News Buffet: Avalanche Deaths, Bohlinger Clashes with GOP, Pot Vending Machines

By Beacon Staff

Good morning and happy birthday to Vice President Dick Cheney and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt – two men who share very little in terms of political philosophy.

On the Beacon this morning, hot off the presses, a look at some of the immediate implications of the Glacier Town Center development’s approval. The number of avalanche fatalities in the 2007-2008 season is rapidly out-pacing any winter in recent memory – and it doesn’t look to be tapering off any time soon. A Bigfork man arrested in connection with a Dec. 31 Ferndale homicide was released without charges yesterday, while a second man awaits extradition from North Carolina back to Montana. The owners of Capers bistro in downtown Kalispell are opening up a soup cafe at the site of the Blue Cow car wash, along with the reopening of the car wash. And Myers Reece bids farewell to his Belgian buddy Bart, in a hilarious blog posting.

Investment group Davidson Companies said a sophisticated hacker may have broken into internal databases and accessed clients’ personal information. After a hearing yesterday to consider restricting media access to some areas of the state Legislature, leaders in both parties appear disinclined to cracking down on reporters. Lt. Gov. John Bohlinger is once again clashing with his party, the GOP, over whether he can cast a vote in Tuesday’s Republican caucus, despite Bohlinger’s status as the running mate of a Democrat. An analysis of votes cast by Montana’s federal delegation shows the state’s lawmakers break with their respective parties more than most members of the House and Senate. The U.S. Senate also pledges to forge ahead with the formation of a commission to investigate waste and fraud in military contacts – over the objections of President Bush.

And finally, obtaining medical marijuana has become slightly easier in California, with the introduction of marijuana vending machines. Think of it as a Horn & Hardart Automat for the 21st Century. Have a happy humpday.