Wednesday Buffet: Musician Restriction, McCain Surging, Butte Mine Mascot Dog Obit

By Beacon Staff

Good morning and happy birthday Roger Maris.

It’s a wet Wednesday and the new Beacons are on the stands. Our top story this week looks at a regulation on independent contractors being newly enforced by the Department of Labor and Industry that could stifle the relationship between musicians and bar owners, among other business relationships. The Kalispell City Council made little progress in its budget talks Monday night. Charges have been filed against the owners of a pit bull that allegedly mauled a neighbor and charged police, forcing them to shoot the dog. Five puppies were found drowned in the Flathead River, the second reported incident in three weeks of someone killing puppies in the valley. In Bigfork, a “deconstruction crew” takes apart old structures to salvage aged building materials. And business columnist Mark Riffey writes about the lessons small businesses can take from the effort in Louisiana to recover from Hurricane Gustav.

In state news, Republican presidential nominee John McCain has opened up a double-digit lead in a recent Rasmussen poll against Democratic opponent Barack Obama. Two district judges in Billings are disagreeing over the constitutionality of a sex offender registry, kicking the decision to the 9th Circuit Court. Tom Lutey of the Billings Gazette has an excellent story looking at the state of medical marijuana in Montana. The Montana Shooting Sports Association is mounting a campaign urging voters to oppose the property tax levy on the Nov. 4 ballot which funds higher education in the state, because universities require students to disarm on campus. There’s a debate on in Helena over whether the state’s tax holiday for oil and gas drilling companies should be rolled back in light of high oil prices. And a famous paleontologist is accused of stealing a fossil from a site in Malta.

And finally, this melancholy story out of Butte memorializes a dog, Auditor, who was a mascot of the mines.