Wednesday: Hwy 35 Truck Crash, Mayor’s Race, Barkus Judge

By Beacon Staff

Good morning; on the Beacon today, Columbia Falls Aluminum Co. announced Wednesday that the company will curtail all production at the end of October. The economic issues facing Kalispell and how the city government has handled them comes into sharpest focus in the nonpartisan race between incumbent Mayor Pam Kennedy, seeking a third term, and her challenger, attorney Tammi Fisher. A new judge will preside over the case of Kalispell state Sen. Greg Barkus, who is charged with three felonies after an Aug. 27 boat crash on Flathead Lake. The debate on whether to allow truck traffic on a narrow highway along the east shore of Flathead Lake has been renewed after another tractor trailer crashed and caught fire, injuring the driver. The Beacon’s Mick Holien interviews the Finley Point man who rescued the truck driver. And business columnist Mark Riffey discusses the difficulty of overcoming professional inertia.

A former University of Montana football player was given a two-year deferred sentence Tuesday for his role in an assault that left a fellow student with a concussion and a fractured jaw. Montana’s unemployment rate rose a small amount in September from 6.6 percent to 6.7 percent. Montana has one of the nation’s lowest rates of death from child abuse and neglect, a new report released this morning shows. Montana’s Attorney General Steve Bullock was on a national cable news show Tuesday explaining why he thinks Montana – not the federal government – should be in charge of finding Montana owners to $55 million in old, unclaimed war bonds.

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