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EXCHANGE STUDENT SHOT
Jury in exchange student killing adjourns for day
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — Jurors in the case of a Montana man who shot and killed a German exchange student caught trespassing in his garage have adjourned for the day without reaching a verdict.
The jury began deliberations Tuesday in the case against Markus Kaarma of Missoula. He is charged with deliberate homicide in the death of 17-year old Diren Dede (DEER'-uhn DAY'-Day).
Deliberations will resume Wednesday morning.
In closing arguments, a prosecutor said Kaarma was on the attack when he left the safety of his home and fired four shots into his garage April 27. Kaarma killed the unarmed Hamburg teen, who was trespassing inside.
A defense attorney says Kaarma had a legitimate fear of harm and was protecting his family and property as allowed under Montana's "stand your ground" law.
SMALL PLANE CRASH
1 man killed, 1 hurt in NW Montana plane crash
POLSON, Mont. (AP) — Authorities say one man was killed and another was injured in a small, single-engine airplane crash near Flathead Lake in northwestern Montana.
Lake County Undersheriff Dan Yonkin tells KERR-AM the plane crashed while coming over a small ridge west of Pablo shortly before 5 p.m. Tuesday. The names of the pilot and passenger have not been released.
The plane crashed in rugged terrain that is interrupted by farmland.
Yonkin, who confirmed the death Tuesday evening, tells The Missoulian the plane flew out of the Polson airport a few miles from the crash site.
The National Transportation Safety Board will be at the site Wednesday to investigate.
Keystone pipeline to top Senate agenda next year
WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell says approving the Keystone XL pipeline will top the Senate agenda in January. The issue could set up an early 2015 veto confrontation with President Barack Obama.
Congressional Republicans have been pushing for approval of the pipeline for years. Obama has resisted because of environmental concerns.
The pipeline would carry tar sands oil from Canada into the United States and eventually to the Texas Gulf Coast.
The Republican-led House has repeatedly passed legislation approving the pipeline. But the bills have died in the Democratic-controlled Senate.
Republicans will take control of the Senate in January, and McConnell said approving the pipeline will be the first issue on the agenda.
McConnell said the pipeline would create jobs.
Daines gets Senate committee assignments
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Steve Daines says he'll serve on four committees when he moves to the U.S. Senate next month.
Daines said he will serve on the Senate Committees for Energy and Natural Resources, Indian Affairs, Appropriations and Commerce, Science and Transportation.
The Republican says the postings will allow him to focus on developing Montana's energy resources, managing public lands, jobs growth and supporting the state's American Indian tribes.
Daines was elected in November to replace U.S. Sen. John Walsh, who dropped out of the race following revelations he'd plagiarized a college paper.
30 rail cars derail in Missoula
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — Thirty empty Montana Rail Link rail cars have derailed in Missoula.
Montana Rail Link says there were no injuries and no hazardous material involved. Mainline rail service has not been interrupted.
Officials say the derailment occurred about 4 a.m. Tuesday.
Montana Rail Link says it is investigating the cause of the derailment.
Seattle-Paris flight diverts to Montana over odor
(Information in the following story is from: The Billings Gazette, http://www.billingsgazette.com)
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — An official at a Montana airport says a Delta Air Lines flight heading from Seattle to Paris with more than 200 people aboard was diverted to Billings after an "electrical odor" was detected on board.
Billings Logan International Airport operations supervisor Shane Ketterling tells the Billings Gazette that the plane made a precautionary landing around 7 p.m. Monday. It landed safety in the Montana city after leaving Seattle on Monday afternoon. No injuries were reported.
Ketterling says the Boeing 767 carried 203 passengers and 10 crew members. He says an inspection of the plane didn't immediately find any problem.
Passengers were let off the plane and taken to the terminal.
A Delta representative didn't immediately return a call from The Associated Press seeking additional details.
Funding, bison, access included in FWP bills
(Information in the following story is from: Bozeman Daily Chronicle, http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com)
BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Department Director Jeff Hagener says increasing license fees is a priority for the agency in the upcoming legislative session.
On Monday night, legislators, administrators and sportsmen met in Bozeman to discuss the agency's needs and how they might be affected by bills already being drafted.
The agency is reaching the end of a 10-year budget cycle and will soon be in the red without new authorization for fees.
Fish, Wildlife & Parks depends mostly on money from hunting and fishing license fees.
An advisory committee worked eight months to develop changes that will streamline the number of licenses available and how they're priced.
Republican Rep. Kelly Flynn, of Bozeman, tells the Bozeman Daily Chronicle that some lawmakers may be reluctant to increase fees.
Bighorn sheep dying of pneumonia near Gardiner
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Montana wildlife officials say a pneumonia outbreak has killed at least ten bighorn sheep near Yellowstone National Park.
Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks officials said Monday that the outbreak was in the Upper Yellowstone sheep herd near Gardiner.
The dead animals include a mix of rams, lambs, and one adult ewe.
Sheep in the Gardiner area have experienced smaller pneumonia outbreaks in the past few years.
There are domestic sheep in the same area.
State officials say research has shown that bacteria can be transmitted from healthy domestic sheep to bighorn sheep, causing pneumonia in the wild sheep.
Twin Bridge man sentenced in rollover death
(Information in the following story is from: The Montana Standard, http://www.mtstandard.com)
BUTTE, Mont. (AP) — A 20-year-old Twin Bridges man has been sentenced in a 2013 drunken-driving rollover crash that killed a passenger.
Tanner W. Eggers received a 20-year sentence Monday for vehicular homicide while driving under the influence, but 15 years were suspended.
The Montana Standard reports that Eggers had pleaded guilty to the charge earlier.
Authorities say Eggers was behind the wheel in a rollover crash in which 19-year-old passenger Michael Pfertsh died on Sept. 8, 2013.
Eggers also was sentenced to serve six months on three counts of negligent endangerment. That time will be served concurrently with the vehicular homicide sentence. He also was fined for a seat belt violation and ordered to pay restitution.
Bob Stitt new head football coach at Montana
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — Bob Stitt is the new head football coach at Montana.
Montana picked Stitt, who has been the head coach at the Colorado School of Mines the past 15 seasons, to replace Mick Delaney, who is retiring. Montana athletic director Kent Haslam made the announcement Tuesday.
Stitt compiled an overall record of 108-62 at the Colorado School of Mines. His team finished the 2014 season with a 10-2 record and qualified for the NCAA Division II playoffs, where the Orediggers lost in the first round.
Montana is an FCS school.
The 50-year-old Stitt will be formally introduced on Friday in Missoula.
His hiring is pending approval from Montana's Board of Regents.
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