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Monday: Tester Jobs Workshop, Barkus Missed Meetings, Dem Snoop Fired

By Beacon Staff

Good morning; on the Beacon today, work on the southern segment of the U.S. Highway 93 alternate route, also known as the Kalispell bypass, is on pace to be completed by late fall, despite delays from rainy weather in May and June on some sections. The strategy of Sen. Jon Tester’s small business workshop at Flathead Valley Community College Friday was to get entrepreneurs – and aspiring entrepreneurs – fired up, then explain how and where to channel that optimism. State Sen. Greg Barkus has missed almost a year’s worth of committee assignments ever since last summer’s boat crash that landed U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg in the hospital. But he says he’ll be making the meetings the rest of the year. Sanders County officials say a 71-year-old man has died in a logging accident near Hot Springs.

The Montana Democratic Party has announced the firing of a regional party field staffer after the person apparently posed as a Republican and showed up at a July 2 candidates’ discussion group at GOP headquarters in Great Falls. President Barack Obama’s party could lose its House majority in this fall’s elections, his spokesman said Sunday, perhaps trying to jolt Democratic voters with the specter of GOP lawmakers rolling back White House policies. A Carroll College professor and his class are mapping Montana’s West Nile hot spots. NorthWestern Energy, the state’s largest electric utility, says its best option to fill future power needs of its 330,000 Montana customers is to build or buy a gas-fired power plant — and move away from contracts with its major supplier, PPL Montana, which owns the former Montana Power Co. plants. A Canadian company is on the verge of launching construction of the 214-mile Montana Alberta Transmission Line that’s been six years in the making, according to company officials.

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