Weekend: Budget Blues, Troy Police Problems, Palin’s Coming!

By Beacon Staff

Good morning; on the Beacon today, the Montana budget situation is getting worse, not better, according to a report released Thursday that says the projected budget surplus is just about gone. A group of conservation photographers is giving the Flathead an ample voice as an exhibit on the values of and threats to the valley heads to Washington D.C. A 29-year-old woman, Rebecca Sliter, accused of driving drunk and causing a three-vehicle crash that injured seven people pleaded guilty Thursday to negligent vehicular assault. And sports columnist Mick Holien writes about how Missoula may have lost its chance to host the Football Championship Subdivision, at least in the near future.

Senate Democrats closed ranks Thursday behind $460 billion in politically risky Medicare cuts at the heart of health care legislation, thwarting a Republican attempt to doom President Barack Obama’s sweeping overhaul. General Motors Co. and Chrysler will reconsider decisions to close thousands of dealerships as part of a compromise meant to stave off federal legislation that would require them to keep the showrooms open. A panel in Missoula discussed the impact of the W.R. Grace trial on Libby and what the future holds for the small town. The tiny three-man police department is in turmoil up in Troy, where the chief has been placed on leave, an officer is under investigation and another has only recently returned to work following suspension. The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks claims wolves are recovered sufficiently to be delisted from the federal Endangered Species Act. Billings is preparing for the arrival Tuesday of the book-signing barracuda, Sarah Palin. Montana lost a potential $43.2 million in federal money because more than 14,000 people weren’t counted in the 2000 census, a state official told the Montana Taxpayers Association on Thursday. A new survey by a Colorado-based pollster, commissioned by the Wilderness Society, found that Montanans favor, by a 3 to 1 margin, a Rocky Mountain Front conservation plan that includes more wilderness. And more than 100 hunters frustrated with the toll wolves are taking on the Gallatin Canyon’s elk population packed a large garage at the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks’ Bozeman headquarters, calling for the state to do more to address the wolf pack that is ravaging the herd.

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