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AP-MT--Montana News Digest, MT

January 4, 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.

TOP STORIES:

GREAT FALLS HOMICIDE-DISMISSED

GREAT FALLS — A Montana judge has dismissed a deliberate homicide charge against a man who spent 15 years in prison for a killing he said he didn’t commit. The charge against Richard Burkhart, 38, was dismissed last week after Cascade County prosecutors said they did not have enough evidence to convict Burkhart of killing William Ledeau with a hammer in November 2001, the Great Falls Tribune reported. SENT: 390 words.

OF MONTANA INTEREST:

DEEP FREEZE

SAVANNAH, Ga. — A brutal winter storm smacked the coastal Southeast with a rare blast of snow and ice Wednesday, hitting parts of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina with their heaviest snowfall in nearly three decades. Forecasters warned that the same system could soon strengthen into a “bomb cyclone” as it rolls up the East Coast, bringing hurricane-force winds, coastal flooding and up to a foot of snow. By Russ Bynum. SENT: 1,060 words, photos and video.

With: DEEP FREEZE-THE LATEST

MISSOURI RIVER POWER

BISMARCK, N.D. — Electric power generation from the Missouri River’s six upstream dams increased 23 percent in 2017 but the federal agency that sells the power still had to buy electricity on the open market to fulfill contracts. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which manages dams and reservoirs along the 2,341-mile river, said energy production from the dams in the Dakotas, Montana and Nebraska totaled 9.6 billion kilowatts of electricity last year, up from 7.6 billion kilowatts. By James MacPherson. SENT: 390 words.

RANCHING STANDOFF-BUNDY RANCH

PORTLAND, Ore. — A judge is taking action against two men who took part in the occupation of an Oregon wildlife refuge after Facebook photos showed they violated their release conditions by visiting the Bundy ranch in Nevada without permission. U.S. District Judge Anna Brown has moved up Jon Ritzheimer’s date to surrender to prison from Feb. 15 to Jan. 12, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported Tuesday. SENT: 320 words.

IN BRIEF:

— MONTANA AVALANCHE DEATH — A Minnesota man died in an avalanche while he was snowmobiling about 19 miles (30 kilometers) north of West Yellowstone in Montana.

— COAL EXPORT-WASHINGTON — Developers of a massive coal-export terminal proposed on the Columbia River have sued Washington state over the project.

— MAYORLESS MONTANA TOWN — Laurel is missing a leader after its mayor-elect skipped out on his swearing-in ceremony.

— TRIBAL PRESIDENT-MONTANA — Montana’s Northern Cheyenne Tribe has narrowly voted to re-elect the tribal president who was ousted by the tribal council in October.

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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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