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AP-MT--Montana News Digest, MT

September 26, 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.

TOP STORIES:

HUNTING GRIZZLIES

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — State officials frustrated by a judge’s decision to prohibit grizzly bear hunting in the Yellowstone region and put the animals back on the threatened species list will likely appeal but that’s not their only option to contest the decision. They could lean on Congress to exempt the bears from the Endangered Species Act or take a totally new approach by ceasing to cooperate with the U.S. government on species management. By Mead Gruver. SENT: 700 words, photos.

ELECTION 2018-MONTANA SENATE

HELENA — Montana’s Republican U.S. Senate candidate used $10,000 in donations earmarked for past campaign debt to instead boost his 2016 campaign for state auditor, then dropped the penalties that the donors’ company was facing after he took office, according to agency and campaign records. Matt Rosendale loaned his 2016 state auditor campaign $10,000 the same month he received that amount in donations from the family members who run Billings-based Friedel LLC to settle the campaign debt from his failed 2014 U.S. House run. It’s an unusual but legal accounting move that Rosendale has also used in his campaign against Democratic U.S. Sen. Jon Tester. By Matt Volz. SENT: 730 words.

TRIBES-OIL-DRILLING

BILLINGS — A judge reinstated an oil and gas lease on land in northwestern Montana considered sacred to some tribes in the U.S. and Canada — a ruling that could test the depths of the Trump administration’s support for the energy industry. President Barack Obama’s Interior Department improperly canceled the nearly 10-square-mile (26-square-kilometer) lease adjacent to Glacier National Park in 2016, U.S. District Judge Richard Leon in Washington, D.C., said this week. By Matthew Brown. SENT: 550 words, photo.

MONTANA POLICE CHASE

BILLINGS — A Wyoming man is in custody after Billings police say he led them on a 50-minute pursuit around the city that included 10 crime scenes and involved five stolen vehicles, three law enforcement agencies, occasional gunfire and a lot of property damage. Police Chief Rich St. John said Tuesday it is amazing that no one was hurt or killed during the incident, including the suspect, Ryan McElmury of Cody, Wyoming. SENT: 370 words, photo.

IN BRIEF:

— MISSOULIAN PUBLISHER — Lee Enterprises has named Paul McArthur as its regional publisher for western Montana.

— MONTANA SCHOOL-SEX ABUSE — Attorneys for 18 former eastern Montana athletes who allege their high school trainer sexually abused them want to eliminate the statute of limitations for prosecuting child sexual abuse.

— BUS DRIVER SHORTAGE — A shortage of bus drivers in Montana led the Billings school district to cancel a handful of junior varsity sporting events last week.

— INVASIVE MUSSELS-PREVENTION — The state’s aquatic invasive species coordinator says there have been some “gaps” in efforts to prevent the spread of invasive mussels at Tiber Reservoir, where larvae of invasive mussels were detected two years ago.

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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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