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Saturday, February 17th 2018
Associated Press Montana News
Latest Montana news, sports, business and entertainment at 1:20 a.m. MST
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Feb 17, 2018 1:20AM (GMT 08:20) - 850 words

Missing man found dead at old mine in western Montana

(Information from: The Montana Standard, http://www.mtstandard.com)

BUTTE, Mont. (AP) — Authorities say a man who was last seen in late January was found dead at an old mine in western Montana.

The Montana Standard reports 50-year-old Frank Piazzola's body was found at the base of the Anselmo gallows head frame in Butte on Thursday, and investigators believe he fell to his death. He was last seen Jan. 28.

Butte-Silver Bow Coroner Lee LaBreche says an autopsy and toxicology tests are planned.

The Anselmo Mine Yard once was an active underground mine but now is a tourist attraction.



Montana State University professors open debate over center

(Information from: Bozeman Daily Chronicle, http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com)

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — Montana State University faculty members have opened debate on whether to establish an economics research center funded by a five-year grant from the Charles Koch Foundation.

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports the faculty senate's decision Wednesday leads to a vote in two weeks on whether to approve the Center for Regulation and Applied Economic Analysis.

The $5.7 million gift from Republican donor Charles Koch was awarded in 2016.

Opponents of the center have raised concerns about how the Koch money would influence the university's research.

Economics professor Wendy Stock says research is being conducted without any political leanings.

Psychology professor Jessi Smith says the grant has already been funding research at the university, and that work can continue without establishing a research center.



Ostermiller tapped to be next US Marshal for Montana

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The White House says President Donald Trump intends to nominate Rodney Ostermiller as Montana's next U.S. Marshal.

Ostermiller would succeed former Marshal Darrell Bell and has been in the position on an acting basis since October. Prior to that he served as chief deputy marshal for the Montana since 2004.

The Marshals Service is the law enforcement arm of the federal court system, with duties that include apprehending fugitives, protecting judges and witnesses and transporting federal prisoners.

Ostermiller, a Billings native, began his career with the service in 1991. He later served in Iowa before returning to Montana in 2002.

The nomination must go before the U.S. Senate for confirmation.


9 infected deer killed during hunt to gauge Montana disease

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Hunters killed at least nine infected deer during a pair of special hunts intended to gauge the prevalence of a newly-found wildlife disease in Montana.

State officials announced Friday that hunters killed more than 450 deer before the special hunts ended this week in Bridger and Liberty counties.

Tests on some animals are still pending. Biologists are looking for chronic wasting disease, a fatal neurological illness that first appeared in Montana last fall.

On Thursday, wildlife commissioners approved maximum quotas of up to 5,000 deer, 1,000 elk and 20 moose that could be killed during any additional special hunts over the next two years.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokesman Greg Lemon said the agency hopes to keep the prevalence rate below 5 percent of animals in any given population.


Butte's new airport terminal a nod to mining history

(Information from: The Montana Standard, http://www.mtstandard.com)

BUTTE, Mont. (AP) — The architect behind Butte's new terminal airport says its design was meant to be fun and capture the history and essence of the Mining City.

The Montana Standard reports an opening ceremony for the $10.5 million building designed by Butte native Paul Powers was held Thursday.

The terminal features a custom-made metal gate inspired by cages that lower workers into mines, stained glass and checkerboard portals inspired by Butte churches and a wide headframe entrance.

Now that the terminal is completed, Airport Authority Board Chairman David Holman says they are looking to draw in another airline.

The terminal will start operating next week after more equipment from the old building is brought over.

Holman says they plan to tear down the old terminal in August.



Montana won't hunt Yellowstone grizzly bears in 2018

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Montana won't hold a Yellowstone region grizzly bear hunt in 2018 after state officials said they want to avoid complicating a lawsuit over the animal's legal status.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commissioners voted unanimously Thursday against a hunt this year. Commission Chairman Dan Vermillion says the move doesn't mean there won't be a grizzly hunt in the future.

Federal officials last year lifted Endangered Species Act protections for about 700 bears in and around Yellowstone National Park, opening the door to potential hunting.

Indian tribes and environmentalists are challenging the decision in federal court. They say hunting could reverse the species' recovery.

Grizzly hunting in Wyoming could begin this fall. No Idaho decision has been made.

The Yellowstone population has increased from an estimated 136 bears when they were granted protections in the mid-1970s.

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