Wednesday: Contractors Hammered, St. Dennis Sentenced, 3-Wheeled Drunk

By Beacon Staff

Good morning and happy birthday Lawrence Welk!

Tons of news on the Beacon this morning: The current economic slump is particularly hard on independent contractors, who find themselves out of work and ineligible for unemployment benefits. The Evergreen man accused of shooting his girlfriend’s 19-month-old daughter to death gave emotional testimony on the stand yesterday. The Plum Creek sawmill in Columbia Falls is restarting, and rehiring some 140 workers due to an increase in demand for pine boards. John Stokes, owner of KGEZ radio station, has filed for bankruptcy. A medical expert testifying in the W.R. Grace trial described the extraordinarily high levels of asbestos contamination he encountered upon arriving in Libby 10 years ago. And a 21-year-old Arlee man died of exposure after crashing his car into a creek and going to seek help.

Legislators are considering a bill that would decriminalize possessing small amounts of marijuana. Anthony St. Dennis, who was accused of beating a homeless man to death in Missoula, received a 100-year sentence and will not be eligible for parole for 40 years. Carbon County Attorney Robert L. Eddleman is expected to plead guilty in Billings today to a federal cocaine charge. Paleontologist Nate Murphy pleaded guilty to stealing a rare raptor fossil from private land near Malta. Folks in Bozeman are spooked, reporting bomb scares and gas odors left and right. And Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Chairman James Steele Jr. delivered a state of the tribes address to the Legislature yesterday.

Finally, a Florida man was pulled over and charged with drunk driving after he was caught driving a car with only three tires. Have a great day.

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