Laramie, Wy – The increase in energy prices has meant more revenue for Wyoming, but in Campbell County it is also accompanied by an increase in rural crime. Sheriff Bill Pownall says especially in the southern part of the county they are seeing more thefts from oil wells. To combat this Pownall is starting a program to get people that work or live in rural areas to keep an eye out for suspicious behavior. They're also providing a booklet to interested people. That booklet gives specific directions about what information the police need from witnesses of suspicious activity.
Wyoming – October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault is taking this high profile opportunity to unveil a new, expanded web site. Aliza Sherman reports that the Internet can be a useful tool for combating domestic violence. Or it can be a dangerous one.
Cheyenne – Debate on Medical Malpractice Constitutional Amendments.
Bob Beck - moderator. Tom Throop of the Equality State Policy Center, Doctor Robert Monger of the Wyoming Medical Society and Insurance Commission Ken Vines are on the panel to talk about Medical Malpractice.
Laramie, WY – A famous trial attorney from Jackson is traveling the state trying to raise opposition to the idea of capping medical malpractice damage awards. Gerry Spence says any cap limites the rights of people in Wyoming. He says he wouldn't even support a cap on non-economic damages or pain and suffering at one million dollars. Spence says if someone's wife is killed and she didn't work outside the home, she doesn't have any economic value under this proposed amendment. Spence says he knows of no Wyoming woman who isn't worth more than a million dollars.
Greybull, WY – Greybull-based Hawkins and Powers Aviation is in financial trouble and is turning to the small northern Wyoming community for help. Co-owner Duane Powers says the company is selling off its assets to creditors and has reduced its workforce from 145 to 60. The company is seeking community support for a one and a half million dollar business grant to build a large airport hanger as well as loans. It also is changing the focus of its business away from firefighting.
Cheyenne, Wy – An advocacy group for people with disabilities says it plans to sue over "dangerous conditions" at the Wyoming State Hospital in Evanston. Protection and Advocacy System cited an attempted suicide last week, a suicide in March and last year's death of a patient who jumped or fell from a State Hospital vehicle on Interstate 80. Protection and Advocacy claims that patients have access to "knives and other weapons" and patients and staff are being assaulted.
Laramie, Wy – Wyoming Supreme Court Justices say that summaries of proposed constitutional amendments may stay on that ballot this November. The Court rejected a request to insist that the entire wording of the four proposed amendments go before voters. Attorney General Pat Crank and Secretary of State Joe Meyer had strongly objected to the request by three Wyoming citizens, calling it frivolous. But the attorney handling the case, Tim Newcomb strongly disagrees. Newcomb hopes the issue will be addressed in the future because he says the practice of using summaries is wrong.
Laramie, Wy – University of Wyoming Astronomers have discovered a ancient bundle of stars within the Milky Way. U-W Physics and Astronomy Professor Chip Kobulnicky says it was a collaborative effort using Nasa's Spitzer Space Telescope and the University's Infrared Observatory. He says the new technology is helping them find new things all the time. Kobulnicky admits that they thought all the clusters had been found.
Gillette, WY – The state is making an effort to resolve the highly contentious issue of coal-bed methane discharge water management in the Powder River Basin. The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality is developing a new approach to issuing water discharge permits. The initiative is being designed with the hope that ever coal-bed methane permit won't be challenged by environmental groups or landowners when it goes to public notice.
Ft. Washakie, WY – Seventy people are running for the Arapaho Business Council on the Wind River Indian Reservation. That's rougly one of every 100 members of the Northern Arapaho Tribe. The number also includes five council members seeking re-election. The top 12 candidates from the October 21st Primary will run in the November 18th General Election. Of those, six will be elected to the council. Four voting sites have been set up in Ethete, Thermopolis, Arapahoe and Fort Washakie.
Washington, D-C – Although it is not permanent, Wyoming residents who itemize tax returns will be able to get a tax break. It was part of a massive tax measure approved by congress. The issue was a big one for Representative Barbara Cubin who says she will continue working on the measure to make it last. But Cubin thinks it will save the average Wyoming taxpayer about 500 dollars.
Laramie, Wy – Torrington, Riverton and Rawlins are the three finalists for Wyoming's new prison. All three will now move to phase two where the communities will be looked at even more closely and issues ranging from livability to cost of construction will be considered. Department of Corrections Director Bob Lampert adds that a big issue will be both Health and Mental Health care. Lampert says they also want to gage the opposition to a prison coming to a particular community. The plan is to narrow the selection down to one and submit it to the legislature.
Cheyenne, WY – The Wyoming Department of Health will ask the state legislature for a 380% increase in funding for its' H-I-V/A-I-D-S program. The effort that assists patients with care and drug costs is running short of money and stopped accepting new patients this month. Care Coordinator Kurt Galbraith says this year was the first time the state put money into the program. Galbraith says it's unlikely the federal government will increase it's share, but he believes health officials have a reasonable chance to get extra money from the legislature.
Laramie, WY – University of Wyoming officials announced over the weekend that construction will begin next Spring on a nine-point-four million dollar business incubator. U-W President Phil Dubois says it's taken seven years to secure state and federal money for the project along with a one-point-six million dollar gift from the McMurry Foundation. Governor Dave Freudenthal says the Wyoming Business Technology Center has been urgently needed since the mid-1980's. He says Wyoming's fiscal picture enables the state to invest in such needed ideas.
Riverton, WY – The mother of a nurse killed at the Wyoming Honor Farm in Riverton is among those opposing a new medium-security prison for that Fremont county city. Prosecutors allege an inmate killed nurse Tammy Watts last April. Linda Hart says if they can't provide security at a minimum-security prison, how are officials going to provide security at a medium-security facility. Riverton is among several cities vying for the new prison.
Laramie, Wy – Although Wyoming's defense played a tremendous game, a trick play put the game out of reach Saturday as the Cowboys beat San Diego State 20-10. The play came in the 4th Quarter when Corey Bramlet flipped the ball behind him to Ivan Harrison who lofted the ball into the endzone to a wide open Dustin Pleasant. Pleasant says it allowed him to redeem himself after a couple of earlier drops. He says it was a play the Cowboys practiced all week.
Laramie, Wy – Democratic U-S House candidate Ted Ladd says he would have advocated a congressional declaration of war after the 2001 terrorist attacks against the United States. And the Jackson Democrat says he would have sought debate on a war declaration before invading Iraq if he had been in Congress at the time. The issue came up during a candidates' forum yesterday (Friday) in Laramie involving Ladd and Libertarian Lewis Stock. Incumbent Republican Barbara Cubin did not take part in the debate.
Laramie, Wy – The man that led U-W to its only N-C-A-A championship in basketball is back in Laramie this weekend. Kenny Sailors will be the grand marshal of the homecoming parade. Sailors says in 1943 when they won the championship they also played against the winner of the National Invitation Tournament St. Johns University and that team did expect U-W to pull an upset, but they did. Sailors says that championship team was made up of almost all Wyomingites.
Cheyenne, WY – A lawsuit challenging how four constitutional amendments will appear on the ballot next month was called frivolous today by Wyoming's Secretary of State and Attorney General. The goal of the lawsuit is to have the entire text of the proposed amendments appear on the ballot, and not just summaries. Secretary of State Joe Meyer says printing a summary is how amendments have been presented since statehood. One of the four amendments would allow the legislature to cap damages in medical malpractice cases.
Washington, D.C. – Residents of Wyoming and six other states would be able to deduct sales taxes from their federal tax returns following action by the U-S House. Representatives approved a rewrite of corporate tax law on a 280-to-141 vote. The measure now heads to the U-S Senate, where it's expected to be approved before the end of the week.
Laramie, WY – Election year politics and disagreement within the Bush Administration are hampering negotiations over North Korea's nuclear program. That's according to University of Wyoming Political Scientist Jean Garrison. Garrison spent a year as a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs fellow. She believes election year politics could create a dangerous situation. Garrison says North Korea believes it will get a better deal if John Kerry is elected President. But she notes President Bush has moved closer to Kerry's stance.
Cheyenne, Wy – It looks like Wyoming has a third Medical Malpractice Insurance Carrier. A few months after the Ohio Insurance Company announced it was leaving the state, Insurance Commissioner Ken Vines says The Medical Protective Company is intending on bringing more competition into the Wyoming market. But Vines is unclear if their presence will immediately have any impact on rates. But he still says the development is a positive step for the state, as it tries to address the high cost of Medical Malpractice insurance costs.
Laramie, Wy – The family of a cross country runner that died with seven of his peers when they were hit by a drunk driver continues to try and bring a suit against the driver of that vehicle. The case is now in the hands of the state Supreme Court.
Washington, D.C. – Wyoming residents hope to learn by the end of the week whether they'll be able to deduct sales taxes on big ticket items from their federal tax returns. The sales tax deduction is part of a giant trade tax bill designed to keep Europe from slapping excise tariffs on U-S-made products. Wyoming Senator Craig Thomas says the deductibility issue isn't controversial, but the bill is loaded up with items designed to win support of skeptical lawmakers. Thomas says each lawmakers is excited about his or her own pet project, so he fears it could get defeated.