Thursday: Sheriff’s Race, Ferndale Grizzly, Llew Jones’ Deal

By Beacon Staff

Good morning; on the Beacon today, Kalispell school district employees are seeking bids by new insurance providers after learning their health coverage costs are scheduled to increase by 30.5 percent this year – potentially putting a deep dent in the paychecks of school employees. The primary election on June 8 is the final vote for Flathead County sheriff, since all three candidates – Lance Norman, Chuck Curry and incumbent Mike Meehan – filed as Republicans, bringing a sense of immediacy to a traditionally sleepy stretch of the election year. State wildlife officials say two grizzly bears that had gotten too comfortable around people north of Ferndale will be relocated to a remote area. A 49-year-old Kalispell man who pleaded guilty to violating the Endangered Species Act by illegally shooting and killing a wolf has been sentenced to two years probation and fined $3,000. And Wild Bill Schneider proposes a compromise he believes could settle the debate over wolf management.

A state lawmaker carved money out of last year’s stimulus spending bill for an energy study shortly before investing in a company to help get that money, according to newly released documents. One of two men charged for his role in the killing of a 73-year-old St. Ignatius man nearly five years ago has pleaded not guilty to deliberate homicide. President Barack Obama will choose a Supreme Court nominee he thinks can provide the “spark and leadership” of retiring Justice John Paul Stevens, the lion of the court’s liberals and a respected, persuasive force for decades, one of Obama’s chief advisers said Wednesday. Five Bitterroot residents, including the owner of a medical marijuana dispensary in Stevensville, have been arrested following an incident that left one man bleeding alongside a road Tuesday. A proposal to criminalize motorists who refuse breath tests in DUI cases is bound for Monday night’s Missoula City Council meeting, when members will likely vote to either approve or oppose the ordinance. Gov. Brian Schweitzer said Wednesday that Montana remains in good financial shape, pointing to the $402 million stashed away in various state accounts to pay for general government and fighting wildfires. And the Great Falls Tribune has a great write-up on Sydney Thomas, who may be nominated for the U.S. Supreme Court.

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