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Patriots cap perfect regular season Page B1

MONTANA LIFE It’s been a Barry interesting year Page C1



▲ High 32 Low 15 ▼ COMPLETE WEATHER/B8

December 30, 2007



2007: The year of frustration KEVIN STERNE is carried out of Norris Hall after a shooting April 16 at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va. Seung-Hui Cho opened fire on the campus, killing 32 people in the deadliest shooting rampage in U.S. history. Sterne survived. AP file photo

By ADAM GELLER AP National Writer A war winds on, but lawmakers are seemingly powerless to do anything about it. The wrenching sorrow of tragedies on a Virginia campus, a Minnesota highway bridge and deep inside a Utah coal mine is compounded by a

question that echoes: Could this have been prevented? Thousands lose their homes in a mortgage and credit crisis that worsened — despite repeated assurances that the worst had passed. Every year has grim headlines. But the story of 2007 was the frustration that wound through so much of See FRUSTRATION on Page A3

JUGGERNAUT wrestling


■ Analysis

Pakistan turmoil deepens Musharraf blamed for upheaval after Bhutto assassination By MATTHEW PENNINGTON The Associated Press

Karen Nichols photos/Daily Inter Lake

JEFF THOMPSON, head Flathead High wrestling coach, takes a breather while wrestling with 2007 state champion Bryce Stacy during a recent practice. The Flathead wrestling team — undefeated in dual meets and tournaments this season — is a favorite to defend its state wrestling title in 2008.

Record-setting Braves tear through opponents By MICHAEL RICHESON The Daily Inter Lake


AT THE END of wrestling practice, coach Thompson talks with team members including Drew Kammerzell, left, Jonah Franchi and Zach Reimnitz.

A Year to Remember

hat could possibly make the state’s most dominant wrestling team cry? Splitting up. Last February marked the culmination of a remarkable season for the Flathead Braves wrestling team. The grapplers had just run away with the state tournament and set three state records. Record 1: Most team points with 347.5 Record 2: Nine of the 15 state championship matches included a Braves wrestler. Record 3: The Braves had 18 wrestlers medal, including three state champions. But February 2007 also marked an end. With Glacier High School set to open in the fall, the team knew that its time as a unified organization was over. Some of those wearing Flathead’s black and orange were headed for Glacier’s blue and green. “There were a lot of tears,” Braves head coach Jeff Thompson said. “It’s such a family sport, and it was hard with all the families. See JUGGERNAUT on Page A3

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — The assassination of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto has pitched Pakistan into a political freefall and raised fears that increasingly bitter divisions in the society are turning the country into another Iraq. Shocked citizens blame the deepening turmoil on President Pervez MUSHARRAF Musharraf and his U.S.-backed crackdown on Islamic extremists. Overwhelmingly poor and more concerned with survival than anti-Western terrorism, most crave stability above all, and many believe things will only get better if Musharraf resigns. “The government of Musharraf has created an Afghanistan and Iraq-like situation in our country,” said Zaheer Ahmad, 47, who works at a private clinic in Multan. “I don’t know who killed Benazir Bhutto. But I do know that it is the result of Musharraf’s wrong and bad policies.” While many Pakistanis want him gone, there is no consensus on who could replace Musharraf — or whether anyone can unify the country’s bickering political factions.

THE SUICIDE attack that killed Bhutto on Thursday has unleashed a maelstrom of anger among her supporters and three days of unrest have left more than 40 dead and tens of millions of dollars in damage. In some cities, security forces are now authorized to shoot rioters on sight. Her killing has also deepened the sense that the rule of law, let alone prospects for democracy after eight years of authoritarian rule under Musharraf, are now in danger. Bhutto was the leader of the biggest secular political party and lionized by the rural poor. Although her strongest support came from her home province of Sindh, she was perhaps unique in Pakistan for having national appeal across ethnic and religious divides, including among the moderate Muslim See ANALYSIS on Page A4

Holiday travel recovering in Midwest after storm CHICAGO (AP) — Air travel in the Midwest was returning to normal Saturday after a storm that blanketed the Great Lakes region with several inches of snow. Only two dozen flights were canceled Saturday morning at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, aviation officials said. Across


town, Midway Airport officials reported no cancellations. Both reported no significant delays. That was in sharp contrast to Friday, when nearly 300 flights were canceled at O’Hare because of the weather and delays averaged 30 to 45 minutes. Delays at Midway Airport averaged 30 min-

utes, with about 25 cancellations. By early afternoon Saturday, the storm had largely blown out to sea after spreading snow across northern New England, with rain elsewhere in the Northeast and the Mid-Atlantic states. Radar showed snow lingering in northern Maine and Canada’s Maritime Provinces.

On Friday, both runways at Milwaukee’s General Mitchell International Airport were closed due to snow for about an hour in the afternoon and at least two hours in the evening, airport spokesman Ryan McAdams said.




© 2007 The Daily Inter Lake

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Braves 1  

It’s been a Barry interesting year Page C1 DELIVERY CALL $1.50 ■ Analysis December 30, 2007 GONZALES By MATTHEW PENNINGTON The Associated Pr...

Braves 1  

It’s been a Barry interesting year Page C1 DELIVERY CALL $1.50 ■ Analysis December 30, 2007 GONZALES By MATTHEW PENNINGTON The Associated Pr...