Tuesday: Libby Crash, Marshall Noice, Workers Comp

By Beacon Staff

Good morning; on the Beacon today, the Montana Highway Patrol said five people were killed and one person was badly injured in a two-vehicle crash on U.S. Highway 2 east of Libby on Monday. The Glacier Knights, Kalispell’s semi-professional football team, will try to win its first playoff game. Marshall Noice, a Kalispell painter, traces his love of interpreting landscapes through art back to the summer of 1978 when he trained under Ansel Adams, the legendary black-and-white nature photographer. Polson received a grant that will pay 75 percent of the more than $16 million in costs of a Lake County Transportation Connectivity Project to upgrade city and county streets and roads, including Skyline Drive on the south side. A federal judge on Monday blocked a proposal to dig a major new mine beneath a remote Montana wilderness area in the Cabinets near Libby that boasts grizzly bears, rare trout — and huge reserves of silver and copper. Stillwater Christian School plans to offer year-round online classes for middle and high school students.

City planners have come up with three options for regulating medical marijuana in Great Falls, including one that would ban such businesses within city limits. A private research group says consumers’ confidence in the economy rebounded in March. But Americans are still wary as they deal with a weak job market. Montana is among the states leading the way with the most energy efficient building codes — a move contractors say could add several thousand dollars to the cost of starter homes. Three environmental groups announced Monday they intend to sue the Interior Department for not protecting sage grouse as an endangered or threatened species. Michael Jamison reports that Loren Kreck – hiker, skier, paddler, skater, adventurer and tireless outdoors advocate – died Friday at his home in Columbia Falls. Critics fumed and local officials were dumbfounded Monday when Gov. Brian Schweitzer affirmed he’ll tie the release of frozen state grants to local support for Otter Creek coal tract leases in southeastern Montana. Unusually high medical costs and occurrences of an expensive type of claim are major factors behind Montana’s high workers’ compensation insurance rates, a State Fund analysis shows.

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