News Buffet: Delayed Borders, Tester in Iraq, Subwoofers on Bicycles

By Beacon Staff

Good morning and happy birthday to Louisa May Alcott.

Topping Flathead news on the Beacon today, Keriann Lynch writes about the objections by Lakeside residents to a new Flathead Lake public access being offered to the county at a very low price – particularly when other public recreation sites are increasingly endangered. With federal ID requirements increasing at crossings along the Canadian border next year, border communities are taking steps to avoid delays when passing through ports of entry in emergency situations. It’s a problem afflicting some other border areas of the country. In Columbia Falls, funds are being raised and a benefit event held for a local mechanic diagnosed with blood cancer. The Bigfork Art and Cultural Center is also holding a fund raiser, auctioning off mini Christmas trees decorated by local artists. Renowned wildlife expert Jack Hanna continues to take your questions, writing this week about no-kill animal shelters and the best preparation for a career working with animals.

Gov. Brian Schweitzer said two liens filed against the vacation house he is building on Georgetown Lake are being settled and are the result of a dispute between his contractor and two subcontractors. Republicans called attention to the dispute in a news release yesterday. Another massive purchase of land by CNN founder Ted Turner has ranchers throughout the West wondering what the media mogul’s end goals are with all the land he owns. Mike Dennison of Lee reports that Philadelphia-based insurance giant CIGNA Corp. plans to buy a controlling stake in the company that owns Allegiance Health and Life Insurance Co. of Missoula. U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., is traveling in Iraq this week, and will be updating his Web site with reports about his visit. And the snow and recent snap of cold weather has allowed hunters to bag enough elk to bring this season in line with yearly harvest averages.

And finally, it’s getting cold for bicycling, but in Queens, New York, a bunch of teenagers are customizing their bikes to roll loud, real loud: 5,000 watts from a $4,000 sound system on a two-wheeler loud. Have a great day.