Tuesday: GOP Education Funding, Coal $$$, Easter Bunny Hunt

By Beacon Staff

Good morning and happy birthday Loretta Lynn!

On the Beacon today, Glacier National Park Superintendent Chas Cartwright hopes to have much of the park designated as wilderness for its centennial celebration next year. In the W.R. Grace trial, a former engineer for the company said he collected asbestos-tainted air samples while running laps around the track at Libby High school. Defense attorneys for Grace now argue the prosecution has irrevocably “tainted” the current trial. U.S. Sen. Max Baucus was in the Flathead last week working alongside a crew expanding U.S. Highway 93 and discussing the stimulus.

Gov. Brian Schweitzer signed into law a stream access bill yesterday, marking the end to a long and contentious debate. A new appraisal of the coal tracts in southeastern Montana finds the state would reap some $1.4 billion in royalties if the land was leased for mining. State Senate Republicans are putting their clear stamp on how education is funded in the current budget bill. Fort Peck saw Montana’s first cattle rustling conviction in more than 100 years. Lee’s Chuck Johnson characterizes the issue of property tax reappraisal as one that has been simmering at the Legislature but is about to boil over. Reappraisal details are available on the state Department of Revenue’s Web site. A Wolf Point teenager missing since Friday was found dead in the Missouri River Monday afternoon. And home heating prices could drop by more than 30 percent this year.

Finally, Kiwis celebrate Easter New Zealand-style, by hunting and killing 14,799 rabbits. Have a great day.

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