Weekend Buffet: Brown, Schweitzer on Energy, Missoula Rice Rationing, Dillon Aloha

By Beacon Staff

Good morning and happy Arbor Day!

There’s a ton of news happening in the Flathead this morning, so I’ll get right to it. Kalispell firefighters battled a blaze at the Perkins restaurant early Friday morning. Bail was set for a Polson man who allegedly fired a rifle during a three-hour standoff with police earlier this week. The Meadow Gold Dairy Plant is closing. Keriann Lynch reports on the shuttering of the Whitefish Free Press. Gov. Brian Schweitzer and his challenger, Sen. Roy Brown stopped by the Beacon to talk energy issues. Glacier National Park will get $490,000 from the feds to prepare for centennial celebrations in 2016. Most of that money will go to celebrating the park’s own centennial celebration in 2010. Myers Reece writes about an ex-rocker who started a youth skate ministry out of his garage in Kalispell. Sign-ups for the Columbia Falls swim team are this weekend, and the annual Ski Patrol Open launched the golf season in Whitefish, despite some choppy weather.

In state news, some grocers in Missoula are rationing rice sales. A Helena-based student loan group is laying off 23 employees as part of an aggressive cost-cutting measure. In Washington, D.C., the Senate Finance Committee heard from experts just how much instituting a cap-and-trade system to reduce greenhouse gases would cost. And the governor’s brother, Walt Schweitzer, has joined the Montana presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton as a senior adviser.

And finally, the Montana Standard has a fascinating story about the large number of Polynesian students at UM-Western in Dillon. The cultural group is having a Hawaiian, Maori, Fijian and Tonga Dance Saturday in an event titled “Aloha: the Breath of Life.” Sounds awesome. Have a great weekend!