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This Hour: Latest Montana news, sports, business and entertainment

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Voting office to open on Blackfeet reservation

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Montana Secretary of State Linda McCulloch says a satellite voting office will open on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation for late voter registration and in-person absentee voting.

Thursday's announcement means satellite offices will open on at least four Montana reservations in time for the Nov. 4 election. McCulloch says preliminary talks have begun for offices on other reservations, as well.

The Browning office will be open twice a week for 30 days prior to the election.

In June, the state and three counties settled a federal voting-rights lawsuit. The settlement called for voting offices on the Crow, Northern Cheyenne and Fort Belknap reservations.

The American Indian plaintiffs had argued they were discriminated against because they had to drive long distances to county courthouses to register late and vote early in elections.


Montana prairie reserve tops 300,000 acres

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - A private conservation reserve on north-central Montana's open prairie now spans more than 300,000 acres with the addition of a large parcel south of Malta.

American Prairie Reserve manager James Barnett said Thursday the group recently bought a 22,000-acre ranch in Phillips County.

He says the deal marks an important step in the reserve's goal to piece together more than 3 million acres of public and private lands. That would allow the free flow of wildlife - including up to 10,000 bison.

The reserve is about 60 miles south of Canada and connects with the C. M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge.

Some surrounding ranchers worry the project will doom the remote area's agricultural communities.

Owners of 14 ranches have voluntarily sold out to the reserve since 2004.


68-year-old man killed in crash near Niehart

GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) - Montana Highway Patrol officials say a 68-year-old man died after his car crashed off U.S. Highway 89 near Neihart.

The Great Falls Tribune reports the highway patrol identified the man as a White Sulphur Springs resident, but would not release his name until the family had been notified.

Authorities say the man's Chevrolet Camaro was headed south when it left the roadway sometime between midnight and 2:30 a.m. Thursday.

The driver overcorrected twice before the car rolled over, pinning him beneath it.


Billings Wolves of IFL name Chris Dixon coach

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - The Billings Wolves of the Indoor Football League have named former Sioux Falls Storm quarterback Chris Dixon as the team's head coach.

The Wolves announced Monday that Dixon had signed a multi-year agreement. Owner Ron Benzel says Dixon won championships as a player and the Wolves believe he will have the same type of success as a coach.

Dixon will start recruiting players for the 2015 season and is looking to hire two assistant coaches.

Dixon last week announced his retirement from the IFL after passing for more than 25,000 yards and more than 600 touchdowns. He won three league titles with the Storm and three titles with the now-defunct Billings Outlaws, one in the National Indoor Football League. He also has had stints with several Arena Football League teams.

The Oakland, California native played his college football at Humboldt State in Arcata, California.

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