Holiday Buffet: Football Preview, Dunn Mountain Fire, Leaning Tower of … Bedum?

By Beacon Staff

Good morning and happy birthday to John McCain and Michael Jackson.

On the Beacon this morning, the air is crisp and it sure feels like football season. Myers Reece previews the football season in store for the Flathead Braves and Glacier Wolfpack. The family of Jeffrey Bowman, the Bigfork teen who collapsed at football practice last year and died a week later, have hired a nationally renowned attorney in the federal suit against the coaches and Bigfork school district. The funeral for the Montana Highway Patrol trooper killed in a head-on collision near Columbia Falls is scheduled for Tuesday. And in Warren Miller’s world, alligators are loose at the county fair and there are no hot dogs to be found.

The top national story this morning is reports that Republican presidential candidate and birthday boy McCain has selected Alaska first-term governor Sarah Palin to be his running mate. On a conference call with reporters yesterday, U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., defended Barack Obama against attacks that the Democratic nominee is weak on gun rights. The Dunn Mountain Fire near Billings is burning at more than 61,000 acres. The state commissioner of political practices said he should have admonished Gov. Brian Schweitzer’s chief legal counsel earlier for contacting him outside of formal proceeding in the governor’s ethics case. And in Livingston, Hazel Warp, the stuntwoman who played Vivien Leigh’s stunt double as Scarlet O’Hara in “Gone With the Wind,” has died at 93.

And finally, controversy is brewing in Europe as the Dutch say they have tower that leans more than the Italian leaning tower of Pisa. I wonder if some of those Dutch folks might have just spent a little too much time in those Amsterdam coffee shops… Have a great weekend.