Wednesday: Gift Guide, Wal-Mart Confirmed, Empire State Stolen

By Beacon Staff

Good morning and happy birthday Joseph Conrad.

On the Beacon this morning, the entire staff has been slaving over our 2nd annual Holiday Gift Guide, with creative gifts from around the valley at a variety of prices. Wal-Mart will open a new Super Center in Hutton Ranch Plaza, moving operations from its current Evergreen location. W.R. Grace and Co. has agreed to pay up to $140 million to settle its Libby asbestos class action lawsuit. The Montana Building and Industry Association is suing Flathead County over subdivision regulations it considers illegal. While the percentage of people behind in their mortgages shot up in the third quarter of this year, Montanans and surrounding states are among the least delinquent in the country. Gov. Brian Schweitzer has joined the chorus of governors asking President-elect Barack Obama to invest in infrastructure projects, saying states will p make good use of the money. The chief executives of the so-called “Big Three” automakers have agreed to Sen. Jon Tester’s proposal that they cut their annual salaries to $1 each, as part of their concessions to get a $25 billion federal bailout. The prospect of a Bitterroot Community College isn’t looking hopeful, with the Montana Board of Regents planning to vote Thursday on a motion to deny the proposal. Rep. Denny Rehberg’s chief of staff, Erik Iverson, is leaving to work for billionaire Tom Siebel, the software mogul and mastermind of the Montana Meth Project – but Iverson will continue as chair of the state GOP.

And finally, check out this stunt by the New York Daily News, which acquired the deed to the Empire State Building in 90 minutes with fake documents! Cool stuff. Have a great day.