Good morning, Beacon readers, and welcome to a bright, crisp morning in the Flathead Valley. The skies are blue and the news is, well, new. You’ll find a sampling of today’s highlights in this edition of Beacon & Eggs, courtesy of Tristan.

Whitefish City Hall Design in Flux

Whitefish City Hall Design in Flux

Plans for the new downtown Whitefish City Hall and parking structure have been a long time coming as city officials work to hammer out the final design schematic. It’s a big project with a lot at stake for the downtown core.

But recent backtracking has flustered some, including the architect, while rising cost estimates have alarmed others.

Kalispell Man Arrested After Online Threats to Schools

Local law enforcement and agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Monday arrested a local man suspected of making online threats of violence against schools.

According to Kalispell Police Chief Roger Nasset, the Kalispell Police Department received information at about 11 p.m. on Feb. 15  about “generic threats of violent” directed towards schools via social media.

A 28-year-old Kalispell resident was suspected, though the information posted did not mention specific schools, times, or locations. Schools were notified about the threats as a safety precaution, Nasset said.

Flathead Freshman Captures Championship on the Mat

Flathead Freshman Captures Championship on the Mat

A new champion Flathead Brave has emerged on the mat.

Trae Vasquez capped his brilliant freshman season with a victory in the championship round of the Class AA state wrestling tournament in Billings last weekend. Vasquez won by decision, 8-7, over Timmy Garcia of Billings Skyview in the 113-pound division. Garcia was last year’s champion in the 106-pound division.

The Fate of Federal Lands

The Fate of Federal Lands

As hundreds rally in Helena to oppose the transfer of federal lands to the state, the Beacon revisits its in-depth coverage of the issue, with analysis of the consequences if western states were to wrest control of federal lands from the government.

Bears Emerging from Hibernation

Bears Emerging from Hibernation

Last week, reports that bears are waking up from hibernation earlier in and around Yellowstone National Park reminded us how warm weather affects our local wildlife.

On Monday, Glacier National Park plow crews and avalanche forecasters spotted a sow grizzly and her two cubs on the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

Here’s their report:

Our plowing crew and avalanche forecasters were fortunate to see a sow grizzly bear and her two cubs on the Going-to-the-Sun Road yesterday. This picture was taken from a very safe distance of over 100 yards, but we cropped the photo in a bit so you could see more detail. How many of you have seen a bear in Glacier? Seeing a bear in Glacier is a highlight for many, but if bears come into contact with people they can become comfortable and habituated with humans. This creates safety problems for both bears and humans. A bear that relies on humans for food, or feels comfortable hanging around humans, may need to be removed from the ecosystem. What might that mean for the visitor experience and the ecosystem itself if a bear is removed?

Please read our bear safety information on our website for addition information: http://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/bears.htm From that page, we encourage you to read more about safely visiting Glacier.