News Buffet: Ski Ticket Sales, Helena Wildfire, Toilet Tourism

By Beacon Staff

Good morning and Happy Constitution Day. After a smoky weekend in the Flathead, this morning’s rain was a welcome respite. But that didn’t stop a small, vicious fire in Helena from taking out an unoccupied home yesterday. The AP also reports on the Iraq trip of U.S. Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., who leveled criticism at Iraqi politicians in a conference call with reporters over the weekend. The parole hearing for an MSU gunman responsible for a 1990 massacre at the university renews that tragedy in the minds of Montanans. The Missoulian over the weekend had an excellent piece on the sale of conservative talk show host John Stokes’s radio station in Kalispell – it looks at the changes in the Flathead over which Stokes has presided. Newwest.net reports on controversial measures to protect westslope cutthroat trout in the South Fork of the Flathead River. And please check out the Beacon’s community pages for original reporting by Columbia Falls contributor and business columnist Mark Riffey for tips on avoiding telemarketers – it’s time to register for the Do Not Call list again. Whitefish contributor Becky Lomax reports that season pass sales at Whitefish Mountain Resort are booming, with spring discounts in effect until the end of September. (I’m on the fence about buying a ticket – though I know I’ll regret it if I don’t. Apparently the weather system La Nina kicks in this fall and skiing sources inform me it’s going to be a high precipitation year. Experts or optimists? Only winter will tell.)

Top national news is Pres. Bush’s selection of former federal judge Michael Mukasey to replace Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. OJ Simpson’s in hot water again – what happened in this Vegas hotel room is not staying in Vegas. And, any male travelers passing through Minneapolis airport and seeking a quiet bathroom should avoid the terminal where Idaho Republican Sen. Larry Craig was arrested. The Idaho Statesman reports this morning that the stall where the infamous incident took place is becoming a tourist attraction. It’s one way to pass the time between layovers.

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