- Associated Press - Friday, May 23, 2014

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

BUTTE INFANT DEATH

A District Court jury has convicted a Butte man of deliberate homicide in the death of his infant daughter last August. Jurors returned their verdict against 32-year-old Matthew Blaz early Thursday afternoon. Prosecutors said Blaz beat his 8-week-old daughter, Mattisyn, and failed to seek medical help for hours. Blaz blamed the injuries on a 12-year-old boy dropping the baby, but a medical examiner and an emergency room doctor testified the baby’s injuries didn’t match Blaz’s version of events. He was taken to jail. A sentence date has not been set.

WOLVES-LANDOWNERS

Montana wildlife commissioners have initially approved a proposal allowing landowners to kill up to 100 gray wolves annually if the predators pose a perceived threat. Thursday’s action significantly expands the circumstances under which wolves can be killed without a hunting license. In the past, that was largely limited to instances in which wolves attacked livestock.

SAGE GROUSE

Montana is joining North Dakota and South Dakota as states that plan to curtail sage grouse hunting in response to a continued decline in the game bird’s population. Montana wildlife commissioners gave tentative approval to a proposal to cancel or scale back a two-month hunting season slated to open in September. Hunting advocates strongly oppose a closure. Biologists say agriculture, energy development and disease are greater threats than hunting

DUAL ENROLLMENT

Gov. Steve Bullock has announced a pilot program to expand dual enrollment opportunities for high school students in Montana. Bullock says the program will allow teachers of dual enrollment classes to receive college credit coupons. The coupons can be used toward classes at any Montana university system or tribal college for themselves or anyone they wish to give them to.

SCHOOLING PIGEON

Everyone has heard of homing pigeons, but Montana fifth-grader Tara Atkins apparently has a “schooling pigeon.” The bird named Foresta had disappeared Tuesday from Tara’s home in the Elkhorn Mountains near Montana City. But it was back in her arms on Wednesday after it showed up at her school about five air miles away in Helena. Tara’s mother said the bird had never been to the school and she doesn’t know how it found its way there.


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