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Montana News - AP

MONTANA-HOUSE DEBATE

Zinke, Lewis differ on troops, role of government

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Democrat John Lewis and Republican Ryan Zinke offered contrasting views on the role of the federal government and the need for ground troops to battle Islamic militants during a U.S. House debate.

The two candidates faced off Monday night at Montana State University-Billings Monday in their second debate in the run-up to November's election.

Zinke returned repeatedly to a theme of less federal government as the key to a thriving private sector.

Lewis talked about reforming a dysfunctional Congress, but said the federal government has a role in workforce development, helping the uninsured and promoting renewable energy.

Regarding Islamic militants in Iraq and Syria, the Democrat urged caution before any decision to use U.S. troops.

Zinke said he would rather fight the militants in Iraq than in America.

CHILDREN'S VIRUS-MONTANA

5 cases of children's virus confirmed in Montana

(Information in the following story is from: The Billings Gazette, http://www.billingsgazette.com)

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — State health officials say five cases of a virus that causes severe respiratory illness in children have been confirmed in Montana.

The state Department of Public Health and Human Services said Monday that two cases of enterovirus-D68 were confirmed in Yellowstone County with one each in Jefferson, Cascade and Musselshell counties. All the children were hospitalized at some point.

The state tells The Billings Gazette that more tests are pending at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

The CDC says at least 277 people in 40 states and the District of Columbia have been diagnosed since mid-August.

Enterovirus-D68 is a more virulent strain of the virus that causes the common cold.

VALENTINE'S DAY SHOOTING

Woman sentenced to state hospital for killing man

KALISPELL, Mont. (AP) — A 56-year-old Hungry Horse woman has been sentenced to 40 years in the Montana State Hospital for the Valentine's Day 2014 shooting death of her boyfriend.

Pamela Ruth Haines was sentenced on Sept. 24 by District Judge Heidi Ulbricht in Kalispell.

Haines pleaded guilty but mentally ill to mitigated deliberate homicide in the death of 71-year-old Thomas Edwards.

Court records say Haines called 911 to report the crime.

SUBDIVISION WATER FIGHT

Lodge Grass, Crow battle over subdivision water

LODGE GRASS, Mont. (AP) — A weekslong battle between the town of Lodge Grass and a subdivision on the Crow Indian Reservation over delinquent water bills has left 500 residents without drinkable water.

Lodge Grass began negotiating with the tribe in September 2013 over $70,000 in overdue water bills from residents of the Johnny Wilson Acres subdivision.

In January, the Crow Housing Authority paid $4,050 to the town, but has made no other payments.

When Lodge Grass employees began shutting off water to the most delinquent residents, the tribal court ordered them off the reservation. That prompted the town to shut off the water to the entire subdivision on Sept. 15.

The tribe turned the water back on 10 days later, but advised residents not to drink it.

FATAL MOTORCYCLE CRASH

Man dies after motorcycle crash in Billings

(Information in the following story is from: The Billings Gazette, http://www.billingsgazette.com)

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Authorities say a 26-year-old man is dead after he crashed his motorcycle into a repair shop in Billings.

Police Sgt. Scott Conrad tells The Billings Gazette the man, whose name has not been released, might have been racing another vehicle when he crashed into the shop on Sixth Avenue North at about 3:45 p.m. Monday. The motorcycle hit a curb, throwing the rider into the shop's wall.

Police are looking for the car reportedly racing the motorcycle — a blue or dark-blue early 2000s Honda Civic. The car is a two-door hatchback with chrome wheels, tinted windows and a loud muffler.

Conrad says he does not know if alcohol played a role in the crash.

FATAL CRASH-ID

Officials identify Great Falls man killed in crash

GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) — The Cascade County coroner's office has released the name of a 47-year-old man who died in a weekend crash on Interstate 15 near the Central Avenue West exit at Great Falls.

Lt. Bob Rosipol says Timothy Boule of Great Falls died just after 4 p.m. Saturday.

The Montana Highway Patrol says Boule was northbound when his vehicle drifted off the road and struck a guardrail. His vehicle continued into the median, where it struck a bridge pillar. Boule died at the scene.

WYOMING WOLVES

Conservation groups oppose Wyoming wolf management

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Conservation groups are urging a federal judge not to allow the state of Wyoming to regain control of wolves through a quick, administrative fix.

The Defenders of Wildlife, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club and Center for Biological Diversity on Monday told a federal judge wolves in Wyoming should remain protected under the federal Endangered Species Act.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson of Washington, D.C., last week returned wolves in Wyoming to federal control.

Jackson ruled the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shouldn't have accepted nonbinding state promises in 2012 that it would maintain a minimum population of 100 wolves and 10 breeding pairs.

State officials last week tried to address Jackson's concerns by taking steps to make the wolf population guarantees binding under Wyoming law. They've asked her to reconsider her ruling.

CAMPUS RAPES-ATTORNEYS GENERAL

State attorneys general meet about campus rape

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Several state attorneys general are meeting in Rhode Island to discuss the problem of sexual assault on college campuses.

The eastern region of the National Association of Attorneys General is meeting Tuesday and Wednesday in Rhode Island for a conference on the issue.

Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin is hosting the meeting, and several representatives from area colleges are expected to attend.

They'll discuss topics including how schools can collaborate with police, how to help victims and how to improve campus sexual assault investigations.

Among the attendees expected to participate are attorneys general from Connecticut, New Hampshire, Montana and Maryland. The keynote speaker is Rhode Island U.S. Sen Sheldon Whitehouse, a former attorney general.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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