Associated Press Montana News Summary
Sunday, December 2nd 2012

Redistricting panel votes on Senate districts

HELENA, Mont. (AP) The commission appointed to redraw Montana's legislative map for 2014 has voted to join part of Butte with Jefferson County as a single Senate district.

The five-member Districting and Apportionment Commission on Friday also decided other tentative Senate districts that are combinations of two House districts already decided.

The panel is redrawing Montana's 100 House and 50 Senate districts to align with 2010 population numbers.

The panel is made up of two Republicans and two Democrats and the nonpartisan chair of the commission.

Lee Newspapers State Bureau reports that Chairman Jim Regnier alternated siding with the Republicans and Democrats on numerous 3-2 votes.

The commission will finalize the map early next year, after getting public comment and reaction from the 2013 Legislature.


Missoula County wants mill site on Superfund list

(Information in the following story is from: Missoulian,

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) Missoula County commissioners have sent a letter to Gov. Brian Schweitzer asking him to support putting the former Smurfit-Stone Container Corp. mill site in Frenchtown on the Superfund National Priorities List.

The Missoulian reports that commissioners sent the letter Thursday.

In a separate letter also sent on Thursday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency asked Schweitzer for a written response on whether Montana supports putting the site on the list.

The federal agency says the site has potentially dangerous levels of dioxins, heavy metals and other hazardous chemicals.

Commissioners say they're concerned the site poses a health risk to people as well as to the Clark Fork River, and that a flood could lead to a catastrophic release of toxins.


Livingston man in custody after woman shot

(Information in the following story is from: Bozeman Daily Chronicle,

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) A Livingston man who police say shot a woman Saturday morning in the parking lot of the Gallatin Valley Mall has been taken into custody on suspicion of attempted deliberate homicide.

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports that 22-year-old Nathaniel John Budd was being held at the Gallatin County jail.

Bozeman Police Lt. Steve Crawford says a 24-year-old woman was shot twice at about 1:30 a.m. She was treated at Bozeman Deaconess Hospital and released.

Police say the woman was a passenger in a vehicle driven by a 27-year-old man who was not struck in the shooting.

Budd is expected to make an initial court appearance Monday.


60-year-old man dies in crash north of Billings

(Information in the following story is from: Billings Gazette,

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) The Montana Highway Patrol says a 60-year-old man died when he failed to stop at a stop sign about eight miles north of Billings and collided with another vehicle.

Police say the man was driving a Ford F-250 and died at the scene Friday evening at the intersection of Shepherd Acton Road and Highway 87.

The driver of the other vehicle was treated for minor injuries at the scene.

Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Dell Aman tells the Billings Gazette that the F-250 rolled and crushed the cab, pinning the man inside.

Aman says the man wasn't wearing a seatbelt and suffered a severe head injury.


Official urges collaboration on wildfire projects

PARADISE VALLEY, Ariz. (AP) A senior federal official is urging communities, utilities and others to collaborate more on projects aimed at restoring forests and rangeland charred by blazes and guarding against catastrophic fires.

Harris Sherman, an undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture who oversees the U.S. Forest Service, tells government officials at a Western Governors' Association meeting Saturday in Paradise Valley, Ariz., that the federal government is accelerating its forest restoration projects and wants communities involved in similar efforts.

Sherman painted a stark picture of how the country's fire seasons are progressing.

Sherman says wildfires burned a near-record 9.1 million acres in the United States this year. Fourteen fires nearly all in the West burned more than 100,000 acres.


High Court to decide how logging roads regulated

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) The U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether to switch gears on more than 30 years of regulating the muddy water running off logging roads into rivers.

At issue: Should the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency keep considering that muddy water the same as water running off a farm field, or start looking at it like a pipe coming out of a factory?

The case being heard Monday in Washington, D.C., originated from a small environmental group in Portland, the Northwest Environmental Defense Center. It sued the Oregon Department of Forestry over roads on the Tillamook State Forest that drain into salmon streams.


Pressure mounting on Obama over pipeline decision

WASHINGTON (AP) President Barack Obama faces mounting pressure to decide whether to approve Keystone XL, a $7 billion proposed oil pipeline between the U.S. and Canada.

Environmental activists and oil producers have fought for years over the potential environmental impact in states the pipeline will cross. But it's really a proxy battle over broader issues, like climate change and energy consumption.

Both sides consider Obama's decision a sign of what approach he'll take to energy and the environment in his second term.

Opponents have been protesting in Washington and Texas. On Capitol Hill, support appears to be building. A bipartisan group of senators is urging Obama to approve the pipeline quickly.

After Obama rejected the initial proposal in January, the pipeline's route was adjusted to satisfy some environmental concerns.


Sports tycoon buys 123,000-acre Montana ranch

(Information in the following story is from: Great Falls Tribune,

GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) Sports tycoon Stan Kroenke has bought the 123,000-acre Broken O Ranch near Augusta in northwestern Montana.

The Great Falls Tribune reports the real estate mogul who owns the NFL's St. Louis Rams, the NBA's Denver Nuggets and the NHL's Colorado Avalanche closed the deal in the last week.

The sprawling ranch spans three counties and includes more than 20 miles of the Sun River west of Great Falls. It was put on the market late last year for $132 million. The sale price wasn't disclosed.

The Broken O Ranch was assembled during the last two decades by William and Desiree Moore, founders of the Kelly-Moore Paint Company. William Moore died in 2004 and his wife passed away in 2010. Their children decided to sell the property.


Montana State holds off Stony Brook 16-10

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) Montana State defensive end Caleb Schreibeis forced the last of three lost Stony Brook fumbles with 45 seconds to play to preserve at 16-10 second-round FCS playoff victory on Saturday night.

The No. 3-seeded Bobcats (11-1) got a 69-yard touchdown pass from DeNarius McGhee to Tanner Bleskin in the first quarter and never trailed.

McGhee finished 12 of 22 passing for 208 yards and ran for 73 yards.

Montana State plays Sam Houston State in next week's quarterfinals. The 11 wins are the most for the Bobcats since 1984.

Miguel Maysonet ran 19 times for 83 yards and Marcus Coker had 56 yards on 12 carries for the Seawolves (10-3).

Kyle Essington completed 10 of 19 passes for 122 yards and a touchdown to Kevin Norrell that cut Montana State's lead to 13-10 with 11:53 remaining.


San Jose State beats Montana State 82-74

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) James Kinney scored 23 points Saturday to lead San Jose State to an 82-74 win over Montana State.

Chris Cunningham had 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Spartans (3-3).

LaVanne Pennington scored 11 points and D.J. Brown had 10 points and 9 assists for San Jose State. The Spartans' last game was a 70-57 loss Monday at No. 10 Kansas in which Kinney scored 30 points.

Jamie Stewart scored 22 points to lead the Bobcats (1-5), who have lost four in a row. Xavier Blount scored 16 and Antonio Biglow had 11 points for Montana State.

The game, originally scheduled to be played at night, was moved up to an afternoon tip-off because Montana State's football team faces Stony Brook in a second-round FCS game later

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