Thursday: Consumer Confidence, State of State, Calzone Attack

By Beacon Staff

Good morning and happy birthday Thomas Paine.

On the Beacon today, more dire economic news from a local economist and a local property appraiser at Wednesday’s annual Economic Future of the Flathead breakfast. We debut our new monthly business publication this week, and for the first issue we focus on health care in the Flathead. The 19-year-old Kalispell woman convicted of shooting a man to death at a Libby-area campground has been sentenced to 20 years in prison with 15 years suspended.

Gov. Brian Schweitzer gave an optimistic State of the State address last night, a key point of which was a plan to increase taxes on petroleum and natural gas revenues, then use the money for teacher wage increases – a plan some in the GOP are not enthusiastic about. A version of the federal stimulus plan moving through the U.S. House would give about $600 million to Montana for infrastructure improvements and unemployment benefits. Forsyth Marine Sgt. Trevor J. Johnson died in Afghanistan Tuesday in combat. A bill by Sen. Greg Barkus, R-Kalispell, to add several new judges to the state’s district justice system, including one in Flathead County, passed the Senate overwhelmingly yesterday. A Helena Democrat has a bill to make it legal for the Children’s Health Insurance Program to pay for contraceptives for teenagers. Bison advocates are excited about a new bill that would give sole responsibility for managing the state’s wild bison population to the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks. And in the Missoulian, a terrible story about an Oklahoma couple trying to live out the winter in the Garnet Mountains being caught woefully off-guard.

Finally, a Florida pizzeria owner is in jail after attacking a customer who complained that he messed up a calzone order. Nuts. Have a great day.

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