Thursday: Private School Enrollment, Osweiler’s Choice, Bozeman Blast Settlements

By Beacon Staff

Good morning; on the Beacon today, private school enrollment is down in Flathead County, and several administrators believe the tight economy has finally forced many families to cut tuition expenses. Want to cut down your own Christmas tree? Here’s how. Arizona State quarterback Brock Osweiler has changed his mind about playing college basketball, again. The Montana Highway Patrol says a two-vehicle crash on icy roads near Plains has claimed the life of a 29-year-old Plains woman. And Dave Skinner reflects on the mandate of Montana Republicans.

The Endangered Species Act is a “nonsensical” policy that hurts businesses, property owners and farmers to protect animals and plants that may not be at risk, a panel of Democratic and Republican governors from throughout the West said Wednesday. Idaho highway officials say they have no doubt that four oversized loads of refinery equipment can cut across northern Idaho along a scenic river byway safely and with only a minor inconvenience to the public. American Indians and black farmers will be paid $4.6 billion to address claims of government mistreatment over many decades under landmark legislation President Barack Obama signed Wednesday. As the state’s top political policeman prepares to leave office, two major ethics cases over which he presided have yet to be resolved – against Gov. Brian Schweitzer and, separately, Public Service Commissioner Brad Molnar. Most of the major lawsuits filed against NorthWestern Energy following the 2009 downtown explosion — including one filed by the husband of the only person to die in the blast — have been settled, according to plaintiffs’ attorneys. Leaders of the 2011 Legislature on Wednesday released the committee assignments for the upcoming session.

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