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FRIDAY, MARCH 9, 2007 ■ HELENA, MONTANA ■ VOL 63, NO. 80 ■ SEVENTY-FIVE CENTS

INSIDE TODAY
Mercer to meet with Senate panel
Montana U.S. Attorney will answer agreed to let five of his top
aides involved in the firings
talk with committee mem-
ing on whether the U.S.
attorneys were fired for
political reasons. Two of
questions about Justice Dept. firings bers, the Associated Press
reported.
the dismissed U.S. attor-
neys said Mercer told them
Senate Judiciary Commit- they were not fired for per-
By NOELLE STRAUB Department officials who will be tee Democrats wanted Mer- formance problems.
IR Washington Bureau interviewed by the Senate Judicia- cer and other Justice Depart- Committee Chairman
ry Committee about the firings of ment officials to talk volun- Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., had
WASHINGTON — Montana U.S. eight U.S. attorneys. tarily, but they also threat- the subpoenas listed as an
Attorney William Mercer, who also After meeting with Judiciary Mercer
ened to subpoena them. item on the agenda for a
is acting associate attorney general, Committee senators Thursday, U.S. Mercer’s name surfaced earlier
is expected to be among top Justice Attorney General Alberto Gonzales this week in a congressional hear- More MERCER, page 10A
Life
Turning your meals upside

Tester schedules Sat.


down — say, having roast chick-
en for breakfast and oatmeal
for dinner— is the quirky
premise of The Reverse Diet.
LIFE quizzed its author, Tricia

tour of Fort Harrison


Cunningham, and health and
culture experts about the prac-
ticality of the diet and about the
larger meanings we attach to
breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

COMING SATURDAY Local VA


features
facility gets Rise &
Bath and Home Spa
high marks
Trends
from vets shine!
By MARTIN J. KIDSTON Grizzly bears
IR Staff Writer

FORT HARRISON — Sen. Jon


stirring in park
Tester will visit the regional VA
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL
Special section hospital in Helena on Saturday, and
take his findings back to Washing- PARK, Wyo. (AP) — Grizzly
Home Gallery: IR’s ton, where a political firestorm has bears have begun emerging
biweekly real-estate guide erupted over conditions revealed at from their dens and rangers say
Walter Reed Hospital. it’s a good idea for visitors to
keep their eyes and ears open.
COMING SUNDAY Like Rep. Denny Rehberg, who
also plans to Biologists reported seeing
tour the Fort grizzly tracks as early as Feb.
Harrison Rehberg in 28. They confirmed an aerial
Regional sighting of a grizzly in the Indi-
Medical Cen-
town for tour an Creek
ter next week, next week area on
Tester hopes Tuesday. Last year,
That’s
to use Mon-
tana’s largest about the bears began
VA hospital same
time as
emerging in
as an example
of what other years Yellowstone
past. Last
VA centers
can do to year, on March
bears
improve qual-
began
10. In 2005,
ity of care.
“I have emerging
in Yellow-
bears began
serious ques-
tions about
Rehberg stone on emerging
March 10.
the VA sys-
tem,” Tester U.S. Rep Denny In 2005, March 7.
said Thurs- Rehberg will visit bears
day. “We Fort Harrison next began emerging March 7.
promise good week. Park spokesman Al Nash said
1A health care to Rehberg has Eliza Wiley IR Staff Photographer
people in Yellowstone should be
cautious.
Meet two HHS seniors who all folks who called the situation Zac Kaulfield, with Swank Construction, finishes up a storage space in the
put their lives at Walter Reed ‘‘The challenge with bears and
have put together a fundraiser new 20,000-square-foot clinical care facility at Fort Harrison’s VA Hospital. The
on the line, visitors is that early activity
for the Carroll College Parish appalling and new space is slated for completion at the end of April with tours being given to
but year after expressed disap- tends to be lower elevation, and
Nursing Program, which travels Senator Jon Tester this Saturday followed by Rep. Denny Rehberg next Friday. lower elevation can be around
to Swaziland every two years to year, too pointment with
many of our roadways or developed areas,’’
care for people with AIDS. Army officials, who he said.
INDEPENDENT RECORD
vets have to
beg for it.”
claimed they were
unaware of the
Tester said hospital’s condi-
Meeting with VA secretary ‘‘You are talking about ani-
mals that have been hibernating.

Inside veterans
across Mon-
tana have
tions.
Rehberg said productive, Tester says
You know how you wake up
after a deep sleep — I don’t
know that I’d say grumpy, but
City/Obituaries 1C/2C the visit will help what I have heard from our bear
called Fort
him gain insight By NOELLE STRAUB istration’s handling of veterans’ experts is that it is not quite like
Classified 4C Harrison a
into how Congress IR Washington Bureau health benefits at a press confer- an animal waking up completely
good example
Comics/TV/Puzzles 6B/5B of how a VA can best address ence in early February, met with alert.’’
Montana 10A the problem. WASHINGTON — Sen. Jon Nicholson in his office and then He said bears eventually
hospital
Tester, who has sharply criticized lunched with him. begin looking for food. This time
Movies 3B should work.
the Bush administration’s handling The Montana Democrat said he of year, that often means eating
However, he expressed concern
Markets 8A with a growing backlog of patients
of veterans’ issues, met with Veter- spoke to Nicholson mostly about the carcasses of animals that
IR Insider 2A ans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson access issues. Once veterans enter didn’t survive the winter.
waiting for service at VA hospitals,
on Thursday and pledged to work the system they get great health ‘‘It would probably be good
Opinion 4A including those in Montana.
with him to ease veterans’ entry into care, Tester said, but getting in the advice for those out in the woods
“We made a promise to all these
Sports 1B the VA health system. this time of year to be especially
Legislature 6A Tester and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I- cautious if they happen upon a
More TESTER, page 10A More MEETING, page 10A
Vt., who had both blasted the admin- carcass,’’ he said.
http://www.helenair.com

Today
Pleasant with
periods of
MDC
Develop-
mental Dis-
Community airs fears at MDC meeting
sunshine
abilities By MARGA LINCOLN Nearly two-thirds of the Layne Forbes, regarding vised.
51 30 Program IR Staff Writer crowd of about 50 in atten- MDC’s open campus. “It’s a treatment facility,
Director dance were MDC employ- Boulder resident Mark not a corrections facility,”
Precipitation: 0% Air quality:
Complete weather 2A 447 - 1644
Jeff Sturm BOULDER — Public ees. Kelly asked why there is replied Jeff Sturm, Devel-
fielded safety questions were the A number of questions no gate at MDC and said opmental Disabilities Pro-
questions central issue at a Montana regarded the change in that young children are gram director.
from Boul- Developmental Center clientele at MDC over the drawn to biking down the MDC provides treat-
der resi- public meeting Wednesday years, concerns apparently paved streets of the MDC ment, so clients can return
dents night. spurred by some recent campus. to their community, he
Wednesday Some who attended said media coverage. Kathleen Zeeck, MDC said.
night. they got their questions “Why are there no signs superintendent, cautioned “It (a fence) will send a
answered. to keep people out?” ques- that children should not be
Others said they did not. tioned high school student on MDC grounds unsuper- More MDC, page 10A