Wednesday: Predator Stats, Hit-and-Run Sentence, Raise School Age?

By Beacon Staff

Good morning; on the Beacon today, the USDA Wildlife Services bureau recently released statistics that show a huge increase in the number of livestock killed by all of Montana’s major predators, but the report has drawn skeptics. While Northwestern A basketball division has at least two boys teams that appear to be among the state’s elite, the girls are still waiting for their frontrunners to emerge. A man involved in a hit-and-run crash that killed a bicyclist on Highway 83 near Seeley Lake has been sentenced to five years with the Montana Department of Corrections. And Mark Riffey recommends small businesses expand their education.

The U.S. economy grew at a moderate pace last summer, reflecting stronger spending by businesses to replenish stockpiles. Gov. Brian Schweitzer said Tuesday that banning the contested oil company megaload shipments from state highways could hurt efforts to attract businesses to the state. Republican-leaning states will gain at least a half dozen House seats thanks to the 2010 census, which found the nation’s population growing more slowly than in past decades but still shifting to the South and West. Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau told the governor in a meeting Tuesday that she will ask the 2011 Legislature to increase the compulsory attendance age from 16 to 18 years of age. Only the most uncontroversial and cost-free ideas appear to have a chance of passage during the final days of congressional land policy legislation, and that doesn’t include most Montana measures. A federal judge has given preliminary approval to a $3.4 billion settlement for Native Americans who say the government mismanaged their land royalties, paving the way to begin a search for hundreds of thousands of potential beneficiaries. Environmentalists said Tuesday they intend to sue the Obama administration to force it to restore gray wolves across the lower 48 states — even as Republicans in Congress sought unsuccessfully to strip the animals of protection. On Tuesday, airplane parts manufacturer Summit Aeronautics celebrated its first official day as Boeing Helena, one of now 11 sites worldwide that make up the Fortune 500 company’s fabrication division.

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