Jackson, WY – There could be another brucellosis case in Teton County. A single cow was discovered with the disease there this summer and officials recently started testing neighboring cattle herds. That testing, while preliminary, found two more cows that appeared to have brucellosis. The animals were slaughtered to conduct more definitive testing, which should be complete in a couple weeks. Jim Logan, the now-former State Veterinarian who is still doing brucellosis work for the state, says this is obviously not the type of news they want to hear.
Cheyenne, WY – The state School Facilities Commission will stay out of a local fight on where to build a new school in Lincoln County's Star Valley. The local school district has decided to locate a new elementary school in the town of Etna. But a group of Alpine residents has argued against the decision, saying explosive growth in their end of the valley makes Alpine the ideal location for the school. The school board has countered that Etna makes the most sense because it is centrally located.
Casper, Wy – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can now operate the Martin's Cove Historical Site for tourism, education and religious observances for the next 25 years. State Bureau of Land Management director Bob Bennett signed lease papers yesterday (Tuesday) in Cheyenne covering 933 acres of public lands surrounding the site in central Wyoming. The actual area considered to be Martin's Cove is 200 acres. The signing culminated years of negotiations among the church, Congress and the federal government.
Cheyenne, WY – The price to build the state's new medium-security prison has gone up by about $15 million. Earlier estimates showed a $70 million price-tag. That is now about $84.4 million. Wyoming Department of Corrections Director Bob Lampert says the cost for the prison shouldn't go any higher. Lampert's agency will recommend either Torrington, Rawlins, or Riverton as a site for the facility, with the Legislature making the final decision.
Laramie, Wy – The Director of Wyoming's A-F-L C-I-O does not have the same warm feeling about constitutional amendment C shared by others. The Amendment would allow the legislature to set up a Medical Review panel that could weed out frivolous cases. While it is getting support from newspapers and some legislators as a way to address a part of the problem surrounding high medical malpractice rates, Kim Floyd of the AFL-CIO thinks it is too risky, because the panel could be stacked full of medical people.
Gillette, WY – An agreement for a Wal-Mart Supercenter was approved last night the Gillette Planning Commission. Wal-Mart first approached the city in June and Senior Planner Michael Surface says the retail giant has been very cooperative. According to Surface, the city wanted to make sure the most workable site was used. He says Wal-Mart didn't have to build where their existing store is, but he's pleased they agreed to because that means there won't be 89,000 square feet of space to fill. Surface says Wal-Mart agreed to many requests made by the city.
Washington, DC – Wyoming ranks as the 11th safest state in terms of violent crime. The FBI's annual crime report says Wyoming had about 1,300 violent crimes last year, or 262 per 100,000 residents. The national rate was 475 per 100,000 people. States with lower crime rates than Wyoming include: North and South Dakota, Idaho, and Utah. New Mexico is among the states with the highest rates.
Cheyenne, Wy – The governor's Council on Impaired Driving is recommending tougher penalties for people who have children with them when they drink and drive. Twenty-seven states have tougher penalties for people who drive under the influence with children. In eight other states, tougher penalties are suppported by case law. The 40-member council was established more than a year ago. The law it is seeking could bump up penalties if any driver 18 or older drives with anyone under 16 as a passenger.
Saratoga, Wyoming – A small town Wyoming doctor says the medical malpractice insurance issue has driven up her rates for no particular reason. Doctor Diane Noton of Saratoga says when she first took over the Platte Valley Medical Clinic in 1999 her rates were seven thousand dollars. But she now pays 24-thousand dollars a year. Noton says it is somewhat surprising because she is a family practice doctor with very little risk.
Wyoming – As Wyoming works to diversify its economy and get away from its reliance on energy, one focus is helping people to start businesses. Wyoming Public Radio's Renny Mackay reports on the state of entrepreneurship.
Cheyenne, WY – Wyoming's Homeland Security Director isn't worried about any changes to how the federal government doles out Homeland Security funding. Joe Moore believes no matter what the set up, Wyoming will have enough money to continue improvings the capabilities of first responders. The state's $38.00 per capita level of funding has rankled many in larger states. But Moore doubts efforts to change the funding formula will result in Wyoming getting shortchanged. He notes there is additional funding available to big cities.
Laramie, WY – Entrepreneurs in Wyoming are putting a positive spin on the challenge of operating in the least populated state in the country. Some say it makes them unique while others note Wyoming is home to major transportation routes. Business consultant Sandra Robnett says entrepreneurs can succeed by looking at national and international markets. An entreprenuer who started two computer companies in Laramie does have some criticisms. Brooks Mitchell says the state should invest more in high tech resources and make them available to entrepreneurs.
Casper, WY – Wyoming's three candidates for U-S House squared off in a debate in Casper Sunday afternoon. Democrat Ted Ladd promoted his enthusiasm and potential. Libertarian Lewis Stock said he could offer fresh ideas. Five-term incumbent Republican Baraba Cubin pointed to her experience and knowledge. Over the course of an hour, the trio discussed the Patriot Act, found some common ground on federal lands, sparred over federal spending and argued over the war in Iraq.
Riverton, Wy – Opponents of placing a medium security prison in Riverton are hoping to have enough signatures to get the issue placed on the ballot next week. The Fremont County Coalition to Stop the Medium Security Prison wants citizens to vote on whether they want the prison to be placed in the county. Meanwhile, they are also working to get the Fremont County Commissioners to reverse course and pull support from the effort. Riverton officials see the prison as a way to create more jobs in the community.
Laramie, Wyoming – The University of Wyoming was one of 56 stops across the country this week by the International Caravan for Justice in Juarez and Chihuahua. The Caravan is traveling across the US to educate people about the hundreds of unsolved murders and thousands of unsolved disappearances in the cities along the United States-Mexico border. Mari Lou Andrade, a spokesperson for the Caravan for Justice, spoke to a crowd at the University of Wyoming about the need for support from Americans in bringing these crimes to light. Andrade's sister was one of the victims.
Washington, DC – Wyoming Senator Mike Enzi was among a group of congressmen who received flu shots two days after federal officials announced a shortage of the vaccine. Several lawmakers turned down a chance for a flu shot to avoid the appearance of preferential treatment. Enzi's spokesman says the Senate physician recommended the flu shot, as did Senate Majority Leader and doctor, Bill Frist. Senator Craig Thomas of Wyoming also received a flu shot, but his spokesman says Thomas got it several days before the shortage was announced. Representative Barbara Cubin did not receive a shot.