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BC-MT--Montana News Digest, MT

May 1, 2019

Montana at 1:05 p.m.

The desk can be reached at 406-442-7440 or 303-825-0123. For access to AP Exchange and other technical issues, contact AP Customer Support at apcustomersupport@ap.org or 877-836-9477.

MONTANA-HEALTH CARE COSTS

HELENA, Mont. _ Gov. Steve Bullock has signed legislation meant to lower premiums for Montana customers who receive health insurance through the Affordable Care Act’s individual marketplace. Bullock signed the bill Tuesday creating a reinsurance program to help reimburse insurers for high-cost claims so those costs aren’t included in determining individual marketplace premiums for the following year. By Amy Beth Hanson. SENT: 400 words.

WILDFIRE PROJECTIONS

SPOKANE, Wash. _ The National Interagency Fire Center is predicting a heavy wildfire season for areas along the West Coast of the United States this summer. The Boise, Idaho-based center said Wednesday that most of the country can expect a normal wildfire season in the period from May through August. By Nicholas K. Geranios. SENT: 130 words, national lines. UPCOMING: 350 words by 5 p.m.

WILDLIFE KILLING-LAWSUIT

BOISE _ A federal agency says it will take public comments as part of a review on its plans for killing predators in Idaho following a federal court ruling that found the agency was violating environmental laws. By Keith Ridler. UPCOMING: 500 words.

ELECTION 2020-SCHUMER

WASHINGTON _ Senate Democrats are stinging from a trio of high-profile failures to recruit candidates who could help reclaim the majority, including Stacey Abrams’ announcement that she would pass up a U.S. Senate run in Georgia. That decision, announced Tuesday, was a blow to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. After Abrams gained fame from her ultimately unsuccessful effort to become America’s first black female governor last year, Schumer personally — and publicly — urged her to consider challenging GOP Sen. David Perdue. In a particularly notable move, he tapped her earlier this year to deliver the Democratic response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address. By Elana Schor. SENT: 930 words. AP Photos.

GENERAL MOTORS-LAWSUIT

PARKER, S.D. _ General Motors has asked a judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a South Dakota man who claims the automaker misled consumers about its electric car model. In a lawsuit filed in state court in Turner County, South Dakota, Jason Haas said he bought a Chevy Bolt in November 2017 from a dealer in Iowa City, Iowa and the car’s literature said it had an electric range of 238 miles (383.01 kilometers). But, Haas claims the Bolt’s range is 100 miles (160.93 kilometers) less in cold weather. SENT: 260 words.

IN BRIEF:

MONTANA DEPUTY KILLED _ A Montana judge has ruled a man charged in the May 2017 shooting death of a sheriff’s deputy can be forcibly medicated so he is fit to stand trial.

PHYSICIAN-SEXUAL ASSAULT _ A longtime Butte physician who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting six female patients has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

PUBLIC DEFENDERS-MISDEMEANORS _ The Montana Supreme Court says a judge can’t order a public defender to represent a criminal defendant if no jail time is at stake.

MONTANA-CONFUCIUS INSTITUTE _ The University of Montana has closed a campus center for promoting Chinese language and culture.

MONTANA EAGLE-LEAD POISON _ A bald eagle found dead in Montana’s Glacier National Park died of lead poisoning.

DRUG DEAL-SHOOTING _ A teenager who shot two people he says jumped him during a drug deal gone wrong has agreed to plead guilty.

GOVERNOR-GRIZZLY BEARS _ More than 150 people have applied to sit on an advisory committee to come up with recommendations on how to manage Montana’s grizzly bears.

GRIZZLY BEARS-WYOMING _ The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission has opted not to hold a grizzly bear hunt this year.

NEW MEXICO-HOSPITAL _ A New Mexico hospital has become the first in the state to join the Mayo Clinic Network. Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe announced Monday it has become a member of the health care nonprofit group, and officials said the Santa Fe hospital will be able to use various resources within the widespread network.

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