News Buffet: Whitefish Resort Rumors, Browning Mass Grave, Springsteen Speaks

By Beacon Staff

Good morning and happy Love Note Day. As such, today’s Buffet will take the form of a love note – and what better way to express my feelings than to, um, review today’s top news stories? I think that will be less awkward for everyone. On we go.

On the Beacon this morning, a guest column from a Whitefish Mountain Resort (formerly Big Mountain) spokesman works to dispel many of the rumors that have been flying, fast and furious, around town about the ski resort. Also out of Whitefish, Keriann Lynch reports on a unique new science program allowing high school chemistry students to monitor air quality in different parts of the valley. It’s about time they put some of the big brains in local schools to work on local issues. Columbia Falls contributor Mark Riffey has a photographic sequence of some of the most promising up-and-coming junior high football players dodging tackles in yesterday’s game against Browning. In a story with my favorite headline in the short history of the Beacon, Keriann Lynch also reports on the life of a mascot at Glacier High school, celebrating Pep Week – a homecoming for a school without alumni.

Topping state news, the Great Falls Tribune has a horrifying story on the discovery of a grave in Browning holding the skeletons of two dozen children near the site of the former Willow Creek boarding school. The skeletons appear to be about a hundred years old, and serve as a reminder of a school with a dark history. Chuck Johnson of Lee reports on squabbling between the GOP and Gov. Brian Schweitzer’s staff over the administration of tax rebates. Congress approved a massive boost to the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) yesterday, but whether the legislation will escape the veto pen of Pres. Bush and whether the House can override such a veto remains to be seen. In Bozeman, the Daily Chronicle reports on MSU’s review of the university’s protocol should a school shooting occur in the wake of the massacre at Virginia Tech. David Frey of NewWest follows the progress of a bill in Congress that would aid rural counties with economies that have suffered in the wake of the timber industry’s decline. And the Missoulian reports that UM may release more tickets to the Elton John concert, scheduled for this evening. If any diehard fans are planning on heading to the show without a ticket, it’s worth it. Friends of mine were just handed front row tickets to the Rolling Stones a few songs into the show when the Brit rockers performed last year. Hope springs eternal.

If Elton John’s not your speed, the New York Times has an exclusive interview with Bruce Springsteen prior to the release of his new album. And if you’re despairing about the state of American politics, take heart in this story. At least none of the current presidential candidates are employing witch doctors – not yet anyway. I’m looking forward to the International Wildlife Film Festival in Whitefish tonight. I think tickets are still available. Enjoy the weekend; get out and take in some autumn.