By Beacon Staff

We’re high on Stillwater Mining, Co., and low on University of Montana coach Bobby Hauck in our weekly index of what’s up, down and in between …

MARIJUANA – The federal government is backing off the pursuit of medical marijuana users and their suppliers who comply with state law where it is allowed – like in Montana.
OLYMPIA SNOWE – By voting for Max Baucus’ health care bill, this Maine senator is the new “maverick” of the GOP, and has increased her Capitol clout, but will she support the measure on the Senate floor?
BULLDOG GOLF – Whitefish boys won the Class A state Golf championship by 40 strokes, led by sophomore phenom, Reed Platke.
STILLWATER MINING CO. – Higher prices for platinum and palladium have almost entirely made up for the loss of a contract with General Motors, making layoffs unlikely.

HARDIN – Although the bid to operate this southeastern Montana community’s empty jail fell through when the man behind the deal was revealed to be a convicted felon, city officials claim the national headlines made by this debacle have generated interest in the corrections facility from other firms. Hopefully, city officials will do their homework before signing off on any new deals.

BOBBY HAUCK – The Griz head coach is under fire for publicly shunning reporters for the UM student newspaper following a story they ran about an alleged assault by football players.
CHRIS KUKULSKI – The Bozeman (and former Kalispell) city manager was suspended for a week after requiring invasive background checks for job candidates requiring passwords to personal e-mail and social Web sites.
SOUTHERN MONTANA AMTRAK ROUTE – A new report says reviving the North Coast Hiawatha Route could exceed $1 billion, and has Sen. Jon Tester concerned it could compromise the Empire Builder Route.
PLANNED PARENTHOOD – The Kalispell clinic is closing Nov. 20, but setting up a travel fund for patients who need to travel to Missoula for reproductive health services.

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