By Beacon Staff

We’re high on the state budget and low on the boat crash investigation in our weekly index of what’s up, down and in between …


SHAWN STIPE – The owner of the Dragons Den tattoo shop, by setting up a young adult dance club offering safety and fun for teens in need, demonstrates the best of the Flathead community.

LAURA GODOWSKI – She and her family rushed to the scene of the Aug. 27 boat crash at Wayfarer’s State Park, and her quick action may very well have saved the life of Dustin Frost, state director for U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg.

BUDGET SURPLUS – Ending the fiscal year with $23 million more than anticipated, due to agencies’ spending cutbacks, Montana’s state government continues to ride out the recession better than almost any other state.

SHAY SMITHWICK-HANN – The Glacier High senior quarterback is listed as a “potential record breaker” by ESPN’s recruiting tracking profile.


MAX BAUCUS – The Montana senator finally releases a Finance Committee health care bill, with no GOP support, and earns nearly universal, initial bad reviews. But then, some analysts argued the bill contains many good reforms, and so it may not be so bad after all. Time, and amendments, will tell.


UM GRIZ – The Kaimin student newspaper reports two players allegedly assaulted another student at a March fraternity party – yet more thuggish behavior by Montana football players.

BOAT CRASH INVESTIGATION – Close to a month after the Aug. 27 accident, records are sealed and no authorities are talking. Where are the BAC results of the driver, Kalispell Sen. Greg Barkus?

CHERRY SEASON – Flathead orchards yielded massive harvests, but a lack of market for the fruit caused many to go unsold, and has growers looking for changes in how they do business.

METH LAB REBOUND – Busts have increased threefold this year as meth cooks have devised a new way to skirt state law to buy pseudoephedrine called “smurfing.”

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