News Buffet: Kalispell School Embezzlement, Baucus $$$, Chimps v. College Students

By Beacon Staff

Good morning; today is the UN International Day of Disabled Persons.

Coming off the weekend there’s a lot of news, particularly in sports. Myers Reece previews the boys basketball season at Glacier and Flathead High, as well as the boys Northwest A Conference. The Carroll College football team, in Helena, is advancing to the NAIA national championship. For anything and everything else athletic, sample the Sports Buffet. A Bigfork company announced Friday it plans to build an oilseed crushing plant and biodiesel refinery in eastern Montana next year. A Kalispell school employee has resigned after admitting to embezzling $17,500. And check out Lido’s blog on the trials and tribulations of being a high school nerd – a common affliction among many journalists (ahem).

Noelle Straub of Lee’s Washington bureau reports that U.S. Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., has raised more money from out of state donations than any other incumbent running in 2008 with $3.45 million out of his total of $7.4 million raised coming from out of state donations. Not bad from someone who hasn’t even formally announced their candidacy yet. Glacier Park’s ban on shelling avalanche-prone slopes to protect BNSF rail cars is being mysteriously held up at the U.S. Department of Interior. The WIC program, which provides food to low income households, is cutting back on its services under budget constraints. In Helena, two alleged leaders of a widespread meth ring pleaded guilty in federal court. And Red Lodge ski resort had a disastrous opening day this weekend.

And finally, here’s yet another disheartening story about the dismal intellectual performance of U.S. college students, though this one is bleaker than most. Chimps outperformed some college students in certain memory tests.