KALISPELL - Officials at Whitefish Mountain Resort think an overzealous high-five might have been what separated a hand from a nearly 60-year-old statue of Jesus last month.
The hand was reportedly knocked off in early February, on the same day the Flathead National Forest announced it would reauthorize a special use permit for the Knights of Columbus to keep the statue on Big Mountain. A Wisconsin-based group of atheists and agnostics has filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the reauthorization.
The hand was turned in to the resort's lost-and-found and resort officials returned it to the Knights of Columbus, who plan to reattach it this summer.
Resort spokeswoman Riley Polumbus said it's popular for skiers to give the Jesus statue a high five.