Laramie, WY – Lance Corporal Kyle Burns from Laramie will be buried at Ft. Logan National Cemetary in Denver. A memorial was held for Burns Thursday and several hundred people packed a gymnasium on the University of Wyoming to celebrate his life. Burns was killed in Iraq on Veteran's Day. He was 20 years old and is the 10th Wyoming member of the Armed Forces to die in combat since 2001.
Cheyenne, WY – A livestock marketing spokesman says the meat industry is in limbo while testing is done on the possible second mad cow disease case in the US. After the first mad cow case 11 months ago, Japan and more than three dozen other countries placed restrictions on US beef, hurting export sales and the farm economy. State agriculture officials say the animal in question did not come from Wyoming. Officials in five other states have said the same thing.
Lander, WY – Campbell County rancher Justin Edwards currently is facing the prospect of a quarantine on his cattle herd until August of 2005. The quarantine was put in place when brucellosis was supposedly found in Edwards' herd. But the state believes there were mistake made in the lab and that's why the two cows tested positive. And State Veterinarian Dwayne Oldham this week sent a letter asking the federal government to release the quarantine early. The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is agency that will decide whether to release the herd is.
Laramie, Wy – Legislators will get three proposed pieces of legislation that supporters think will have a dramatic impact on the numbers of traffic fatalities in the state. The Governors Council on Impaired Driving is once again supporting Graduated Drivers Licenses for teens and two D-U-I related laws. Spokesperson Lori Pozarik says one enhances penalties for those convicted of driving drunk while a child is in the vehicle. Pozarik says they also want mandatory substance abuse evaluation and treatment for D-U-I offenders.
casper, wy – A decision should come soon about whether the latest challenge to Wyoming's school funding plan will be heard in court. Deputy Attorney General Mike O'Donnell told the legislatures joint education committee that the issue is over jurisdiction. The state of Wyoming wants the Supreme Court to intervene while the challengers are pursuing the case in state District Court. Since the district court denied the state's motion to dismiss the case, O'Donnell says they are now awaiting word from the Supreme Court.
Lander, Wy – There has yet to be any testing of elk and bison to determine if either is the original source of Teton County's recent brucellosis cases in cattle. One cow tested positive for the disease this summer and now four animals from a neighboring herd also have it.
Laramie, Wy – Fremont County had Wyoming's highest unemployment rate in August -- four-point-five percent. That's according to figures released this week from the Wyoming Department of Employment. Although Fremont County's unemployment was low, it was well ahead of the rest of the state. No other county had a rate above three-point-nine percent, and the statewide average was three-point-seven percent. Johnson County had the lowest unemployment rate, just one percent.
Laramie, Wy – While the Department of Education contends they did nothing wrong, Governor Dave Freudenthal says he agrees with the State Auditors conclusion that the Department both broke the law and used funds inappropriately. At issue is over the department of Educations failure to get competitive bids for a leased space in Riverton. The Governor also is upset that 600-thousand dollars of special education funds were spent on a remodeling in Laramie and at the Riverton site.
Laramie, Wy – First Lady Nancy Freudenthal is trying to get adults to understand that alcohol is harming Wyoming's youth. She has joined other state officials in kicking off a program to make people aware that too many Wyoming young people are drinking alcohol. The first lady says research shows it keeps their brains from developing fully. Freudenthal gets frustrated with those who downplay the issue. A billboard and overall advertising campaign will be used to address the issue of underage drinking in the state.
Laramie, Wy – A legislative sub-committee has forwarded a piece of legislation that could address a growing problem in hospitals. In 2003, Wyoming hospitals lost over 66 million dollars by providing charity and trauma care that was not paid. A study by the Health care commission has looked at ways of trying to reimburse hospitals for trauma and catastrophic care that exceeds a certain amount. A variety of other payment solutions are being studied.
Laramie, Wy – New Research suggests that Coal Bed Methane could be a renewable resource that could be around for hundreds of years. Denver based Luca Technologies is conducting the research and company CEO Robert Pfeiffer says it appears bacteria in coal seems is what generates the gas. But Pfeifer says they way producers currently get the gas could harm the reability for the gas to regenerate. He says most of the testing has been in the lab.
Laramie, Wy – The federal Surface Transportation Board has denied a request to abandon a railway spur in Carbon County. The Wyoming and Colorado Railroad Company had filed a request with the Surface Transportation Board to abandon the 24-mile line, which long provided the main means of transporting lumber produced at the Saratoga sawmill. The sawmill was closed in January 2003, but its new owners say they intend to reopen it if the railway is working. The state protested the abandonment petition on behalf of the sawmill.
Laramie, Wy – State Auditor, Max Maxfield, says an investigation shows the Department of Education violated Wyoming statutes. Maxfield says this happened when the Department of Ed entered into an invalid contract with the Riverton school district and bought several things without taking bids. He says this is appropriate if the purchase is for less than 75-hundred dollars, but the department made one purchase of an item that cost $15,000, but paid for it in three invoices of $5,000 that were sent out in one day.
Laramie, WY – The first grey wolves were re-introduced to Yellowstone National Park almost ten years ago. The controversial event means different things to different people. To some, the return of the grey wolf does nothing but pose a direct threat to livestock operations and big game herds. For others, it's a remarkable conservation success story. Nez Perce Tribal member Levi Holt says wolf restoration is an historical event for the Nez Perce because of what the animals means to his people.
Cheyenne, WY – A legislative committee has resurrected a bill that would change the way natural gas is valued for taxation. The measure was vetoed by Governor Freudenthal in 2003. The Governor said the measure expanded a tax deduction for companies that both produce and process natural gas. But supporters said it was designed to end litigation involving the state, counties and natural gas producers. The Joint Revenue Committee wants to take another look at the measure following testimony by the state's Revenue Department Director about problems with valuation.
Cheyenne, Wyoming – The Wyoming Supreme Court has a new justice. E. James Burke, a longtime Cheyenne attorney and judge, has been appointed to the state's highest court. Governor Freudenthal appointed Burke to replace Justice Larry Lehman who is retiring after ten years due to health concerns. Burke, who is 55, called it a "tremendous honor and challenge."
Laramie, Wy – The University of Wyoming and seven Community Colleges are looking at developing better programs for dealing with underage drinking and excessive alcohol use. U-W's Aware program received a grant to develop the program. AWARE coordinator Eric Alexander says the best prevention programs actually focus on moderation. But he says there still needs to be an enforcement angle. The Wind River Tribal College will also participate. Alexander says the grant runs for about a year, then it is up to the individual colleges to develop their programs further.
Laramie, Wy – A Wyoming Marine Died Last Week In Iraq. Lance Cpl. Kyle W. Burns, 20, died Thursday in al-Anbar province, which includes the city of Fallujah, the U.S. Department of Defense announced Saturday. Burns, the 10th soldier or Marine with Wyoming ties to die since 2001, was among four Marines based in Camp Pendleton, Calif., who died recently. Burns was assigned to the 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, which is part of the 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force.
Laramie, Wyoming – A judge in El Paso, Texas, today (Monday) denied bail for a Wyoming college student accused of planning to fight with and supply a Somalian terrorist group. Nineteen-year-old Mark Robert Walker of Rochester, New York, is charged with attempting or conspiring to contribute goods or services to a specially designated global terrorist organization. Walker, who attended Wyoming Technical Institute in Laramie, is accused of planning to fight with and supply night vision goggles and bulletproof vests to a terrorist group.
Topic: The University of Wyoming and seven Community Colleges are looking at developing better programs for dealing with underage drinking and excessive alcohol use; Guest: Eric Alexander, AWARE coordinator.
Topic: Renny Mackay reports on the campaign finance reporting.
Topic: Renny Mackay speaks with Collin Simpson about the passage of the constitutional amendment C.
Cody, WY – The medical errors review panel voters approved by supporting Amendment C will take form over the next two months. Joint Judiciary Committee Co-chairman Colin Simpson says it could be smilar to a panel that existed in the 1980's to weed out frivolous malpactice cases. Simpson says he definitely wants to stay away from running a mini-trial with that panel. The old panel had two doctors, two lawyers and a lay person deciding the cases. Simpson says he'd like to hear from those that were on the panel or those that had worked with the panel to gather their opinions.
Lander, WY – An interim legislative committee has amended a split-estate bill by giving stronger standing to landowners who don't have title to the mineral rights below their land. The Joint Judiciary Committee took the action Friday in Lander despite warnings from members of another legislative committee not to make changes to the delicately crafted bill. Under the measure, oil and gas comapnies would have to notify surface owners of what they're going to do on the land and when they're going to to do it. There are no such legal requirements in Wyoming to do that at present.
Laramie, WY – The University of Wyoming made two critical turnovers early and never made a game of it afer that as Utah hammered the Cowboys 45 to 28. Wyoming scored two douchdowns with under a minute to play to make the score appear respectable, but the Utes took it to the Pokes early. Wyoming defensive end Aaron Robbins says his team got into a hole and never got out. He says Utah is easily the best team the Cowboys have faced all year. But he's turned his attention toward New Mexico, knowing that a win guarantees the Cowboys a bowl game.
Riverton, Wy – The state legislature is again trying to help ranchers that have oil or gas under the land, but do not own the rights to it. But following a legislative committee meeting, the bill may have lost some support. Lawmakers voted down a plan to offer protections to land owners last session. Since then a group of representatives from the oil and gas industry, government and land owners met to come up with an alternative. There was some consensus-- but after changes by the legislature's judiciary committee support waned.
Riverton, Wy – Northern Arapaho officials believe an agreement is near with the Interior Department on issuing a high-stakes gambling license for a new tribal casino. The Tribe is building a new casino near Riverton. The Select Committee on Tribal Relations received a briefing on the casino this week. Consultant Mark Howell says he believes agreement is near with the Secretary of the Interior on the issuance of the federal permission for gambling at the site.
Cheyenne, WY – Testing has confirmed a second brucellosis-infected cattle herd in Teton County. It appears this infection spread from one cattle herd to another. This summer a single cow in Teton County was discovered with brucellosis. Now at least two and possibly four cows from a neighboring herd have tested positive. This is the fourth Wyoming cattle herd where brucellosis has been found in the last year. Oldham says testing shows the type of brucellosis in the second herd matches what was found in the case this summer.