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This Hour: Latest Montana news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 p.m. MDT

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Tester woos Trump voters in tough re-election campaign

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Jon Tester is trying to woo the voters who gave President Donald Trump a lopsided election victory in Montana.

The Democrat's campaign released an ad Monday touting that Trump has signed 13 bills sponsored or co-sponsored by Tester. More than half of the bills deal with veterans' affairs.

Republicans seeking to unseat Tester this fall quickly rebutted that Tester is no friend of the president.

The National Republican Senate Campaign said in a statement the senator has voted against the president 80 percent of the time. The analysis by cited by the group actually found that Tester voted against Trump's position on 64 percent of bills.

Four Republicans are competing for their party's nomination to challenge Tester in November.

The deadline to file as a candidate with the Montana Secretary of State is Monday.


Bison protesters banned from Yellowstone for 5 years

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) - Three people who were arrested while protesting the slaughter of bison near Yellowstone National Park have pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges and are banned from the park for 5 years.

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports 22-year-old Hannah Ponder, 25-year-old Cody Cyson and 36-year-old Thomas Brown appeared in U.S. District Court in Mammoth Hot Springs on Monday. The members of an advocacy group called Wild Buffalo Defense had been jailed since their arrest last Tuesday near the park's Stephens Creek Capture Facility.

All three pleaded guilty to entering a closed area of the park. Cyson and Brown also pleaded guilty to interfering with an agency function after chaining themselves to a squeeze chute. All were fined.

Ponder is from Donnelly, Idaho; Brown is from Hardwick, Vermont; and Cyson is from Minnetonka, Minnesota.



$500K bail set, sex offender charged with sending child porn

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) - A judge set bail at $500,000 for a registered sex offender on charges he sent images of child pornography to his adult son.

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports 39-year-old Garland W. Loman appeared in Gallatin County Justice Court Monday on a charge of felony sexual abuse of children. He did not enter a plea.

Court records say Lowman's son, who does not live in Montana, reported to Gallatin County law enforcement that his father sent him sexually explicit messages including an images of a naked girl who appeared to be about 10 years old. Investigators say Lowman acknowledged sending the pictures, but argued they were not child pornography.

Defense attorney Ben Refling asked for Lowman's bail to be set at $250,000, saying he had lived in the area since 2011. Lowman is on probation.



Former UM student charged with attempted deliberate homicide

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) - A former University of Montana student is charged with two counts of attempted deliberate homicide in a Missoula convenience store shooting.

Justice of the Peace Marie Anderson on Friday set bail at $1 million each for 18-year-old Chase Munson and for 19-year-old UM student Ivory Brien. Brien is charged with two counts of accountability for attempted deliberate homicide.

They did not enter pleas. The public defender's office asked that their bail be set at $100,000 each.

Prosecutors say surveillance video shows Munson shooting a customer in the back and the head early on March 6. Munson then shot the clerk in the shoulder. Court records say Brien sprayed both with pepper spray.

Court records say a friend of Munson's told police that Munson returned to the dorm with a gun and said he'd shot two men.


Industry: $10B will be bet on March Madness, most illegally

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) - America's gambling industry predicts $10 billion will be bet on the March Madness college basketball tournament - nearly all of it illegally or off-the-books.

That's one of the reasons the American Gaming Association favors the full legalization and regulation of sports betting in the United States.

The group found 54 million people - or about a quarter of the U.S. adult population - participated in a sports betting pool last year.

The U.S. Supreme Court is weeks away from ruling on New Jersey's challenge to a law limiting legal sports betting to just four states: Delaware, Montana, Nevada and Oregon.

AGA President Geoff Freeman says only 3 percent of the $10 billion the group predicts will be wagered on the games will be done through legal Nevada sports books.


Montana mining companies work to avoid another geese die-off

BUTTE, Mont. (AP) - Mining companies hope to prevent another massive die-off of geese in the polluted waters of an old open-pit copper mine in Montana.

The Montana Standard reported Friday bird experts worry that with the annual northward migration of geese underway, birds might again be tempted to rest in the water in Berkeley Pit in Butte.

In November 2016, an estimated 3,000 snow geese died after they landed in the acidic, metal-laden water.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined they were killed by severe internal tissue damage that appeared to have been caused by a corrosive substance.

Montana Resources and Atlantic Richfield are responsible for the site, which is undergoing a Superfund cleanup.

Atlantic Richfield put together a hazing system to scare the birds away with booming noises and rifle shots.


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