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Barry Beach

Barry Beach answers reporters’ questions about being denied clemency on June 11 at the Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge. Beach says he will turn to the courts as he seeks to overturn his 100-year murder sentence for the 1979 beating death of high-school classmate Kim Nees.

Your daily look at news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today.

Lindeen will testify on health law: Montana Insurance Commissioner Monica Lindeen is scheduled to testify Thursday before a congressional panel on how the nation's health care overhaul law has affected access to providers. Lindeen, who is president-elect of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, will speak to the Health Subcommittee of the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce at 8 a.m. MDT.

Beach clemency denied: Barry Beach says he will turn to the courts to overturn his 100-year prison sentence after the Montana Board of Pardons and Parole denied his clemency application in the 1979 beating death of high-school classmate Kim Nees. Beach spoke to reporters at the Montana State Prison hours after the board rejected his fourth bid for clemency since 1994. He adamantly denies killing the 17-year-old Poplar girl.

No statewide texting ban: Montana is now the only state in the nation that doesn't ban at least some drivers from texting ever since a new law took effect in South Carolina this week. Department of Transportation Director Mike Tooley said he believes Montana needs such a ban, but the state has left such laws to municipalities.

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No prison in corruption case: The remaining defendants in a corruption scheme on Montana's Crow Indian Reservation have avoided prison, after a judge rejected the prosecution's claims of significant financial damages. Former Crow historic preservation director Dale Old Horn, his son, Allen, and Shawn Talking Eagle Danforth were convicted of theft, fraud and other charges.

Plant will close for a month: A Plum Creek Timber Co. official says the company's Columbia Falls fiberboard plant will be closed for about a month following explosions and a fire. Plum Creek Vice President of Northwest Resources and Manufacturing Tom Ray said he expects operations to resume at the medium density fiberboard plant in 30 days. None of the 68 people inside the plant Tuesday were seriously injured.

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