News Buffet: Local Toy Shops, Schweitzer Campaign Cash, Butte Beer and Lutefisk

By Beacon Staff

Good morning and happy Columbus day.

On the Beacon this morning, Keriann Lynch covers the final Whitefish downtown art walk, and writes about a five-woman group of collaborative artists who have been passing their sketchbooks around and displayed their best work last week. Whitefish contributor Becky Lomax writes about Imagination Station, the local toy shops taking on the box stores. Columbia Falls contributor Mark Riffey, a fixture at local football games, pays some attention to the sixth-grade Ironman team, which got a few moments in the spotlight this past weekend – cool photos of some tough kids.

Disputes over the legal case against W.R. Grace & Co. continue, with a federal court restoring criminal charges of “knowing endangerment” to the government’s asbestos case. W.R. Grace’s attorneys are challenging the ruling. The education coalition that brought a lawsuit against the state for failing to adequately fund Montana’s schools has announced it is holding off from another lawsuit, for now. Also, Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer – in the absence of any Republican challengers – continues to raise money for his reelection campaign, with $750,000 in the coffers right now. Jennifer McKee of Lee newspapers reports that the Paradise Valley ranching family that lost all of its cattle to brucellosis is unable to receive any type of compensation from the state. Also out of the Paradise Valley, a piece of land in an eco-friendly development being sold in this year’s Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog. Weird. Michael Jamison of the Missoulian reports on a somber new study of pollution in Glacier National Park, which shows that plants, animals and water in the park are significantly deteriorating due to airborne contaminants. The Great Falls Tribune previews another Wyoming court challenge to the Clinton-era roadless rule restrictions – a debate being followed very closely by supporters and opponents of the rule in Montana.

And finally, the diversity and development of Montana’s culinary tradition continues to grow, as evidenced by two stories in state newspapers. In Butte’s Montana Standard, a story hit the state wires today about the first brewery in Butte in decades. And the Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports on the Sons of Norway viking feast, where folks put away more than 25 pounds of Lutefisk. If you don’t know what Lutefisk is, check out the story’s first paragraph. Blech. Happy Monday.

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