Wednesday Buffet: Airport August Closure, Ideal Hunting Weather, Monkey Waiters

By Beacon Staff

Good morning; on this date in 1871 the Great Chicago Fire was ignited.

It’s Wednesday and the new Beacons are hitting the stands. In our top story today, Glacier International Airport announced it will close its main runway for 12 days in August for repaving. Three former employees of Kalispell Regional Medical Center are filing a lawsuit against the hospital over an eliminated benefit. At the East Shore Smoke House in Finley Point, blues, booze and great barbecue are on offer. A 78-year-old Michigan man was struck and killed by a truck while apparently flagging for help after running out of gas on Highway 2. And Beacon business columnist Mark Riffey advises on how small business owners can get their customers to trust them as much as they trust Oprah.

In state news, Gov. Brian Schweitzer and his Republican opponent, Roy Brown, faced off last night in Billings for their third debate, and argued over energy production, taxes and how Montana will fare amid the economic crisis. The state GOP is backing off of its plan to challenge the registration of 6,000 voters after the Democratic party filed a lawsuit. Montana’s banking commissioner said the state’s 64 state-chartered banks are safe and well-capitalized. Live trout were found in Butte’s Silver Bow Creek, and sign that the polluted waterway is making a comeback. Public Service Commission candidates clashed last night on ethics charges. This weekend looks like its going to have ideal hunting weather. The state’s minimum wage bumps up from $6.55 an hour to $6.90 on Jan. 1. And Staff Sgt. Michael Noyce Merino, a soldier with the Montana National Guard’s 1-163rd Cavalry Regiment, was recognized as the Army’s noncommissioned officer of the year Monday, becoming the first National Guardsman in U.S. Army history to hold the rank.

And finally, check out these two monkeys employed as waiters at a Japanese restaurant. Don’t stiff them on tips. And have a great day.