Thursday: Realtors’ Clout, Pot Initiaitive Ignored, Parmesan for Needy

By Beacon Staff

Good morning and happy birthday to the Libertarian Party, founded on this day in 1971.

On the Beacon this morning, the realtors and building industry associations in the Flathead are increasing their political clout and involvement. Somers School District officials are concerned if a large development goes in south of Kalispell, the Somers schools may not be able to accommodate the large increase in student population. A 10-year-old Marion boy who shot a 7-year-old girl in the stomach this summer had a criminal endangerment charge against him dismissed after a psychological evaluation determined he was not able to understand the charge against him. Investigators believe a Somers 1-year-old who suffered a gunshot wound to the face was shot by her 2-year-old sister. Whitefish Police have arrested a 27-year-old man after placing his girlfriend’s 5-year-old son in a bathtub of scalding water, causing serious burns.

In Butte, local officials have begun the process of finding a replacement for Rep. George Groesbeck, who died suddenly Sunday of a pulmonary embolism at the age of 38. State Attorney General Mike McGrath asked a judge yesterday to postpone the effect of a decision allowing doctor-assisted suicide until the state can file a formal appeal. A new report shows a Missoula voters’ initiative to make marijuana offenses the lowest priority for law enforcement is being generally ignored by authorities in the city, where marijuana-related offenses have increased by 27 percent. Nearly two dozen U.S. senators are pressing President-elect Barack Obama to include $2 billion in aid for American Indian tribes in his proposed budget.

And in Italy, where poverty is on the rise, the government plans to distribute Parmigiano Reggiano and the very similar Grana Padano cheese to donate to the needy.