News Minute: Here is the latest Montana news from The Associated - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

News Minute: Here is the latest Montana news from The Associated Press at 9:40 p.m. MDT

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BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - A gold exploration proposal near Yellowstone National Park has faced a significant setback as a judge blamed Montana officials for understating the potential for mining to harm land, water and wildlife. State Judge Brenda Gilbert said in a ruling released Friday that the Montana Department of Environmental Quality should have conducted a more extensive review of the proposal from Lucky Minerals. She says state officials gave too much deference to the company.

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - Local authorities have declared a flooding emergency in southeastern Montana as snowmelt and rain threaten to push the Yellowstone River and some of its tributaries to record high levels by early next week. Yellowstone County disaster director Brad Shoemaker said Friday that low-lying areas of Billings, Laurel, Huntley and Lockwood could see flooding. The Yellowstone River in Billings is projected to crest next Tuesday or Wednesday just above the record level of 15 feet recorded in 1997.

DENTON, Mont. (AP) - A central Montana rancher shot a wolf-like animal after it was spotted in a pasture with livestock, but a closer look prompted state wildlife officials to take DNA samples to determine what type of animal it was. Wildlife officials say the animal's front claws and canine teeth are too short and its ears are too tall in proportion to the skull for it to be a purebred wolf.

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) - Rescuers have recovered a sport utility vehicle from the upper Selway River, but Idaho County Sheriff Doug Giddings says none of the four hunters missing since the crash earlier this week were inside. Two of six men, identified by authorities as Jesse Gunin and Jason Lewis, escaped the vehicle and have returned to Georgia. The missing men have been identified as Koby Clark of Bozeman, Montana; Reece Rollins of Terrebonne, Oregon; and brothers Raymond Ferrieri and Jesse Ferrieri of New York.

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