By Beacon Staff

Jonathan Jenkins repeats at the Colgate Country Showdown. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court says PPL owes the state $40 million.

APPLE – The clamor, publicity and demand for new products, in this case the iPad, never ceases to amaze.
EMPLOYMENT – The nation posted its largest job gain in three years in March, though unemployment holds steady at 9.7 percent.
JONATHAN JENKINS – This musician won the local Colgate Country Showdown for the second year in a row.
BRUCE SEMLER – The owner of Sem’s Car Wash, south of Kalispell, is holding a fundraiser April 10 in memory of Trooper Michael Haynes to benefit the national organization Cops on Top.

MAX BAUCUS – Montana’s senior senator stumped across the state, arguing hard that the health care bill, of which he was a lead architect, will be a boon for small businesses, seniors and average citizens, many of whom are currently skeptical. Provisions like expanded aid for Libby asbestos victims are undeniably beneficial, but the broader impacts of the bill could play a big role in this Democrat’s reelection prospects.

BRIAN SCHWEITZER – The Democratic governor’s puzzling demand to local governments that they must sign letters in support of coal mining if they are to be paid for roadwork grants prompted serious backlash on both the right and left. He released the funds Monday.
PPL MONTANA – The state Supreme Court said last week PPL owes the state $40 million in current and back rent for hydroelectric dams on riverbeds.
WHEAT FARMERS – Another rail shipping rate hike is on the way due to an increase per bushel by BNSF Railway Co.
TRIDENT – This and other small Gallatin County towns are reeling after the announcement of 47 temporary layoffs at the Holcim cement plant there, though work should resume in about a month.