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BC-MT--Montana News Digest, MT

May 23, 2019

Montana at 1 p.m.

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RALEIGH, N.C. _ Illegal killings and longstanding political resistance have undercut the return of two species of endangered wolves to the wild, frustrating government efforts that already cost more than $80 million but have failed to meet recovery targets. The number of red wolves roaming the forests of North Carolina has plunged to fewer than three dozen in recent years — the most precarious position of any U.S. wolf species. By Jonathan Drew, Susan Montoya Bryan and Matthew Brown. SENT: 1,158 words, photos.


HELENA _ Montana lawmakers have chosen a study of state and local tax policy as their top priority during the 18 months before the 2021 legislative session. By Amy Beth Hanson. UPCOMING: 350 words by 3 p.m.


BILLINGS _ Renewable energy activists are urging Montana regulators to reject a proposal from Northwestern Energy to add a new charge for customers who generate surplus energy using rooftop solar. By Matthew Brown.


MONTANA-BORDER CROSSINGS _ Federal officials say they’re reducing the hours that three U.S.-Canada border crossings in Montana are open each day.

BBBS MISSOULA CLOSURE _ Big Brothers Big Sisters of Missoula is closing after 49 years because it’s been unable to overcome the loss of $120,000 in state, federal and private grant funding over the last two years. Board member Scott Johnson issued a statement Thursday saying the board is “incredibly heartbroken” to announce the organization would cease operations on May 31 and that its annual fundraiser, set for June 7, has been canceled.

MONTANA SHERIFF-CAMPAIGN _ An investigation into last year’s Fergus County sheriff’s election has found the winner and current sheriff campaigned while on duty. The report into Sheriff Rick Vaughn was written by an investigator hired by the Montana Association of Counties after Fergus County officials received complaints about how Vaughn and former Sheriff Troy Eades were handling the upcoming race.

JAIL CLOSED-STAFFING PROBLEMS _ Officials are looking for solutions to reopen the only jail in a western Montana county that closed earlier this year after losing its staff. The Missoulian reported Wednesday that Mineral County is expecting a visit by an official from Community, Counseling, and Correctional Services Inc. to help find solutions to keep the jail open.


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