News Buffet: Whitefish Doughnut Dilemma, Fund Raising Feats, Helena Time Machine

By Beacon Staff

Good morning and happy Appreciate a Dragon Day.

It’s a frigid morning in the Flathead; chalk up any type-o’s in the Buffet to numb fingers. Topping local news this morning, Myers Reece examines Whitefish’s planning doughnut dilemma, as a new city council there brainstorms ways to reach a consensus on the issue. The search for two more reported victims of Sunday’s avalanche in the Canyon Creek area continues today, though efforts are beginning to scale back as continued searching hasn’t turned up any more bodies, and no missing persons have been reported. Canadian officials briefed the Montana Legislature’s Environmental Quality Council on the Cline and BP mining projects north of Glacier National Park. Jack Hanna explains how he travels with exotic animals, and a mishap with a giant cockroach.

There’s lots of statewide political news today, beginning with bickering between Democrats and Republicans over how Gov. Brian Schweitzer, and his Republican challenger, Sen. Roy Brown of Billings, are raising funds from folks who may or may not have shady backgrounds. Sen. Max Baucus’s $6.3 million in cash on hand for his re-election campaign is a Montana fund raising record – according to Baucus’s staff. The incumbent Democrat has raised $8.9 million so far. And Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., sent out 150,000 pieces of bulk mail to constituents in 2006, spending about $27,000 in taxpayer money, according to a report by Noelle Straub in Lee’s Washington D.C. bureau. The Missoulian’s got a neat story about a FWP project to transport Bighorn sheep via chopper to Big Arm. And former Democratic Rep. Pat Williams lambasted 1872 mining laws, calling for reform that would force the industry to pay more for environmental degradation.

And finally, Helena is abuzz after a Hollywood prankster put an ad in the paper saying he found H.G. Wells’s time machine in one of the old mansions built during the Queen City’s mining glory days. The prank generated many, many hopeful calls, but it was just a weird joke. Stay warm out there.