Alli Friedman

KCFW Reporter

POSTED: 7:38 AM Aug 06 2014   UPDATED: 2:05 PM Jul 02 2014

Alli Friedman is a reporter for KCFW in Kalispell. She was born and raised in southern California, and is excited to be living in northwest Montana.

Alli earned her BFA in Television and Broadcast Journalism from Chapman University in Orange County, CA. 

While in school, she interned for NBC LA, KTLA-TV, and PBS SoCal. 

When Alli isn't in the newsroom, she loves to travel, work out, watch hockey and hang out with friends and family.

Being new to Montana, Alli is excited to adventure and explore the outdoors. 

If you have any questions, comments, concerns or story ideas please contact Alli by email.

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Alli Friedman's Latest Stories

Family of victim speaks out after fatal Highway 93 crash


alli By Alli Friedman, KCFW Reporter,
POSTED: 5:34 PM Oct 31 2014   UPDATED: 6:52 PM Oct 31 2014

Family of victim speaks out after fatal Highway 93 crash


We're learning new information about the two Flathead men who died in a three vehicle accident that happened on Highway 93 near Somers. Troopers say 61-year-old John Bradstreet, from Kalispell, hit a Jeep driven by 73-year-old Michael Berman.

We spoke to a family member and found out what’s next in the investigation.

What started as a regular Thursday morning for Berman ended on the highway after a wreck took his life.

"It’s a terrible loss, and I’m devastated," said Berman’s wife, Maureen Hathaway.

Hathaway realizes what she’s lost.

"He was very warm; he had a twinkle in his eye all the time and he loved Montana. We just moved here about eight, nine years ago and his only regret was that we didn't move here sooner," Hathaway said.

Investigators closed the highway for a second time to try and piece together what happened.

"We'll mark where each vehicle ended up -- their tires and skid marks from tires and scuff marks and gouges in the road, that we think came from the crash, and then any significant parts like glass. All that helps us determine where the initial impact was at and then all the final positions of the vehicles," said Trooper Thomas Manz, from Montana Highway Patrol.

We’re told there aren’t enough skid marks to determine how fast the cars were traveling at the time of the accident. But the other information that is gathered will be put into a database.

"After that it’s imported into a computer and the lead investigator just connects the dots and we have a drawing," Manz said.

All of that information can be used for possible litigation.

The Montana Department of Transportation was also at the investigation. They look at the road conditions and signage along the highway -- things that could have contributed to the cause of the wreck.

"That helps release us from any liability that might be out there," said Dave Rauser, from MDT.

But for Berman’s wife, what’s most important right now is to keep his memory alive.

"That's what he would have wanted. Just to continue and make this place my home and remember how much we both loved it here,” Hathaway said.

It is still unclear what caused the accident.

Highway 93 crash near Somers leaves two dead


alli By Alli Friedman, KCFW Reporter,
POSTED: 6:19 PM Oct 30 2014   UPDATED: 11:15 PM Oct 30 2014

Highway 93 crash near Somers leaves two dead


Two Flathead Valley men died in a three-vehicle crash in the Flathead Thursday. That crash caused traffic delays on U.S. Highway 93 just south of Somers.

A Jeep, Subaru, and a pickup truck collided near mile marker 101, south of Somers around 9 a.m. One of the vehicles ended up upside-down in a ditch.

NBC Montana was on the scene just after the wreck was called in. There was a truck, sliced in half and two people dead.

The driver of a purple Ford pickup truck, a 61-year-old Kalispell man, was headed north on Highway 93.

Montana Highway Patrol troopers say the driver was driving recklessly.

A woman driving a Subaru was headed south. She noticed the reckless driver and was about to call it in.

"I believe the report is that she was either getting ready to call it in or was on the phone. I’m not 100 percent sure at the moment. But she was about ready to report the driver of the purple truck as a possible reckless driver," said Trooper Jerril Ren.

That’s when the driver of the truck reportedly hit the guardrail, over-corrected, then crossed the line and hit a silver Jeep head on. The Jeep flipped, and landed on its roof in a ditch. The driver, a 73-year-old man died on impact. But the truck kept moving.

“The pickup spun around into the road,” Ren said.

It spun into the path of the Subaru, driven by the woman trying to call for help.

"The gal that was about ready to report it, then couldn't avoid striking the truck that came back into the road. So she struck that vehicle with hers," Ren said.

That’s what split the truck in two. The woman driving the Subaru suffered minor injuries but refused treatment.  

All lanes heading both directions were blocked. The accident was cleared about three hours later.

Officials are still investigating to find out why the driver of the truck was driving recklessly. They have not ruled out anything, including possible medical problems.

Kalispell Regional Medical Center responds to Ebola rumors


alli By Alli Friedman, KCFW Reporter,
POSTED: 6:33 PM Oct 30 2014   UPDATED: 6:44 PM Oct 30 2014
Kalispell Regional Medical Center responds to Ebola rumors

Kalispell Regional Medical Center knows too well how worried people are about Ebola.

A post in an online chat room claimed a patient with Ebola-like symptoms had appeared at KRMC.

Hospital administrators responded with a statement on the hospital’s webpage. It said that they had investigated the situation and found the allegations untrue.

The incident sparked so much fear for people in the Flathead that patients were canceling appointments at the hospital, and physicians were double and triple-checking charts.

Representatives from the hospital say they take the rumor and questions about Ebola very seriously.

"There’s a big concern just generated over this social media reaction that we had had a suspect patient. And given the nature of this disease and that it is communicable with other people, we needed to really rapidly address that, and do an appropriate investigation and really reassure people that we have absolutely not had a suspect case here," said KRMC Infectious Disease Physician Dr. Jeffrey Tjaden.

Tjaden says the hospital is prepared and fully equipped in the unlikely case an Ebola patient needs treatment.

FVCC announces new study abroad program in Canada


alli By Alli Friedman, KCFW Reporter,
POSTED: 5:19 PM Oct 29 2014   UPDATED: 11:07 PM Oct 29 2014

FVCC announces new study abroad program in Canada


Flathead Valley Community College has added its sixth study abroad program, with the University of Lethbridge.

Even though it’s right over the border, students say it’s still an abroad experience.

Zoe Glasser Breeding recently studied abroad in Brazil. She says it’s important to study abroad.

"It’s very important to be able to adhere to different cultures and to also respect different cultures. I learned a lot about the U.S. culture by traveling to Brazil, because I learned how we're different. The Brazilian community was very warm and they have a different perception of time," Breeding said.

Now, FVCC has added a new study abroad program in Canada.

"In today's world, we really are functioning in a very global economy. Global perspectives are very important for our students to just be competitive in the job market," said Director of International Student Services Gerda Reeb.

Students from FVCC can finish a bachelor’s degree at the University of Lethbridge, or just take a few classes. Canadian students can complete the first two years of their bachelor’s degree or also take a few courses.

There are more than 40 courses students can take that transfer back and forth between the two schools.

"For many community colleges in Montana, the most easy place to transfer would be MSU or U of M, because our credits will transfer directly into their programs. So it’s really nice to have another option, especially one abroad," Breeding said.

Supporters explain that even though it’s just a little more than a three-hour drive from the Flathead, it doesn’t mean you won’t get the same experience as if you studied abroad.

"These study abroad options -- whether be it to Canada or Costa Rica or Venice or Brazil -- where our students go, it opens these sort of windows to the world," Reeb said.

Several students have already shown interest in the program and the application process is just beginning.

Whitefish woman sentenced after stabbing husband


alli By Alli Friedman, KCFW Reporter,
POSTED: 5:52 PM Oct 29 2014   UPDATED: 6:15 PM Oct 29 2014
AnnMari Newton

A Whitefish woman who stabbed her husband during an argument at the couple’s home was sentenced Wednesday.

AnnMari Newton pleaded guilty to negligent homicide. She stabbed her husband, Chad Newton, last year. He suffered serious injuries which put him into a coma.

The family eventually took him off life support and he died.

The judge gave Newton a 10-year suspended sentence.

Kalispell firefighters donate winter coats to elementary students


alli By Alli Friedman, KCFW Reporter,
POSTED: 5:35 PM Oct 29 2014   UPDATED: 6:14 PM Oct 29 2014
Kalispell firefighters donate winter coats to elementary students

When they’re not responding to emergencies, firefighters can often be seen giving back to their communities.

The Kalispell Firefighters Association partnered with the Kalispell School District and Operation Warm to give away 150 winter jackets to students at Russell Elementary School. All of the jackets were made in the United States.

The money to buy the coats was raised this past summer, during the department’s annual 3-on-3 basketball tournament.

The president of the International Association of Firefighters says it’s a tradition that goes to the core mission for firefighters.

“Kalispell is no different than any other city across the nation, in that we’ve got folks that are struggling to make ends meet. We’re hoping by providing the winter jackets to these kids, that will help take care of one of their needs this winter,” said F. Ray Ruffatto.

This is the first year the International Association of Firefighters has handed out winter coats. They hope to make it an annual event.

Compromise in the works to fix Flathead Co. landslide problem


alli By Alli Friedman, KCFW Reporter,
POSTED: 6:40 PM Oct 28 2014   UPDATED: 11:15 PM Oct 28 2014

Compromise in the works to fix Flathead Co. landslide problem


Flathead County residents worried about a landslide in their backyard are in negotiations with the county to fix the problem.

The slide is located off Whitefish Stage Road and Bruyer Road. County commissioners previously backed out of a federal grant to stop the slide.

The slide happened in 2010. Residents received a $300,000 federal emergency grant and raised $100,000 to help repair it. Originally, the county signed off on the deal, but later backed out.

Now, the two sides are trying to hammer out a deal before it reaches trial.

Residents who live in the area are not only worried for their safety but frustrated that it has taken the county so long to help them solve an ongoing problem.

"We're looking at losing all of your house and a lot of your property. Hopefully nobody will be in it, if it ever comes to that," said Todd Sharpe, who lives near the landslide. 

That’s why Sharpe and his neighbors asked the county and then the federal government to help stop the slide. They have the money, but don’t know why the county will not help them.

“The county commissioners should be saying ‘Hey, we have this free money coming in, and it’s going to help our economy and give people jobs, and its going to save our taxpayer land value.’ It’s a win-win on all situations," Sharpe said.

NBC Montana took that question to County Commissioner Cal Scott. Scott puts it this way -- using the money could put the county on the hook for future landslides.

"Because we were instrumental in the original 'fix' of the problem, which frankly cannot be fixed by human effort. Mother Nature is going to prevail, and it wouldn't surprise me if years to come, the slumping continues regardless, and will move over towards the Whitefish Stage Road," Scott said.

"We're only a couple hundred feet from Whitefish Stage Road. You know, at which point is the commission going to say 'Oh, we don't need Whitefish Stage Road anymore. It’s natural, it’s going to happen. Let’s let it just erode away,’" said Sharpe.

A new slide started just a few feet away from the first. Residents worry that the new slide will never get fixed.

"I don't really know what we're going to end up doing about it," said Sharpe.

"Nothing definitive has come forth on that, other than it did occur," Scott said.

The county and residents are currently negotiating a compromise. Bottom line -- if the county uses the money they want it clear that they are not liable for any future damage.

Residents say they have spent nearly $12,000 in lawyer fees and just want the problem solved.

If the county and residents cannot come up with an agreement, the problem will land in court.

Safety officials inspect car seats for proper installation


alli By Alli Friedman, KCFW Reporter,
POSTED: 4:44 PM Oct 25 2014
Safety officials inspect car seats for proper installation

It’s not always easy to find the right car seat for your child and know it’s installed the right way to keep your child safe.

Passenger safety technicians, in Kalispell, gave free car seat inspections.

Parents and caregivers brought car seats to the check. They were shown how to properly install and secure a car seat.

Officials say depending on the vehicle it’s used in and the child that sits in it, that makes a difference in how to secure it properly.

During the event, safety technicians talked about regulations, new products and product recalls. They say knowing that information can save a child’s life.

“Having car seats checked is so important. You know, 80 to 90% of our car seats are being used incorrectly and you may think ‘oh, it’s just a little minor mistake,’ but in a crash it can make a huge difference between a very small injury for a child and a tragic fatality,” said Wendy Hansen, the Buckle Up Montana Coalition coordinator for Flathead County.

In case you missed the inspection and want more information about child passenger safety, visit

Hunting season off to good start on opening day


alli By Alli Friedman, KCFW Reporter,
POSTED: 4:29 PM Oct 25 2014
Steady start to hunting season on opening day

It’s a day thousands in Montana look forward to all year, opening day for hunting season.

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks officials say it’s off to a good start.

Game wardens at one check station, in the Flathead, say numbers are similar to last years.

That check station is located in the Flathead Valley, off Highway 2, just a few miles west of Kalispell.

As of 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 25th, more than 10 deer cam through that checkpoint, most of them between a year and a half and three and a half years old.

Hunters had the most success with Whitetail, followed closely by Mule Deer.

Game officials say on average about 550 hunters go through that Highway 2 check station on opening day. Today, game officials expect at least that many hunters to pass through.

“Weather conditions are pretty mild right now. It’s quiet out there in the woods because of all the rain we’ve had, so I think that’s going to help the hunters today,” said FWP official, Ray Washtak.

Game officials want to remind hunters that it is required, by state law, to stop at these checkpoints.

They are important for tracking population and biological information of wildlife.

Residents disagree on plans to pave Flathead County road


alli By Alli Friedman, KCFW Reporter,
POSTED: 6:18 PM Oct 24 2014   UPDATED: 11:10 PM Oct 24 2014
Residents disagree on plans to pave Flathead County road

A $3.9 million project to pave a 6-mile stretch of road in Flathead County has neighbors disagreeing -- some want it paved, others don’t.

The road is K.M. Ranch Road located off Highway 93 between Kalispell and Whitefish. The paving will start where Prairie View Road intersects with K.M. Ranch Road, and continue to Twin Bridges Road.

“They want it paved because it's gravel road -- it's dusty, it's bumpy,” said Flathead County Administrator Mike Pence.

The paving plan has been in the works for three years.

"There are so many variables. How thick the asphalt is, how you make up the road bed, how wide the road is, are there guard rails, on and on and on," said K.M. Ranch Road resident Marshall Friedman.

Now residents have requested the county help fund the paving through a rural special improvement district, or RSID.

We’re told it’s going to cost residents around $650 a year for 20 years. Some residents say that is too much money and are opposed to the road paving.

The total cost of the project is $3.9 million. The county is paying $2.5 million of it and the residents make up the rest.

The cost isn’t what bothers Friedman. He wants it paved.

"There’s a real problem with cars losing control on gravel roads, especially -- obviously -- on curves, and we've had several incidents since we've been on the road," Friedman said.

Friedman says the dust makes visibility difficult. Drivers can’t see people walking or biking. He is also worried about a health issue.

"Dust aggravates respiratory and coronary conditions, especially asthma," Friedman said.

Other residents told NBC Montana they do not want the road paved, because they think it will create a bypass, and a major road for through traffic. They fear more animals will get killed.

But the biggest problem is the cost.

Homeowners posted signs along the road saying, “vote no on RSID…no cost.”

"If the majority protest the project, then we won’t move forward," Pence said.

The paving includes around 153 lots. So far 72 are in favor and 54 are against.

Tour gives inside look into timber industry


alli By Alli Friedman, KCFW Reporter,
POSTED: 5:35 PM Oct 23 2014   UPDATED: 11:41 PM Oct 23 2014

Tour gives inside look into timber industry


In the Flathead Valley, Timber has been an economic driver for more than 100 years. Now, 20 percent of the area’s economy comes from timber.

The Kalispell Chamber of Commerce gave business and legislative officials an inside look at how the industry works.

"Timber is just absolutely a critical part of our economy. It’s one of our legacy industries, I guess. It’s why Kalispell is here, at least one of the reasons," said Kalispell Chamber of Commerce President Joe Unterreinner.

To prove it, legislative candidates and business officials were invited to tour active forest management sites where timber is harvested.

“We’re generating new dollars from the utilization of our natural resources,” said F.H. Stoltze Land Manager Paul McKenzie.

McKenzie says the timber industry has been steady, so far.

“I wouldn’t say it’s up or down,” he said.

But McKenzie explains there is still a lot of uncertainty.

“Without a doubt, the No. 1 concern of every sawmill in the state of Montana is log supply and not knowing where our next log is going to come from. It’s really difficult to run a business when you’re running under that kind of uncertainty,” McKenzie said.

That’s why he hopes this tour will play a critical role in building industry stability. His bottom-line message is that timber harvests and sales provide jobs.

“The 7 million board feet that are going to come off this timber sale will run our sawmill a little over two months throughout this winter and in this next spring. That’s going to employ 120 employees that we operate on, on a daily basis,” Mckenzie said.

But, with any industry, there are hurdles. That’s why organizers hope the business leaders and lawmakers who took the tour see the dollars and cents of timber.

Landslides continue to threaten Flathead Valley homes


alli By Alli Friedman, KCFW Reporter,
POSTED: 6:18 PM Oct 22 2014   UPDATED: 11:09 PM Oct 22 2014

Landslides continue to threaten Flathead Valley homes


A second landslide in a Flathead Valley neighborhood has left residents even more fearful than the first.

The first slide happened in 2010, near Whitefish Stage and Bruyer Road. The second slide, which started in June, is just a few hundred feet to the north of that one. Recent rains have made it worse.

Residents like Janet Rodeghiero are anxious.

"I am concerned for all of us. It isn't just right below one person's property and it can cover and impact a lot of people. It’s a very complicated issue and I think a lot of people should take more interest in it," Rodeghiero said.

Rodeghiero is no stranger to the problem. She’s lived in the neighborhood since the first slide started in 2010.

That’s when neighbors took action. They received a $300,000 federal emergency grant to repair it. But the county backed out of the deal.

NBC Montana tried to contact representatives from the Flathead County Commissioner's office, but no calls were returned.

"The more time we waste, the worse it’s going to get," Rodeghiero said.

Residents also took legal action. There has been no settlement and nothing has been repaired yet.

Now the new slide is threatening more homes.

One homeowner who lives above one of the slides says, because it has taken the county so long to repair the first slide, he’s worried the second slide will never get repaired.

Other residents are not that concerned.

"I don't think too much about it. I don't lose any sleep on it...You're a little bit curious as to what will happen in the future...We've been here a long time and we've seen no movement ourselves,” said Doug Johns.

Johns questions if he would have just paid someone to fix the problem himself.

“It could occur again, but I’m not particularly concerned about it. I’ll take responsibility for our own property. I’m going to ask for assistance from somebody else,” Johns said.

Residents say they are still negotiating with the county and are hoping a deal is made soon to fix both slides.

Whitefish Lake barge fire causes thousands of dollars in damage


alli By Alli Friedman, KCFW Reporter,
POSTED: 3:43 PM Jul 05 2014   UPDATED: 11:23 PM Oct 21 2014

Whitefish Lake barge fire causes thousands of dollars in damage


For the second year in a row, the fireworks barge in the middle of Whitefish Lake went up in flames during the 4th of July fireworks show.

It was not planned, and has some residents calling for changes to be made.

"We were probably one of the closest boats to the barge, and about 6-7 minutes before the finale all of a sudden the barge started on fire again. It started really small and then about 3 minutes after it was like the whole barge was engulfed in flames,” said Whitefish resident, Lisa Witzke.

Witzke was there when the barge caught fire last year and says she isn't surprised it happened again.

"It is what it is, you know fireworks, it’s all at your own risk," Witzke said.

Big Sky Fireworks is the company that has been doing the fireworks show on Whitefish Lake for the past 4 years.

NBC Montana went down to the scene of the fire today and met Dan Schuler, the pyrotechnician for Big Sky Fireworks. He was one of the people who set up, and set off the 720 fireworks. He says, it is something that just happens.

"When the fireworks go off they have a lift charge that pushes them up into the air and that lift charge has a lot of sparks and when you just can’t get any wind to blow them off the barge, they all just land on the barge," Schuler said.

And it was the accumulation of those sparks that caused the fire. But, because this had already happened last year, Schuler and Big Sky Fireworks said they were more prepared.

"We were worried from last year, we did make some steps to try to fix that. We did bring some fire extinguishers,” Schuler said.

And they had to use them, extinguishing two smaller fires on the barge before the big one broke out.

But residents around Whitefish Lake think something more needs to be done.

"They might want to make modifications, I guess. I hear building it on a metal barge rather than a wooden one might help the problem,” Witzke said.

But that doesn't mean people didn't enjoy the show.

"So the show went up as planned. If you didn't see the barge on fire you wouldn't know there was a problem with the show,” said Schuler.

"We had a great time last night,” said Witzke.

This barge fire cost the fireworks company thousands of dollars and the barge that belonged to the city of Whitefish is completely destroyed.

Suspects commit fraud using checks from deceased person’s account


alli By Alli Friedman, KCFW Reporter,
POSTED: 6:10 PM Oct 21 2014   UPDATED: 11:04 PM Oct 21 2014

Suspects commit fraud using checks from deceased person’s account


The Flathead County Sheriff’s Office is searching for two people suspected of writing checks on a deceased person’s account.

The sheriff’s office says one bank in Kalispell reported someone was writing checks from a closed account at local businesses that do not have check scanners.

When the businesses went to deposit the check, the bank was notified about the account activity. It was at that point the businesses found out the checks were not good.

Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry says it’s fraud.

“Fraud is a felony and it does carry the potential for jail time and a very stiff fine, in addition to restitution, which we always attempt to get for whoever the victim may be," Curry said.

Curry noted that this is not a new problem.

"Unfortunately, cases of fraud are all too common. We see a lot of them," said Curry.

A financial adviser at Park Side Credit Union, Rob Lefkowicz, explains that it is important to have a payable-on-death beneficiary on the account. That way, if the account holder dies, the account can be closed on the spot.

"When you close an account and you have all the appropriate documentation, such as a death certificate, and you are the payable-on-death beneficiary, in the vast majority of cases, that account is closed right on the spot. There are some cases where there's long-term investments or securities that aren't able to be closed on the spot. But for regular consumers, most of the accounts are closed very quick and on the spot," Lefkowicz said.

Doing that won’t stop all fraud.

"I would suggest to the merchants is take that extra step and ask to see a driver's license, match the name on the checks with the name of the person in front of you." said Lefkowicz.

For current account holders, Lefkowicz has simple advice.

"Consider the number of accounts that you have open. If you have accounts open from years ago and checks laying around that you haven't used, you probably want to consider closing those accounts and shredding the checks so you don't have that liability," he said.

The sheriff’s office is confident the suspects will be caught.

“Fortunately, at least for us and the victims, these cases are almost always caught. People just don’t get away with this sort of thing. There are too many safeguards in place, and it always turns out that we end up getting the person,” Curry said.

The sheriff’s office is still investigating and nobody is in custody yet.

It is still unclear how the suspects in this most recent case knew the deceased person or got ahold of the checks.

Kalispell reviews proposals to solve parking issues near Flathead High


alli By Alli Friedman, KCFW Reporter,
POSTED: 2:19 PM Oct 18 2014   UPDATED: 10:46 PM Oct 19 2014

Kalispell reviews proposals to solve parking issues


Different plans, proposed by different agencies, has left the City of Kalispell at a standstill over how to deal with rising congestion around Flathead High School.

Flathead High students and staff park on the street during school hours. This frustrates residents who cannot find a space to park their own vehicles.

So, they are asking the city to make a residential parking permit program. But, the school district is pushing for a different proposal.

Jordan Boyce is a Kalispell resident who lives across the street from the high school. He says, school days give the neighborhood a different look.

“There’s a lot more residents without driveways, and so that main road is very full all the time,” Boyce said.

Residents and the school district are both working on a fix.

“The original proposal from the residents was a residential parking district that would require a permit to park on the streets within a distinct boundary within a couple block radius within the high school and Elrod elementary,” said Kalispell City Planner, Kevin LeClaire.

The school district, in addition to adding parking spaces on school property, want parking restricted on only one side of the street. This would give residents a space to park on the other side of the streets.

“The city has no stake in it other than to help try and facilitate a process that hopefully results in a positive solution,” LeClaire said.

The residents and the school district met to try and compromise. Eventhough they are not successful yet, they seem to be close.

"They've gotten closer together in some kind of a hybrid solution. They’re still not together. I wouldn't say they're holding hands and saying we're both in this together, but they're getting closer," LeClaire said.

If the parking district is approved, the permits could cost between $15 and $30. They would be required only during school hours, Monday through Friday.

"They need to be enough to pay for the program because the city doesn't have a pot of money just to do this," LeClaire said.

Boyce, along with other residents, has hope that the end result will benefit everyone.

“I think it can happen. We’ll just have to be creative. I think Kalispell can do it thought,” Boyce said.

The Kalispell City Planning Board will have another work session on the matter on October 28th, 2014. But, they say they are not sure when a decision will be made.