Monday: Cities & Legislature, Ponzi Scheme, Pot ‘Mutiny’

By Beacon Staff

Good morning; on the Beacon today, city officials from Whitefish, Kalispell and Columbia Falls met with Flathead legislators last week to stake out their positions in advance of the 2011 session on a host of issues, from property taxes to the state public defender program. Montana legislators are introducing several new measures for the upcoming session with the intent of tightening enforcement and increasing punishment for drunken drivers. But for one freshman Flathead legislator, the cause hits closer to home. Local businessman Terry Kramer announced his candidacy for county commission at a recent Pachyderm Club meeting, which he described as a friendly environment to do so since he is running as a Republican for the District 3 seat. A Kalispell man pleaded guilty to bilking Flathead area investors of nearly $200,000 through felony embezzlement and securities fraud by Ponzi scheme on Dec. 16 in District Court. A 22-year-old Evergreen man who killed a woman before shooting himself in the face will be re-sentenced after the state Supreme Court ruled the original term was not in line with a plea deal signed with prosecutors. The holidays offer a chance to catch up with old friends, and fans of the Flathead music scene are going to have the opportunity to reunite with Bettreena “Betty” Jaeger and Josh Harvey once again.

Potential jurors staged a “mutiny” during a felony drug case, a Missoula County prosecutor says, and authorities worry the result will be viewed as a game-changer when it comes to future attempts at prosecuting drug cases in Montana. Quarterback Gary Wagner had an 83-yard touchdown run, Tom Yaremko kicked a 22-yard field goal midway through the fourth quarter and Carroll College beat Sioux Falls 10-7 on Saturday in the NAIA championship game, snapping the Cougars’ winning streak at 42 games. When the U.S. Census Bureau releases its first 2010 population figures on Tuesday, Montana will once again miss a chance to recover its second congressional seat. The Cascade County Zoning Board of Adjustment has approved a special-use permit to Invenergy to build a 16-turbine wind farm about 20 miles southeast of Great Falls. The Montana Supreme Court is considering restrictions to public access of certain information now available throughout the court system, including a proposal to seal all documents filed in family law cases except for final orders.

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