Weekend Buffet: Jewel Trout Back, Baucus Defends Bailout, Rabid Bat Show-and-Tell

By Beacon Staff

Good morning and happy German Unity Day.

On the Beacon this morning, biologists study how life is returning to trout in a lake in Jewel Basin. Early and absentee voting, set to begin Monday, could make for an unpredictable Election Day, and Flathead County election administrators are preparing for every contingency. On the Police Blotter, authorities grappled with threatening voice mails and Evergreen teenagers fighting. And in Warren Miller’s world, a meal at a truck stop turned into a New Zealand sheep herding contest.

In state news, University of Montana students protested the GOP’s recent move to challenge the voter eligibility of 6,000 voters in Democratic-leaning counties. I make pretty clear how I feel about the move in my blog today. In other news, it’s all about the bailout, with U.S. Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., saying the bailout was likely flawed but still necessary. Meanwhile, state Democratic Party Chairman Dennis McDonald praised U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., and U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., for voting against the bailout. Also in the “strange bedfellows” category, Rehberg’s challenger, John Driscoll praised the incumbent Congressman for his vote against the bailout. John McCain’s lead over Barack Obama in Montana is shrinking, though it remains a fairly strong 8 percent. And a judge in Butte this week ruled anglers can access Montana’s streams from county bridges, but landowners can also attach fences to those bridges, in a split decision on a 4-year-old Madison County court case.

And finally, a Stevensville parent is in the dog house after bringing a dead, rabid bat to school for their child’s show-and-tell. Now, Ravalli County health officials are determining which students need rabies shots, which cost about $800 a pop. That’s what you get for trying to be an involved parent. Have a great day and enjoy the weekend.