Monday: Bigfork Resort Tax, Gravel Bill, Vacuum Love

By Beacon Staff

Good morning and happy 45th birthday Jeopardy!

On the Beacon today, a resort tax in Bigfork does not look feasible, according to the committee in charge of investigating the option. Flathead County’s unemployment rate continues its steady climb, increasing nearly a full point to 12.2 percent in February. Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Mike Haynes, who was critically injured in a head-on crash early last week, died Friday morning. The state House advanced a bill that could expedite the issuance of gravel pit permits. And Kitchen Guy Chef Jim Gray breaks down the multitude of competitive cooking shows on TV.

The first of a number of GOP-backed bills to encourage natural resource development in Montana is poised to pass through the Legislature. The gun rights advocacy of U.S. Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester is changing how Democrats are regarded on certain Second Amendment issues. In Helena, a Libby Republican and Helena Democrat are joining up to push legislation to aid the state’s timber industry. Snow storms are still pounding southwest and central Montana. Anaconda seventh-grader Rose Tracy has won the state spelling bee for the second year in a row.

And finally, a Michigan man was sentenced to 90 days for getting, um, intimate with the vacuum cleaner at a car wash. He’s also got to submit to drug testing.