Wednesday: Stoltze Layoffs, Backcountry Season, Magic Cheese

By Beacon Staff

Good morning and happy birthday to my dad, David Testa.

On the Beacon this morning, more layoffs by one of the Flathead’s oldest businesses: Stoltze Lumber announced a six-week shutdown yesterday that will result in about 50 job cuts. The leaders of the Flathead’s top businesses gathered yesterday for a public discussion about the economy, and tried to remain optimistic amid grim forecasts. The highly dangerous snow conditions of winter’s first months have given way to more stable snowpack, and backcountry skiers, snowboarders and snowmobilers have begun heading out-of-bounds. U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., has been appointed to the powerful Appropriations Committee, but he conceded this might not be an ideal time for a seat at that table. Kalispell Republican Verdell Jackson has introduced a bill at the Legislature to strip medical marijuana patients of their license to use the herb should they be caught driving high.

In other Legislative news, the stream access bill is moving forward. Small, renewable energy developers are blasting a bill that they say will make it easier for Northwestern Energy to delay their projects. Sen. John Esp. R-Big Timber, has proposed a bill to help Montana collect taxes on out of state landowners for their land transactions.

And France is perpetrating a “magic cheese” scam perpetrated on innocent Chileans. Have a great day.