Thursday Buffet: Hoops Tourney Preview, Wolf Delisting, Stand By Your Ham

A Daily Taste of Top Stories

Good morning; today begins the Lantern Festival in China.

The sun continues to shine in the Flathead and the weekly news cycle is picking up speed. Myers Reece previews the Northwest A divisional boys and girls basketball tournaments. Stick with the Beacon through the weekend for running coverage of the tourney and Lido’s pics of the games. A barely-noticed zoning change by the Flathead County commission could allow for more gravel pits to open up throughout the valley. The family of a Somers man killed by a drunk driver is upset by a plea agreement in which the driver could serve as little as a year in prison. Flathead County leads the state in home foreclosures, but if you think that’s leaving any bargains on the market, think again. And columnist Warren Miller recounts getting busted in Vermont in the 1960s.

There’s no shortage of state news today either. The U.S. Department of the Interior and the Fish and Wildlife Service is likely to delist gray wolves in the Northern Rockies from the endangered species list. If wolves are delisted, Montana already has the dates in place for a hunting season. With the race for the Democratic presidential nomination still neck-in-neck, the prospect of a relevant Montana primary becomes increasingly apparent. Two Democratic state lawmakers are criticizing Montana school leaders calling for a special legislative session to boost school funding. The Great Falls Tribune reports that Gov. Brian Schweitzer is being urged to investigate whether a Western Montana power plant deceived regulators in order to avoid paying a steep fine.

And finally, British pig farmers have adapted Tammy Wynette’s country classic, “Stand By Your Man” in order to save the UK’s ailing pork industry.