Cheyenne, Wy – A new report says Wyoming's recent high school graduates are more prepared for college than their counterparts ten years ago. But a smaller percentage of them are enrolling. The report was released today (Tuesday) by the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education. The center gave Wyoming a C-plus for its percentage of K-through-12 students taking upper-level math and science courses and those scoring at or above proficient in math, science, reading and writing.
Casper – The moose population in northwestern Wyoming has declined significantly in recent years. A decade ago, there were more then 500 moose hunting permits offered every fall around Jackson Hole. That number is about 150 now. One culprit often named is the re-introduction of wolves and grizzly bears. But a study presented Thursday to the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission suggests the predators only play a minor role. Wyoming Public Radio's Aaron Alpern has more from Casper
Casper, WY – A Bighorn sheep reintroduction project near Lovell is tentatively set for this November or December. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is transplanting 40 Bighorn sheep from Oregon to the Devil's Canyon area on the western edge of the Bighorn Mountains. For years, Game and Fish Director Terry Cleveland says they've tried relocating sheep around the state from the Dubois herd. He says that hasn't been too successful because the Dubois sheep are migratory animals. Cleveland says the Oregon sheep are not migratory so biologists believe they will adapt better.
Washington, D-C – A Senate panel begins work on a bill that renews funding to clean up abandoned mines. Wyoming stands to gain 400 million in backpayments if the bill passes. The support for the legislation ran into problems earlier in the year and Wyoming Congresswoman Barbara Cubin fears that there are some groups who might want the bill to fail, because it could hurt President Bush.
Topic: 5th Annual Wyoming Women's Conference "Ignite your Creative Fire" in Douglas; Guest: Rosemary Bratton, Executive Director of the Wyoming Women's Business Center. Topic: Bob Beck speaks with Scott Boberg, Education Curator for the UW Art Museum about the upcoming events and exhibits at the UW Art Museum.
Washington, DC – Yellowstone National Park has been accused of illegally pocketing money from cell phone tower leases. The Washington, DC group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, or PEER, is making that claim. According to PEER, the law requires most of the money from a lease of park land to go the US Treasury.
Lander, WY – Lander, Cody and Wheatland are the three finalists for a proposed four-year Catholic College in Wyoming. The three towns were chosen from more than 30 communities that submitted site proposals around the state. Some communities offered more than one possible site. Members of the college founder's committee hope to make a final site selection by the end of the year.
Casper, WY – It appears the federal government will be ready to formal remove the grizzly bear from the Endangered Species list in the second half of 2005. Only about five steps in the lengthy process remain. Larry Kruckenberg has been deeply involved in the grizzly bear issue as Assistant to the Wyoming Game and Fish Director. Kruckenberg says it's smooth sailing from here, until the end when everyone involved expects a lawsuit. He says state and federal agencies have worked hard to make sure they do their work by the book.
Laramie, Wy – Wyoming's plans to focus on substance abuse problems with youth are getting solid reviews from a key federal government official. U-S Substance Abuse and Mental health Services Administrator Charles Curie says the state recently received almost three million dollars to develop a three year treatment plan for children involved in the Criminal Justice System. Curie says Wyoming's focus is a good one.
Cody, WY – The second Wyoming Renewable Energy Conference is taking place in Cody Monday. Conference organizer Ed Werner from the Converse Area New Development Organization says particpants will discuss geothermal, biomass, wind and solar energy. Werner says some good news for the state is there is interest in building more wind farms in southeastern Wyoming. He says growing enery demands in Colorado are prompting that interest. Werner says there is also demand coming from Utah and the Salt Lake City area which could mean more wind farms will be built in southwestern Wyoming.
Sheridan, Wy – State Attorney General Pat Crank won't pursue criminal charges against two former Sheridan County commissioners and one current commissioner. Crank's office investigated their handling of a county road and bridge building contract. Crank says his office found no intentional misuse of public funds by former commissioners Steve Cox and Brad Waters and current commissioner Charley Whiton. He says when potential conflicts arose, a commissioner would declare the conflict and not vote.
Laramie, Wy – Wyoming will get a good measuring stick of where it stands as a football team Saturday. The Pokes travel to face Texas A and M, and while the Aggies are not the same team that they have been in past years, Head Coach Joe Glenn says they are solid. Glenn says the thing that worries him is A and M's athleticism. But Glenn also thinks if he's team can stay in the game early, they have a chance to win. Kickoff is at 1:30.
Laramie, Wy – Alert workers at the state's mail processing center in Cheyenne intercepted a suspicious letter Friday that appeared rigged with matches set to ignite when opened. A letter was addressed to Governor Dave Freudenthal. The governor's press secretary says it had a return address from the same maximum-security prison in Nevada that was the apparent source of other suspicious letters to other governors nationwide. The state's Central Mail Office is located outside the Capitol grounds in Cheyenne.
Laramie, Wy – The Bureau of Land Management's office in Buffalo is losing several staff members at the end of the month. The office is working to issue at least three-thousand coal-bed methane gas well permits before October first. Assistant Field Manager Richard Zander says the workload and pressure to get them done is partly to blame for the sudden turnover of key employees at the office.
Cheyenne, Wy – The Arapaho Tribe has told the Governor that they don't intend to pay for their portion of a Tribal Liaison. The Tribe says its because they can no longer afford its portion because of what it has to pay for Social Service expenses. In a letter to tribal leader Burton Hutchinson, Governor Dave Freudenthal says the position will disappear unless the Arapaho tribe pays its share of the cost for the liaison. The Shoshone tribe has paid its portion. Freudenthal says without an agreement, the position will cease to exist at the end of October.
Cheyenne, WY – Governor Freudenthal has not received any booby-trapped mail that arrived in at least five other chief executive offices in neighboring states Thursday. The envelopes were sent to the governors of Montana, Idaho, Washington, Utah and Nebraska. In some cases, the mail was opened by staffers, igniting a match inside. There were no reports of injuries. The letters appeared to have come from a maximum-security prison in Ely, Nevada. Freudenthal's Press Secretary says nothing suspicious had arrived at the Governor's office.
Lander, WY – The wife of a school superintendent killed in a rock slide has been named to replace him. Michelle Stewart Hoffman takes over for her husband, Lonny, as head of Wyoming Indian Schools. Lonny Hoffman died August 13th while hiking in the Wind River Mountains. Fremont County School District Number 14 Assistant Superintendent Dan Hudson says Hoffman knows the Wyoming Indian community and students well as was the best candidate for the job.
Cheyenne, Wy – State officials intercepted a letter intended for Governor Dave Freudenthal that is similar to ones received by several other Governors. The letters were designed to ignite when opened. Employees in the State's central mail office noticed the suspicious letter; they x-rayed it and after noting suspicious materials inside the White Business size envelope, contacted law enforcement authorities. Wyoming's Homeland Security Office used a robot to remove the letter.
Laramie, Wy – The Albany County Clerk says if there is support for a special election in Laramie on the smoking ban she won't be able to run it November second. That's the date of the federal and state general election. Jackie Gonzalez says she let the city know about her decision in a letter. The special election could happen on November second but the city have to run it; this would require Laramie to rent voting machines. Gonzalez says she could run the special election if it was done on a different date.
Douglas, WY – The U-S Department of Energy has given Wyoming a grant to promote geothermal energy. The hope is more people will tap into this renewable energy source. The Converse Area New Development Organization is adminstering the grant and Business Development Director Ed Werner says the sources of reneable energy is most applicable in Wyoming. He says it can be used to both cool and heat homes and Hot Springs county has great potential for geothermal development.
Cheyenne, WY – Four environmental groups plan to file suit over a decision not to list the Bonneville cutthroat trout under the Endangered Species Act. The Biodiversity Legal Foundation sought to list the species in 1998 and the U-S Fish and Wildlife Service announced in 2001 it would not list the Bonneville cutthroat. The four groups filed a 60 day notice of intent to use the government, claiming the Bonneville cutthroat inhabits less than 10 percent of its former range. The Bonneville cutthroat is Utah's state fish.
Laramie, Wy – This week the Laramie City Council approved a ban on smoking in bars, restaurants and private clubs. Now an opposition group is trying to overturn the ordinance. Joe Hageman is a member of the organization. He says they just started a petition drive to get the issue on the ballot in November. Hageman says he believes it will end up on the ballot and the people will overturn the vote of the council.
Laramie, Wy – Wyoming's congressional delegation is trying to make the state sales tax deductable from federal tax bills. Representative Barbara Cubin says Wyoming citizens and residents of six other states carry a heavier tax burden then states with an income tax. While he has no doubt that someone would benefit from it, Congressional Candidate Ted Ladd insists that changing the tax laws to allow Wyoming residents to deduct sales taxes will mostly make doing taxes even more complicated.
Casper, Wy – A Wildlife Biologist is casting doubt on the perception that wolves and grizzly bears are decimating the Jackson Hole moose population. Joel Berger from the Wildlife Conservation Society has studied those moose for the last decade and watched the population decline. He says grizzlies and wolves are playing a role in that, but only a minor one.
Powell, Wy – A National Park Service study recommends that the World War two Japanese internment camp near Powell be considered for National Historical Landmark designation. The Heart Mountain Relocation Center site was one of nine properties recommended for historic landmark designation out of the 37 sites nationwide that were examined. The study focused on sites associated with Japanese American exclusion, relocation and detention and with Japanese American service in the U-S Military during World War II.
Topic: Wyoming native has received a major award from a group of conservation and sportsmen organizations. John Turner of Moose was named this years winner of the National Resource Council of America's Public Service Award.
Topic: The U-S Department of Energy has given Wyoming a grant to promote geothermal energy; Guest: Ed Werner of the Converse Area New Development Organization.
Topic: A humans rights video project will be taking place in Fremont County; Guest: Julie Edward, Librarian at the Riverton Library.
Cheyenne, Wy – Nine volunteers from the Wyoming Red Cross are currently in Florida helping with the recovery from the two recent hurricanes. Eight were sent there this weekend to respond to Hurricane Frances, while one of the two volunteers that went for Charley is still in Florida. Wyoming Red Cross Manager David Morikawa says they are waiting for a clearer picture before they determine if more Cowboy State volunteers are needed. Morikawa says the hurricanes are putting a tremendous strain on national Red Cross resources.
Lararmie, Wy – The State Superintendent of Public Instruction is proposing that the legislature increase salaries for teachers. Trent Blankenship presented a plan to lawmakers that he is calling the Teacher Excellence Package. Along with increasing salaries it would provide incentives to keep young teachers in Wyoming, help current educators do professional development and reward excellence.
Laramie, WY – The Laramie City Council approved a ban on smoking in restaurants, bars and private clubs Tuesday night. The ban does not go into effect immediately and, in fact, a group opposed to the ordinance promised to put it to a vote of Laramie residents. Councilwoman Jodi Guerin, who supports the ban, says a referendum is the right of the people. If enough signatures are gathered on the petition to repeal the smoking ban, the issue will appear on the November ballot. In 2000, voters in Casper defeated a similar measure after Casper's city council approved a smoking ban.