News Buffet: McGrew Plans to Sue, GOP Caucus Tonight, Gas-Pumping Robot

By Beacon Staff

Good morning and happy Fat Tuesday!

Our top local story this morning: The Whitefish City Council voted to remove Martin McGrew from the council after it was discovered that he didn’t live in the city – despite paying city taxes. McGrew said he plans to sue the city. After closing the rail route between Havre and Whitefish to Amtrak over avalanche concerns, BNSF Railway decided Monday to reopen the Empire Builder route. And on the Police Blotter, two lumber yard lurkers turned out to be a couple of kids shooting each other with air rifles.

In state news, Tsunami Tuesday is upon us, and Montana Republicans will choose a presidential nominee in the party’s first ever caucus – although this is causing some confusion in Cascade County, where many voters don’t understand that today’s caucus isn’t a primary. Stick with the Beacon tonight and tomorrow for the latest results. I’ll be covering the Flathead County caucus in Kalispell. In other political news, Republican Secretary of State Brad Johnson told Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer Monday that he wants to set aside their confrontational tone over development of the state owned Otter Creek coal tracts. A Helena attorney and retired lieutenant colonel in the Montana National Guard is considering running as a Democrat against Republican U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg. And critics of President Bush’s massive new budget proposal say it does not provide enough funding to the maintenance backlog in national parks.

And in the Netherlands, a gas pumping robot could bring back the era of full service gas stations. Have a great day.