Tuesday: Goose Bay Layoffs, Bison Deal, Iraq Shoe Tosser

By Beacon Staff

Good morning and happy birthday to the late, great Philip K. Dick.

On the Beacon this morning, the state’s newspapers are awash in every winter headline cliché in the book, from “It’s Cold!” to “Forecast: Brrrrrr.” I’ll spare you any such headlines here. Our top story this morning checks in with two Southern ladies in town to learn how to ski for the first time, and despite the weather, they’re having fun. Local contracting business Goose Bay Equipment Inc., also known as NUPAC, is laying off its 58 employees and closing amid the faltering economy. High winds brought down some of the massive Grand and Douglas firs surrounding the Flathead Lake Biological station, some of which were older than 400 years. Gov. Brian Schweitzer unveiled a revised budget Monday that trims spending from his original budget by about $140 million. Montana’s members of the Electoral College voted yesterday for John McCain and Sarah Palin, who won here, but Barack Obama and Joe Biden won nationally. Helena District Judge Jeffrey Sherlock issued a full ruling yesterday in the long running feud between the state and a coalition of education groups. Sherlock ruled in favor of the state, saying the Legislature, by increasing school funding 25 percent since his 2004 ruling, had made a “good faith” effort to adequately fund education. The state Land Board voted unanimously in favor of a plan to allow bison in Yellowstone Park to pass over property belonging to the Church Universal and Triumphant on their way to Gallatin National Forest land. And towns across northcentral Montana are setting sub-zero temperature records, breaking previous records set in a 1964 cold snap.

Finally, the legendary video of an Iraqi journalist throwing his shoes at Pres. Bush has already been modified dozens of ways. Check out these absurd versions, and have a great day.

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