Weekend Buffet: Coco Destroys Records, Gas Keeps Dropping, San Diego Smash Shack

By Beacon Staff

Good morning; on this date in 1845 the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis was established.

On the Beacon today, Whitefish cross country runner Drew Coco is demolishing school records this season and has his sights set on breaking some state records. A man died Thursday night in a crash involving four vehicles on Montana Highway 82. A man accused of being behind the collapse of a Whitefish bank in 1998 is back in federal prison in Spokane. The play Bus Stop begins performances at Whitefish’s O’Shaughnessy Center Oct. 17. And in the face of another economic crisis, Warren Miller writes about how he made it through the Great Depression.

There’s a lot of state news out there today, with a preview of the battle for control of the state Legislature, which kicks off in January. U.S. Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester want Malmstrom to be the new command center overseeing the nation’s nuclear arsenal. One of the state’s chief economists believes Montana’s rapid growth is cooling, but the state will fare better than much of the rest of the nation during the economic downturn. Meanwhile, at the University of Montana, one of the nation’s top economists said the economy could be salvaged by deliberately lowering the value of American homes to keep people paying their mortgages. The Montana League of Cities and Towns plans to push harder than ever for a local option sales tax in the upcoming Legislature. Tom Lutey of the Billings Gazette has a great story about how the use of cellphones could be throwing off some of the political polling data in the state. Lawmakers are cautious about whether the projected state budget surplus really will approach $1 billion, given the amount of economic uncertainty facing the country. And here’s some … dare I say it? Good news!?! AAA expects gas prices to continue dropping, and for the price to actually start dropping faster and further. Yahoo!

And finally, check out this San Diego called Sarah’s Smash Shack, where patrons can relieve stress by hurling dishes at a wall. Have a great weekend.