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BC-MT--Montana News Digest, MT

February 5, 2019

Montana at 1:45 p.m.

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TOP STORY:

WINTER WEATHER

Winter weather closed schools and disrupted travel across much of the U.S. West, with ice and snow stretching from Seattle to Arizona.

With:

WINTER WEATHER-THE LATEST

FROM THE LEGISLATURE:

TAX INCREASES _ The Montana House of Representatives has passed a bill aimed at making it harder for state lawmakers to raise taxes. Montana Public Radio reports the bill, which passed on a 53-46 vote Monday, requires a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to increase and create new taxes.

XGR--PRESCHOOL FUNDING _ Gov. Steve Bullock is proposing the state spend nearly $20 million over the next two years to expand a pilot program for public preschool.

IN BRIEF:

OIL AND GAS LEASES _ Officials say oil and gas leasing on more than 20 square miles (about 52 square kilometers) of land in Beaverhead and Madison counties has been deferred indefinitely.

ALSO OF MONTANA INTEREST:

DEMOCRATS-ZERO TOLERANCE

The pressure to resign facing Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is highlighting the Democratic Party’s insistence on policing its own when it comes to wrongdoing related to race and, in some cases, sexual misconduct. On Saturday, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, another possible Democratic contender, apologized for not stopping a staffer he fired for sexual harassment from landing a job in the New York mayor’s office. By Nicholas Riccardi.

HARVESTING ICE

HOLDERNESS, N.H. _ Modern refrigerators have little appeal for summer guests at a rustic New Hampshire resort who prefer cooling their bottles of water, soda and beer the old-fashioned way. The preparation begins five months ahead of time, when resort staffers and volunteers gather to harvest ice from nearby Squam Lake. The January ritual dates back to 1897, when Rockywold-Deephaven Camps first opened in the town of Holderness, and is practiced for commercial purposes only at a handful of other places in the country. By Michael Casey.

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