia.

Members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee said their choice could be seen as an early vote of confidence in Obama intended to build global support for his policies. They lauded the change in global mood wrought by Obama’s calls for peace and cooperation, and praised his pledges to reduce the world stock of nuclear arms, ease American conflicts with Muslim nations and strengthen the U.S. role in combating climate change.

Aagot Valle, a lawmaker for the Socialist Left party who joined the committee this year, said she hoped the selection would be viewed as “support and a commitment for Obama.”

“And I hope it will be an inspiration for all those that work with nuclear disarmament and disarmament,” she told The Associated Press in a rare interview. Members of the Nobel peace committee usually speak only through its chairman.


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NASA Moon Bombing: WATCH NASA’s LCROSS Mission Crash The Moon (LIVE VIDEO, PHOTOS)

First Posted: 10- 9-09 07:52 AM   |   Updated: 10- 9-09 12:15 PM

*See video of NASA moon bombing and photos of LCROSS below*

WASHINGTON — NASA has successfully bulldozed two spacecraft into the moon’s south pole in a search for hidden ice, but without the promised live photos.

First a 2.2-ton empty rocket hull smacked the moon’s south pole at 7:31 a.m. EDT Friday. Then four minutes later the camera-and-instrument laden space probe made its death plunge.

The smaller probe had five cameras and four other scientific instruments and NASA had touted live photos on its web site. But those images didn’t occur. NASA officials say they are sure the two probes crashed and looking to see what happened to the pictures. Pictures were live until seconds before impact.

The intentional crashes had been expected to kick up miles of lunar dust. The space probe is called LCROSS, short for Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.


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Frank Sinatra – Fly Me To The Moon

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APPF SUVs with Hardin Police Dept. decal, 9/30/09

APPF SUVs with 'Hardin Police Dept.' decal, 9/30/09

Early Agreement Said APPF Would Provide Hardin With Police Force For $250K

TPM MUCKRAKER– Justin Elliott | October 9, 2009, 10:04AM

Here’s a nice get by the Billings Gazette, which went to court to pry another document from the hands of Hardin, MT, officials on the town’s deal with the shadowy American Private Police Force.

The August 18 agreement, signed by APPF’s Michael Hilton and Hardin economic development chief Greg Smith, who resigned this week, makes clear that Smith wanted APPF to provide a police force for the town, which doesn’t have its own department. Read the whole thing here.

TPMmuckraker previously reported that the September contract signed by APPF and the Two Rivers Authority — but never OKed by the trustee on the bonds used to build the Hardin jail — gave APPF the option of providing law enforcement services for the town.

The earlier agreement that emerged today says that Two Rivers would submit a proposal for APPF “to provide a police force” and the ‘City of Hardin will pay the sum of $250,000 to American for the police force.” It’s not clear if that was the annual rate, and it’s even less clear whether Two Rivers, an economic development agency, had the authority to make promises on behalf of the city of Hardin.

Company Mercedes SUVs rolled into town a few weeks ago with “City of Hardin Police Department” decals, causing worry among residents and drawing national attention. They were removed within the day.

Smith, the Two Rivers official who signed the agreement, was put on leave after the September 4 contract was signed. He resigned this week, and town officials have been mum as to why he left. But the August agreement may go a long way to explaining what happened.

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