Your daily look at news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today.
STATE REGULATORS APPROVE DAM PURCHASE:
The Montana Public Service Commission approved NorthWestern Energy's $900 million plan to buy 11 hydroelectric dams and charge the cost to its electricity customers. The commission voted 4-1 to approve the deal after nine months of review, which included public meetings and a two-week hearing in July.
AMBRE TO TAKE OVER COAL MINE OWNERSHIP:
Coal companies announced an agreement to consolidate ownership of a Montana mine in a deal aimed at boosting exports of the fuel to Asia through ports on the U.S. West Coast. Under terms of the deal, Wyoming-based Cloud Peak Energy would give up its 50 percent stake in the Decker Mine to co-owner Ambre Energy of Australia.
CURTIS RELEASES JOBS PLAN:
Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Amanda Curtis says she wants to boost small businesses and end tax breaks for corporations that send jobs overseas. Curtis announced her jobs plan Thursday. It is the latest policy pitch in the new candidate's dash to introduce herself to voters in the race against Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Daines.
PLANE CRASH VICTIM IDENTIFIED:
Officials in Cascade County have identified the woman who was killed and the three who were injured in a plane crash about 30 miles southeast of Great Falls. Sheriff Bob Edwards says 67-year-old Susan Majerus of Great Falls died of burns suffered in an intense fire after the plane crashed Tuesday afternoon. The crash injured her husband, 68-year-old Robert Majerus; 11-year-old Rachel Lukasik and 55-year-old Christopher Wilsey, the pilot.
GOVERNOR ISSUES DISASTER DECLARATION:
Gov. Steve Bullock has issued a disaster declaration for three counties, the town of Ekalaka and the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation after severe weather damaged property and infrastructure. Officials from the governor's office said Thursday that flooding from the Milk and Musselshell rivers and their tributaries damaged roads, culverts and stock reservoirs last month. Winds above 75 mph caused trees to topple in Ekalaka, leading to significant property damage there.