BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Donald Trump says he came to Montana because he wanted his campaign to stop in every state, but now he plans to focus on 15 key states he needs to win November’s election.
Trump spoke for about 50 minutes in Billings Thursday after securing enough delegates to lock up the Republican presidential nomination.
He opened by scanning the crowd for his son’s Montana hunting buddies and pledging to protect the Second Amendment.
He then bashed Hillary Clinton, President Barack Obama and the news media in quick succession within the first three minutes of taking the stage.
As the crowd cheered Trump on inside the arena, three people stood outside in an area designated for protesters.
One of them, Rachel Rosin of Huntley, says she was surprised and amazed there weren’t more protesters.
Tester to introduce CSKT water compact in US Senate
KALISPELL, Mont. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Jon Tester says he’s introducing legislation to ratify the $2.3 billion water rights compact for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.
Tester made the announcement Thursday, acknowledging that it’s the first step in a long process toward full congressional approval.
The bill would approve a water rights deal between federal and state governments and the CKST that came after 11 years of negotiations. The measure defines the federally reserved water rights for the CSKT and includes protections for those with existing water rights.
It affects water use on the Flathead Indian Reservation and throughout western Montana.
Tester says the biggest challenge to getting Congress to support the compact is the multibillion-dollar price tag, but he’s confident lawmakers will find a way to pay for it.
Woman gets 60 years for abusing infant twins, 1 of whom died
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A Billings woman who abused her 10-week-old twins, one of whom died in 2014, has been sentenced to 60 years in prison.
The Billings Gazette reports 25-year-old Kayla Edwards was sentenced Thursday to 50 years in prison for deliberate homicide and 10 years for assault on a minor.
Edwards and her husband, Brandon Edwards, acknowledged that they abused the twins on Christmas Day 2014. Investigators say the couple had choked the children to stop their crying and would turn their car seats upside down, leaving them suspended by the straps.
Tavaris Edwards died Dec. 27, 2014, at a Colorado hospital after being taken off life support. His sister was treated for injuries at a Billings hospital.
Brandon Edwards was sentenced to 30 years in prison with 15 years suspended.
Bridger man charged with negligent homicide in highway crash
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A man is facing charges months after a fatal crash near Laurel that he is believed to have caused after his suspected involvement in a road rage incident.
The Billings Gazette reports 33-year-old Samuel Andrew Rettig, of Bridger, has been charged with negligent homicide and criminal endangerment in the Dec. 28 crash that killed Kent Homer Morgan.
The 71-year-old Billings victim had been driving south on Highway 212 in a Dodge Caravan carrying six passengers when he was struck head-on by Rettig.
Witnesses had reported seeing Rettig closely following a pickup truck and trying to pass the vehicle prior to the crash.
Rettig reportedly told his mother after the crash that a car had hit its brakes in front of him and he didn’t know what happened after that.
Going-to-the-Sun Road closes yet again due to mudslide
WEST GLACIER, Mont. (AP) — Glacier National Park officials say beavers are to blame for the third straight day the Going-to-the-Sun Road has been closed due to a mudslide dragging trees and debris into the street.
The Missoulian reports that a mudslide near the Apgar Campground on Wednesday clogged culverts and created a river across the road forcing park officials to close the thoroughfare to all but essential traffic.
Park spokeswoman Margie Steigerwald says rangers have determined that the heavy rain earlier this week caused a large beaver dam to fail and now the dam debris has been washing onto the road.
Steigerwald says because the mudslides were not caused by the slope but instead can be attributed to the wildlife she is hopeful the road will be open before Memorial Day weekend.
Man sentenced to prison for shooting grizzly bear in Montana
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A magistrate judge has sentenced a Washington state man to six months in prison for shooting and killing a grizzly bear in northwestern Montana last year.
Shalako Katzer of Mead and federal prosecutors previously reached a deal that called for a sentence of a year of unsupervised probation in exchange for a guilty plea to unlawful taking of a threatened species.
But U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah Lynch was not obligated to follow that recommendation. On Monday, he handed down the six-month prison sentence and ordered Katzer to pay $5,000 in restitution.
Prosecutors say Katzer was camping Lincoln County in May 2015 when he and his brother spotted a bear in the campground.
Katzer’s brother fired a rifle. The bear retreated, and the men followed it. Prosecutors say Katzer fired the fatal shot with a pistol.