Weekend Buffet: Figure Skating, Fata Morgana, Rowdy Snowball Fight

By Beacon Staff

Good morning and happy birthday to hero pilot Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger III.

On the Beacon today, figure skating is growing in the valley, with a big invitational at Stumptown Ice Den Jan. 30 and 31. The bankruptcy of an Oregon-based land exchange firm with a branch in Kalispell illuminates the lack of regulation in that industry. Flathead cities are looking to community land trusts as a way to provide permanent affordable housing. Despite warning of layoffs, the Troy mine looks as though it will remain open, for the next several months anyway. And Kalispell City Council members differ in their opinions of proposed traffic impact fees.

Jury selection in the W.R. Grace & Co. Libby asbestos contamination case is underway. Brian Schott submitted to the Billings Gazette some amazing pictures of the “fata morgana” illusion effect caused by the temperature inversion in the Flathead. Gov. Brian Schweitzer told lawmakers it was unlikely the legislature would have much influence over how federal stimulus dollars can be spent. A hate-crime bill drew impassioned testimony from both supporters and opponents of the legislation. Equally emotional testimony was spurred by a bill to ban pit bulls, which died in committee. And authorities have identified the Glasgow man who shot three people, injuring two and killing one, as 42-year-old recluse Roger Lynn Sellers, and have found no motive for his crimes.

And finally, a snowball fight at a North Carolina college got way out of hand, with campus cops using pepper spray and handcuffs to break it up. Have a great weekend.