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BC-MT--Montana News Digest, MT

May 10, 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:

MEDICAID EXPANSION-MONTANA

HELENA _ Gov. Steve Bullock signed a bill Thursday to continue Montana’s Medicaid expansion program for another six years, as long as federal funding continues. He was joined at the signing ceremony by bill sponsor Republican Rep. Ed Buttrey and Democratic Rep. Mary Caferro, who sponsored a separate bill that did not pass. By Amy Beth Hanson. SENT: 660 words, photo.

POWER GENERATION

BILLINGS _ U.S. demand for coal to generate electricity will keep sliding in coming months, federal officials said Thursday, despite efforts by the Trump administration to shore up the struggling industry. Renewable energy sources including wind, solar and hydropower are expected to fill much of the gap left by coal’s decline, according to the Energy Information Administration. By Matthew Brown. SENT: 560 words, photo.

WOLVES-FEDERAL PROTECTION

SPOKANE, Wash. _ Wolves should be removed from the federal endangered species list throughout Washington state, Washington Fish and Wildlife Director Kelly Susewind wrote in a letter to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released this week. “This is the right direction for wolf conservation and management in our state long-term,” Susewind wrote in a letter dated April 18 and released Wednesday. “The department is confident that Washington’s wolf population is on a path leading to successful recovery.” By Nicholas K. Geranios. SENT: 550 words, photo.

PORN-PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS

PHOENIX _ More than a dozen states have moved to declare pornography a public health crisis, raising concerns among some experts who say the label goes too far and carries its own risks. The Arizona Senate approved a resolution this week calling for a systemic effort to prevent exposure to porn that’s increasingly accessible to younger kids online. At least one legislative chamber has adopted a similar resolution in 15 other states, including Montana. By Lindsay Whitehurst and Jonathan J. Cooper. SENT: 700 words, photos.

INDIANA-GAMBLING

INDIANAPOLIS _ Sports betting will become legal in Indiana and construction of two new casinos will be allowed in the state under a bill signed by the governor on Wednesday. Indiana joins Montana and Tennessee in moving to legalize sports wagering this year. By Tom Davies. SENT: 700 words.

IN BRIEF:

_ MONTANA DOUBLE HOMICIDE-TRIAL _ Former neighbors of Caressa Hardy, who is in trial for killing two men in western Montana, say a “rank” stench filled the air following a March 2013 bonfire outside a residence near Frenchtown.

_ EXPLOSION-LOCKWOOD _ Two people have been injured following an explosion at a southeastern Montana business that triggered a warning for the public to stay away from the area.

_ WYOMING COAL PRODUCER _ A troubled Wyoming coal-mining company has paid nearly $700,000 in property taxes but still owes millions in other local taxes.

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