Wednesday Buffet: Marina Plans Dropped, Unemployment Down, Ear Hair Record

By Beacon Staff

Good morning and happy birthday to Jack Kerouac.

It’s a beautiful day in the Flathead, the new Beacons are hitting stands, and there’s a lot of news this morning. In our top story, the developer has pulled out of plans to build a large public marina on the Flathead River in the face of overwhelming public opposition. W.R. Grace & Co. will reimburse the federal government $250 million for asbestos investigation and cleanup in Libby – the largest Superfund settlement ever. Myers Reece details the ways different cities use their resort tax funds, as Whitefish prepares to invest heavily in a parking garage and downtown improvement project. In light of the current housing slump, realtors are calling for lending institutions to work out reasonable agreements with borrowers who want to refinance their home mortgages. Business Columnist Mark Riffey chastises businesses selling big ticket items, but not offering the service and installation to go along with it. And Myers Reece’s weird blog about gnomes and clowns is, for some reason, getting a lot of reads.

According to the state Department of Labor, Montana’s unemployment dropped in January after a slight spike in December. A new report says mining claims across the West are creeping closer to populated areas. U.S. Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., introduced an amendment yesterday to extend middle class tax cuts before they expire in 2010. The Heron incest trial continues this week, with medical experts yesterday arguing over whether non-consensual sex could be proved. And a public hearing over the proposed Montana Alberta Tie Line, which would transport energy up to Canada, drew praise from elected officials and criticism from farmers.

And finally, this link is not for the faint of heart. An Indian man has set a record for the length of his ear hair at 10 inches. And he’s very proud of it.