Your daily look at news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today.
2 MORE BALLOT INITIATIVES GONE:
The deadline is Friday for sponsors of ballot measures to turn in signatures to qualify for the Nov. 4 ballot, but two of the highest-profile measures won't be certified. Charter Communications agreed to drop its proposal to lower its property taxes after reaching an agreement with the Montana Department of Revenue. Sponsors of a measure to expand Medicaid to the working poor say they won't turn their petition in after falling short in collecting voter signatures.
GOP MOVES TO CLOSE PRIMARIES:
Montana Republicans will vote Saturday whether to approve a proposal to close future primary elections to prevent voters outside the party from influencing contests. Members of the GOP's conservative wing complained after the June 3 primary that Democrats had crossed party lines to bolster the chances of some moderate Republicans. The resolution passed an initial vote on Thursday.
CONVICTED SCAMMER THREATENS COURT, PROSECUTOR:
A Montana man said he will "fry this court" moments after being sentenced to 20 years in prison for running an investment scam. Richard Reynolds was convicted of running a Ponzi scheme that prosecutors say took in more than $5 million from at least 140 investors in 20 states has been sentenced to 20 years in prison. District Judge Holly Brown Reynolds to 60 years in prison with 40 suspended and ordered him to pay nearly $4.5 million in restitution. He made his comments as he was led away in handcuffs, telling the prosecutor, "You will pay."
STATE SENATOR'S ASSAULT TRIAL DELAYED:
The trial of a state senator charged with assaulting his young daughter, estranged wife and her boyfriend has been delayed from August to Jan. 12. State prosecutors and Sen. Jason Priest's attorney have until the end of September to try to resolve the case without going to trial. Prosecutors say on Feb. 1, Priest threw his 4-year-old daughter through a doorway, tried to push his wife down the stairs, tackled her boyfriend and struggled with an officer who intervened.
YELLOWSTONE CLUB FOUNDER HIT WITH $200M JUDGMENT:
A federal judge in California has issued a $200 million civil judgment against one-time billionaire Tim Blixseth for the fraudulent transfer of money out of an ultra-luxury resort he founded in southern Montana. U.S. District Judge Gary Feess referred to Blixseth's actions while at the Yellowstone Club near Big Sky as an "elaborate fraudulent scheme of self-dealing." Feess said the club's creditors deserve to be repaid.