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This Hour: Latest Montana news, sports, business and entertainment

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Judge grants access for oil pipeline operations

GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) - A refining company will be able to continue operating three pipelines that transport crude oil from Canada after a federal judge granted access for the final parcel whose easement had expired.

Phillips 66 had negotiated access agreements with about 600 landowners on the Blackfeet Reservation and pursued a condemnation complaint against the holdout landowners of one parcel.

The Great Falls Tribune reported Wednesday ( ) U.S. District Judge Sam Haddon ruled in favor of Phillips 66 and ordered the company to pay the landowners $1,450 in compensation.

Phillips 66 spokesman Michael Barnes says the easements for the three pipelines had expired, so the company had to re-negotiate access.

The easements were renewed for 47 years.

The company says the cost of relocating the pipelines would have been $2 million.


Former Griz basketball player faces drug charges

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) - A former University of Montana men's basketball player faces felony charges for allegedly selling prescription stimulants.

The Missoulian reports 24-year-old Eric Taylor Hutchison is charged with one count of criminal distribution of dangerous drugs. He is scheduled to enter a plea in District Court on Thursday.

Charging documents say a confidential informant contacted Missoula police to report that Hutchison was offering to sell Adderall, which is used to treat narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Prosecutors say Hutchison twice sold Adderall to undercover law enforcement officers.

Court records say Hutchison told police in May that he had sold about 1,000 tablets for $5 each.

Hutchison is a 6-foot-9 center from Longview, Washington, who started for UM in all but 10 games over the past two seasons.


Darby man arrested with Molotov cocktail

HAMILTON, Mont. (AP) - A Darby man faces allegations that another man had to wrestle him to the ground to prevent him from lighting a Molotov cocktail he brought to a southwestern Montana bar.

The Ravalli Republic reports Jack Tony Hatzenbuehler Jr. was arrested early Saturday and appeared before Justice of the Peace Robin Clute on Monday on charges of assault with a weapon and possession of explosives. He is free after posting a $10,000 bond.

Court records say Hatzenbuelher had been drinking at the bar in Conner on Friday night, left and returned at about 2 a.m. Saturday.

Patron Tom Karoleski said he saw Hatzenbuehler get out of his truck carrying a bottle of gas and a lighter. Karoleski said he had to put the man into a chokehold and bring him to the ground to prevent him from lighting the explosive.


Man denies charges he attacked 2 women

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) - A 28-year-old man has denied charges that he attacked two women in Missoula, pushing one of them down.

KECI-TV reports William Ashley Sandel II pleaded not guilty Tuesday in District Court to charges of aggravated assault, sexual assault and attempted sexual assault.

Sandel was arrested on July 8 after a woman reported a man sneaked up behind her, wrapped his arms around her neck and pulled her to the ground. The woman said she almost blacked out, but was eventually able to get free enough to scream.

Three days earlier, a woman reported a man grabbed her buttocks while she was walking on a nature trail east of Missoula.

Charging documents say Sandel told investigators both attacks were sexually motivated.

He remains jailed with his bail set at $100,000.


Commission nominates 3 for vacant judgeship

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - A judicial panel has nominated three attorneys to fill the vacant state worker's compensation judgeship.

Lee Newspapers of Montana reports the Judicial Nomination commission voted Tuesday to forward the names of William Dean Blackaby of Helena, Kay Lynn Lee of Kalispell and David Michael Sandler of Kalispell to Gov. Steve Bullock.

Bullock has 30 days to appoint a person from the list.

The judgeship became vacant when Jim Shea resigned to accept Bullock's appointment as a Montana Supreme Court justice.

The workers' compensation judge appointee must be confirmed by the state Senate. The appointee will fill Shea's term, which runs until September 2017, and will be eligible for a full six-year term.

The position pays $117,600 a year.


Glacier officials encourage people to 'hike smart'

WEST GLACIER, Mont. (AP) - Officials in Glacier National Park are reminding visitors to "hike smart" after responding to several medical emergencies this week, including two fatal heart attacks.

Park spokeswoman Denise Germann says a 75-year-old California man died Tuesday morning while hiking on the Iceberg-Ptarmigan Trail near Many Glacier. On Monday, a 67-year-old Indiana man died while on a ranger-led hike in the St. Mary Falls area.

There were four other medical incidents Monday including a man with chest pains, a 79-year-old woman who lost consciousness, a boy who was suffering the effects of the heat and another man who was having difficulty with a kidney stone.

Germann reminds visitors to drink plenty of fluids, avoid hiking during the hottest part of the day, be aware of your hiking skills and hike in groups.


Coaches pick Carroll to win Frontier football

WHITEFISH, Mont. (AP) - Carroll College is favored to defend its Frontier Conference football title according to a preseason poll of the league's coaches.

The Saints received seven first-place votes and 49 points in the poll that was released Tuesday. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own teams.

Rocky Mountain received one first-place vote and was second with 41 points.

Southern Oregon is ranked third followed by Eastern Oregon and Montana Tech. Montana State-Northern and Montana Western are tied for sixth followed by league newcomer College of Idaho, which is fielding a football team for the first time in more than 30 years.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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