News Buffet: Alleged Shooters Caught, Old Fund Fix, Deep Cave in the Bob Marshall

By Beacon Staff

Good morning and happy birthday to Pablo Picasso.

Two men who allegedly fired shots at Flathead County deputies early Thursday morning, are now in custody. No one was hurt, but the suspects prompted police to set up three roadblocks in the Creston area. Up in Polebridge, the snow has begun to fall and the Mercantile remains for sale – putting a tiny community in an uncertain position. In Whitefish, Myers Reece reports on how the contentious tone of public discourse is affecting next month’s city council elections. Mark Riffey writes up Flathead County Commissioner Joe Brenneman’s address to the Columbia Falls Rotary Club. And editor Kellyn Brown is highly skeptical of Montana’s national ranking for hitting a deer on the road. He’s already getting angry e-mails from Iowans.

U.S. Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., plans to back a bipartisan bill that calls for a cap on global warming emissions. The Red Lodge ski resort has been sold to a San Francisco investment firm – its executives say they have no immediate plans to make significant changes. Gov. Brian Schweitzer is brainstorming ways to pay for an old compensation fund for injured workers with a projected deficit of $32.6 million. Schweitzer is proposing an initial lump sum infusion of cash, and then allow the 2009 Legislature to come up with a more permanent solution. Two law firms successfully commenced the case to get two utilities to pay Montana “riverbed rent” for their use of hydroelectric dams before the attorney general took over – now those law firms are seeking payment for their initial work on the cases, which began in 2003.

And finally, the Billings Gazette has an excellent feature on exploring the second-deepest cave in North America, located in a remote part of the Bob Marshall wilderness. More people have walked on the surface of the moon than have walked on the lowest point of Virgil the Turtle’s Greathouse Cave. Enjoy the day – tomorrow is Friday.