Thursday: Tea Party Protest, Housing Starts, Mid-surgery Layoff

By Beacon Staff

Good morning; on this date in 1943 Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann discovered LSD.

On the Beacon today, another Tax Day Tea Party protest in Kalispell demonstrated dissatisfaction with government spending. The Pentagon’s move to drop the F-22 jet program could make things tougher for one Kalispell industrial firm. Housing starts in Flathead County are down 50 percent from last year. Glacier High hoops star Ben Cutler has signed a letter of intent to play for Carroll College. Columnist Dave Skinner notes how the New World Mine controversy near Yellowstone ended up. And Warren Miller recounts filming the dawn of British Columbia heli-skiing, among other adventures.

In state news, Montana’s revenue estimate is up slightly, which could ease budget negotiations as the Legislature enters its home stretch. In the W.R. Grace trial, a key government witness will no longer take the stand, so the prosecution could rest its case next week. Gov. Brian Schweitzer has signed into law a bill that would exempt Montana-made guns from federal regulation. Smurfit-Stone is temporarily laying off 200 workers. Lee’s Mike Dennison breaks down the numbers on the coming partisan showdown in the Legislature over expanding Children’s Health Insurance. A Republican-controlled Senate panel has passed out a bill on property tax mitigation, with all Democrats opposed, that heads to the full Senate for debate today.

And finally, a Wisconsin hospital executive pulled a nurse out of surgery to lay her off – which is just not a good way to run a medical facility. Have a great day.

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