AP-MT--Montana News Digest, MT
Montana at 6 p.m.
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HELENA — Montana lawmakers choose leaders for the upcoming legislative session, including a new House speaker.
TOP STORIES TODAY:
MONTANA SECRETARY OF STATE
HELENA — Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton on Tuesday defended his decision to award an emergency $265,000 contract to a friend’s printing company, saying he did what was right for state voters. Stapleton, a Republican, testified before the State Administration and Veterans Affairs Committee, which oversees his office, about the contract awarded to former state Republican Party Executive Director Jake Eaton. By Matt Volz. SENT: 610 words, photos.
BILLINGS — The Trump administration plans to appeal a federal court ruling that would allow oil and gas drilling on land considered sacred to Native American tribes in Montana and Canada, U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said Tuesday. Zinke said it would be inappropriate to allow drilling in northwestern Montana’s Badger-Two Medicine area, site of the creation story for the Blackfoot tribes. He’s asked government attorneys to appeal a September ruling that reinstated a nearly 10-square-mile (26-square-kilometer) oil and gas lease in the area bordering the Blackfeet Reservation and Glacier National Park. By Matthew Brown. SENT: 380 words, photo.
ELECTION 2020-WHY WAIT?
WASHINGTON — In the days after the midterm election, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker worked the phones with Democratic luminaries in Iowa. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock courted high-dollar donors in New York. Other Democrats openly mused about their White House ambitions on live television. Motivated by an urgency to unseat President Donald Trump and the prospect of a historically large primary field, Democrats see little incentive to delay or downplay their 2020 presidential hopes. Their more transparent approach is upending one of Washington’s favorite “will they or won’t they” parlor games and pushed the campaign calendar up earlier than ever before. By Thomas Beaumont, Juana Summers and Julie Pace. SENT: 960 words, photos.
— GLACIER PARK VISITATION — Glacier National Park had more than 92,000 visitors last month, increasing by nearly 9 percent after a wildfire led to closures in August and September.
— MONTANA UNIVERSITIES-TUITION — The Montana University System is mulling over tightening the rules for out-of-state students who want to gain in-state residency status that can cut thousands of dollars from tuition expenses.
— BEAR ATTACK — A Montana elk hunter who was attacked by a grizzly bear is recovering at a hospital.
— COAL MINE EXPANSION — State environmental regulators have given the OK to expanding a coal mine in southeastern Montana and set a $13.7 million cleanup bond.
— BRUCELLOSIS-WYOMING — A new case of brucellosis has been found in a cattle herd in northwest Wyoming, and the herd has been placed in quarantine.
SPORTS IN BRIEF:
— MONTANA TECH-MONTANA — Ahmaad Rorie scored 20 points and had three steals to help Montana beat NAIA Montana Tech 79-55 on Monday night.
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MARKETPLACE: Calling your attention to the Marketplace in AP Exchange, where you can find member-contributed content from Montana and other states. The Marketplace is accessible on the left navigational pane of the AP Exchange home page, near the bottom. For both national and state, you can click “All” or search for content by topics such as education, politics and business.