Wednesday: Far West Returns, Rehberg Lawsuit, Crash Investigation

By Beacon Staff

Good morning; on the Beacon today, in June, Art Burch began offering charters and tours on the Far West, a boat that has been a fixture on Flathead Lake since 1971. For the first time ever, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s Great Elk Tour is coming to the Flathead Valley, with a two-day event scheduled on July 10-11 at Sportsman and Ski Haus in Kalispell. Authorities say a 61-year-old Idaho woman was killed by a falling tree as she hiked with a friend west of Libby over the weekend. And Mark Riffey holds forth on the difference between making sales and making new customers.

U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg on Tuesday defended his company’s recent lawsuit against the city of Billings over the way firefighters dealt with a 2008 blaze that damaged a subdivision project developed by the company. The chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce says he opposes a plan to build a pipeline to ship crude oil from Canada to the U.S. An insurer says claims of damage from last week’s hail storm in Bozeman could reach up to $60 million. More than 27,000 abandoned oil and gas wells lurk in the hard rock beneath the Gulf of Mexico, an environmental minefield that has been ignored for decades. No one — not industry, not government — is checking to see if they are leaking, an Associated Press investigation shows. A federal investigator has finished an on-scene inspection of a plane crash that killed four people near Moiese and expects to publish a preliminary report this week. Sen. Max Baucus told a group of Ravalli County residents Tuesday that erasing federal government deficits would likely be done by balancing spending reductions with tax raises. Authorities say hope is fading that a 21-year-old Utah man will be found alive two days after he was reported missing during a canoe trip on the Missouri River.