Cheyenne, Wy – Congresswoman Barbara Cubin easily survived a same party battle to win the GOP primary for Wyoming's U-S House Seat. She faces Democrat Ted Ladd. The Wilson businessman won a narrow victory over John Henley, that was not decided until midnight. Cubin won her four person race by gathering 55 percent of the vote.
Rock Springs, WY – A coalition of conservation groups has filed a formal protest of a federal plan to manage oil and gas drilling in southwestern Wyoming. The Wyoming Outdoor Council, Biodiversity Conservation Alliance, the Wilderness Society, the Wyoming chapter of the Sierra Club and Lander resident Tom Bell filed the suit Monday. They say the Bureau of Land Management failed to comply with federal law by not providing adequate safeguards to protect wildlife.
Washington, D.C. – The U-S Interior Department will begin delaying some new oil and gas drilling projects until the effects on wildlife are studied more thoroughly. But environmentalists are skeptical, since the department has routinely ignored its power to defer energy leases for the sake of wildlife. The Bureau of Land Management is rewriting 162 plans for managing vast areas, including land in southwestern Wyoming.
Laramie – While natural gas development expands across the state, a lot of the focus remains with the Powder River Basin where Coalbed Methane development continues. While industry officials continue to argue that increased development is good for the state budget and a country that needs gas, Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck says the possible cost is the focus of a conference led by the Wyoming Ruckleshouse institute in Laramie this week .
Cheyenne, WY – Voters across Wyoming head to the polls Tuesday to decide a number of local and state races. The most interest is whether voters will decide to allow Wyoming Congresswoman Barbara Cubin to seek a sixth term. The five term Republican has fought hard to defend her voting record while facing a rare G-O-P primary battle from four opponents, including veteran State Senator Cale Case and Cheyenne attorney Bruce Asay. A newspaper poll gives Cubin the lead, but undecided voters and the possibility of a number of Democrats crossing over has made the race more interesting.
Cheyenne, WY – If recent trends hold, only a third of Wyoming's registered voters will head to the polls for Tuesday's primary election. In 2002, turnout for the primary was 37 percent while in 2000, 30 percent of voters in Wyoming cast ballots. Wyoming's Chief Elections Clerk says local races are what usually determines the turnout in a primary. She says if there are hot topics involving county commissioner or city council races, more people will vote. State elections officials also expect a larger-than-usual turnout for the general election in November.
Yellowstone National Park, WY – Yellowstone fire officials are keeping an eye on two blazes burning in the park. The latest is a four acre fire discovered Friday burning in the northeastern part of the park about five miles south of the old Lamar Buffalo Ranch. The lightning-causes fire smoldered for days before growing large enough to be noticed. Firefighters are watching weather conditions around that blaze. The largest fire in Yellowstone is being managed to burn to achieve resource objectives.
Lararmie, Wy – The state Department of Family Services is stressing the importance of using licensed childcare centers. The agency notes that they are safer and provide higher quality staff. But, the program manager of Childcare Licensing, Susan McKellar, says there is a shortage of licensed centers. She says the Department of Family Services is not going to put out recommendations for how to deal with this, rather they would prefer that lawmakers and Wyomingites consider the issue and decide what needs to be done and how it can be accomplished.
Jackson, WY – Bridger-Teton National Forest officials are concerned about this year's mild fire season flaring up at the end of summer. Forest Spokeswoman Mary Cernicek says fire dangers are up in the west due to recent warm weather. Cernicek says the fire danger is only moderate on the Bridger-Teton now, but conditions are there for a large fire. She says the long term weather forecast calls for above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation through October.
Laramie, Wyoming – The Laramie City Council will vote for a second time Tuesday (tonight) on an ordinance that would ban smoking in all public places. Several amendments are being drafted for council members, some from the city attorney and others from outside interests. Mayor Fred Homer says he is hearing about the proposal from people on both sides of the issue. While he supports the concept, he says the reason is to make Laramie a better community.
Laramie, Wy – Cowboy football coach Joe Glenn says there is no question what his teams biggest weakness was last year, and for the team to make improvement this season, he says the defense must play better. Glenn spoke during the Cowboys annual media day. He says they have spent a lot of time trying to upgrade the defense. Glenn says to win, they must be able to stop the run. Glenn says there are still some things to sort out in fall camp, but he remains optimistic. Wyoming opens its season at home on September 4th against Appalachian State.
Wyoming – To one degree or another, the Republican challengers to Congresswoman Barbara Cubin claim she has not been an effective representative for Wyoming. Bruce Asay has said Cubin isn't working hard enough for the state and has criticized her for missing votes. Cale Case says the state can have better representation that reflects the thinking of most people in Wyoming. Wyoming Public Radio's Aaron Alpern gauged the opinions of those who've had a first-hand view of Cubin's work in Washington and has this report
Cheyenne, WY – A new report from the Wyoming Department of Employment indicates Wyoming may be scrabling for construction workers. Earlier this year, the legislature approved a half billion dollars in construction spending for new prisons, schools and state office buildings. But the report says recovering economies in other states might make it difficult for Wyoming to get construction workers. One researcher says Wyoming contractors can expect competition from the state's resurgent minerals industry.
Moose, WY – Grand Teton National Park officials say the first calf to be killed by a wolf happened earlier this week. Officials says the Hereford calf was attacked late Tuesday or early Wednesday on the Elk Ranch grazing allotment near Moran Junction in the northeastern part of the park. Two federal wolf managers discovered the carcass and a federal wolf expert verified the calf was killed by a wolf. Officials say wolves have denned in the area since 1999 with virtually no incidents regarding livestock.
Cheyenne, Wy – Unusually warm and dry weather this spring prompted state fire managers to prepare for the worst, but cool and wet weather this summer has resulted in fewer wildfires than usual. State Forester Bill Crapser says the likelihood of severe fires has diminished considerably around Wyoming. He says things could still flare up from the end of August through September. But from here on out firefighters will have the advantage of shorter days and cooler nights. The state Forestry Division battles fires on state land and
Jackson, Wy – The body of a missing hiker has been found in the Teton Wilderness just south of Yellowstone National Park. Authorities confirmed the body was that of 24-year-old David Anderson of Richardson, Texas. Teton County Coroner Bob Campbell says the man died of hypothermia. Bridger-Teton National Forest officials said the remains were discovered yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon -- two days after he went missing. Early reports of the man being mauled by a bear were confirmed,
Laramie, Wy – Republican U-S House candidate Bruce Asay says Wyoming has not benefited from its own energy development as much as it should have. Asay says the federal energy policy has ignored Wyoming's full potential because it has only focused on extraction. But Asay says the state could be using its own resources and ship electricity and similar resources across state lines. He notes that one of the biggest impacts would be the evening out of the states constant boom and bust energy development cycle.
Laramie, Wy – Environmental groups are calling this weeks ruling by a federal appeals court extremely important. The appeals court ruled that the Bureau of land Managements environmental assessment of some leases in the Powder River Basin were faulty. The environmental groups say this now casts doubt on other leases in the area. Powder River Basin Resource Council Director Kevin Lind says this should refocus B-L-M, who has mostly been concerned with developing more natural gas.
Cody, WY – Winter flights on United Express from Cody to Denver are officially set to return this year. Winter trips to Denver ended when Great Lakes Aviation pulled out of Cody a year ago. On Monday, United formally announced it will expand its summer service into a year-round operation. Spokeswoman Jenna Obluck says community support for the summer flights and the work of the Cody Yellowstone Air Service Organization were keys to their decision. Obluck says the airline isn't concerned that winter traffic won't be the same as summer passengers.
Casper, Wy – Without heavy snow in the high country this winter, reservoir levels on the North Platte River will drop beneath already dangerously low levels. That's according to John Lawson of the U-S Bureau of Reclamation. Lawson says Seminoe Reservoir is only a third full and Pathfinder is just at 20 percent capacity. He fears Pathfinder could empty completely without a heavy winter snowpack. Lawson says irrigators in eastern Wyoming will probably be out of water by the end of this month.
Denver, CO – A federal appeals court has given environmental groups a victory over the issuance of three coal-bed methane leases in the Powder River Basin. The 10th U-S Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver has reversed the issuance of three leased to Pennaco Energy. Four conservation groups challenged a decision by U-S District Judge Clarence Brimmer upholding the Bureau of Land Management's issuance of the leases. Brimmer's decision overruled a ruling by the Interior Department's Board of Land Appeals.
Casper, Wy – State lawmakers have agreed to begin drafting legislation that would ban smoking in public places across Wyoming. A subcommittee of the Legislature's full Joint Labor, Health and Social Services Interim Committee voted yesterday (Tuesday) to send the bill to the full committee after it's written. The idea was brought before the subcommittee by Representative John Hastert, a Democrat from Green River. Hastert says state officials and some of his constituents think it's an important public health issue.
Wyoming – The federal Bureau of Land Management has issued a directive to its state offices: Make sure oil and gas companies do not lease more public land than they are supposed to. Wyoming Public Radio's Renny MacKay reports this directive is especially relevant in the Cowboy State