Tuesday: Train Derailment, Energy Bills, Real Superheroes

By Beacon Staff

Good morning; on this date in 1922 the Soviet Union was formed.

Lotsa news across Montana this morning. Get your fix here before your thoughts turn to New Years debauchery. Our top story on the Beacon this morning, reports on a freight train derailment near Essex that has disrupted holiday travel for those riding Amtrak’s Empire Builder between Seattle and Minneapolis. An 18-year-old man, David J. Milliren of Kalispell, died in a car crash on U.S. Highway 2 last night. Charles Billheimer of Kalispell has claimed a $200,000 Powerball prize. Flathead Sled Dog Days looks set to have a big race series this weekend. And while the heavy snow over the last few days might be making roads treacherous, it’s been a boon to ski resorts throughout the region.

Avalanche conditions throughout the area look as though they will remain high, with most of the last several weeks worth of snow loaded on top of a slick, icy layer. State lawmakers descend on Helena with plans to tweak some of Montana’s energy regulations. Missoula Democrats have several bills in the works to capture carbon emissions, and offset carbon releases from power plants and buildings. And state revenue from gambling continued to increase in 2007, but the rate of growth has slowed, possibly indicating that the slowing economy is having an effect on gaming.

And finally, a trend I can’t believe I’ve missed: real life superheroes, though you’ll note their physique and costumes are less than, er, super. Have a great day.