- Associated Press - Friday, May 16, 2014

Your daily look at news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today.

TEEN CHARGED WITH HELPING STEAL FROM MAN WHO SHOT EXCHANGE STUDENT:

A Missoula homeowner charged with killing a 17-year-old foreign exchange student in the man’s garage told investigators the garage had been burglarized twice before. Now another teen faces charges connected to one of those previous burglaries. Bail was set at $10,000 for 18-year-old Tristan Staber, whom prosecutors say drove a car and served as a lookout while a friend allegedly took items from 29-year-old Markus Kaarma’s vehicle and garage. Kaarma shot Diren Dede of Hamburg, Germany, on April 27.

NEXT PHASE OF INDIAN LAND BUYBACK PROGRAM BEGINS:


Five Montana American Indian reservations are among the 21 that will be the focus of the next phase of a $1.9 billion program to buy fractionated land parcels owned by multiple individuals and turn them over to tribal governments. Government officials will work with tribal leaders to plan, map, conduct mineral evaluations, make appraisals and acquire land. In Montana, the Crow, Northern Cheyenne, Fort Peck, Flathead and Fort Belknap reservations in this phase, which runs through 2015.

FEDS SEEK END TO SOME GRIZZLY BEAR PROTECTIONS:

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks director Jeff says federal officials will seek to lift federal protections from some threatened grizzly bears in the Yellowstone and Northern Continental Divide regions in the next two years. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokesman Gavin Shire would not confirm that there is a timeline for the proposed rules, just that the agency is evaluating the status of grizzly bears. But Hagener said the timeline has been mentioned in several discussions with Fish and Wildlife Service officials in meetings over the last year.

FORMER SUPREME COURT JUSTICE DIES AT 70:

Diane Barz has died of cancer at age 70. She was the only woman in the University of Montana law school’s graduating class of 1968 and was the first woman to serve on Montana’s Supreme Court. She also was the first woman elected to a District Court judgeship in Montana and served for 22 years.

JUDGE SENTENCES BILLINGS WOMAN FOR FRAUD:

A federal judge sentenced a Billings woman to more than two years in prison for defrauding a bank and investors in a series of schemes that included a false claim her daughter had died of leukemia. U.S. District Judge Susan Watters rejected Angela Corson Smith’s request for a more lenient sentence, saying the defendant’s pattern of deceit was staggering in its scope and demanded stiff punishment.