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BC-MT--Montana News Digest, MT

January 9, 2019

Montana at 1:05 p.m.

The desk and can be reached at 800-332-6917 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.

TOP STORIES:

HOUSE RULES

HELENA, Mont. _ A Montana House committee on Wednesday endorsed rules that aim to curb potential Republican infighting while reducing some of the powers of the House Speaker. The House Rules Committee voted 12-7 on a party-line vote to change the number of votes required to move a bill stuck in committee to the House floor from 60 to 58. By Amy Beth Hanson. SENT: 300 words. Will be updated. AP Photos.

With:

DRIVER’S LICENSE SUSPENSION _ Groups from both sides of the political spectrum support an effort to repeal a Montana law that requires judges to suspend a person’s driver’s license for nonpayment of fines and court fees.

ALSO OF MONTANA INTEREST:

WYOMING-STATE OF STATE

CHEYENNE _ Wyoming should continue to fight to enable more U.S. coal exports overseas, the state’s new governor said in a state of the state speech Wednesday that also called for more spending restraint and better returns on state reserve funds. Republican Mark Gordon criticized permit delays that have prevented significant new coal exports from the Pacific Northwest. He promised more state advocacy on behalf of companies that mine coal. By Mead Gruver. SENT: 530 words.

GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN-WILDLIFE REFUGES

WASHINGTON _ The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is directing dozens of wildlife refuges to return staffers to work to make sure hunters and others have access despite the government shutdown, according to an email obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press. The partial restaffing of 38 wildlife refuges is angering wildlife groups, who accuse the Trump administration of trying to minimize the public impact of the more than two-week-old shutdown to limit the political blowback for President Donald Trump. By Ellen Knickmeyer. SENT: 900 words, national lines. AP Photo.

IN BRIEF:

FEDERAL AGENT CHARGED _ A 48-year-old federal fish and game agent in Montana has pleaded not guilty to charges involving sexual crimes against a child. Shawn T. Conrad entered the plea Tuesday to sexual exploitation of a child and possession of child pornography charges in U.S. District Court in Billings.

MONTANA WOLVES _ Wildlife officials say a hunter shot a wolf on the plains of northeastern Montana, more than 300 miles (480 kilometers) away from the Rocky Mountain Front where wolves are usually found. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials say the gray wolf was legally shot on Monday near Glasgow.

ACCIDENTAL SHOOTING _ Montana police say a teen boy accidentally shot and wounded another teen with an AR-15 at a Colstrip home in December.

TRANSCANADA-NAME CHANGE _ TransCanada Corp., the company behind the contentious Keystone XL oil pipeline, is changing its name to TC Energy. If approved by shareholders and regulators, TransCanada becomes TC Energy in the second quarter. The stock ticker “TRP” will not change. AP Photos.

HANDGUN-MONTANA SCHOOL _ Police were called to a Montana elementary school after district officials say a third-grader brought a handgun to school to show friends. Billings Public Schools Superintendent Greg Upham tells the Billings Gazette that the student apparently got the gun while in the care of a babysitter.

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