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BC-MT--Montana News Digest, MT

January 10, 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.

UPCOMING TOMORROW:

BORDER WALL-STATES

HELENA _ Montana’s Senate president is proposing to give $8 million of the state’s money to the U.S. government to help pay for President Donald Trump’s border wall. Scott Sales, a Republican from Bozeman, is drafting an appropriations bill and a resolution stating Montana lawmakers’ support for the proposed wall.

TOP STORIES TODAY:

HOUSE RULES

HELENA _ A legislative committee on Wednesday endorsed rules that aim to curb potential Republican infighting while reducing some of the powers of the House Speaker. The full House is scheduled to hold its final vote on the issue on Thursday. 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 the number of House members in the majority party, which is 58 this session. By Amy Beth Hanson. SENT: 440 words, photo.

With: HOUSE RULES-THE LATEST

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.

GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN-STATE ROADS

OKLAHOMA CITY — Uncertainty over federal funding for transportation projects amid a partial government shutdown is forcing some states to delay contracts for new road and bridge work while others are preparing for that possibility. Transportation officials in Oklahoma this week announced plans to delay bids on 45 highway projects worth about $137 million. By Sean Murphy. SENT: 710 words, photo.

IN BRIEF:

_ GREEN PARTY-BALLOT ACCESS _ A magistrate judge has denied Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton’s request to throw out a ballot-access lawsuit by the Montana Green Party and its supporters.

_ 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.

_ 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.

_ MOUNTAIN LIONS-BUS STOP _ Mountain lions have been sighted near a school bus stop used by a rural Montana school district.

_ 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.

_ 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. (With 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.

___

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