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BC-MT--Montana News Digest, MT

February 7, 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:

DEATH PENALTY

HELENA, Mont. _ A Montana lawmaker wants to require prosecutors to provide indisputable biological proof that a person committed a capital crime before that person can be sentenced to death. Rep. Brad Hamlett, D-Cascade, told a panel of lawmakers on Wednesday that his legislation would require DNA or other biological proof that a judge finds conclusively establishes guilt before the defendant can be sentenced to death. By Amy Beth Hanson. SENT: 520 words, photo.

DUELING DINOSAURS

HELENA, Mont. _ A legal challenge over the ownership of valuable dinosaur fossils unearthed on an eastern Montana ranch has prompted legislation seeking to clarify that fossils are part of a property’s surface rights, not its mineral rights. Supporters told the state House Natural Resources Committee Wednesday that federal agencies and state lands policies differentiate between minerals and fossils — and it’s time state law followed suit. By Amy Beth Hanson. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 500 words.

OF MONTANA INTEREST:

GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN-WYOMING

CHEYENNE, Wyo. _ Legislation that would allow the state of Wyoming to take over operation of Yellowstone National Park and other facilities during a federal government shutdown was approved Wednesday by the state Senate. The measure passed 17-12 and went to the House. By Bob Moen. SENT: 360 words.

IN BRIEF:

WINTER WEATHER-RESCUE _ Montana authorities say rescuers on skis and snowmobiles found a father and son who had gone missing in snowy conditions and subzero temperatures in the mountains north of Yellowstone National Park.

SPOTTING HUMAN TRAFFICKING _ A Montana hospital hosted a training session to help medical providers spot human trafficking victims.

GLACIER PARK-VISITATION _ Glacier National Park recorded its second-busiest year in 2018 despite wildfires that closed popular areas of the park during the peak season. The Flathead Beacon reports that more than 2.9 million people visited Glacier last year. The data released by the National Park Service this week shows a 10.3 percent drop from 2017′s record 3.3 million visitors.

BABY DEATH-GUILTY PLEA _ A Poplar man has pleaded guilty to the involuntary manslaughter of a 6-month-old infant in his care. The Great Falls Tribune reports that 28-year-old Dennis Lloyd Red Boy will be sentenced on June 5 for the 2017 death of the baby girl. The maximum sentence he faces is eight years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

BLACKFEET HEAD START-EMBEZZLEMENT _ A former Blackfeet tribal chairman has pleaded not guilty to charges of stealing from the Montana tribe’s Head Start program. The Great Falls Tribune reports Willie Sharp is accused of illegally approving more than $232,000 in overtime pay for himself, his wife and others between April 2014 and July 2014.

PHOTOS:

DEATH PENALTY

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