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AP-MT--Montana News Digest, MT

November 16, 2018

Montana at 6:15 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:

MONTANA BUDGET

HELENA — Montana Gov. Steve Bullock on Thursday proposed a two-year, $10.3 billion budget that includes the reauthorization of a health insurance program for low-income residents and tax hikes that Republican legislative leaders are already dismissing as “not going to happen.” It’s the Democratic governor’s final budget proposal before his second term ends in 2021. He is seeking to push through priorities that lawmakers have rejected or scaled back in the past, including preschool education and infrastructure funding, while continuing the Medicaid expansion program that insures 96,000 low-income residents and is scheduled to expire next year. By Amy Beth Hanson. SENT: 530 words.

With: MONTANA BUDGET-THE LATEST

INTERNET TROLLING LAWSUIT

HELENA — A federal judge’s decision to allow a lawsuit to proceed against the publisher of a neo-Nazi website is “dangerous for free speech,” the publisher’s attorney said Thursday. Attorney Marc Randazza said he believes U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen made a legally flawed decision Wednesday in ruling the First Amendment does not shield Daily Stormer publisher Andrew Anglin from being sued for his followers’ anti-Semitic harassment of a Jewish woman and her family in Montana. By Matt Volz And Michael Kunzelman. SENT: 520 words.

WILDFIRES-WHAT CAN BE DONE

BILLINGS — Creating fire buffers between housing and dry brush, burying spark-prone power lines and lighting more controlled burns to keep vegetation in check could give people a better chance of surviving wildfires, according to experts searching for ways to reduce growing death tolls from blazes in California and across the U.S. West. Western wildfires have grown ever more lethal, a grim reality driven by more housing developments sprawling into the most fire-prone grasslands and brushy canyons, experts say. Many of the ranchers and farmers who once managed those landscapes are gone, leaving terrain thick with vegetation that can explode into flames. By Matthew Brown And Ellen Knickmeyer. SENT: 900 words, photos.

IN BRIEF:

— BILLINGS OFFICERS SUSPENDED — A former Billings police officer who resigned after it was learned he had sex with a city employee at City Hall has lost his police certification.

— FATAL MOBILE HOME FIRE — Authorities have identified the victim of a Nov. 5 mobile home fire in southcentral Montana as the 58-year-old homeowner.

— YELLOWSTONE VISITATION — Officials at Yellowstone National Park say the park had the third busiest October on record, sending the park over the 4 million-visitation mark for the year.

— INMATE LAWSUIT-SETTLEMENT — Yellowstone County officials have agreed to pay $37,500 to a former jail inmate who claimed he was beaten by a detention officer.

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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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