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Articles written by Matthew Brown Associated Press

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Houle pleads guilty to charges

BILLINGS — A former Chippewa Cree tribal council member pleaded guilty Monday to embezzlement, tax evasion and other federal charges as part of a wide-ranging investigation into corruption within the northern Montana tribe. John... — Updated 12/8/2014 Full story


Houle, Colliflower agree to plea deals

BILLINGS (AP) — Two more defendants in a sweeping corruption investigation into Montana's Chippewa Cree tribe have agreed to plead guilty to federal charges, according to court documents filed Monday. Former Chippewa Cree tribal... — Updated 12/2/2014 Full story


Malta-area prairie reserve tops 300,000 acres

BILLINGS (AP) — A private conservation reserve taking shape on north-central Montana's open prairie now spans more than 300,000 acres — or almost 470 square miles — with the addition of a large parcel south of Malta that was... — Updated 7/31/2014 Full story


APNewsBreak: Oil train info shows heavy traffic

BILLINGS (AP) — Disclosures from railroads about volatile oil shipments from the Northern Plains show dozens of the trains passing weekly through Illinois and the Midwest and up to 19 a week reaching Washington state on the West... — Updated 6/24/2014 Full story


Update: Republicans vote to have closed primary

BILLINGS (AP) — Montana Republicans resolved Saturday to close their primary elections to nonparty members and adopt a runoff system for the general election, following a fierce internal debate that underscores lingering... — Updated 6/21/2014 Full story


Defendants in Crow corruption case avoid prison

BILLINGS (AP) — The remaining defendants in a corruption scheme on Montana's Crow Indian Reservation have avoided prison, after a judge rejected the prosecution's claims of significant financial damages. Former Crow historic... — Updated 6/11/2014 Full story


Climate proposal calls for 21 percent cut in CO2

BILLINGS (AP) — A White House plan to address climate change by reducing carbon dioxide pollution would have a magnified impact in coal-rich Montana and consequences for both mining and electricity generation. Draft rules for... — Updated 6/2/2014 Full story


Tester: fix 'dysfunctional' Indian health

BILLINGS — The chairman of the U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee says he wants the Obama administration to address the "dysfunction" that is hobbling Native American health care and causing rising dissatisfaction over poor... — Updated 5/26/2014


Prosecutors won't seek death in oil patch killing

BILLINGS (AP) — Prosecutors say they no longer will pursue the death penalty against a Colorado man suspected of killing a teacher in eastern Montana's oil patch. Tuesday's move by Richland County Attorney Mike Weber comes after... — Updated 5/20/2014 Full story


Judge: Oil patch slaying suspect fit for trial

BILLINGS (AP) — A judge says a mentally disabled Colorado man is fit to stand trial in the killing of a Montana teacher who disappeared after she went jogging in the Bakken oil patch. District Judge Richard Simonton in a Friday... — Updated 5/17/2014 Full story


Teacher in Montana rape case seeks new hearing

BILLINGS — A high school teacher who served one month in prison for raping a 14-year-old student is asking the Montana Supreme Court to reconsider a decision that could send him back to prison for at least two more years. The... — Updated 5/16/2014 Full story


Ex-Billings teacher to be re-sentenced in rape case

BILLINGS — A former high school teacher who raped a 14-year-old student could be headed back to prison after the Montana Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that his original one-month sentence was too short under state sentencing... — Updated 4/30/2014 Full story


Bullock proposes $45 million in oil patch grants

BILLINGS — Gov. Steve Bullock proposed a $45 million grant program Thursday to ease strains on water and sewer systems in eastern Montana towns that have struggled to keep pace with the demands of the fast-growing Bakken oil... — Updated 4/17/2014 Full story


Chief: Hand movements justified fatal shooting

BILLINGS (AP) — An unarmed robbery suspect moved his hands six times in defiance of an officer's orders before the officer fatally shot him during a traffic stop, Billings Police Chief Rich St. John said Wednesday. St. John said... — Updated 4/16/2014


Robbery suspect shot and killed by Billings officer

BILLINGS (AP) - A Billings police officer shot and killed a man being sought in a recent robbery after authorities say the suspect made a sudden movement while in the back of a car... — Updated 4/15/2014 Full story


US government: industry hampering oil train safety

BILLINGS — U.S. transportation officials rebuked the oil industry Friday for not giving up information regulators say they need to gauge the danger of moving crude by rail, after several accidents highlighted the explosive... — Updated 3/28/2014 Full story


Feds: Montana-California meth ring busted

BILLINGS — Federal officials say their investigations into drug crimes in the Bakken oil patch have led to the arrests of 11 people linked to a ring that trafficked methamphetamine from southern California. The U.S. Attorney's... — Updated 3/28/2014 Full story


ACLU: Treatment of mentally ill prisoners lacking

BILLING (AP) — Advocacy groups said Friday that a yearlong investigation of Montana's corrections system found "systemic" mistreatment of mentally ill prisoners, including their placement in solitary confinement for months or... — Updated 2/28/2014 Full story


Attorneys: 30 days in prison enough for rapist

BILLINGS (AP) — Attorneys for a former Montana teacher who raped a 14-year-old student argued Friday that his 30 days in prison were enough punishment, even as a judicial oversight panel sought the censure of the judge in the... — Updated 2/28/2014 Full story


BNSF plans to upgrade tanker fleet after accidents

BILLINGS (AP) — BNSF Railway Co. said Thursday it intends to buy a fleet of 5,000 strengthened tank cars to haul oil and ethanol in a move that would set a higher safety standard for a fleet that's seen multiple major accidents.... — Updated 2/20/2014 Full story


Judge in rape case asks court to decide punishment

BILLINGS — A Montana judge who said a 14-year-old rape victim appeared older than her chronological age has waived formal proceedings and asked the state Supreme Court to decide his punishment. District Judge G. Todd Baugh said... — Updated 2/18/2014 Full story


Train accidents stir worries about crude transport

BILLINGS (AP) — At least 10 times since 2008, freight trains hauling oil across North America have derailed and spilled significant quantities of crude, with most of the accidents touching off fires or catastrophic explosions.... — Updated 2/17/2014 Full story


Review panel wants Billings judge disciplined

BILLINGS (AP) — A judicial oversight board wants a Montana judge disciplined for saying a 14-year-old rape victim was "older than her chronological age" and sentencing her rapist to just one month in prison. The Montana Judicial... — Updated 2/4/2014 Full story


Sidney, Williston fight over FBI office

BILLINGS (AP) — An FBI spokesman says the agency is considering permanent agents in the Bakken oil patch of Montana and North Dakota as the drilling boom drives crime rates higher. That's sparked a dispute between the states'... — Updated 1/17/2014 Full story


AP Exclusive: Judge says he broke ethics code

BILLINGS — A Montana judge under fire for commenting that a 14-year-old student rape victim appeared "older than her chronological age" said Tuesday that he deserves to be censured but not removed from the bench for the remarks.... — Updated 12/3/2013 Full story


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