PNS National Newscast

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the Public News Service (podcast)"
"Hey Google, play the Public News Service podcast"
"Alexa, play Public News Service podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

2020Talks

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Hey Google, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Alexa, play Two-Thousand-Twenty Talks podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - August 13, 2020 


Minutes after Biden selected Harris as VP, she throws first punch at Trump; teachers raise their hands with safety concerns.


2020Talks - August 13, 2020 


Joe Biden and Kamala Harris make their first public appearance as running mates. President Trump calls Georgia's Marjorie Taylor Greene a GOP "star," despite her support for conspiracy theory QAnon.

Federal Grant Helps MT Continue Work of Testing Sexual Assault Kits

Montana is going through a backlog of more than 1,100 untested sexual assault kits. (Herney/Pixabay)
Montana is going through a backlog of more than 1,100 untested sexual assault kits. (Herney/Pixabay)
October 9, 2017

HELENA, Mont. – Montana is getting more federal help to test its backlog of sexual assault kits.

The U.S. Justice Department's Sexual Assault Kit Initiative is distributing $34 million to 20 jurisdictions around the country.

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox says the $1 million his state is receiving will help test kits in its backlog through 2020.

The state's Justice Department has sent about 225 of more than 1,100 kits to a contracted lab for testing.

Fox says this process is crucial for helping victims get the justice they deserve.

"Our primary goal is to make sure that the justice system is working, that we have a trauma-informed, victim-centered way of approaching sexual assault crimes, and that we do justice in the long run and instill confidence in our justice system in Montana," he states.

In 2015, Fox created the Sexual Assault Evidence Task Force to look at how to move forward with untested kits.

Last year, the state received $2 million from the federal Bureau of Justice Assistance to start testing its backlog of kits.

Fox soon hopes to add a victim advocate and cold case investigator to the state Justice Department's Division of Criminal Investigation.

And he says a computerized tracking system for kits should go up at the end of this year or beginning of next year.

"That'll become important not only for tracking the kits that we currently have backlogged, but in the future it will help law enforcement to have these kits in a system that's organized and run by the Montana Department of Justice," he states.

There are about 175,000 untested rape kits across the country, according to End The Backlog, a program of the Joyful Heart Foundation.


Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - MT