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Evening Newscast 01-30-20

Montana Public Radio Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham
Montana Public Radio Evening Newscast

It may be winter but fire danger around Montana could spike this weekend when a system with strong winds, dry conditions and possible record highs for parts of Montana blows in on Saturday.

Yellowstone National Park officials say the coyote that attacked and injured a cross country skier Tuesday has tested negative for rabies. The unidentified 43-year-old woman was bitten by a coyote while skiing in the Canyon Village area.

The state's Division of Criminal Investigation has agreed to assist with and review the investigation into the death of 16-year-old Selena Not Afraid, who reportedly walked away from an Interstate 90 rest stop on New Year's Day. Her body was found 20 days later less than a mile from the rest stop.

The first incumbent on Montana’s state land board has filed for reelection.

Montana Republican lawmaker Rep. Dale Mortensen has died. The Billings Gazette reported that state House Speaker Greg Hertz confirmed Mortensen's death Wednesday. The Billings Heights three-term lawmaker was first elected in 2014 and was 53.

A proposed land deal between the state and a nonprofit foundation could help connect an important piece of grizzly bear habitat between the Cabinet and Purcell mountains near the small town of Troy.

An assistant basketball coach at Stone Child College on the Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation has been fired after being charged with sexually assaulting a girl starting when she was 12.

Most of Montana will be bracing for strong, gusty winds, warm temperatures and heightened fire danger Friday and Saturday, but as YPR’s Kay Erickson explains, this is just a typical Montana winter.

Federal prosecutors say the former executive director of a nonprofit working to bolster domestic violence services for Native women in Montana was a part of a scheme to steal federal grant money.

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