Wednesday: First Wolf Kill, Homeless Families, Biz Taxes

By Beacon Staff

Good morning; on the Beacon today, Montana’s homeless are disproportionately working families, and they’re crowding shelters from Billings to Kalispell. A Columbia Falls hunter, Daniel Pettit, has taken the first wolf from the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex. Between the University of Montana Western and Montana Tech football teams, there are 15 players from Flathead and Glacier high schools on the rosters. And business columnist Mark Riffey takes a lesson from Amazon on getting your client to spend just a little bit more.

Republican lawmakers say they suspect the state is charging higher business property taxes than the Legislature intended — a problem they blame on incorrect estimates from the state Department of Revenue. GOP leaders also said they’re worried about higher-than-expected property taxes for small businesses this year because of reappraisal, and that a special session of the Legislature could be needed to fix the problem. Firefighters have gained 10 percent containment on the Kootenai Creek Fire burning in the Bitterroot. Health officials in Sun Prairie are warning residents to keep their children and pets out of a local park after a dog died of suspected strychnine poisoning. Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock on Tuesday announced the formation of a task force to develop a strategy to combat prescription drug abuse. In health care negotiations, Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Max Baucus backed down Tuesday and exempted consumer items of $100 or less – from condoms to contact lenses – from a proposed tax on medical device manufacturers.

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