Wednesday: Stimulus Wish Lists, Tuition Hikes, Bugged Teddy Bear

By Beacon Staff

Good morning and happy birthday to the late, great Charles Addams.

On the Beacon this morning, we look at the imminent economic stimulus legislation forthcoming from the federal government, and the steps local Flathead governments are taking to draw up wish lists to get a piece of those funds. The state has also drawn up $3.1 billion in potential infrastructure projects should the federal stimulus money come through. Flathead’s state lawmakers have drawn up a diverse slate of legislation for the current session, on issues ranging from wolves to road dust. And with all the snow and cold temperatures, the hazards of carbon monoxide are increasing. One-hundred twenty soldiers in the Montana National Guard left Tuesday for a year-long tour in Iraq. Legislative fiscal analysts said there’s a good chance Gov. Brian Schweitzer’s proposed budget could lead to tuition increases at the state’s universities. For the most part, the governor’s budget director and legislative fiscal analysts agree on the shape and scope of the proposed $9.6 billion budget, which increases spending 7.5 percent. And a Helena man who advocates for mentally ill veterans is one of the 18 “everyday Americans” chosen to celebrate the inauguration with President-elect Barack Obama.

And a custody battle in Nebraska turned ugly when a man sued his ex-wife for bugging their child’s teddy bear in hopes of catching the husband saying something incriminating. The judge threw it out. Have a great day.

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