Thursday: 93 Bypass, Kalispell Budget Woes, Chia Obama

By Beacon Staff

Good morning and happy birthday to one of the top comics artists of our time, Alex Ross.

On the Beacon today, state transportation officials are pushing hard to get some federal stimulus dollars directed toward the Kalispell bypass. Kalispell’s budget outlook looks even worse as the new year begins. The W.R. grace hearing began in Missoula yesterday. After Robert Kowalski pleaded guilty to shooting in the mouth and killing his girlfriend in March 2008, authorities in Alaska investigated an accident there where a girlfriend of Kowalski’s was shot in the mouth and died, though it was ruled an accident. A 19-year-old Ronan man pleaded guilty to negligent homicide in a crash that killed two people in 2006.

In state news, the value of the state’s pension funds have plummeted about $1.7 billion. Shortly after taking office, President Barack Obama put a freeze on all recent rules enacted by the Bush administration, and in doing so put on hold the delisting of the gray wolf in the Northern Rockies, an expansion of oil shale exploration and a move to lift the ban on guns in some national parks. Republicans on some legislative appropriations subcommittees are balking at making any preliminary budget decisions until its clear how much money could be coming to Montana through an federal economic stimulus package. A man accused of shooting his sister and mother to death was caught after he and another man escaped from the state hospital in Warm Springs. And Montana PBS could stop broadcasting to much of the state if the money isn’t restored to the governor’s proposed budget.

And finally, there’s a Chia Obama for sale, available in stern or happy faces. Have a great day.