Associated Press Montana News Summary
Friday, October 5th 2012
Latest Montana news, sports, business and entertainment
CAMPAIGN FINANCE-MONTANA

State appeals as campaigns eye unlimited donations

HELENA, Mont. (AP) The state is asking a federal judge who struck down Montana's limits on campaign contributions to place a hold on his decision.

State attorneys argue the ruling could cause chaos with just a month left until Election Day.

U.S. District Judge Charles Lovell responded Thursday by saying he must first hear from the conservative and Republican groups who successfully fought for the change.

State attorneys are finalizing a request to the 9th U.S. Circuit of Appeals to intervene on an emergency basis.

The decision stunned political circles. Some state political candidates who now can accept unlimited donations say they will take a wait-and-see approach before seeking big money.

The commissioner of political practices office says it has not yet determined how to advise the candidates it regulates.

HOUSE RACE-FEDERAL CONTRACTS

Spending foe Daines' firm took $15M in gov't deals

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) Former technology executive Steve Daines has made shrinking the government a central theme of his campaign for Montana's sole U.S. House seat.

Yet an examination of federal procurement records shows the Republican's former company, RightNow Technologies, entered dozens of contracts with federal agencies worth at least $15.1 million. The Bozeman-based maker of customer service software last year counted more than 170 agencies among its clients, and it projected 2011 revenues of more than $220 million.

Daines says his work as a vice president at RightNow was consistent with his call for smaller government. He says providing automated "self-service" software for agency websites made government more efficient and saved it money.

Opponent Democrat Kim Gillan says RightNow's government deals contradict Daines' push for smaller government.

Daines says he left RightNow in March to concentrate on the campaign.

DOUBLE DUI

Helena man gets 2 DUIs in less than 24 hours

(Information in the following story is from: Independent Record, http://www.helenair.com)

HELENA, Mont. (AP) A Helena man who was cited for driving under the influence twice in less than 24 hours is jailed on $25,000 bond.

The Independent Record reports 30-year-old Clancy Jon Williams was arrested at about 3:30 a.m. Tuesday, charged and later released.

Police Chief Troy McGee says at about 1:40 a.m. Wednesday, officers responded to a report of a 1954 Chevrolet Bel Air being stolen from a mechanic's garage in Helena.

Officers found the Bel Air, with Williams driving, and arrested him again.

Williams was cited with his fourth DUI, a felony, along with felony theft, driving with a suspended license and without insurance.

The car was not damaged.

GRIZZLY CAPTURED

Grizzly captured near Columbia Falls, relocated

KALISPELL, Mont. (AP) A 4-year-old male grizzly that was eating apples in residential areas near Columbia Falls has been captured and relocated.

Fish, Wildlife and Parks grizzly bear management specialist Tim Manley says the 333-pound bear was captured Tuesday about 50 yards from a house near the Meadow Lake Golf Course northwest of Columbia Falls.

The bear was fitted with a radio collar so biologists can follow its movements and released Wednesday in the North Fork of the Flathead River drainage.

EFFEXOR LAWSUIT

Butte parents sue over baby's heart defect

(Information in the following story is from: The Montana Standard, http://www.mtstandard.com)

BUTTE, Mont. (AP) The parents of a baby born with a serious heart defect are suing a pharmaceutical company and their physician alleging an antidepressant the mother was taking caused the defect.

The Montana Standard reports Lisa Rooney and Wayne Halvorsen are seeking an undisclosed sum of money in the lawsuit filed in District Court in Butte on Monday.

The lawsuit names Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Pfizer Inc., their pharmacy and the prescribing doctor.

Rooney and Halvorsen allege their daughter was born with serious birth defects in October 2009 and has required several operations as a result of Rooney being prescribed Effexor XR. The lawsuit alleges Wyeth failed to issue warnings on the alleged risk of birth defects.

A spokesman for Pfizer, which recently acquired Wyeth, says Pfizer believes the lawsuit lacks merit.

(Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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