Weekend: More Layoffs, Lincoln Misquoted, Chinese Farmer Robot

By Beacon Staff

Good morning and happy 65th birthday Jimmy Page.

On the Beacon this morning, more layoffs at the valley’s biggest employers: Semitool announced it was cutting 280 employees worldwide, and Plum Creek is laying off 145. The Flathead’s hitchhiking scene just ain’t what it used to be. The Northern Division Junior Olympic Qualifier Alpine Races will be held at Whitefish Mountain Resort, and several local teens are gunning to make the team. The U.S. Forest Service plans only slight increases to the cost of agency land occupied by private cabins.

At the state Legislature, Gov. Brian Schweitzer avoided offering his support for the goals of environmental lobbyists, while calling corporate lobbyists “a row of vultures.” House Republican Floor Leader Scott Mendenhall, R-Clancy, called for greater cooperation between Schweitzer and the GOP. Former GOP gubernatorial candidate Sen. Roy Brown, R-Billings, will hold two hearings next week at which he’ll ask members of Montana’s healthcare industry what they’re doing to bring down costs and respond to national calls for reform. And House Minority Leader Scott Sales, R-Bozeman misquoted Abraham Lincoln, though he’s in good company.

A 60-year-old skier died yesterday at Lost Trail Powder Mountain after a bad crash. At the trial of a Missoula man accused of killing a homeless Navy veteran, Anthony Roy St. Dennis admitted he was a murderer in a recorded conversation with his girlfriend. And the U.S. Geological Service is working hard to dispel rumors that a recent swarm of earthquakes around Yellowstone National Park has prompted an evacuation order from the area.

And finally, check out this incredible robot built by a Chinese farmer, and self-taught robot creator. And have a great weekend.