News Minute: Here is the latest Montana news from The Associated - KULR8.com | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

News Minute: Here is the latest Montana news from The Associated Press at 5:40 p.m. MDT

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DENVER (AP) - The U.S. Interior Department's internal watchdog has opened an investigation into Secretary Ryan Zinke's involvement in a land deal with the head of an energy services company that does business with the agency. Deputy Inspector General Mary Kendall said in a letter Wednesday to congressional Democrats that the investigation started Monday. Zinke spokeswoman Heather Swift has said he did nothing wrong.

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Democratic U.S. House candidate Kathleen Williams of Montana says if elected she would not support Nancy Pelosi as the party's leader in the House. Williams told The Associated Press that the "hyper-partisan" atmosphere pervading Congress needs to be changed by installing new leaders for both major parties. Her opponent, Republican incumbent Rep. Greg Gianforte, has sought to capitalize on voter dissatisfaction by saying the nation "can't afford to go back" to the policies of Pelosi.

DENVER (AP) - The Trump administration is easing rules for handling toxic coal ash from more than 400 coal-fired power plants across the U.S. after utilities objected to regulations adopted under former President Barack Obama. Environmental Protection Agency acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler said the changes will save utilities roughly $30 million annually. Most of the savings come from extending by 18 months the deadline for utilities to close ash dumps that don't meet water protection standards.

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - Vice President Mike Pence's visit to Montana to campaign on behalf of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Matt Rosendale has been pushed back a day. Officials with MetraPark in Billings say the event will take place on July 25 at 9:30 a.m.

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