Weekend: Cyndi Elliott, Condon Wolf Crash, Campaign Fund Reports

By Beacon Staff

Good morning; on the Beacon today, Cyndi Elliott, a Polson pediatric occupational therapist makes figurines specifically for children who are “differently-abled.” The Columbia Falls jazz band, the Columbians is celebrating its 50th anniversary and alumni from all over the region are reuniting to play. A 27-year-old Columbia Falls man has pleaded no contest to vehicular homicide for a February crash that killed a Eureka woman. A tentative July 12 trial date has been set for a 53-year-old drifter accused of trying to steal foreclosed homes in Polson, and prosecutors say additional charges are expected. A wolf fitted with a GPS collar as part of a population survey was struck and killed by a car on Highway 83 near in Condon. And Mick Holien observes the cruel irony of the death of Dylan Steigers, who sustained a sub-dermal hematoma while making a tackle while playing safety on the next-to-last play of the Mountaineers spring scrimmage.

BP’s attempt to choke off the gusher at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico appeared to be making some progress, officials said Thursday as dire new government estimates showed the disaster has easily eclipsed the Exxon Valdez as the biggest oil spill in U.S. history. A federal lawsuit that seeks to double or even quadruple the size of the U.S. House argues that citizens in Mississippi and four other states don’t have enough representatives while Wyoming, Rhode Island and a few others get too many. A tip from a motorist led authorities last week to arrest former Montana Secretary of State Brad Johnson for drunken driving, Broadwater County Attorney John Flynn said Thursday. A Washington, D.C.-based Republican group promoting “rational conservatives” in contested Montana Republican legislative primaries has decided to halt its ad campaign, after questions were raised about its financial disclosure. Two political newcomers running as Republicans for the state Public Service Commission have staked out big campaign fundraising leads over their opponents in the June 8 Republican primary election. More drivers are expected to be on the road in Montana this Memorial Day, despite higher gas prices than last year during the big holiday weekend. A Billings Senate race between Republican Roy Brown and Democrat Kendall Van Dyk is on track to shatter campaign spending records, according to finance reports filed Thursday. A judge on Thursday dismissed a cattle industry lawsuit seeking more stringent bison management around Yellowstone National Park, a move applauded by bison advocates who want more land for the animals. The Montana Taxpayers Association is advising agricultural landowners to protest their second-half property tax payments due next week. And executives with a German wind turbine company visited Butte with Gov. Brian Schweitzer to assure residents there they still planned to open a facility, but wouldn’t say when.

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