AP-MT--Montana News Digest, MT
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 email@example.com or 877-836-9477. For up-to-the minute information on AP’s coverage, visit Coverage Plan at newsroom.ap.org.
AP is moving election test reports for the November 6, (Montana) general election:
Mondays from 1-3 p.m. EDT, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. MDT (two hours) and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11-3 p.m. EDT, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. MDT (four hours).
Last election test is on Monday, Nov. 5 from 11-3 p.m. EST, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. MST (four hours). No winners will be called during the last test.
These tests are NOT for publication, broadcast or use online. Additional information is available in the election testing advisory found in advisory queues: BC-MT— Montana General Election Testing, Advisory.
ELECTION 2018-MONTANA REFERENDUM
HELENA — Montana voters will decide a referendum passed by the Republican-led Legislature meant to stop “ballot harvesting,” or turning in another person’s early election ballot. Opponents say the measure would disenfranchise elderly and disabled voters by making it illegal for them to hand over their absentee ballot to anyone they don’t know.
TOP STORIES TODAY:
COAL COMPANY BANKRUPTCY
HELENA — One of the oldest coal companies in the U.S. filed for bankruptcy protection Tuesday to deal with more than $1.4 billion in debt amid declining demand for the fuel. Englewood, Colorado-based Westmoreland Coal Co. filed for voluntary Chapter 11 protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Houston as part of a restructuring agreement with an unnamed group of lenders. By Matt Volz. SENT: 640 words, photo.
PUERTO RICO-POWER COMPANY
WASHINGTON — A year after losing a $300 million no-bid contract to restore Puerto Rico’s hurricane-shattered electric grid, Whitefish Energy Holdings has quietly been seeking and winning U.S. government contracts. Founded in 2015 in Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s tiny Montana hometown, Whitefish had just two employees when Hurricane Maria hit in September 2017. The company was ousted weeks later by Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority amid concerns about the slow pace of recovery and eyebrow-raising charges that included electrical linemen hired at a rate of more than $300 per hour. By Michael Biesecker. SENT: 440 words, photo.
MINNEAPOLIS — A Minnesota judge abruptly dismissed charges against three climate change activists during their trial on Tuesday, saying prosecutors failed to prove that the protesters’ attempt to shut down two Enbridge Energy oil pipelines caused any damage. Clearwater County District Judge Robert Tiffany threw the case out after prosecutors rested their case and before the protesters could use their defense: that the threat of climate change from using crude oil drilled from Canadian tar sands was so imminent that the activists’ actions were not only morally right, but necessary. By Steve Karnowski. SENT: 660 words, photos.
— BOZEMAN-BUS DRIVER SHORTAGE — The Bozeman School District is proposing hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines against its busing contractor due to a driver shortage that led to cancelled routes.
— MONTANA TECH-CHANCELLOR — Montana Tech chancellor Don Blackketter has announced he is retiring at the end of the school year.
— MSU-NATIVE AMERICAN CENTER — Montana State University officials say a $12 million donation will be used to build a center on campus for Native American students.
If you have stories of regional or statewide interest, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com 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.