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WPR News
4:30 pm
Mon September 20, 2004

Overtime Rules Confusing for Employers

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.

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WPR News
3:44 pm
Mon September 20, 2004

Game And Fish To Seek Special Elk Hunt

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.

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WPR News
1:35 pm
Mon September 20, 2004

Investigation Into I-80 Crash Comes to an End

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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.

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WPR News
11:42 am
Mon September 20, 2004

Smoking Issue Likely Makes Ballot

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.

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11:17 am
Mon September 20, 2004

Monday, September 20, 2004 --

Wyoming –

Topic: Renny Mackay reports on the accident that happened on I-80.

Topic: Bob Beck speaks with Shane Smith with the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens about what should be done with frost.

Topic: Bob Beck speaks with Tom Hughey, Director of Communications for the Buffalo Bill Historical Center about the many upcoming activities.

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WPR News
10:17 am
Mon September 20, 2004

Riverton Blazes Causes Million Dollar Damage

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.

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11:57 am
Fri September 17, 2004

Friday, September 17, 2004 --

Wyoming –

Topic: Bob Beck speaks with Chief Ranger of Grand Teton National Park, Andy Fisher, about the rescues and what it takes to be a ranger.

Topic: Weekly Wyoming Reporter's Roundtable.

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Wyoming Features
10:51 am
Fri September 17, 2004

Haskins speaks about the night of the crash

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

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WPR News
9:16 am
Fri September 17, 2004

Fiber Optics Connection Coming for Fremont County

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.

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WPR News
9:11 am
Fri September 17, 2004

Disagreement Over Feedground Closures

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.

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WPR News
2:28 pm
Thu September 16, 2004

Douglas Surgeon Leaves

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

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WPR News
2:21 pm
Thu September 16, 2004

A.G. Protests Proposal to Abandon Rail Line

Laramie, Wy – The state's Attorney General is trying to help reopen a sawmill in Saratoga.

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2:00 pm
Thu September 16, 2004

Thursday, September 16, 2004 --

Wyoming –

Topic: A Big Horn man was attacked by a mountain lion; Guest: Game and Fish Spokesman Warren Mischke.

Topic: Bob Beck speaks with Clint Haskins about the incident with the accident with the track team several years ago.

Topic: Renny Mackay speaks with Aaron Alpern about the Brucellosis Task Force.

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WPR News
1:49 pm
Thu September 16, 2004

Lion Attacks Big Horn Man

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.

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WPR News
12:23 pm
Thu September 16, 2004

U-W's Bramlet To Remain Starting Q-B

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.

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WPR News
12:00 pm
Thu September 16, 2004

DCI Official Pleased With Amber Alert

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.

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WPR News
10:45 am
Thu September 16, 2004

Kidnapped Kansas Girl Found Safe In Laramie

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.

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4:06 pm
Wed September 15, 2004

Wednesday, September 15, 2004 --

Wyoming –

Topic: The U-S Senate has agreed to renew a government program to clean up abandoned mines for nine months.

Topic: Renny Mackay speaks with UW President Phillip Dubois about the findings of a report of higher education.

Topic: Bob Beck with Professor Andrew Hoffman about the Green Dollar Speaker Series.

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WPR News
3:00 pm
Wed September 15, 2004

Wyoming Lacks Highway Maintenance Money

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.

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WPR News
2:07 pm
Wed September 15, 2004

Power Rates Headed Up

Laramie, Wy – Wyoming customers of Pacific Power also known as Pacific Power and Light should see an average increase in their bills of one dollar and 30 cents. The state's Public Service Commission approved the rate increase Tuesday. It came after the company and several groups worked on a compromise. Wyoming Consumer Advocate, Bryce Freeman, says they always look for ways to benefit consumers.
Freeman says as part of this deal Pacific Power agreed to freeze rates for 12 to 18 months. The electricity company serves 15 Wyoming counties including the city of Casper.

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WPR News
1:35 pm
Wed September 15, 2004

AML Compromise Reached

Washington D-C – It is not what Wyoming's delegation wanted, but the U-S Senate has agreed to renew a government program to clean up abandoned mines for nine months. The deal disappoints Senator Craig Thomas since the state is owed nearly 400 million dollars in backpayments for cleaning up sites. But Thomas says they had no other choice but to accept this offer. Thomas thinks the issue will remain on the front burner when it gets revisited next year.

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WPR News
11:11 am
Wed September 15, 2004

Brucellosis Task Force Progress Is Slow

Jackson, Wy – To protect Wyoming cattle from brucellosis the state needs to first address the disease in elk and bison. But a state task force charged with addressing brucellosis is proceeding cautiously with recommendations to reduce or eliminate the disease in wildlife. Wyoming Public Radio's Aaron Alpern reports

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WPR News
10:58 am
Wed September 15, 2004

Rawlins Elk Deaths Still A Mystery

Casper, WY – Wildlife biologists continue to study last winter's elk die-off south of Rawlins. Officials know a commong lichen the elk ate is what caused the illness. What they don't know is exactly what the toxic compound in the lichen was, whether that compound is present in lichen elsewhere in Wyoming and if other animals are at risk. Hunting this fall has been impacted with fewer licenses offered in the affected area near Rawlins. Walt Cook of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department says as far as they know, those elk are safe to eat because no other animals were affected.

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WPR News
10:34 am
Wed September 15, 2004

U.W. Graduation Rate Improves

Laramie, Wy – A higher percentage of University of Wyoming students are graduating within six years compared to a decade ago. That's the findings of a report on higher education. But, U-W President Phil Dubois says the school still needs to do better at retaining students. He says it is their goal to have a graduation rate between 60 and 65% and right now it is around 52%.

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WPR News
3:34 pm
Tue September 14, 2004

Supreme Court Allows Drug Plea Withdrawal

Cheyenne, WY – The Wyoming Supreme Court says it's illegal for a police officer to ask questions of a driver that are unrelated to a traffic stop after issuing a ticket or returning the driver's paperwork. The Justices handed down that ruling Monday in a case involving the detention of an Illinois man and the search of his car in 2002. As a result, Alan Campbell will be allowed to withdraw his guilty plea to marijuana possession with intent to deliver the drug. Also, more than eight pounds of pot allegedly seized from Campbell's car cannot be used as evidence against him.

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WPR News
3:15 pm
Tue September 14, 2004

New Group Forms In Jackson

Jackson, Wy – A group in Jackson will be hosting a forum on hate and acceptance this week. Parents, Friends and Families of Lesbians and Gays is trying to raise awareness of such issues and promote tolerance. Organizer Mark Houser says the Jackson school system has been very open to the message.
This week the Jackson schools will be host to a reading of the play The Laramie Project and Judy Shepard will present a forum and a number of talks on hate and acceptance.

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WPR News
12:31 pm
Tue September 14, 2004

Absentee Voting Can Lead to Fraud

Laramie, Wy – A nationwide investigation shows that absentee voting has led to fraud in at least 15 states. The New York Times did the investigation but did not find wrongdoing in Wyoming. The Equality State Policy Center's Sarah Gorin, says there are safeguards in this state that don't exist elsewhere but she says there is a possibility of voter fraud here. And she says that could affect local and even federal elections.
Gorin says Wyoming could shore up its system by spending more money on voter technologies and by removing deceased people from voting lists.

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WPR News
12:13 pm
Tue September 14, 2004

Education Report Gives Wyoming Mixed Grades

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.

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11:43 am
Tue September 14, 2004

Tuesday, September 14, 2004 --

Wyoming –

Topic: Chad Pergram reports that a Senate panel begins work on a bill that renews funding to clean up abandoned mines.

Topic: Bob Beck speaks with Phillip Clapp, the President of the National Environmental Trust, about his take on the road less areas.

Topic: A group in Jackson will be hosting a forum on hate and acceptance this week; Guest: Mark Houser, Organizer.

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Wyoming Features
11:33 am
Tue September 14, 2004

Moose Declines Not Due to Wolves

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

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