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BC-MT--Montana News Digest, MT

December 21, 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:

OIL TRAIN ACCIDENTS

BILLINGS _ President Donald Trump’s administration miscalculated the potential benefits of putting better brakes on trains that haul explosive fuels when it scrapped an Obama-era rule over cost concerns, The Associated Press has found. A government analysis used to justify the cancellation omitted up to $117 million in estimated future damages from train derailments that could be avoided by using electronic brakes. Revelation of the error stoked renewed criticism Thursday from the rule’s supporters, who called the analysis biased. By Matthew Brown. SENT: 1,020 words, photos.

PRESCRIPTION DRUG PRICES

HELENA _ A company that negotiates prescription drug prices on behalf of insurance plans agreed to a third-party examination of its records as Montana lawmakers work to rein in the increasing costs of prescription medications, the state auditor’s office announced. In June, Montana proposed fining Prime Therapeutics and two other companies for operating without a license. Prime applied for a license, but it was denied because the pharmacy benefits manager would not provide information about its contracts and pricing data to state lawmakers investigating the reason for rising prescription drug costs. SENT: 310 words.

BEAR BAITING

JACKSON, Wyo. _ Environmental groups have filed notice they intend to sue the U.S. government for letting hunters use bait to lure bears in national forests in Idaho and Wyoming. Hunters often use livestock parts and other food to lure black bears in states where baiting is allowed. Baiting also attracts grizzly bears, causing hunters to kill several grizzlies in national forests, Erik Molvar with the Western Watersheds Project told the Jackson Hole News & Guide. SENT: 300 words.

IN BRIEF:

_ GRIZZLIES SHOT-INVESTIGATION _ The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and federal wildlife officials are investigating the shooting deaths of two female grizzly bears on the Flathead Indian Reservation in northwestern Montana.

_ ICY INTERSTATE-FATAL CRASHES _ Authorities in western Montana have released the names of two commercial truck drivers who died after a series of collisions on icy Interstate 90.

_ MONTANA-BIRTHDAY PARTY SHOOTING _ Officials in southwestern Montana have released the names of two 37-year-old Helena residents who died in a murder-suicide during a birthday party.

_ TRAIN-CAR-FATAL COLLISION _ Authorities have released the name of a 50-year-old man who died after his car was hit by a train in southern Montana.

SPORTS:

MONTANA-ARIZONA

TUSCON, Ariz. _ Arizona got the ball down low to Chase Jeter early and often. The Wildcats’ big man had a rough outing against Baylor, as did most of the team, so establishing him inside was a priority against Montana. Jeter responded with a career-best game, scoring 21 points as the Wildcats bounced back from their first nonconference home loss in seven years with a 61-42 victory over the Grizzlies on Wednesday night. By John Marshall. SENT: 760 words, box.

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