Thursday Buffet: EPA Scuttles Libby Emergency, McCain Surge, Gym Class Grudge

By Beacon Staff

Good morning and happy birthday William Faulkner.

On the Beacon this morning, documents released by U.S. Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., show the Environmental Protection Agency scuttled plans to declare Libby’s asbestos contamination a public health emergency in 2002 after meeting with White House officials on the matter. A wolf pack near Fortine that has recently started attacking livestock has researchers stumped as to the behavioral change in the pack. An August decision by the state Supreme Court has made it tougher for undercover officers to use a wire in drug investigations. The Whitefish Alpine and Freestyle Ski Academy opens its doors this year for students able to maintain a “B” average. Valhalla Adventures and Triple–X Helicopter Inc., are seeking clearance to offer heli-skiing in the Stillwater and Coal Creek state forests. And Beacon columnist Wild Bill Schneider says the controversy over the Bush administration’s push to allow concealed weapons in national parks should be a victory for the gun lobby, and there are bigger parks-related issues to work on.

A new poll shows Republican presidential candidate John McCain has pulled out to a big lead over Democratic opponent Barack Obama. The financial turmoil is taking its toll on the state’s pension fund portfolio, though its unclear, at this point, how bad the damage will be. Conservative U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia spoke at the University of Montana law schoolt last night. Also in the Missoulian, the Legacy Project conservation deal may end up protecting more land than initially thought as a result of Missoula County’s zoning regulations. Thousands of senior citizens in Montana have not applied for their economic stimulus checks or opted to participate in Medicare Part D, free services that would put money in their pocket. A Bozeman company is re-inventing the ski.

And finally, check out this awful story about a dude getting beat up at a high school reunion over a grudge from a gym class handball game five years prior. Geez, fellas, let it go. And have a great day.