Thursday Buffet: North Shore Clears Hurdle, Obama Sets Up Shop, Elephant Polo

By Beacon Staff

Good morning. Today is the anniversary of the opening of mail service by the Pony Express.

It’s a sunny morning in the valley and there’s a lot of news breaking locally, and across the state. The County Planning Board approved the controversial North Shore development 5-1 last night. Kalispell firefighters were hard at work yesterday on a structure fire that destroyed a house just one block south of the downtown station. A Kalispell woman has been convicted of three crimes in connection with a 2006 crash that killed a Bigfork man. The boy scouts in Columbia Falls’ Troop 41 had some hair-raising science lessons yesterday. And Beacon columnist Dave Skinner lambastes the lawsuits filed by environmental groups against the U.S. Forest Service for using certain kinds of fire retardants. (Skinner’s not going to like a story reported today by the Missoulian; see below).

In state news, Democratic presidential frontrunner Barack Obama is holding a rally in Missoula Saturday morning and is opening campaign offices in Helena and Missoula. And a second of Montana’s eight superdelegates has announced his support for Obama. The death of a soldier in Iraq with ties to Hardin brings to two the number of Montana soldiers whose cause of death has not been released by the military. The mayor of Polson is hospitalized after falling down a set of stairs and suffering a severe concussion. An environmental group has sued the Forest Service for a second time over the agency’s use of aerial fire retardants. A new government report criticizes state and federal bureaucracies for failing to stop the slaughter of bison leaving Yellowstone National Park. Motorcycle deaths across the state are on the rise. The NorthWestern Energy Corporation has applied to be traded publicly on the New York Stock Exchange.

And finally, as if polo wasn’t a hard enough sport, try playing it on elephants. Have a great day.

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