Tuesday: Fishing Death, BNSF Cleanup, New Baucus Plan

By Beacon Staff

Good morning and welcome back from the weekend. On the Beacon today, a 62-year-old Whitefish man, Gary A. Nelson, died over the weekend while fishing on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation near Heart Butte. A question of property valuation between the state department of Revenue and the city of Whitefish appears to be the last major question mark in the weeks leading up to a Sept. 21 meeting in which the city council will vote whether to adopt the budget for fiscal year 2010. By the end of September, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway is expected to begin removing contaminants from the Whitefish River as part of an order handed down by the Environmental Protection Agency. Jim Lynch, director of the Montana Department of Transportation, said one piece of property remains to be purchased in the right-of-way for the southern portion of the U.S. Highway 93 bypass. And in HIGHS & LOWS, we’re high on local food banks and low on the state attorney general.

In state news, Sen. Max Baucus on Monday pushed a new health care plan including an industry fee to help pay for covering the uninsured. Federal and state wildlife agencies have launched a campaign to prevent grizzly bear killings in the greater Yellowstone region after a record number of deaths last year. And authorities have identified the toddler killed by a freight train in northern Montana as 3 1/2-year-old Colby Cole Hawley.

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