Montana

Study: Wildfires produced up to half of pollution in US West

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Wildfire smoke accounted for up to half of all health-damaging small particle air pollution in the western U.S. in recent years as warming temperatures fueled more destructive blazes, according to a study released Monday.

Even as pollution emissions declined from other sources including vehicle exhaust and power plants, the amount from fires increased sharply, said researchers at Stanford University and the University of California, San Diego.

US Senate high stakes spur astronomical spending in Montana

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Political groups fighting for control of the U.S. Senate have poured more than $118 million into the contest between Montana’s Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock and Republican incumbent Steve Daines, a record shattering figure for the sparsely-populated state that dwarfs spending on a per-voter basis in all other Senate battleground states.

USA: Postal Service agrees to reverse service changes

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The U.S. Postal Service agreed Wednesday to reverse changes that slowed mail service nationwide, settling a lawsuit filed by Montana Gov. Steve Bullock during a pandemic that is expected to force many more people to vote by mail.

The lawsuit filed against Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and the U.S. Postal Service on Sept. 9 argued changes implemented in June harmed access to mail services in Montana, resulting in delayed delivery of medical prescriptions, payments, and job applications, and impeding the ability of Montana residents to vote by mail.

USA: Judge removes Trump public lands boss for serving unlawfully

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A federal judge ruled Friday that President Donald Trump’s leading steward of public lands has been serving unlawfully, blocking him from continuing in the position in the latest pushback against the administration’s practice of filling key positions without U.S. Senate approval.

U.S. Interior Department Bureau of Land Management acting director William Perry Pendley served unlawfully for 424 days without being confirmed to the post by the Senate as required under the Constitution, U.S. District Judge Brian Morris determined.

Probe: Top US official misused office to get son-in-law job

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A senior Trump administration official misused his office for private gain by capitalizing on his government connections to help get his son-in-law hired at the Environmental Protection Agency, investigators said in a report obtained by The Associated Press.

The Interior Department’s Inspector General found that Assistant Interior Secretary Douglas Domenech reached out to a senior EPA official in person and later by email in 2017 to advocate for the son-in-law when he was seeking a job at the agency.

Ex-wildlife chief: Trump rule could kill billions of birds

BUTTE, Mont. (AP) — At a former open pit copper mine filled with billions of gallons of toxic water, sirens and loud pops from propane cannons echo off the granite walls to scare away birds so they don’t land.

After several thousand migrating snow geese perished in the Berkeley Pit’s acidic, metal-laden waters in 2016, its owners deployed a sophisticated arsenal to frighten away flocks, including lasers, drones, fireworks and remote-controlled boats.

US astronaut sets record for longest spaceflight by a woman

MONTANA (AP) --- A U.S. astronaut set a record Saturday for the longest single spaceflight by a woman, breaking the old mark of 288 days with about two months left in her mission.

Christina Koch, a 40-year-old electrical engineer from Livingston, Montana, arrived at the International Space Station on March 14. She broke the record set by former space station commander Peggy Whitson in 2016-2017.

3 dead in Montana casino shooting, suspect killed by police

GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) — An overnight shooting Tuesday at a Montana casino left three people dead and another person injured, and the suspect was later tracked down and killed by police, officials said.

The shooting happened about 2 a.m. at the Emerald City Casino in Great Falls, along one of the city’s main commercial strips, according to a statement from the Great Falls Police Department.

Attorney general unveils plan on missing Native Americans

PABLO, Mont. (AP) — Attorney General William Barr announced a nationwide plan Friday to address the crisis of missing and slain Native American women as concerns mount over the level of violence they face.

Barr announced the plan, known as the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Initiative, during a visit with tribal leaders and law enforcement officials on the Flathead Reservation in Montana.

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