Thursday Buffet: Hwy 35 Public Comment, Guns in Parks Proposed, Baby Tossing Ritual

By Beacon Staff

Good morning and happy May Day and Mother Goose Day.

The Buffet is overflowing with a bounty of news today. Our top story looks at how area Catholic schools have managed to steadily grow their enrollment while thse numbers have dropped off precipitously nationally. The Montana Department of Transportation is planning a public comment period to determine if truck traffic restrictions on state Highway 35 are necessary. A dog appears to have been viciously beaten to death near Eureka and an investigation into the killing is now underway. U.S. Sen. Jon Tester’s field staff will hold a community outreach session in Columbia Falls next Thursday morning. A 2.75-mile addition to the Swan River Road bike path will begin construction this spring. And Beacon columnist Dave Skinner analyzes the fallout from the court proceedings over the Whitefish-County interlocal agreement.

The Interior Department has proposed allowing people to carry concealed weapons into national parks, depending on the state’s laws. As lawmakers in Congress debate the next farm bill, emphasis is shifting from crop subsidies to more money for food stamps and other programs to feed the needy. The state Attorney General will have a say on whether the Legislative Auditor’s Office has the legal authority to investigate two Montana student loan entities. A new “passport card” will be introduced soon that allows cheaper and easier cross-border travel – but it won’t work for air travel. A series of district court decisions permitting Gallatin County gravel pits without environmental reviews or public comment are prompting outcries from opponents of the decisions. Former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee was in Billings yesterday stumping for gubernatorial candidate Roy Brown and weighing in on the Rev. Wright controversy. A lawsuit by former clients of investment firm D.A. Davidson will be refiled.

And finally, check out this bizarre baby-tossing ritual in India, believed to bring good health and good luck to the infants as they drop several stories! Have a great day.

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