Wednesday: Tea Party, Avalanche Victim, Conrad Burns Rehab

By Beacon Staff

Good morning; on the Beacon today, as the movement enters its first election year it remains a mystery to political observers of every persuasion what the concrete impacts of the Tea Party will eventually be. In a raucous meeting Monday colored by a recent murder authorities linked to medical marijuana, the Kalispell City Council voted 7-1 to ban any new medical marijuana businesses within city limits. After a particularly hard year, a new organization of businesses in the canyon spanning from Hungry Horse to West Glacier has formed to promote the area as a year-round destination. There is a new gravel resource map charting current gravel pits and geology throughout the valley, available from the Flathead County Planning and Zoning department. A National Park Service investigation found that a 37-year-old man who was found dead at the base of an avalanche in Glacier National Park initially survived the slide, but succumbed to his injuries as he tried to hike out.

North Dakota Sen. Byron Dorgan and Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer have asked federal officials to allow their states to buy prescription medicines from Canada, a move they say could save their constituents $400 million annually. Former U.S. Sen. Conrad Burns is undergoing rehabilitation in Billings as he works to overcome the effects of a stroke he suffered in December. Races in all corners of the country raise the question of whether moderate candidates have a future in a Republican Party imposing ideological purity, and whether the GOP can attract moderate voters. The Missoulian’s Michael Jamison has a great story on the effect of the recent murder of Wesley Collins on the Third and Main kids of Kalispell. Under a new federal law, some 1,000 Montanans receiving emergency unemployment compensation benefits are now eligible for the next level of benefits for about two more months. Property owners are teaming with Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks to try to force Monsanto Chemical Co. to pay millions to clean up chemicals contaminating a blue-ribbon trout stream in Lewistown, but the company says the contamination is FWP’s fault.

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