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Montana absentee ballot for the 2017 special congressional election.
Eric Whitney / Montana Public Radio

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana's June 2 primary will be conducted by mail in an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Same-day registration and voting will still be allowed while a new law could mean election results will be available earlier than usual, officials said.

Yellowstone bison often leave the confines of the park in the winter for lower elevations in Montana.
Jim Peaco (CC-BY-2.0)

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Yellowstone National Park is done capturing wild bison for the year after rounding up almost 550 of the wild animals and sending most to slaughter as part of a population control program, park officials said.

Courtesy of Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Energy Keepers Inc., owned by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, has signed a contract to sell hydroelectric power to a Washington state utility.

Butte-Silver Bow Detention Center
Josh Burnham

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The chief justice of the Montana Supreme Court is asking city and county judges to consider releasing from jail as many offenders as they can to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.

Chief Justice Mike McGrath wrote to judges asking them to review their jail rosters for inmates that could be released.

Election sign at a Missoula polling place.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton plans to wait for more information about the coronavirus outbreak before deciding whether to change to the state's June 2 primary elections

In a video posted on Twitter Tuesday, Stapleton said people have asked him whether the primaries should be canceled, postponed, or conducted by mail because of the effort underway to stem the spread of the virus.

Wolverine
Andrew Gainer (CC-BY-NC-2)

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Wildlife advocates on Wednesday asked a U.S. judge to force the government into deciding if the snow-loving wolverine should be federally protected as the rare predator becomes vulnerable to a warming planet.

BUTTE, Mont. (AP) — The St. Patrick's Day parade in Butte has been canceled because of concerns about the new coronavirus, based on the advice of the Butte-Silver Bow Health Department. However, Montana's high school basketball tournaments will still be held this weekend as scheduled.

The first grizzly bear sighted in Yellowstone in 2020.
Kira Cassidy / Yellowstone National Park

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — Biologists have recorded a grizzly bear sighting in Yellowstone National Park, marking the first of the year in the park.

Biologists saw the bear Saturday near Grand Prismatic Spring, a hot spring in northwestern Wyoming, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported.

Bison at the Stephens Creek Capture facility north of Yellowstone Park in 2015.
Jim Peaco - NPS (PD)

Yellowstone National Park has started capturing bison migrating outside the park and will hold them in pens for possible slaughter as part of a population reduction program, officials said Monday.

The annual operation began Sunday and by mid-day Monday six bison had been captured as they entered the Gardiner Basin along the Yellowstone-Montana border, park spokeswoman Linda Veress said.

Drinking fountain.
Joseph Thomas Photography / iStock

KALISPELL, Mont. (AP) — Montana schools must test drinking water for lead content following state rule changes related to school health, officials said.

Schools may begin in March with a December 2021 deadline to complete testing, The Daily Inter Lake reported Sunday.

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