News Minute: Here is the latest Montana news from The Associated - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

News Minute: Here is the latest Montana news from The Associated Press at 4:40 p.m. MST

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BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - A former Montana House majority leader has been sentenced to 18 years in prison for his central role in a methamphetamine trafficking ring. Judge Susan Watters sentenced 57-year-old Michael Lange Thursday. Prosecutors say he arranged for deliveries of at least 20 and possibly up to 50 pounds of the drug into Montana from California in 2016. During his time in the Legislature, Lange supported giving $4 million in state money to an anti-meth public relations campaign.

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - The US Department of Justice filed a brief with the Montana Supreme Court in support of families that sued when the state excluded students at faith-based schools from a scholarship program funded by donations that can be offset by state tax credits. A state judge ruled the Department of Revenue was wrong to exclude such students. The state appealed to the Montana Supreme Court. The DOJ brief argues excluding students at faith-based schools discriminates against them based on their religion.

GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) - A 61-year-old north-central Montana man has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for running over his wife with a pickup truck on New Year's Day 2017, killing her. Thomas Edward Mancha of Browning earlier pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of Charlene Mancha on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. He was sentenced Wednesday in Great Falls.

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Former Vice President Joe Biden is scheduled as the keynote speaker at the Montana Democratic Party's annual Mansfield-Metcalf Dinner in Helena on March 10. The dinner will be held at the Lewis and Clark County Fairgrounds. Timing and ticket prices will be announced later.

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