Good morning; on the Beacon today, the increasing demands of high school coaching have taken a toll on Patrick Dryden, the head football coach of Whitefish High school has recently resigned. The parents of a 3-year-old Kalispell boy who drowned after falling into a septic tank two years ago have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a water and sewer district, land developers and an engineering firm. The Bigfork girls basketball team is dominating. Lido shoots a massive truss going up in Lakeside. And Mark Riffey believes it’s way past time for a small number of people in the Flathead to pull together and build a viable, sustainable plan to pick ourselves up and take advantage of the assets we have. And Kellyn explains our new look, on the Web and in print.
In an epic upset in liberal Massachusetts, Republican Scott Brown rode a wave of voter anger to win the U.S. Senate seat held by the late Edward M. Kennedy for nearly half a century, leaving President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul in doubt and marring the end of his first year in office. It’s now gut-check time for Obama and congressional Democrats on their health care overhaul. Congress returns to a massive agenda in the new year – healthcare, a job-creation plan, financial regulation, global warming, and probes of the Christmas Day bombing attempt. But its first order of business is making sure the government can pay its bills. University of Montana economists predict that the state will see slow growth for the next few years. A swarm of minor earthquakes continues to shake the southwest part of Yellowstone National Park. The Missoulian’s Michael Jamison reports on upheaval at the Troy Police Department. The Schweitzer administration has decided to terminate a pair of citizen “advisory councils” attached to the Corrections Department, to save money — and said Tuesday that it may consider abolishing other such councils. State video gambling tax receipts plummeted by nearly 18 percent in the last quarter of 2009, buffeted by the beginning of a statewide indoor smoking on bars and casinos and a recession that hit Montana hard. As President Barack Obama announced an extension of his Race to the Top education initiative Tuesday, Montana officials said they won’t be applying for any first-round funding — and may not apply for future funds, either.
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