Weekend: KGEZ Shuttered, Boat Crash ‘Apology’?, Public Option

By Beacon Staff

Good morning; on the Beacon today, Flathead County authorities shut down the KGEZ radio station south of Kalispell Thursday afternoon, following a court ruling earlier in the week that allowed for the liquidation of station owner John Stokes’ assets. A controversial new self-defense law is already having a significant impact on two high-profile cases in Billings and Ronan, and while some involved with negotiations over the so-called “Castle Doctrine” bill are monitoring its effects on the justice system to see if it requires modifications, the bill’s sponsor believes the legislation is, so far, serving its purpose. Local bronze crafter Coby Johnson is making statues for the top male and female Griz student-athletes. One of U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg’s challengers, Dennis McDonald, says the boat crash last month on Flathead Lake that injured the congressman and five others resulted from poor judgment by the congressman and a political colleague. The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes say arson is suspected in a fire near Arlee that has burned 300 acres. And football columnist Mick Holien discusses the diet of college football players.

Democratic Sens. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia and Chuck Schumer of New York said Thursday they want a full debate on whether the government should create a health plan to compete with private insurers and sign up middle-class workers and their families – the so-called public option. Nearly all schools in the Montana university system are reporting increased enrollments this fall. A second lawsuit was filed Thursday against NorthWestern Energy, saying the utility company is to blame for a natural gas explosion in Bozeman that killed one woman and destroyed four downtown buildings. Montana surface-owners of split-estates are in Washington, D.C., this week asking for better notice, mediation and even compensation whenever the government allows gas drilling beneath their land.