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BC-MT--Montana News Digest, MT

January 4, 2019

Montana at 6 p.m.

The desk can be reached at 406-442-7440. For access to AP Exchange and other technical issues, contact AP Customer Support at apcustomersupport@ap.org or 877-836-9477. For up-to-the minute information on AP’s coverage, visit Coverage Plan at newsroom.ap.org.

TOP STORIES:

ZINKE-INVESTIGATIONS

BILLINGS — Newly departed U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke told The Associated Press on Thursday that he’s been truthful with investigators looking into numerous ethics complaints against him and rejected as inaccurate a report that he’s under investigation for lying. Zinke’s comments came in response to a Washington Post story alleging that the Justice Department’s public integrity section was examining whether the former Montana congressman lied to investigators from Interior Department’s office of inspector general, which provides independent oversight of the agency. By Matthew Brown. SENT: 620 words, photos.

NATIVITY SCENE THEFT

BUTTE _ A baby Jesus figurine stolen from a nativity scene at a Montana residence on New Year’s Day was returned Thursday with two notes from someone pretending to be God. Jack McCormick said he was relieved to see the 15-inch (38-centimeter) figurine in the snow in his yard in Butte, The Montana Standard reported. SENT: 230 words.

IN BRIEF:

_ MONTANA MILLIONAIRE _ A Billings man begins 2019 with a lot more money in the bank after claiming the Montana Millionaire jackpot.

_ CENTURYLINK OUTAGE-COMPLAINTS _ Montana officials say there’s not much they can do about a recent outage by national telecommunications company CenturyLink.

_ SMALL PLANE CRASH _ Two Gallatin County men in their mid-30s were injured when a small airplane struck a power line southeast of Helena.

_ MONTANA WIND _ Hold onto your hats, and maybe your lawn ornaments.

_ RESERVATION-BODY FOUND _ A funeral will be held Saturday for a Native American girl found dead on Montana’s Northern Cheyenne Reservation.

_ MONTANA-BODIES IN BASEMENT _ Attorneys are seeking a new trial venue for a Montana woman charged in the deaths of two people whose bodies were found dismembered in acid-filled tubs in a basement.

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