Special for the Missoulian Thurs., April 6, 2000

Musicians to perform at district festival

High school musicians from throughout western Montana will take part in the District II Music Festival in Missoula on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Bands, choirs and orchestras from 25 schools will be involved in the performances and independent adjudication of their musical skills.

The festival takes place at Sentinel, Hellgate and Big Sky high schools Thursday and Friday.

Bands, orchestras and choirs will perform prepared music for two adjudicators at each site. Each group is allowed 20 to 40 minutes to perform two or three selections followed by sight reading.

On Saturday, solos and small ensembles (16 or smaller) will be judged at Hellgate High School. Each group is allowed 10 minutes to perform.

Superior-rated solos and small ensembles are eligible to participate in the state solo and ensemble festival scheduled for May 7-8 at the University of Montana.

Performances at the festival are open to the public except for the large-ensemble sight reading.

Missoulian

Assault trial set for Lake County man

POLSON - Darryl Wayne Racine, 22, faces a second felony charge for assault in Lake County District Court in less than a year.

Racine was sentenced May 27, 1999, to 10 years in prison, with five years suspended, for beating an acquaintance with a heavy glass candleholder during an all-night party in Ronan. Racine pleaded guilty to felony assault and criminal endangerment in that case.

But just a week before sentencing, he got into a fight in the Lake County Jail with a another prisoner.

He allegedly attacked Lonnie Muth after a disagreement over a board game the two men were playing. He threatened Muth with a pencil and then hit him with a broom handle, drawing blood, according to allegations in court documents.

Racine has pleaded innocent. His court-appointed attorney, Rebecca Dupuis, said Wednesday that Racine will use the defense of justifiable use of force. District Judge C.B. McNeil set a jury trial for June 8 in Polson.

Racine remains in the Lake County jail pending trial.

John Stromnes, Missoulian

Co-ops say they'll bid on MPC properties

HELENA - Montana's rural electric cooperatives decided Wednesday they want to bid for some or all of Montana Power energy properties that are up for sale.

Twenty of the 26 co-ops had representatives at the meeting in Great Falls, and they unanimously voted to proceed with a bid, according to Dave Wheelihan, general manager of the Montana Electric Cooperatives' Association. They had not decided whether to bid on all or some properties, he said.

"They think it's an opportunity," Wheelihan said.

Wheelihan said the co-op representatives talked about what kind of organization they should form to represent all of the cooperatives in bidding for the Montana Power properties and which properties they should submit offers for.

If the co-ops are successful, Wheelihan said they would offer several advantages.

"We would keep the assets in Montana, try to retain as many employees as possible, try to keep the local taxing jurisdiction whole and try to keep rates for poles and wires (transmission) stable," Wheelihan said.

Missoulian State Bureau

Rival calls Burns vote a ploy

HELENA (AP) - Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Brian Schweitzer said a vote by Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont., on Wednesday is a reversal of his support for pharmaceutical companies over elderly citizens.

He said Burns' support for an amendment that would require the Senate to add a prescription medicine benefit to the Medicare program before it can consider any tax cuts comes less than two weeks after he opposed establishing a fund to help cover the cost of prescriptions for senior citizens.

Schweitzer, who has made the high cost of prescriptions for the elderly a main theme of his campaign, said Burns has "made a miraculous election-year conversion and all of a sudden is for providing prescription drug coverage to seniors struggling with the cost of their medication."

Matt Raymond, press secretary for Burns, said Wednesday's vote represented no reversal for the two-term lawmaker. He said he was not aware of any previous instance where Burns voted against adding prescriptions to Medicare coverage.

Disney executive to speak

The chief of global branding for Walt Disney Co. will make several presentations at the University of Montana's business school Thursday.

Dexter Fodor will talk to students and others interested about the corporate image and branding in such areas as product sales in foreign markets, advertising campaigns, and licensing and retail partners.

He will speak from 9:40 to 11 a.m., and again from 12:40 to 2 p.m. in Room 106 of the Gallagher Business Building on the UM campus.

Fodor is a former creative director of the Hal Riney Advertising Agency in San Francisco, and will offer strategic advice to students seeking careers in advertising, marketing and management.

Missoulian

Question the candidates

HELENA - With the June 6 primary election two months away, the Lee Newspapers of Montana are asking readers to come up with some questions to ask the candidates for governor.

We're asking you to submit questions, and we'll ask them of the three Democratic and two Republican candidates for governor who face primary elections. The Democratic candidates for governor are Secretary of State Mike Cooney, Attorney General Joe Mazurek and state Auditor Mark O'Keefe. The Republicans seeking the governor's office are Lt. Gov. Judy Martz and law professor Rob Natelson.

Here's how it will work: You may mail, fax or e-mail a question to us that all candidates can answer, and we'll forward it to all five candidates and publish their answers.

We need your name, address and telephone number to verify that you asked the question. We'll publish only your name and what town you're from.

You may mail the question to us at: Ask the Candidates, c/o Lee Newspapers State Bureau, P.O. Box 1676, Helena, MT 59624.

You may fax the question to (406) 443-0034, or send e-mail to csjohnson@uswest.net.

Missoulian State Bureau

U.S. Chamber backs Rehberg

BILLINGS (AP) - The U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday announced its endorsement of Republican Dennis Rehberg in the race for Montana's single U.S. House seat.

In a letter to Rehberg, Chamber President Thomas Donohue praised the candidate's support of pro-business issues.

"We believe that your election to the U.S. House of Representatives will help produce sustained economic growth and promote America's competitiveness in world markets," he wrote.

Rehberg, a Billings rancher and former lieutenant governor, is running against Democrat Nancy Keenan, state superintendent of public instruction.

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