Associated Press Montana News Summary
Thursday, October 4th 2012
Here is the latest Montana news from The Associated Press
HELENA, Mont. (AP) A federal judge has struck down Montana's campaign contribution limits as unconstitutional, the latest in a string of court rulings against the state's campaign laws. Barring an appeal that stays the judge's order, the ruling means individuals and political parties can dump unlimited amounts of money into the coffers of their preferred candidate at the very peak of the campaign season.

GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Hill promoted his hunting and fishing plan by criticizing Montana's wildlife agency. With NRA President David Keene at his side in Great Falls yesterday, Hill said the state Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department has engaged in large land acquisitions without setting aside money to manage those lands. Hill's opponent Steve Bullock previously has said he opposes a blanket ban on more land acquisitions.

KALISPELL, Mont. (AP) An investigation into the suspected illegal feeding of black bears in northwestern Montana has resulted in the capture and euthanization of two more bears. State wildlife officials say the male bears were captured near Heron within the past week. Five other black bears were captured in the same area and euthanized last week. Witnesses say a resident was feeding the bears.

HELENA, Mont. (AP) A federal judge has struck down Montana's campaign contribution limits as unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Charles Lovell of Helena issued the decision yesterday, saying current limits prevent state candidates from amassing the money needed to run an effective campaign. It does not affect the races for the U.S. House and Senate that are covered under other laws.

HELENA, Mont. (AP) Flu season is getting an early start in Montana. The Department of Public Health and Human Services says four cases of influenza had been confirmed in Yellowstone and Park counties through Tuesday. Montana's first cases were not confirmed until late November in each of the past two years. The agency recommends everyone older than six months get the influenza vaccine.

GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) Great Falls police say an unfortunate chain of events led to the driver of an SUV hitting an 8-year-old girl who was crossing the street after being dropped off by a church bus. The girl was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after she was hit Sunday morning. Sgt. Bryan Slavik says the bus driver accidentally hit the horn, signaling the coast was clear, and the SUV driver then struck the child. A hospital spokeswoman says she remained in critical condition yesterday.

ANACONDA, Mont. (AP) A Texas man who was arrested while trying to rob a southwestern Montana bank has pleaded no contest to felony theft. The Montana Standard reports 64-year-old James Ramsey of Midland, Texas, was arrested on Sept. 21 inside the Wells Fargo Bank in Anaconda. Prosecutors alleged he handed a teller a note demanding $10,000 in $100 bills. The teller was able to alert the bank supervisor, who called 911, while another employee activated a silent alarm.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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