Wednesday: Obama Views, 8.7% Jobless, Taco Bell Wedding

By Beacon Staff

Good morning; on this date in 1985 “We Are The World” was recorded.

On the Beacon today, Flathead residents view Obama’s presidency with optimism and wariness. Flathead County’s unemployment rate rose to 8.7 percent in December, the fourth highest unemployment rate of Montana’s counties. The more Kalispell City Council works on traffic impact fees, the less likely it looks that they will pass them. Robert Kowalski of Creston, accused of shooting his girlfriend to death during an argument, asked a judge if he could withdraw his Alford plea because he felt rushed into it by prosecutors. Whether Flathead property taxes are going to increase hinges on the reappraisal decisions made during the Legislature.

A bill is once again before the Legislature that would allow a police officer to stop and ticket a driver not wearing a seatbelt. Some female Democratic state lawmakers say they believe the federal stimulus package discriminates unfairly against women. Gov. Brian Schweitzer will give his state of the state address tonight, and a spokeswoman said it will contain a few surprises. Sentencing is scheduled May 1 for two Kalispell residents who received nearly $7,900 in federal food-stamp benefits to which they were not entitled. The stimulus plan approved by the U.S. Senate includes $2.8 billion for American Indian tribes. A bill to overturn Montana’s so-called “unisex” insurance provision was debated hotly yesterday. Two bills to end same-day voter registration and require better identification from Montana voters died in committee yesterday.

And finally, check out this video of two surprisingly normal looking people who decided to get married in Taco Bell. It’s an inexpensive venue for these troubled economic times. Have a great day.

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