Roads opening at 8 a.m. Friday include Mammoth Hot Springs to Norris, Norris to Madison, Madison to Old Faithful, Madison to the West Entrance and Norris to Canyon Village.
Road construction also is resuming between Mammoth Hot Springs and Norris with delays up to 30 minutes.
Yellowstone closes about 320 miles of road over the winter and plows them open in the spring.
State superintendent pays $90 an hour to land board adviser
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana’s superintendent of public instruction is paying a Billings consultant $90 an hour to advise her on issues before the state Land Board.
The Independent Record reports a staff attorney who advised the previous superintendent earned $41.46 an hour.
The Land Board consists of the state’s top five elected officials and meets monthly to determine how best to generate revenue for public schools through agricultural leases and fees at recreational sites on state trust lands.
Dylan Klapmeier, a spokesman for Superintendent Elsie Arntzen, says Patrick H. Beddow has been working about 40 hours a month since January, but will work 25 to 30 hours monthly going forward.
Beddow has been involved in oil, gas, minerals, coal and land-title issues for 38 years. He says people in his industry receive considerably more pay than he’s receiving from the state.
Officials looking for the cubs of a black bear killed by car
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Officials say a female black bear was killed after being struck by a pickup truck on a highway in Lewis and Clark County.
The Independent Record reports wildlife officials are looking for the bear’s two cubs who they believe ran away after Tuesday’s crash.
Game Warden Brady Murphy says wardens have set a live trap in the area in an effort to capture the cubs that are just a couple of months old. They will be taken to the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks wildlife center if they are found.
Officials say the driver of the vehicle was not injured.
Jury back at work in Bundy ranch standoff trial in Vegas
LAS VEGAS (AP) — A federal jury is back at work deliberating in the trial of six men who brought assault-style weapons to a confrontation that stopped government agents from rounding up cattle near Cliven Bundy’s ranch in April 2014.
Jurors began deliberations Thursday afternoon and were off Friday before spending all day Monday and Tuesday going over two months of evidence and testimony.
Six defendants face 10 charges each, including threatening and assaulting a federal officer, extortion, obstruction, weapon violations and conspiracy.
Each could face more than 50 years in prison if he’s found guilty of crimes of violence.
No shots were fired before the federal Bureau of Land Management abandoned the roundup and withdrew.
The standoff near Bunkerville was seen as a victory for states’ rights advocates against the federal land policies.
Report: Wildfires hurt western Montana air quality
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana is called Big Sky Country due to its wide open spaces and clear sky, but there are times when wildfires, geography and weather patterns combine to make the air unhealthy for people with asthma or chronic lung disease.
The American Lung Association’s annual “State of the Air” report lists the city of Missoula along with Ravalli and Lincoln counties among the worst areas in the country for the number of days they had small particle pollution that makes breathing the air unhealthy for some residents. This year’s report includes data from 2013-2015 — and 2015 was an especially bad fire year.
Sarah Coefield is an air quality specialist with the Missoula City-County Health Department. She says those counties all sit in valleys that trap smoke during wildfire season.
The ALA report urges efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate climate change and fire danger.
Governor, GOP negotiating deal on tax bills in final days
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Gov. Steve Bullock is negotiating with Republican Senate leaders in the final days of the legislative session to pass tax credit and tax cut measures that he favors.
Senate Majority Leader Fred Thomas says GOP lawmakers want an agreement from the Democratic governor to allow some of their favored legislation to become law in exchange.
Bullock spokeswoman Ronja Abel said Tuesday that the governor is advocating for bills that would give an earned income tax credit for the working poor, tax credits for businesses that employ new apprentices and tax cuts for new or expanding businesses.
The Senate gave initial approval to the two tax credit bills on Tuesday. The tax cut measure previously failed to advance from the Senate Taxation Committee.
Thomas declined to say what measures the Republicans are pushing for in exchange.