Montana at 1:25 p.m.

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TOP STORIES:

MONTANA GREEN PARTY-LAWSUIT

HELENA, Mont. — Montana's Democratic Party is asking a state judge to stand by his decision to disqualify Montana Green Party candidates from the general election ballot while the ruling is being appealed to the state Supreme Court. Secretary of State Corey Stapleton asked District Judge James Reynolds on July 18 to suspend his order denying ballot access. He argued that if justices made their decision after the Aug. 23 deadline to certify general election ballots, it could lead to a costly re-printing of ballots and re-programming of vote-tabulating equipment. By Amy Beth Hanson. SENT: 410 words.

MONTANA WILDFIRES

HELENA, Mont. — The slow start to Montana's fire season this summer has been a relief with the state still recovering from the record amount spent fighting fires last year, but things may soon change with warnings popping up after a very dry July. Montana has been largely spared as major fires burn elsewhere across the West. Only a few fires are burning and most of the state is drought-free, compared to that 85 percent that was dry or in drought this time last year. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 300 words by 5 p.m.

DEMOCRATS-CORPORATE MONEY

WASHINGTON — When an audience member at a town hall asked California Sen. Kamala Harris earlier this year to reject corporate donations, her answer was decidedly non-committal. "Well, that depends," she said. "Wrong answer," the questioner responded, shrugging his shoulders. The issue has gained traction in part due to the work of organizations like End Citizens United, a Democratic advocacy group that formed in 2015. It's running $4 million in television ads attacking Republican candidates in Montana and Nevada for accepting corporate donations. By Lisa Lerer. SENT: 1,100 words. AP Photo.

IN BRIEF:

— YELLOWSTONE BISON — A plan to transfer wild bison from Yellowstone National Park to an American Indian tribe in northeast Montana faces possible delay. The park is holding 89 bison in quarantine corrals to certify they are free of the disease brucellosis before they can be transferred to the Fort Peck Indian Reservation.

— PENCE VISIT-COST — Billings area law enforcement agencies say a recent visit from Vice President Mike Pence cost their departments almost $35,000. The Billings Gazette reports the Billings Police Department incurred a majority of the security costs, approximately $20,000.

— PRISON VISITATION CUTS — A staffing shortage has led the Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge to cut visitation days from four days per week to two. Beginning on Aug. 16, the prison will be open for inmate visits only on Saturdays and Sundays.

— INFANT DEATH-HYPOTHERMIA — A Montana woman accused of allowing her infant daughter to freeze to death in an apartment has been sentenced to 10 years of probation.

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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.