Tuesday: Miss Montana, Wolf Quota, Interior Dept. Memos

By Beacon Staff

Good morning; on the Beacon today, when Kacie West, the newly crowned Miss Montana 2010 and a former Kalispell resident, competes in the Miss America competition in Las Vegas this January, she will find the odds stacked against her. Lido’s got a pic of the July 4 fireworks display over Whitefish Lake. While a 100-year anniversary is a milestone of note, Polson’s origins are a bitter memory for some residents. Montana’s congressional delegation is pushing the Environmental Protection Agency for assurances it will not pull out of the asbestos-contaminated town of Libby before its cleanup work is complete. Despite a common goal of securing permanent environmental protection for the North Fork of the Flathead River, Montana’s governor and senators don’t appear to be on the same page.

The state Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department will recommend a quota of 186 wolves in this year’s hunt. A Billings subdivision developed by Montana Republican Rep. Denny Rehberg and managed by his wife, Jan, has filed a lawsuit against the city of Billings and the Billings Fire Department. BP’s costs for the disastrous Gulf of Mexico oil spill climbed nearly half a billion dollars in the past week, raising the oil giant’s tab to just over $3 billion for work on cleaning and capping the gusher and payouts to individuals, businesses and governments. State agencies are taking public comment on a proposal to allow a company to salvage old logs submerged in Flathead Lake. With city funding for the library being reduced, and Lake County’s contribution having remained stagnant since 1992, voters in Polson and surrounding areas are being asked to create the North Lake County Public Library District. Nine men face deportation to Mexico and a 10th awaits federal immigration charges after a law-enforcement sweep of southwestern Montana resulted in the arrests of people associated with a dangerous street gang. John S. Adams has the best coverage to date of the Interior Department memos “brainstorming” whether to establish more national monument land in central Montana. Montana ranks seventh in the nation for the lowest percentage of obese adults, a new study shows.

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