News Buffet: Hilliard Trounces MSU, Kennedy Withdraws, Montanans’ Prez Picks

By Beacon Staff

Good morning; today is the anniversary of the Gettysburg Address.

The snow is falling, or at least it was, and the turkeys are waiting to be roasted. On the Beacon, Keriann Lynch analyzes the public criticism that is simply a part of the job down at the Flathead County Planning Department. Kalispell’s Lex Hilliard was on fire this weekend, trouncing MSU. Check out the rest of the weekend’s stats in the Sports Buffet. Thirty-five percent of Montanans believe in UFOs.

In statewide political news, elections are taking shape and accusations are beginning to fly. Republicans criticized U.S. Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., over the weekend, charging that he didn’t own a home in Montana for 11 years of his 29-year Senate career. Yellowstone County Commissioner Bill Kennedy has withdrawn from his congressional challenge of U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., citing health reasons. Missoula Democratic state Sen. Dave Wanzenried’s name is being floated as a potential replacement. Gov. Brian Schweitzer said over the weekend that he is abandoning his idea of a “split state” plan to control the cattle disease brucellosis within Yellowstone National Park’s bison population. A new study finds hunger remains an intractable problem in Montana, despite several government programs that aim to combat it. In Missoula, Whitefish attorney Chad Wold is opening a members-only social club, in the model of The Loft at Whitefish. The Missoulian’s also got a good interview with Mick Holm, the soon-to-be-stepping down superintendent of Glacier Park.

Finally, the AP reports that Montanans are – for better or worse – out of step with the rest of the country when it comes to picking presidential candidates. John McCain is the most popular GOP candidate, while Barack Obama is the the front running Dem in the state. Who knows, with a year left, maybe we’ll get our way. Enjoy the short week.

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