Wednesday: Ski Forecast, School Funding, Kiss of Deaf

By Beacon Staff

Good morning and happy birthday Emily Dickinson.

On the Beacon this morning, Semitool, Inc. said it would shut down for three weeks and cut back to a bare bones crew due to flagging customer orders. The ski season has begun in northwest Montana, though it’s getting off to slow start, and it’s unclear how the industry will fare in a recession. The trial of Heather Henson, charged with shooting a man to death at a Libby campground in July, is underway. Kalispell City Council is poised to vote on a revised budget Dec. 15 that cuts an additional $100,000 out of the general fund, but manages not to cut any public employees. An Evergreen man who strangled a neighbor in May will go to prison for five years for negligent homicide.

Fiscal analysts project that the state’s budget picture is deteriorating, with revenue projections set to drop by some $50 million. A Helena judge rejected arguments from education groups saying the state isn’t funding schools properly. Carbon County Attorney Robert Eddleman denied federal cocaine charges and said he will take leave of his post during the trial. Butte state Rep. George Groesbeck died of a pulmonary embolism on Sunday, according to the Butte Silverbow County coroner’s report. The decision over whether Montanans have a Constitutional right to assisted suicide is headed to the state Supreme Court. The Greater Yellowstone Coalition filed yet another suit against Yellowstone Park, charging that the park’s winter plan allowing 720 snowmobiles daily is too much.

And finally, a Chinese man kissed his girlfriend so, er, passionately, he ruptured her eardrum and made her deaf, so take it easy fellas. Have a great day.