Latest Billings News

Report: Cleanup of abandoned oil, gas wells could cost US

Sep. 18, 2019 7:49 PM EDT

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. taxpayers could face potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in cleanup costs from abandoned oil and gas wells on public lands, a government watchdog agency said Wednesday. The Government Accountability Office said in a report that it identified almost 2,300 wells that have...

Jehovah's Witnesses ask court to reverse $35M abuse verdict

Sep. 13, 2019 3:34 PM EDT

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — An attorney for the Jehovah's Witnesses asked the Montana Supreme Court on Friday to reverse a $35 million verdict against the church for not reporting a girl's sexual abuse to authorities. Last year, a jury awarded $4 million in compensatory damages and $31 million in punitive...

Sage grouse numbers stumble in Montana, across US West

Sep. 12, 2019 7:50 PM EDT

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Montana's greater sage grouse population has fallen more than 40% over the past three years, mirroring recent declines across the U.S. West for the wide-ranging bird species that federal officials rejected for protections in 2015. State wildlife officials estimate there were about...

US seeks dismissal of tribes' lawsuit over Keystone pipeline

Sep. 10, 2019 2:25 PM EDT

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Attorneys for the Trump administration want a U.S. judge to throw out a lawsuit from Native American tribes trying to block the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to Nebraska. Tribes in Montana and South Dakota say President Donald Trump approved the pipeline without...

Squirrels, bees could get US aid but not Yellowstone's bison

Sep. 5, 2019 8:04 PM EDT

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. wildlife officials rejected petitions Thursday to protect Yellowstone National Park's storied bison herds but pledged to consider more help for two other species — a tiny, endangered squirrel in Arizona and bees that pollinate rare desert flowers in Nevada. Wildlife...

Montana mines buoy firm beset by deaths, strike in S. Africa

Sep. 3, 2019 5:24 PM EDT

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — After a prolonged strike and a string of workplace fatalities in South Africa, executives at Sibanye-Stillwater are leaning heavily on its Montana platinum mines to turn things around at one of the world's largest precious metals mining companies. The firm posted a $19 million loss...

Agency boss: Past support for US land sales is 'irrelevant'

Aug. 28, 2019 6:40 PM EDT

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A newly appointed Trump administration official said his past support for selling federal lands was "irrelevant," after his selection to oversee an agency managing nearly a quarter-billion public acres in the U.S. West drew a backlash. Acting Bureau of Land Management Director...

Man gets life for 1998 killing after confessions met doubt

Aug. 23, 2019 4:39 PM EDT

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — As the father of an 18-year-old video store clerk spoke to her confessed killer, a slide show flashed on a monitor in a Montana courtroom Friday: the young woman smiling with a fish dangling from a pole, laughing with her brother perched atop a boulder and posing in a formal dress...

The Latest: Man gets life in 1998 killing of video clerk

Aug. 23, 2019 1:58 PM EDT

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Latest on the sentencing of a Montana man who admitted killing a teenage clerk at a video store in 1998. (all times local): 11:55 a.m. A Montana man whose confessions to a 1998 murder were initially met with disbelief has been sentenced to life in prison. State District Judge...

Man's confessions in 1998 murder met doubt, now faces life

Aug. 22, 2019 7:44 PM EDT

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — More than 17 years after he slashed the throat of a teenage clerk while robbing a Montana video store, Zachary O'Neill says guilt overcame him and he tried to tell authorities. But it was another three years after he first confessed in a psychiatric hospital, and later to sheriff's...