Laramie, Wy – The governor says a decision by the Northern Arapahoe is forcing him to shut down the Tribal Liaison position in his office after one year. The position requires 25 thousand dollars a year from both tribes and the Northern Arapahoe Business Council decided not to pay its share, saying it had to spend the money to provide social services on the reservation after a contract dispute with the state. Governor Dave Freudenthal says this was not a good decision and he hoped the tribe would not give up on the position after one disagreement.
Jackson, Wyo – A U-S Forest Service employee says two people -- including a Wyoming man -- survived the crash of an airplane that earlier was reported to have claimed five lives. Forest Service employee Ed Lieser says Jodee Hogg of Billings, Montana, and Matthew Ramidge of Jackson Hole, Wyoming walked away from Monday afternoon's crash. They were picked up this afternoon and flown to a Kalispell hospital. Flathead National Forest spokeswoman Denise Germann says Ramidge was then flown to Harborview hospital in Seattle for burn
Casper, WY – The U-S Bureau of Land Management may issue a final decision next month on leasing Martin's Cove the the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The site about 55 miles southwest of Casper is considered hallowed ground by the Church. In 1856, a company of Mormon pioneers were trapped by an early winter storm there and many died. Congress has already authorized the lease, but some have questioned the deal.
Moose, WY – Grand Teton National Park officials want to rehabilitate an historic dude ranch to turn it into a facility that will teach others how to preserve historic log structures across the west. The White Grass Ranch west of Moose was active as a dud ranch up until the 1950's. Park spokeswoman Joan Anzelmo says the park's preferred alternative is to rehabilitative three of the ranch's 13 structures to be used as the training facility. She says, eventually, those students would rehabilitate the rest of the ranch.
Laramie, WY – Wyoming's Congresswoman predicts that politics and the upcoming election will keep Congress from approving an energy policy this year. Representative Barbara Cubin says it does not look like the issue will be resolved before Congress adjourns. Cubin says that's too bad because the country needs to take a stand the public understands. She says there are only a few issues, primarily tax credits, that need to be resolved.
Laramie, Wy – A national independent polling group predicts the presidential election will be very close, but not in Wyoming. The American Research Group polled Wyoming this month and found that 65 percent of likely voters support President Bush, 29 percent of those polled say they support John Kerry with two percent going for Ralph Nader and three percent undecided.
Gillette, Wyoming – A Gillette man thinks he has painted the largest mural in the country and perhaps the world. Artist Harvey Jackson, along with some help from community members, painted the mural in Gillette. If focuses on the top businesses in Gillette. Jackson says there is a larger mural in the east, but that is made up of multiple pictures. Jackson says they will unveil it in a ceremony Thursday night. But he is not prepared to say he is done with it, saying that he plans to add to it in coming years.
Laramie, Wy – The Director of Wyoming's Office of Rural Health believes an effort by the state to try and help doctors pay for changing insurance carriers has been well received. So far, Susan Weidel says doctors have expressed interest in loans helping them pay for tail coverage. That is insurance coverage a doctor must by when he or she changes carriers. Weidel says tail coverage covers a doctors past activities, but she says they also have to pay for current insurance. She says this can get pricey, which is why the state made loans available.
Burgess Junction, WY – At least 20 tourists were injured when a bus overturned during a snowstorm in the Bighorn Mountains Monday afternoon. Authorities say seven passengers suffered serious injuries. The Wyoming Highway Patrol says a half-inch of slush covered U-S Highway 14 when the westbound Sheridan to Cody bus crashed about 11 miles south of Burgess Junction. The injured were taken to a clinic in Basin while the more seriously injured passengers were hospitalized in Worland. Officers say the passengers spoke Dutch and had a translator with them.
Cheyenne, WY – President Bush's rules for overtime pay are confusing many people around the country. The regulations went into effect a little less than a month ago and Charlie Rando with the Wyoming Department of Employment says he understands how they might cause some problems for employers. He says it's tough being an employer these days with all the rules changes to keep in mind. Rando says the best way to get information about the new rules is to contact the U-S Department of Labor offices in Casper or Salt Lake City.
Casper, WY – The Wyoming Game and Fish Department will ask landowners in Campbell County Tuesday for permission to hold a special elk hunt season this fall. The purpose is to test elk around the Rochelle Hills area for brucellosis. That's where two cattle tested positive for the disease. Game and Fish Director Terry Cleveland says the special hunt is needed because the hunt area where the cattle outbreak occurred is closed this year. Cleveland says landowner permission will be required because many public parcels of land are landlocked by private property.
Laramie, Wy – The investigation into the devastating crash on I-80 last month is over. And the findings do not place the blame with any of the drivers involved. The lead investigator, Lieutenant Kleif Guenther says his work found that in a matter of ten minutes 66 people and 36 vehicles were involved in the chain collision. But, he says no one is at fault though people were traveling too fast for the conditions.
Laramie, Wyoming – A Laramie group believes it has enough signatures to challenge an ordinance that would ban smoking in public places. The focus of the ordinance has been on the outlawing of smoking in restaurants and bars and the committee to protect free choice thinks that should be a business decision. Spokesman Joe Hageman says apparently a lot of non-smokers feel the same way. He says their petitions have a lot of non-smokers on them.
Riverton, WY – A fire apparently started by children playing with fireworks caused over a million dollars of damage south of Riverton over the weekend. The blaze destroyed dozens of cars and recreational vehicles on a sales lot, several outbuildings and thousands of tons of stacked hay. Riverton Fire Marshall Matt Lee says the fire began Saturday afternoon and was fanned by 35 mile an hour winds before fire crews were able to control it Sunday morning. He says crews did a good job of stopping the fire at the edge of Riverton's south side.
Wyoming – Three years ago this week, Clint Haskins drove drunk and ran into eight U-W athletes, killing all of them. Haskins was later sentenced to prison for the crime. Since that time he has spoken to groups, but has had limited media contact. Today he talks about the night of the crash with Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck
Laramie, Wy – Most of the residents of Fremont County and the Wind River Reservation will soon be connected to the rest of the world by fiber optics. The Marketing Director for Dubois Telephone, Bill Guthrie, says this will bring down costs for telephone customers and give Internet users a better connection. He says this will allow schools and businesses to do video streaming. Guthrie says the fiber optic should be operational around the beginning of the New Year. He says it will help attract people that like the area and want to run businesses out of their homes.
Jackson, WY – The Wyoming Brucellosis Coordination Team took up the sticky issue of elk feedgrounds during its' 8th meeting in Jackson. The majority of the panel was willing to experiment with closing feedgrounds, but there was concern about dramatic loss in elk numbers and impacts to ranchers. One preliminary recommendation calls for the Game and Fish Department to continually evaluate each feedground and look for chances to phase-out or modify them. Task Force Chair and University of Wyoming College of Agriculture Dean Frank Galey likes the recommendation because of its' flexibility.
Douglas, Wy – The only general surgeon in the town of Douglas, Dr. Robert Ratcliff, plans to move his practice to Casper this fall. Too much time on call and the types of surgeries Ratcliff has been doing are the main reasons for his departure. That's according to Tom Nordwick, administrator of Memorial Hospital of Converse County. Ratcliff is a colon-rectal surgery specialist but has been doing many basic procedures in Douglas. He hopes to shift his attention to more complicated cases after moving his practice to Wyoming
Big Horn, Wy – A Big Horn man needed a little help to fight off a mountain lion this week. The unnamed man was attacked on his property near Little Goose Creek around four in the afternoon. When he spotted the lion, it was ten feet away and eventually charged him. He hit it with a shovel, and shouted for help. A neighbor helped him, and later authorities killed the lion. Game and Fish Spokesman Warren Mischke says people always need to fight back against a Lion.
Laramie, WY – University of Wyoming Head Coach Joe Glenn says Corey Bramlet is his starter. After last Saturday's 31-to-nothing loss to Texas A-and-M, Glenn hinted the quarterback job was open to competition. But now Glenn says Bramlet will start when U-W returns to action September 25th to play Ole Miss at War Memorial Stadium. The coach says he has confidence Bramlet can run the Cowboy offense.
Laramie, Wyoming – Wyoming law enforcement officials are pleased with the results of the states Amber Alert system. It was activated again Wednesday and a motorist did find the car authorities were looking for and a young girl was retrieved. Amber co-ordinator Tim Olsen says it's the second time their has been a statewide alert in the state, and both have led to resolutions. From what he can tell, the media and law enforcement worked well together on this. Olsen is not aware of fine-tuning that needs to be done.
Laramie, WY – Police say a man suspected of killing his ex-wife and abducting their five year old daughter shot himself to death near Laramie Wednesday night. Authorities say the girl is safe. The search for Stormy Shirk began Wednesday morning after her mother was found slain in her Topeka, Kansas home. Police believed her father, 29 year old Justin Shirk, took the girl and they issued an Amber Alert. Investigators believe Shirk was taking the girl to Oregon.
Cheyenne, WY – Wyoming's highway maintenance is about 20 million dollars short of what the state needs. Officials say the dropoff has occurred since 2001. That's according to Wyoming Department of Transportation budget officer Kevin Hibbard. Wyoming legislators capped the amount of mineral taxes provided to state agencies in 2001, costing the Wyoming Transportation Department about 40 million dollars a year. Hibbard says that shortfall, coupled with how Congress has not passed a six-year national highway funding bill, are the two biggest funding issues facing his department.