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BC-MT--Montana News Digest, MT

May 4, 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.

TOP STORIES:

SPORTS BETTING-MONTANA

HELENA — Montana became the first state to legalize sports betting this year after Gov. Steve Bullock signed a bill Friday for the state lottery to oversee a system of wagering through kiosks and mobile applications that could be running by fall. Montana is at the head of a wave of states passing legislation this year to allow gambling on sports, and it becomes the seventh state to legalize the practice since the U.S. Supreme Court allowed it nationwide last year. By Matt Volz. SENT: 640 words, photos.

BULLOCK-VETOES

HELENA _ Montana Gov. Steve Bullock signed bills Friday calling for better coordination in the search for missing people and another saying the state Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks can establish agreements to allow access to public lands surrounded by private property. The missing persons bills include Hanna’s Act, which authorizes the Department of Justice to assist with investigating missing persons’ cases. It was named in memory of Hanna Harris, a Lame Deer woman who was killed in 2013 on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation. He signed another bill that requires all law enforcement agencies to accept missing persons reports and enter them into a national database — within two hours if the missing person is under the age of 21. By Amy Beth Hanson. SENT: 650 words.

With: BULLOCK-VETOES-THE LATEST

RYAN LEAF-HOMETOWN SPEECH

GREAT FALLS _ Former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf returned to his Montana hometown and delivered a speech about dealing with mental health and substance abuse, a report said. Leaf appeared Thursday at C.M. Russell High School in Great Falls for the first time in more than 20 years, The Great Falls Tribune reported Friday. SENT: 350 words.

NURSES-SMUGGLING METH

BUTTE — Two traveling nurses and a Montana State Prison inmate have been charged with conspiring to bring methamphetamine, prescription drugs and a cellphone into the facility last summer. Tiffany Jeanette Houston was charged Wednesday in Powell County Justice Court with two felony counts of transferring illegal articles and misdemeanor counts of obstructing a peace officer, official misconduct and drug possession, The Montana Standard reports. SENT: 270 words.

IN BRIEF:

_ TRIBES-OIL DRILLING _ U.S. Sen. Jon Tester is urging the Interior Department to continue its fight against energy development on land in northwestern Montana considered sacred to some Native Americans, after the government dropped a court appeal in the matter.

_ KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE _ An executive for the company proposing the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada’s oil sands into the U.S. says it has missed the 2019 construction season due to court delays.

_ TONGUE RIVER-BODY FOUND _ The Bureau of Indian Affairs is investigating after a man’s body was found in the Tongue River near Ashland, on the eastern edge of the Crow Indian Reservation.

_ INTERSTATE 90-PEDESTRIAN KILLED _ The Montana Highway Patrol says a 42-year-old Bozeman man who was struck and killed by a semi-truck on Interstate 90 near Belgrade ran into traffic.

_ BISON RANGE _ The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is preparing a new management plan to guide the National Bison Range for the next 15 years.

_ BILLINGS HIT-AND-RUN _ A woman who hit and killed a 20-year-old Billings man while driving drunk has been sentenced to 25 years in prison.

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