Thursday: N. Fork Oil & Gas Leases, Plum Creek Aid, Kennedy’s Rodeo

By Beacon Staff

Good morning; on the Beacon today, decades-old oil and gas leases along the North Fork could be hindering Montana in its effort to discourage British Columbia from developing its natural resources upstream. U.S. Sen. Max Baucus and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk visited the F.H. Stoltze mill to assure Montana lumber workers that the government is working to enforce softwood lumber trade laws with Canada. The Montana Supreme Court has ordered new hearings on several aspects of a lawsuit filed by a group of Flathead Lake landowners against PPL Montana over its management of Kerr Dam. Flathead Electric Cooperative now has its sights set on developing geothermal power resources. Former employees of the Plum Creek Timber Co. sawmill in Columbia Falls are eligible to receive training and other assistance from a federal government program. And Whitefish High’s golf squads look set once again to dominate.

NorthWestern Energy says it is breaking ground this week on a $200 million natural gas-fired power plant near Anaconda. U.S. Sen. Jon Tester said that a so-called “public option” in the health care bill is optional for him — and said he is not yet committed to backing the plan being put together by U.S. Sen. Max Baucus. Reported marijuana offenses have continued to increase in Missoula County despite a voter-approved initiative asking authorities to give such cases the lowest priority. And Montana Democrats recalled when the late Sen. Ted Kennedy rode a bucking bronco at the fair in Miles City in 1960.

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