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BC-MT--Montana News Digest, MT

April 12, 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:

MEDICAID EXPANSION-MONTANA

HELENA _ A bill to continue Montana’s Medicaid expansion program stalled Thursday on the Senate floor as Republicans sought to tie the fate of that measure — a top priority of Gov. Steve Bullock and Democratic lawmakers — to that of other legislation. The Medicaid expansion bill failed on a 25-25 vote, and several Republican lawmakers said they were withholding their support until they see how other bills play out. By Amy Beth Hanson. SENT: 530 words.

INTERIOR SECRETARY

WASHINGTON _ The Senate on Thursday confirmed acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt to lead the department on a permanent basis, despite complaints by Democrats that the former oil and gas lobbyist has used his federal position to benefit former industry clients. The Senate voted 56-41 to approve Bernhardt’s nomination to oversee the country’s public lands and resources. He succeeds Ryan Zinke, who resigned in January amid a series of ethics investigations. By Matthew Daly. SENT: 600 words, photos on national lines.

OF MONTANA INTEREST:

SPRING BLIZZARD-ROCKIES

DENVER _ A “bomb cyclone” fizzled but a spring snowstorm that hit Colorado and Wyoming still created hazardous road conditions and snarled airport traffic. Blizzard conditions persisted Thursday morning in the northeast corner of Colorado but all warnings were canceled in the two states by the afternoon as the storm moved away, allowing residents to start digging out. Some schools remained closed. SENT: 390 words, photos.

With: SPRING BLIZZARD-ROCKIES-THE LATEST

IN BRIEF:

_ MURDER TRIAL-TESTER NEPHEW _ A mistrial has been declared in Spokane for a man charged with first-degree murder in the death of a nephew of Montana Sen. Jon Tester.

_ BILLINGS FEES-LAWSUIT _ A Montana judge has certified a class-action lawsuit that claims the city of Billings improperly taxed residents by imposing franchise fees on their utility bills.

_ CAR INSURANCE SCAM-MONTANA _ Montana’s insurance commissioner says a Tennessee man is peddling unauthorized car insurance policies.

_ CENSUS OF AGRICULTURE _ The latest Census of Agriculture shows the number of farms and ranches in the U.S. has fallen but the remaining operations are larger and are responsible for a higher percentage of agricultural sales. (With AP Photos)

_ BUTTE-SUPERFUND _ U.S. environmental officials are taking comments from the public on a proposed final plan for the decades-long Butte Superfund cleanup.

_ IRS-DONOR DISCLOSURE-MONTANA _ U.S. government attorneys are asking a judge to throw out Montana Gov. Steve Bullock’s lawsuit against the Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department.

_ TEEN KILLED-CHARGES _ A Montana man is charged with vehicular homicide in a traffic crash that killed a 16-year-old girl and injured another teen in North Dakota.

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