Good morning and happy Dia De Los Muertos.
There’s lots on the Beacon this morning. The top regional and state-wide story is that the families of two 1982 murder victims pleaded with Gov. Brian Schweitzer yesterday not to commute the sentence of the murderer, who is a Canadian national. Schweitzer recently said the Canadian government has asked him to extradite Ronald A. Smith, currently on death row. Myers Reece examines the recent earnings decline reported by the Plum Creek Timber Company. Check out the Beacon’s very own column by nationally-renowned wildlife expert, Jack Hanna, who will be taking questions and offering up his knowledge in future columns on the wildlife of Western Montana – a pretty amazing resource and an excellent addition to our print edition and Web site. Yesterday’s Police Blotter is worth a look as well, for a heated dispute over how to cook bacon and someone who called the police because they saw … a cat. Recently-announced Republican candidate for governor Roy Brown will be in Kalispell this afternoon, taking a six-city tour of the state to introduce his ideas and campaign. I’ll be covering the speech and will probably get a few minutes to speak with him – check in here later this afternoon for the report.
In other state news, authorities have revealed more information about the recent, gruesome bear-mauling of a California hunter north of Yellowstone. Mike Dennison of Lee’s Capital bureau has more details on the rise in rates and decrease in services in store for Insure Montana, a group health insurance plans used by nearly 800 small businesses throughout the state. In Congress, scientists and conservationists testified before a House committee yesterday that it’s time subsidies for the oil and gas industry come to an end.
Well, I hope you had a happy Halloween – it sure looks like Vice President Dick “Darth Vader” Cheney did. And, while I hate to end on a gloomy note, USA Today published a poll today detailing the wildly pessimistic, grim, despairing outlook among Americans with one year to go before the presidential election. Sorry about that. Tomorrow is, however, Friday. Enjoy the day.
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