Thursday: Hospice Care, Maddey Frey, Working Poor Taxed

By Beacon Staff

Good morning; on the Beacon today, Molly Priddy looks at hospice care in the Flathead, a treatment in the spotlight after the debate over so-called “death panels” as part of health care reform. A request by the Northwest Montana Association of Realtors calling for a special session of the state Legislature to address “current inadequacies” in the property tax reappraisal carried out in the 2009 regular session was immediately swatted down by Gov. Brian Schweitzer last week. Glacier High School senior forward Maddey Frey has won the Western AA Player of the Year for girls soccer for the second straight year. And Wild Bill Schneider answers motorists’ questions about why bicyclists ride the way they do.

Montana political and agricultural leaders hope Berkshire Hathaway’s planned purchase of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad will lead to lower shipping costs in Montana, but they doubt much will change. Some Great Falls residents aren’t welcoming the Montana Air National Guard’s transition from F-16 to F-15 fighter jets, saying the noise from the new aircraft is bothersome. Yellowstone National Park recorded 3,267,683 visitors from January through October this year, exceeding the previous 12-month record of 3.15 million visitors set in 2007. State tax collections for the first four months of this budget year not only lagged those from the same period last year, but also trail what the 2009 Legislature forecast for this year, a legislative report issued Wednesday said. Working couples with two children in Montana start owing income taxes at a lower income than any other state, a report issued by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a left-leaning group in Washington, D.C. Authorities in Hardin are butting heads over the Two Rivers Authority board’s move to charge the city attorney for animal-fouled carpets in the infamous jail. A conspiracy that brought nearly 20 pounds of cocaine to Billings and other Montana communities has ensnared at least eight people, including four former players and assistant coaches with the Billings Outlaws football organization. A week after rejecting the application for tribal recognition filed by Montana’s Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians, Interior Department officials conceded Wednesday that the certification process is flawed and needs reform.

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