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Dec 14, 2012 - The Associated Press

Yellowstone winter season ready

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK -- Winter is on schedule in Yellowstone National Park.

The park opens to the public for the winter season at 7 a.m. Saturday.

Visitors will be able to travel to the park's interior roads on commercially guided snowmobiles or snowcoaches from the North, West and South Entrances. Travel through the park's East Entrance over Sylvan Pass is scheduled to begin Dec. 22.

The road from the park's North Entrance at Gardiner, Mont., through Mammoth Hot Springs and on to Cooke City, Mont., outside the park's Northeast Entrance is open to wheeled vehicle travel all year.

Three arrested in Powell robberies

POWELL -- Three people have been arrested and more are sought in a robbery and burglary spree in Powell earlier this week.

Several home, auto and business burglaries were reported Monday and into Tuesday. One resident reported answering a knock on the door to find someone pointing a handgun Tuesday morning. Elsewhere, a safe was stolen from a commercial building and at least seven autos were broken into and their windows broken.

After two days of investigation, police arrested thee in connection with the crimes. Thirty-eight-year-old Obie Phillips and 29-year-old Michael Guzman face aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary charges. Thirty-year-old Tori Langdon-Phillips is accused of aiding or abetting the crimes.

Police say the investigation continues and that they anticipate more arrests.

Panel studies grizzly hunt prospects

BILLINGS, Mont. -- A government committee says grizzly bear hunting could help control the animal's population once federal protections are lifted.

The Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee said Thursday that hunting could help minimize conflict between bears and humans.

Plans already are in place to allow hunting in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho after grizzlies come off the list of threatened species.

Specifics have yet to be worked out, but officials say hunting would be limited to a small number of bears annually.

Federal officials say protections could be lifted in 2014 for about 600 bears in and around Yellowstone National Park, and at a later date for about 1,000 grizzlies in an area centered on Glacier National Park.

The interagency committee includes representatives of five federal agencies, four states and the Canadian government.

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