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 11:40 a.m. MDT

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HELENA, Mont. (AP) - The head of the Montana Democratic Party is asking for a congressional ethics investigation into whether Republican U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte lied when he assaulted a reporter last year. The request comes exactly one year after Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs said Gianforte "body-slammed" him for asking him a question before he won a special election for Montana's U.S. House seat. Gianforte initially told police Jacobs was the instigator, but later pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault.

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - Attorneys for the Trump administration are due in a Montana courtroom to defend the disputed Keystone XL oil sands pipeline. Environmentalists want a federal judge to overturn last year's approval of the $8 billion line, which was rejected under former President Barack Obama because of climate change worries. Government attorneys argue President Donald Trump is elevating concerns over energy security and economic development.

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) - The Bozeman and Montana State University police departments have created a Special Victims Unit to investigate sex crimes and help victims connect to the resources they need. The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports officials from both departments announced Wednesday that the unit includes four detectives from the Bozeman department and one detective from the university's force who will work together on cases both in the city and on campus.

GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) - The state health department has hired consultants and paid more than $277,000 in civil penalties as the Montana Mental Health Nursing Care Center in Lewistown works to meet new federal documentation regulations for caring for older adults with mental illness. The Great Falls Tribune reports that after a February inspection, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid found the facility failed to protect patients from verbal, physical and sexually abusive behaviors of fellow dementia patients.

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