Tuesday: Finley Point Fire, Brueggeman Resigns, Wolf Summit

By Beacon Staff

Good morning; on the Beacon today, the frigid weather should be giving way to temperatures closer to normal, reaching the 30s and high 20s. Finley Point fire officials say a weekend fire caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage to a house on Flathead Lake. Polson state Sen. John Brueggeman has resigned his seat in the legislature, saying he needs to spend more time on his career after nearly decade in public service. Authorities in Polson have released the names of a weekend stabbing victim and the man suspected in the fatal attack.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and the governors of the three Rocky Mountain states met Monday in Denver to try to figure out how to turn management of wolves over to the states — including the possibility that Congress could specify that the wolf population is fully recovered. A Russian mining giant announced Monday that it was selling its majority ownership stake in two Montana precious metals mines, but the mine operator said the move would not derail its major expansion plans. The Idaho Transportation Department has agreed to hold a hearing on whether to allow an oil company to haul four massive loads of refinery equipment through northern Idaho’s scenic U.S. Highway 12 corridor. Democratic Rep. Kendall Van Dyk edged incumbent Republican Sen. Roy Brown 3,106 votes to 3,102 after a hand recount by Yellowstone County officials Monday. Congress could settle two major class-action lawsuits this week by African-Americans and American Indians who say they were cheated out of royalties or agriculture loans. Montana Public Service Commissioner Brad Molnar, accused in a hit-and-run accident in Laurel last month, denied traffic charges through his attorney on Monday.

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