Cheyenne, WY – A Wyoming district court judge has denied the state's petition that would force Wyoming to prove the new school financing system is constitutional. That ruling means the challenge by a coalition of schools, teachers and school administrators will go forward. That coalition wants a court order directing the state to "make a showing they fixed problems" with the finance system.
Douglas, WY – The uranium mining industry is seeking a resurgence after more than a decade of low uranium prices. Uranium prices are nearly triple what they were four years ago. Wyoming once had eight uranium mining operations. Now, it has one. The Smith Ranch-Highland mine in east-central Wyoming produces yellowcake, which is sent to other plants to be enriched and formed into pellets to fuel nuclear reactors.
Casper, Wy – A U.S. District Judge in Casper heard arguments on a lawsuit filed over voter registration drives in Wyoming. Attorney General Pat Crank argued that prohibiting county clerks from accepting voter registration forms from voter registration drives does not deny anyone in the state the right to vote or right to free association. Casper attorney John Robinson filed the federal lawsuit in which he wrote that the clerks of Converse, Sublette and Lincoln counties turned down requests for multiple registration forms.
Billings, MT – While Governor Freudenthal has stayed away from the presidential race this year, he's gotten involved in Montana's gubernatorial election. Freudenthal was in Billings, Montana Thursday campaigning for Democratic candidate Brian Schweitzer. Schweitzer hopes to follow in Freudenthal's footsteps, winning the Governor's mansion as a Democrat in a predominantly Republican state. Freudenthal and Schweitzer also discussed plans to develop small business opportunities in Montana and Wyoming.
Laramie, Wy – Wyoming will be focusing on avoiding a letdown Saturday when it hosts Louisiana-Monroe. The Pokes are coming off a huge win over Ole Miss, and this weekend they are facing a team that is winless. But Head Coach Joe Glenn says the Indians are a capable team that has lost a ton of close games in the last two years.
Laramie, Wy – Housing Costs in the state continue to increase and the price hikes are starting to spread to new areas of the state. While Teton County continues to have the highest housing costs, the gap between it and some other areas is starting to close. State Senior Economist Justin Ballard says that is not because its getting any cheaper to live in Teton County it is because housing is more expensive across the board. Overall, Teton County remains the most expensive place to live in the state followed by Sublette and Campbell Counties.
Cheyenne, Wy – Wyomingites may only have to worry about West Nile Virus for only a couple more weeks. State West Nile virus coordinator Terry Creekmore says recent cold weather has helped decrease the number of mosquitoes. That could mean an early end to this year's threat. But Creekmore suggests taking precautions at least until the middle of October. The first hard freeze will eliminate the threat until the spring thaw.
Laramie, Wy – The school board in northern Lincoln County is faced with a tough choice. On Tuesday they are set to vote on the location of a new elementary school. The board had chosen to build it in Etna but a group of parents from Alpine appealed that decision. Cameron Haag from Friends of Alpine School says his community is the best choice because it is growing so fast and they are offering free land to build on.
Lander, WY – A tornado touched down near Lander Thursday evening. The twister ripped off tree limbs, but there were no injuries or damage to structures reported. The tornado hit at 5:35 p-m near the community of Milford about five miles northwest of Lander.
Rock Springs, Wy – Sweetwater County is looking for a new hospital C-E-O after the hospital trustees voted unanimously to fire John Ferry. Ferry had been on the job for over 20 years, but some board members felt it was time to bring someone new on board. Trustee Chairman Jay Lyon says they are looking for someone to take the hospital in a more modern direction. Lyon says they want to enhance overall strategic planning for the hospital. Lyon says Stuart Thomas will be the Interim C-E-O until a permanent replacement can be found.
Cheyenne, Wy – A Wyoming author and writer is going to join the Governor's planning office. Sam Western will take over as human service policy analyst. Freudenthal says that means he will look at the Health, Workforce, and Family Services Departments to see how they are working together. Western wrote a controversial book about the role of agriculture and mineral development in the state, but the governor says Western will not be involved with natural resource policy.
Washington, D.C. – A Wyoming Senator says international cooperation is neede4d to stop terror funding. During a hearing on the matter, Senator Mike Enzi pointed out thyat while a lot has been done, various reports indicate a lot more work is needed to address terrorism funding. Enzi applauds the U-S Treasury Department's work with various international groups to stop the flow of money to terrorists, but more needs to be done to eliminate the threat. He's excited about efforts to bring China and others to the table to work on the problem.
Gillette, WY – A Denver consulting firm arrived in Gillette Wednesday to begin conducting a housing needs assessment for the area. The booming energy sector made Campbell county among the fastest growing counties in the nation in 2002. But Sherrie Palmer of the Campbell County Economic Development Corporation says there's a difference of opinion about whether the community has enough housing. She says opinions are mixed between whether there's enough housing or too much development. Palmer hopes the assessment will give officials concrete answers about housing needs.
Laramie, Wyoming – A Political Action Committee is opposing both constitutional amendments that have to do with Medical Malpractice. The group called Citizens For Real Insurance Reform thinks making insurance companies justify rate increases will be more effective then asking citizens to give up their constitutional rights for something that make not work. Amendment C sets up a group intended to weed out frivolous cases, while the more controversial Amendment D allows lawmakers to cap non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases.
Topic: Bob Beck speaks with Peggy Falgien, Head of the National Association of College Stores and the Manager of the UW Bookstore about prices of textbook.
Topic: Bob Beck speaks with Jim Cochran of the Laramie County Conservation District and Bobby Frank, Executive Director of the Wyoming Association of Conservation Districts about the continuation of mil-levy funding.
Moran, WY – Four hunters were charged Monday with illegally killing three bull elk inside Grand Teton National Park. The four shot the elk in the park even though a park ranger had told them, in detail, how to verify the park's boundary. The incident occurred in the Arizona Creek Drainage, near the Bridger Teton National Forest, where hunting is legal. The hunters are from Wyoming but names and hometowns were not released. Grand Teton is the only park where elk hunting is allowed, however the season in the park has not opened yet.
Laramie, Wy – The Wyoming Healthcare Commission is looking for a new director. Diane Harrop announced Wednesday that she was stepping down because of a number of factors. The Chairman of the Commission, Chris Muirhead, says it will be difficult to replace Harrop and they have accomplished a lot under her leadership, including starting seven different studies, which all should be done soon. And he says the commission provided leadership in getting two constitutional amendments addressing medical malpractice reform on the ballot for this November.
Laramie, Wy – Vice President Dick Cheney is expected to stop in Casper on Friday for a Republican fund-raiser. The thousand-dollar-per-plate event is sponsored by Diemer True, a Republican national committeeman and former Wyoming Senate president. It will take place in a barn owned by True. Republican Party members in Wyoming have been getting mailings informing them of the fund-raiser. Wyoming Republican Party Chairman Jim Willox says he could not comment on the vice president's plan. He deferred to the White
Laramie, Wy – Students in Wyoming schools will soon take a new assessment test. The State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Trent Blankenship, announced he is developing a new test that will be put in place during the next school year. Blankenship says this test will be much better than the current one and it should be less culturally biased because they will design it with people from the reservation and with Spanish speakers.
Laramie, Wy – Seatbelt use in Wyoming is well below the national average. While 80-percent of drivers across the country wear seatbelts, a study found Wyoming drivers are around 50 percent. Injury Prevention Resources is trying to increase those numbers with a project that uses women to get people to buckle up. Spokesman Lorrie Pozarik says more men tend to buckle up if a woman is with them. So they are pushing a New Education Program called Buckle Those You Love. It is trying to get women to make men buckle their seatbelts.
Jackson, Wy – The fire danger is growing in western Wyoming. That's according to national forest officials, who say that recent dry weather and the start of fall hunting are raising the risk. Paul Hutta is fire management officer for the Bridger-Teton National Forest. He says it wouldn't take much for a fire to easily spread, especially in some of the forest's high alpine meadows. Officials says that vigorous undergrowth -- brought on by a wet spring and early summer -- could serve as kindling for a large wildfire.
Laramie, Wy – There is a shortage of the food grizzly bears traditionally eat at this time of year in the Yellowstone Ecosystem. Officials from the Shoshone National Forest say this is causing bears to move into areas where people are camping or recreating. This has led to three people being attacked. And Wildlife Biologist, Lynette Otto, says it is possible there will be more this fall, but if people are cautious and keep their camps clear attacks may be avoided.
Washington, DC – Wyoming's congressional delegation is opposing a loan that would allow Turkey to get into the soda ash business. The proposed $50 Million loan would allow Turkey to use American technology and expertise to build a soda ash facility. Representative Barbara Cubin and Senators Mike Enzi and Craig Thomas say the loan would hurt Wyoming's soda ash industry, which is already being squeezed by competition from China.
Cheyenne, Wy – Wyoming's new medium security prison will be in one of five places. Proposals asking to be considered were submitted by Rawlins, Torrington, Worland, Riverton, and Lincoln County. Department of Corrections Spokeswoman Melinda Brazzale says the next step is to narrow the list to two or three possible locations. From that short list, the Department of Corrections will recommend one site. Then the legislature has the final say in where to build the prison.
Cheyenne – Every two years a group of senior citizens from around the state comes to Cheyenne and participates in the Silver Haired Legislature. The most recent session took place last week and Wyoming Public Radio's Renny MacKay stopped by to see what issues they dealt with