May 7, 2014 9:08 PM
HELENA -- Top news on KXLH for the evening of Wednesday, May 7, 2014:
- MSU Scare: A lockdown at Montana State University in Bozeman on Wednesday was triggered by a report of two men with a gun. Click here for details.
- Graham: Five months after she pled guilty to pushing her husband over a Glacier National Park cliff, Jordan Linn Graham of Kalispell has started serving her federal prison sentence in Alabama. Click here for details.
- Treasurer: Randy McGinnis of Boulder is set to become the new treasurer of Jefferson County, following the resignation of former treasurer Patty O'Neill. Jefferson County Commissioners appointed 47-year old McGinnis to the post, following a month-long selection process.
- Jesus Statue: A large statue of Jesus on Big Mountain near Whitefish is back in the news. The statue was erected in the early 1950s by the Knights of Columbus on U.S. Forest Service land in memory of the 10th Mountain Division soldiers who served in World War II. Two years ago the Freedom From Religion Foundation challenged the permit for the statue claiming it was a violation of constitutional law. FFRF lost its initial appeal when it was rejected by the Flathead National Forest supervisor and then lost again when it filed suit in U.S. District Court. The group has since filed an appeal with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Now, the State of Montana and the American Legion, represented by Liberty Institute, have filed a friend-of-the-court brief supporting the Knights of Columbus and the Forest Service. The groups are asking the Appeals Court to uphold Judge Dana Christensen's ruling that the memorial is constitutional.
- Tourists: Montana's tourism industry enjoyed a record-breaking year in 2013, with about 11 million people visiting the state last year -- a 2.3% increase over 2012. Tourists spent about $3.6 billion dollars last year.
- Tax Revenue: The Montana Department of Revenue is appealing a court ruling on the taxes owed by online companies that book hotel rooms and rental cars in Montana. Click here for details.
- Guard Cuts: U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-MT) and John Walsh (D-MT) are co-sponsoring a bill to create a commission that would examine all proposed cuts to military troops, especially proposed cuts to the National Guard. The President's plan aims to reduce the deficit, but in doing so would cut the number of National Guard personnel to the lowest number since 1948. Critics say that would leave states such as Montana vulnerable, with fewer Guardsmen available to respond to disasters and other state emergencies.