Thursday: Land Trust, Property Tax Measure. Trophy Poachers

By Beacon Staff

Good morning; on the Beacon today, in the weeks leading up to the Nov. 3 election, the Whitefish political landscape had become one of contentiousness, even bitterness – but now it’s time to heal. John McMenamin of Kalispell says he will try again to limit property tax increases with a constitutional ballot measure. With little or no pressure from developers to buy up the agricultural lands along the Flathead River corridor, the Flathead Land Trust has found its mission to preserve those private parcels, mainly through voluntary conservation easements, made much easier of late. Ryan Keenan, a 12-year-old golf prodigy from Bigfork with a vision impediment in both eyes, shot his first career hole-in-one last week. And Dave Skinner writes about the tough row-to-hoe that new National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis faces.

New claims for unemployment insurance fall more than expected last week, evidence the job market is slowly healing as the economy recovers. With few Americans enjoying the benefit of paid sick leave, those feeling symptoms of swine flu are unlikely to stay home from work. The illegal shooting of an 800-pound grizzly bear is the latest of several cases of poachers killing a trophy animal and leaving its carcass to rot, Montana wildlife officials said. A Hays man says he recently shot a 200-pound adult mountain lion that was lounging in a tree about 40 feet from his front door — further evidence the big cats are moving into Montana’s prairies. UM President George Dennison could be looking at a $75,000-raise. A former middle school teacher’s aide who is accused of abusing an autistic boy by placing his head under water after he dozed off in class has returned to Great Falls to face charges.