News Buffet: Schweitzer’s Openness Challenged, Sports Buffet, Skinny Santa?

By Beacon Staff

Good morning and happy Guy Fawkes Night.

A Kalispell man died in a vehicle rollover early Sunday morning on U.S. Highway 2. The attorneys of Ronald A. Smith say they are shocked by the Canadian government’s decision to stop working toward his extradition. Smith, of Red Deer, Alberta, is on death row in Montana for the 1982 slaying of two Browning men. Republicans are testing Gov. Brian Schweitzer’s openness. An AP report demonstrates that the majority of information requests over the past two years come from Republicans. The city of Fernie, British Columbia is seeking an apology from Whitefish for a resolution signed by Whitefish and Fernie that Fernie had never heard of. Lex Hilliard tied another record for the Griz this weekend – get the scoop on that and the rest of the weekend’s regional sports news in the Sports Buffet. Love that name.

In state news, it looks as though the conflict over coalbed methane drilling and water quality between Montana and Wyoming in the Tongue River Basin may set tight standards on the Tongue river, but looser regulations on secondary waterways. Mike Dennison, of Lee Newspapers, analyzes the recent health care forum in Helena and finds it short on solutions. In the Bitterroot Sunday, a large rally gathered to reconsider national forest management.

Well, if you did any shopping this weekend, you know the Halloween displays have been reduced to a small rack of heavily-discounted orange candles, and the artificial Christmas trees, stockings, and tinsel are already in your face. At least retailers managed to hold out this long to roll them out. Some things are changing however – in England, department store Santas are being told to lay off the mince pies and pints, and slim down around the middle. Apparently it’s a bad example for the kids. So, chuck out the Halloween candy, Santa. Have a great Monday.