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:

MONTANA GREEN PARTY-LAWSUIT

HELENA — Montana's Democratic Party is asking a state judge to stand by his decision to disqualify Montana Green Party candidates from the general election ballot while the ruling is being appealed to the state Supreme Court. Secretary of State Corey Stapleton asked District Judge James Reynolds on July 18 to suspend his order denying ballot access. He argued that if justices made their decision after the Aug. 23 deadline to certify general election ballots, it could lead to a costly re-printing of ballots and re-programming of vote-tabulating equipment. By Amy Beth Hanson. SENT: 410 words.

COAL LEASING-CLIMATE CHANGE

BILLINGS — A federal judge in Montana has given the Trump administration until late 2019 to analyze reductions to mining in the nation's most productive coal fields as a way to fight climate change. The order from U.S. District Judge Brian Morris, issued Tuesday, applies to the Powder River Basin of Montana and Wyoming. The region supplies about 40 percent of the nation's coal, much of it from massive strip mines on public lands. By Matthew Brown. SENT: 470 words, photo.

MONTANA WILDFIRES

HELENA — The slow start to Montana's fire season this summer has been a relief with the state still recovering from the record amount spent fighting fires last year. But that may soon change with new warnings popping up after a dry July. Red-flag conditions exist across much of Montana, with high temperatures, low humidity and strong wind gusts forecast through Friday, according to the National Weather Service. That's prime fire weather after a July that saw less than one-third of the average rain that falls in 13 towns and cities across the state. By Matt Volz. SENT: 450 words, photos.

DEMOCRATS-CORPORATE MONEY

WASHINGTON — When an audience member at a town hall asked California Sen. Kamala Harris earlier this year to reject corporate donations, her answer was decidedly non-committal. "Well, that depends," she said. "Wrong answer," the questioner responded, shrugging his shoulders. The issue has gained traction in part due to the work of organizations like End Citizens United, a Democratic advocacy group that formed in 2015. It's running $4 million in television ads attacking Republican candidates in Montana and Nevada for accepting corporate donations. By Lisa Lerer. SENT: 1,100 words. AP Photo.

IN BRIEF:

— YELLOWSTONE BISON — A plan to transfer wild bison from Yellowstone National Park to an American Indian tribe in northeast Montana faces possible delay.

— COLD CASE RAPE — The state of Montana plans to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the Montana Supreme Court's dismissal of charges for the 1987 rape of an 8-year-old Billings girl.

— CARNIVAL WORKER-SEXUAL ASSAULT — A carnival worker at the Montana State Fair in Great Falls is charged with two misdemeanor counts of sexual assault.

— PENCE VISIT-COST — Billings area law enforcement agencies say a recent visit from Vice President Mike Pence cost their departments almost $35,000.

— PRISON VISITATION CUTS — A staffing shortage has led the Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge to cut visitation days from four days per week to two.

— INFANT DEATH-HYPOTHERMIA — A Montana woman accused of allowing her infant daughter to freeze to death in an apartment has been sentenced to 10 years of probation.

___

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.