News Buffet: Local Election Results, County Lawsuits, One Big Lincoln Grizzly

By Beacon Staff

Good morning and happy Republican Elephant Day – the anniversary of the first time an artist, in 1874, used an elephant to represent the GOP.

I’ve got a post-election hangover today, it was a late night at the county courthouse last night, but the results are in and Whitefish has a new mayor: Michael Jenson. John Muhlfeld, Ryan Friel and Turner Askew were elected to Whitefish city council, and in Kalispell, incumbents Duane Larson and Randy Kenyon held onto their seats. Myers Reece writes about the homegrown Whitefish caviar business in the Flathead, with our new accompanying photo slideshow feature. Keriann Lynch analyzes the high number of lawsuits facing the county. A threatening note found last week in Bigfork High has some school officials on edge. Chuck Johnson of Lee newspapers has the scoop that Bigfork Republican Rep. Bill Jones won’t seek reelection next year.

The mayoral race in Great Falls ran late into the night, but it looks like incumbent Dona Stebbins has narrowly held onto her seat – with 79 percent of votes counted as of this writing. Helena and Missoula both passed resolutions last night opposing the war in Iraq. The state Board of Livestock appears to be backing away from a controversial proposal to set up a separate cattle zone around Yellowstone National Park to contain brucellosis. Senate majority leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he is still trying to get a seat on the appropriations committee for freshman Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont. MSU-Bozeman is suffering from its fourth personal data security breach in one month – and the university is warning students and employees that its social security numbers may have been exposed.

Finally, NewWest.net has pictures of an enormous 700-pound grizzly bear killed in Lincoln three weeks ago when it was struck by a logging truck. Amazing photos of an extraordinarily large bear. Hang in there on a gray, rainy Wednesday.

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