Monday Buffet: Snow Storms, Drug Use, Elephants Who Text

By Beacon Staff

Good morning; today is the day we celebrate Christopher Columbus’s arrival in the Americas. Also, happy Thanksgiving to our Canadian neighbors.

On the Beacon this morning, with recent cuts in the city of Kalispell’s Parks Department and Flathead County’s future budget projections looking bleak, the county’s parks and recreation department is working on its first-ever, 20-year master plan. Check out this great photo Lido took of Glacier High School golfer Aaron Young. Young, who will hopefully be golfing in the state tournament today and tomorrow (it’s been postponed once already because of weather), says his interest for golf started with a video game. The dramatic changes in the US financial system – the debt write-downs and consolidation of corporate balance sheets – are now mirrored at kitchen tables around the United States. And Columbia Falls is one of two recipients of this year’s Urban Forestry Excellence Awards.

It’s a slow news day around the state, today, with the weather taking the lead spot in many papers. Billings took the worst hit: Record snowfall of about 12 to 15 inches over the past three-day span has left power out and trees down all over town. The race for state attorney general hit Montana’s airwaves last week, as advertisements for both candidates began popping up on television and radio. According to a story in the Great Falls Tribune, methamphetamine use is down, cocaine is coming back and Montana continues to see a boom in prescription painkiller abuse. And Dems and the GOP are battling for control of the Montana Legislature as voters prepare to fill all 100 House seats on Nov. 4 and half of the 50 Senate positions.

And elephant’s in Kenya send text messages to rangers. What’s communication coming to? First, my mom learns to text. Now, elephants. The world’s gone crazy.

Here’s hoping many of you are enjoying a day off today. And, if the cooler weather is getting you down, just look at these photos from Billings and be glad you’re not there.