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AP-MT--Montana News Digest, MT

August 1, 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.

UPCOMING TOMORROW:

MONTANA-SENATE

BILLINGS — Republican U.S. Senate candidate Matt Rosendale is scheduled to speak about property rights at a conference in Billings as he faces attacks from Democrats that he’s not done enough to protect access to public lands. Rosendale as state auditor is a member of the Montana Land Board that oversees state-owned land.

TOP STORIES TODAY:

MONTANA BUDGET-MEDICAID CUTS

HELENA — Montana disability rights advocates sued the state health department Tuesday seeking to overturn cuts in Medicaid reimbursement rates that have led to a loss of services and put clients at increased risk of institutionalization. “This lawsuit is the direct result of unlawful and unconstitutional decisions by the state that threaten significant and long-lasting harm to Montanans and their families,” said Beth Brenneman, attorney for Disability Rights Montana. By Amy Beth Hanson. SENT: 420 words.

MINE CLEANUP-SUSPENDED

BILLINGS — An Idaho mining company notified environmental regulators Tuesday that it was halting reclamation work at a closed silver and copper mine in northwest Montana, amid a legal fight with the state over cleanup expenses at other sites. Hecla Mining Co. will evaluate the potential legal risks of continuing cleanup work at Troy Mine near Libby after the Montana Department of Environmental Quality sued the company’s CEO, Phillips S. Baker Jr., last month, according to the company’s general manager in Montana, Doug Stiles. By Matthew Brown. SENT: 530 words.

BABY IN WOODS

MISSOULA — An Oregon man pleaded not guilty Tuesday to two felony charges alleging he abandoned a 5-month-old baby who survived for nine hours in the woods of western Montana under a pile of debris. Francis Carlton Crowley, 32, of Portland, entered his plea to assault on a minor and criminal endangerment. He appeared via video in District Court in Missoula and remains jailed on $200,000 bail. SENT: 230 words, photos.

OF MONTANA INTEREST:

TRUMP-KOCH

NEW YORK — The war of words intensified between two titans in Republican politics on Tuesday as President Donald Trump trashed the conservative billionaire Koch brothers as a “total joke in real Republican circles.” The Kochs’ political advocacy network announced it would not back the GOP candidate in the North Dakota Senate race. The Kochs have not ruled out similar moves in top-tier Senate races in Indiana, Missouri, Montana, and West Virginia, although they are actively working to help elect Republican Senate candidates in Florida, Tennessee and Wisconsin. By Steve Peoples And Anne Flaherty. SENT: 560 words, national lines. AP Photos.

IN BRIEF:

— CHURCH ABUSE-MONTANA — Victims of sexual abuse by former members of the clergy in Montana’s Diocese of Great Falls-Billings are voting on a proposed $20 million settlement. (With AP Photo)

— FORT PECK HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION — The FBI and Fort Peck Tribal Police are investigating a July 27 death on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation as a possible homicide.

— BILLINGS PEDESTRIAN FATAL — Authorities have identified the woman killed in a weekend hit-and-run crash on the north side of Billings.

— HUNTHAUSEN-FUNERAL — A funeral is planned Wednesday for retired Seattle Archbishop Raymond G. Hunthausen, who served as the bishop of Helena, Montana, from 1962 to 1975 and as archbishop of Seattle from 1975 to 1991.

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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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