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AP-MT--Montana News Digest, MT

October 3, 2018

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:

CROW TRIBE-INVESTIGATION

BILLINGS — Montana’s Crow Indian Tribe misused $4.8 million intended for water system improvements and can’t account for an additional $7.8 million that the tribe said it paid to subcontractors and vendors, according to a U.S. government audit released Tuesday. The findings mark the third time in recent years that the tribe has come under scrutiny for its handling of federal money. Those investigations have raised questions about a combined $29 million distributed to the tribe by the government.

CROW TRIBE-INVESTIGATION-THE LATEST

2018 ELECTIONS-SIX MILL LEVY

BOZEMAN — Among the candidates and issues on Montana’s November ballot is a referendum asking voters to extend for another 10 years a property tax that raises nearly $20 million a year to help support the state’s public colleges and universities. At a recent forum in Bozeman, Whitefish Republican Bob Brown — a former secretary of state — called the levy a proud tradition that voters have approved in support of younger generations for 70 years. SENT: 580 words.

CONSERVATION FUND

WASHINGTON — A popular program that supports conservation and outdoor recreation projects across the country expired after Congress could not agree on language to extend it. Lawmakers from both parties back the Land and Water Conservation Fund, but the program lapsed Monday amid dispute over whether its renewal should be part of a broader package of land-use and parks bills. By Matthew Daly. SENT: 740 words, photo.

IN BRIEF:

— ELECTIONS 2018-SENATE-MONTANA — Vice President Mike Pence is criticizing Democratic U.S. Sen. Jon Tester of Montana for announcing his opposition to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh before an FBI investigation into the judge is completed.

— BUTTE CENTRAL-THREAT — Butte Central Catholic Schools elementary and middle schools canceled classes due to a second threatening email.

— MONTANA-FLU VACCINES — State and local health officials are encouraging all Montanans six months of age and older to get vaccinated against influenza this month.

— MISSOULA SHOOTING-SENTENCE — A 19-year-old man who pepper-sprayed two people in a Missoula convenience before they were shot has been given a deferred sentence for his role in the armed robbery.

— UNIVERSITY OF MONTANA-FINES — The U.S. Department of Education has issued more than $960,000 in fines to the University of Montana for reporting “inaccurate and misleading” crime statistics from 2012 to 2015.

— BILLINGS-HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION — A Montana man convicted of evidence tampering in connection with a man’s body that was found in a shallow grave north of Billings was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

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If you have stories of regional or statewide interest, please email them to apdenver@ap.org. If you have photos of regional or statewide interest, please send them to the AP state photo center in New York, 888-273-6867. For access to AP Exchange and other technical issues, contact AP Customer Support at apcustomersupport@ap.org or 877-836-9477.

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.

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