Wednesday Buffet: Whitefish Resort’s Ski Season, Fernie Opposes BP, Nerd Love

By Beacon Staff

Good morning; today is National Stress Awareness Day.

It’s a sort of sunny morning in the Flathead and the new Beacons are on the stands. Our top story is an interview with the president of Whitefish Mountain Resort, taking stock of a ski season of heavy snow and high expectations. A driver suffered a broken neck after an astonishing crash near Whitefish yesterday. The city of Fernie, British Columbia passed a resolution stating its opposition to British Petroleum’s plan to drill for coal-bed methane in the Elk River Valley. A federal judge has rejected a lawsuit against the Flathead National Forest by Montanans for Multiple Use, which charged that the Forest Service was improperly revising its forest plan. The man who swindled $11 million from the Mountain Bank in Whitefish and caused its collapse was caught in Boulder, Colo. And business columnist Mark Riffey asks you to look at the second place finishers in the recent NCAA basketball tournament and ask yourself if your business suffers any similar weaknesses.

In state news, some state leaders, including U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., are concerned that recent meetings between Plum Creek Timber Co. and Forest Service officials could indicate the timber giant is planning on large scale development of much of its land. A new survey indicates many Montanans have deep-seated economic worries, and those concerns will be what they vote on in November. The Bozeman Chronicle’s excellent ongoing series on wealth in Montana, reported by Scott McMillion, has an interview today with Ted Turner, and some colorful quotes by the media mogul and philanthropist. Autopsy reports show Nathaniel Bar-Jonah died in prison of a blood clot. Gov. Brian Schweitzer and his wife paid about $40,000 in taxes on $190,000 of adjusted income in taxes for 2007. Republican candidate for governor, Sen. Roy Brown of Billings has yet to release his returns, but unveiled a broad proposal yesterday to slash property and business equipment taxes by up to $165 million per year. And – stop the presses – U.S. Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., is crushing his opponents in fund raising for his reelection bid – with 800 times more funds than his nearest Republican competitor.

And finally, if you haven’t seen this story, it’s true nerd love: A computer hacker proposes to his girlfriend by modifying her favorite video game so the question popped up when she reached a certain score. Have a happy humpday.

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