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Weekend: Fugitive Trail Cold, Oak Ridge Boys, Poaching Case Dropped

By Beacon Staff

Good morning; on the Beacon today, the trail has gone cold in the search for an escaped Arizona inmate and his suspected accomplice, with baffled federal authorities saying they have no idea where the couple is and warning travelers stopping at campgrounds and truck stops to be alert. The Oak Ridge Boys will roll into Kalispell on Aug. 17 for a concert at the Northwest Montana Fair, and they’ll be bringing plenty of soul. A 55-year-old Kalispell woman has pleaded guilty to embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from a therapeutic boarding school. A 48-year-old man convicted of shooting his neighbor to death in Evergreen northeast of Kalispell was sentenced Thursday to 110 years in prison. Warren Miller recalls his first tuxedo. And Mick Holien tears himself away from Flathead Lake to look ahead to the Griz season on the way.

A jury has cleared U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg’s state director, Randy Vogel, of three poaching charges alleging that he wrongfully shot a spike elk, ending a case punctuated by a missing rifle and abuzz with political intrigue. The economy is looking bleaker as new applications for jobless benefits rose last week to the highest level in almost six months. An interim legislative subcommittee tentatively agreed Thursday on some proposals to restrict Montana’s fast-growing medical marijuana industry. Authorities in the Helena area received a fake report of an armed kidnapping late Wednesday night and are now set to receive reimbursement for the costs incurred while searching for two non-existent gunmen. Montana’s top wildlife official said Thursday if the state can’t settle a lawsuit that has derailed this year’s fall wolf hunt, it will press for authority to kill certain wolves to control their population. Federal officials want to move forward with oil and gas leases on more than 160,0000 acres in Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota that have been held up over climate change concerns. Montana-Dakota Utilities on Thursday filed to increase its electric rates by an average of 13 percent for its Montana customers in Eastern Montana, citing the increased costs of renewable power, such as wind power.

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