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

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STRIP CLUB SHOOTING

Officials identify victim of strip club shooting

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) - Officials in western Montana have identified a Louisiana man who was shot to death during an argument outside a Missoula strip club.

The Missoula County sheriff's office says 23-year-old Christopher Hymel of Madisonville, Louisiana, died shortly after 1 a.m. Monday after being shot in the chest outside the Fox Club Cabaret.

Witnesses say an altercation between Hymel and another man became violent after Hymel approached the man's vehicle and started punching him through the window.

Missoula police spokesman Travis Welsh says the shooting is being investigated, and no arrests have been made.

Police say the 27-year-old man who fired the shot turned his gun over to police and is cooperating.

BILLIONAIRE'S BANKRUPTCY

Appeals court affirms ruling against Blixseth

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - An appellate court has affirmed a lower court ruling that approved the bankruptcy reorganization of an entity formerly controlled by Yellowstone Club founder Tim Blixseth.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said in its Aug. 26 ruling that Blixseth lacked legal standing to appeal the reorganization plan for BLX Group.

The panel also said the assignment of BLX's legal claims against Blixseth to the club's creditor trust was final.

The decision upholds a 2013 ruling from U.S. District Judge Sam Haddon.

Creditors from the Yellowstone Club's 2008 bankruptcy are seeking more than $200 million from Blixseth after courts ruled he fraudulently transferred the proceeds of a loan through BLX for his personal use.

The members-only ski and golf resort near Big Sky is now under new ownership.

MONTANA COPPER MINE

Australian company to buy $16M in Tintina shares

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - An Australian mining company has offered to purchase a controlling share of Tintina Resources, the company that proposes a copper mine in central Montana.

Sandfire Resources NL has agreed to purchase 80 million shares of Tintina at 20 cents per share for a total of $16 million. Tintina officials say two other large shareholders have agreed to the sale.

Tintina spokeswoman Nancy Schlepp says with the investment, Tintina has about $18.5 million in cash on hand to fund a feasibility study and possibly more exploration at the proposed Black Butte copper mine about 15 miles north of White Sulphur Springs.

The contract includes the option for Sandfire to buy up to a 53 percent stake in Tintina.

Environmental groups are concerned that a multinational company will be controlling the proposed mine.

STILLWATER MINING

Stillwater scaling back work at Canada mine site

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - Stillwater Mining Co. is further scaling back work on a proposed precious metals and copper mine in Canada.

The Billings-based company said Tuesday it expects to spend $4 million to $6 million at the Marathon, Ontario, project in 2014. It had previously said up to $10 million would be spent this year.

Spending in future years would drop to an annual range of $1 million to $3 million.

Stillwater last year reduced the Marathon project's property value by 75 percent after determining studies on the grade of palladium at the site had been overstated.

Stillwater is the only U.S. producer of platinum and palladium and is Montana's largest company by revenue.

FCS POLLS

Montana ranked 4/5, Montana State 20/19 in polls

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - The University of Montana football team is ranked fourth by the media and fifth by Football Championship Subdivision coaches after its 17-12 loss at Wyoming on Saturday.

The Griz moved up a spot to fourth in The Sports Network Poll and held on to fifth in the coaches' poll.

Montana State fell from 18th to 20th in the media poll and four spots to 23rd in the coaches' poll after a 37-10 loss at Arkansas State.

Three-time defending national champion North Dakota State remains atop both polls, followed by Eastern Washington and Southeastern Louisiana.

On Saturday, Montana hosts Central Washington while Montana State hosts Black Hills State. Both opponents are NCAA Division II teams.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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