Tuesday: Apple Barrel, Moonlight Foreclosed, Helena Fires

By Beacon Staff

Good morning; on the Beacon today, the Apple Barrel market is now open year round, and owners Dave and Dana Cordell say that’s just the first of many changes to come. Lido’s got a great slide show up of the Back to School Bash celebrated the beginning of the school year for the Whitefish School District. A jury has acquitted a former Columbia Falls day-care worker, Pete Ampudia, of three child molestation charges, but jurors were unable to reach a verdict on a charge of sexual assault. And in HIGHS & LOWS, we’re high on Lex Hilliard and low on South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson in our weekly index of what’s up, down and in between.

The Democratic challengers for Montana’s lone Congressional seat are duking it out over health care. Sen. Max Baucus says his Finance Committee is “very close” to unveiling a health care bill. Some governors worry their financial burdens from Medicaid could get worse as Congress works on a comprehensive health care bill. Lehman Brothers Commercial Bank has moved to foreclose on Moonlight Basin, two years after loaning the ski mountain and real estate development $100 million. Retail sales jumped in August by the largest amount in more than three years. Wolf advocates have opted not to appeal a federal court decision that let wolf hunting seasons go forward in Montana and Idaho. Back from Europe, Gov. Brian Schweitzer said Monday his visits will help cement a new 300-megawatt project north of Shelby and perhaps advance plans for a wind turbine-manufacturing plant in Butte. And more fires near Helena: A human-caused wildfire in the northeast Helena Valley charred 130 acres Monday and spurred the evacuation of about 25 homes and caused several road closures.

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