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BC-MT--Montana News Digest, MT

April 16, 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 _ The Montana Senate on Monday narrowly endorsed a bill to continue the state’s Medicaid expansion program. The vote came a day before a deadline to send the bill to the state House. Supporters filled the gallery as the Senate voted 26-24 for the bill, which must pass a final vote Tuesday. A handful of Republican co-sponsors of Medicaid expansion had held up the Senate vote while awaiting the fate of another bill to allow NorthWestern Energy to purchase an additional share of a coal-fired power plant in Colstrip and additional capacity on a high-voltage power line. By Amy Beth Hanson. SENT: 440 words.

WILDERNESS MINES

BILLINGS — State officials will challenge a court ruling that revoked the water permit for a silver and copper mine proposed beneath a Montana wilderness area, a Department of Natural Resources and Conservation spokesman said Monday. Judge Kathy Seeley ruled state officials didn’t adequately consider potential damage to nearby streams from Hecla Mining Co.’s Rock Creek Mine northeast of Noxon. SENT: 270 words.

With: WILDERNESS MINES-THE LATEST

YELLOWSTONE-EAGLE DEATH

CHEYENNE _ The first golden eagle in Yellowstone National Park fitted with a tracking device has died of lead poisoning, likely after consuming bullet fragments while scavenging the remains of an animal killed by a hunter, officials said Monday. Wearing a GPS unit like a backpack, the adult, female eagle had flown outside Yellowstone into areas where hunters pursue game such as elk and deer. By Mead Gruver. SENT: 400 words, photo.

IN BRIEF:

_ MONTANA-POWER GENERATION _ The state House has endorsed a bill that would allow NorthWestern Energy to purchase an additional portion of a coal-fired power plant and of a high-voltage power line in southeastern Montana.

_ NEW HOTEL-MISSOULA _ A developer is planning to build a nearly $21 million hotel with 105 guest rooms in downtown Missoula.

_ BUTTE-SUPERFUND _ A proposal would set aside some money from a Superfund cleanup settlement to build a man-made creek through the center of Butte.

_ SMITH RIVER _ Montana park officials are opening one of the state’s most popular rivers to rafters and other boaters after a two-week delay due to excessive ice and snow.

_ MSU ROOF COLLAPSE _ The two gyms on the Montana State University campus that collapsed last month have been demolished and officials say they plan to rebuild them.

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