Thursday: Severance Strains, Wolf Killings, Santa Curling

By Beacon Staff

Good morning and happy birthday Steven Spielberg.

On the Beacon this morning, there’s a ton of news dropping. The recent removal of the Hog Heaven wolf pack, west of Kalispell, has reignited the debate over wolf management on the cusp of possible delisting by the Bush administration. A Columbia Falls woman battling cancer is starting a group to help families work through the disease’s difficulties together. The recent departure of two top city officials is not doing Kalispell’s budget any favors. In case you missed it, there’s a lot of snow on the ground this morning, and the cold temperatures and heavy precipitation aren’t letting up any time soon. A 19-year-old woman charged with the shooting death of a man in a Libby-area campground has been convicted of a lesser crime. A Eureka man has been sentenced to ten years for a shootout with Lincoln County authorities in May.

In state news, former state Democratic Party executive director Art Noonan will replace George Groesbeck as Butte state representative. Groesbeck died suddenly of a pulmonary embolism Dec. 7. U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., does not anticipate any new gun control measures by the incoming Obama administration. The Yellowstone Club, a resort for the ultra-rich, announced this week it was laying off 12 workers in construction and operations-related jobs. Conservation groups are giving Obama’s nominee for Interior Secretary, Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar, mixed reviews. Critics of unregulated water pumped from coalbed-methane wells scored two big court victories this week. And Butte could be laying off teachers as a result of declining enrollment.

And finally, what could make the sport of curling even weirder? When all the “athletes” are dressed up like Santa Claus. Have a great day and be safe on those roads.

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