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Feb 27, 2013 4:42 PM by Mark Thorsell - KPAX News

Wednesday afternoon Montana news headlines

MISSOULA - Jordan Johnson told the jury he didn't rape his accuser, he also said that no means no and that he respects that. Johnson told the jury on Wednesday his account of the night last February when the alleged victim said he raped her. Their accounts don't differ much, until after the two took off each others shirts and were kissing in bed.

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GREAT FALLS - Law enforcement agencies are still investigating the reported disappearance of Nicole Waller in northeastern Montana. Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry says a car belonging to Waller was found abandoned February 14th in Poplar on the Fort Peck Reservation.

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COLUMBIA FALLS - Plum Creek has announced that it plans to restart production at its Evergreen sawmill in Montana in early April. The facility will operate with one shift and employ 30 people, according to a news release. The mill has been shuttered since June of 2009 because of a lack of demand for stud lumber products.

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HELENA - The Montana Legislature will be asked to sign off on a controversial agreement which outlines how water will be managed in the Flathead Basin in the coming decades. Although there are still questions over how the agreement will impact irrigators in the Mission Valley, the panel that's spent years working out the Flathead Water Compact believes it's done what it can to come up with a workable agreement.

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ST. IGNATIUS - A Lake County Sheriff's deputy and his partner were driving along U.S. Highway 93 just south of Saint Ignatius early Saturday morning when they heard a thump on the passenger side of their vehicle. They turned their patrol car around to investigate and found a small owl that was apparently chasing his breakfast when he ran into the moving car.

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HELENA - The Montana House of Representatives passed two tax relief measures on Wednesday. The first bill, sponsored by Rep. Scott Reichner (R-Bigfork) would reduce taxes on every property owner in Montana; it passed in a party line vote. The bill has a price tag of about $50 million per year.

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From the StormTracker Weather Center: A Pacific storm will bring a better chance of showers to Western Montana Thursday and Friday. This storm does not look to be very strong. The mountains will see light snow accumulations, while the valleys will generally just see a chance of scattered snow showers under a mostly cloudy sky. High temperatures on Thursday will warm into the high 30 to lower 40s.

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