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Jan 16, 2013 2:20 PM by Mark Thorsell - KPAX News

Wednesday afternoon Montana news headlines

GRAND CANYON, AZ - Searchers have scaled back the search for a 21-year-old University of Montana student who has been missing in Grand Canyon National Park since Jan. 11. Kaitlin Kenney of Englewood, Colorado still hasn't been found, and an extensive search by the National Park Service has turned up no additional clues as to her whereabouts, according to a news release from the park.

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MISSOULA - A federal judge has excluded from Jason Washington's trial some of the evidence that was seized during the November 2011 raids of his businesses. Judge Dana Christensen said prosecutors don't have enough evidence showing Washington used two of the firearms during the alleged drug crimes.

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WASHINGTON, DC - Setting the stage for what could be the most sweeping political battle over gun control in decades, President Obama today laid out a comprehensive package for reducing gun violence in America, a multi-part plan he says will not only "help prevent mass shootings" but also to "reduce the broader epidemic of gun violence in this country."

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OLNEY - It may be the end of the line for a popular Girl Scout camp on Flathead Lake as the Girl Scouts Council of Montana and Wyoming is moving ahead with plans to end the lease on the property. Camp Westana, located near Olney, has been operating for decades, but when the property's value increased five-fold, the cost of leasing the land became too expensive, at $25,000 a month.

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HELENA - Montana's high school graduation rate continues to improve, as the number of students dropping out of school is on the decline. Superintendent Denise Juneau released the 2012 Graduation and Dropout Report Wednesday morning. In the 2011-2012 school year, the number of dropouts decreased by more than 130 students and the graduation rate increased nearly 2% to about 84%.

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MISSOULA - Through a dozen total conference games, University of Montana basketball has won 11 times. While the men's and women's teams are both tied for first place in the Big Sky, they're winning in different ways. The ladies are doing most of their dominance on the defensive end, and rank second in the league in points allowed. Meanwhile, the men's offensive efficiency has led the way more often than not. But the Griz have also developed a talent for turning it on whenever they need to.

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From the StormTracker Weather Center: Temperatures in the Missoula Valley will struggle to increase this week due to fog. High terrain will see warmer weather with temperatures increasing to the low 30s. The weekend looks dry with similar conditions. We aren't expecting any big changes for the coming days.

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