News Minute: Here is the latest Montana news from The Associated - News, Sports and Weather

News Minute: Here is the latest Montana news from The Associated Press at 11:40 a.m. MDT

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GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) - President Donald Trump's visit earlier this month to Great Falls cost local, county and state agencies nearly $80,000. The Great Falls Tribune reports the expenses from Great Falls, Cascade County and Montana Highway Patrol total $57,236 after about $21,000 in revenues to Cascade County. A Montana Highway Patrol spokeswoman says the force sent 41 troopers to Great Falls for the July 5 visit, spending $24,749, including benefits.

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - The state is appealing a judge's order to remove Montana Green Party candidates from the November ballot because they did not gather enough signatures to qualify. The secretary of state is also asking District Judge James Reynolds to temporarily suspend his July 9 order pending the appeal to the Montana Supreme Court.

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) - A former U.S. Senate candidate accused of buying less-costly in-state hunting and fishing licenses when he was not a Montana resident has pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors as part of a deal with prosecutors. The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports Troy Downing pleaded guilty Wednesday to obtaining resident hunting licenses as a non-resident and unlawfully procuring a license or permit. Downing unsuccessfully ran for this year's Republican nomination to challenge U.S. Sen. Jon Tester in November.

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.

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