Labarge, WY – Exxonmobil is in the process of upgrading its natural gas processing facility near the western Wyoming town of Labarge. The energy giant says it will spend about $400 million environmental improvements. Exxonmobil Spokeswoman Charlotte Howard says they are building a co-generation facility that will make the entire plant self-sustaining in regard to electricity. Howard says this should also reduce overall emissions from the Labarge facility. The co-generation facility that will supply Exxonmobil with its own electricity could also help locally.
Cheyenne, WY – Wyoming is ranked third in the country in terms of state residents passing the General Education Development or G-E-D program. The American Council of Education puts Wyoming's passing rate at 91%. Shellie Stewart of Wyoming's Department of Workforce Services says while that's good news, there are nearly 38 thousand Wyoming workers who could benefit from getting their G-E-D. Stewart says it makes economic sense since people with G-E-D's or high school diplomas earn an average of seven thousand dollars more per year than those who don't.
Laramie, Wy – Several conservation groups announced they have agreed to drop their lawsuit against an energy company. This comes after the Wyoming based groups and Bill Barrett Corporation reached a compromise on how development of natural gas wells should proceed. Bill Barrett Corporation's Duane Zavadil says they sought out the conservationists to try and negotiate and he's glad they did because it much more productive to come to an agreement than to go to court. Zavadil says he was pleasantly surprised at the willingness of conservation groups to compromise.
Laramie, WY – A circuit court judge in Laramie refused to dismiss fraud charges against a former state lawmaker Thursday. Judge Randall Arp found there is sufficient evidence against Terry Guice for the case to move to district court and an arraignment that should happen in about a month. Guice is accused of using a phony company to defraud Oftedal Construction Company out of over $50,000. The prosecution claims Guice has been unable to show he actually obtained the items he supposedly sold to Oftedal.
Cheyenne, WY – A phone company in Chugwater is trying to get a ruling that its' service is competitive. The company reasons that cellular telephone and other services has made it competitive. But Wyoming Consumer Advocate Bryce Freeman opposes the attempt because it would allow the phone provider to be unregulated. Freeman says the available services are nowhere near the point they need to be. He says the Wyoming Public Service Commission still has to rule on the issue, but he fears a positive ruling would lead to other companies doing the same thing.
Cheyenne, WY – The Wyoming Supreme Court has rejected Russell Henderson's attempt to argue for reduction of his two consecutive life prison sentences. Henderson is one of two men serving time for the murder of Matthew Shepard. The court refused to review a decision by a lower court judge rejecting Henderson's claim that his state-appointed lawyers failed to discuss potential appeals with him. Henderson pleaded guilty to felony murder and kidnapping in the October 1998 murder of Shepard.
Riverton, WY – A debate with the eight major party candidates for Wyoming's seat in the US House will be held on next Tuesday night in Riverton. Separate debates will be held for the five Republican candidates and three Democratic candidates. The debates will air on Wyoming Public Television and will be simulcast on Wyoming Public Radio, starting at 7 pm.
Wyoming – An energy company is seeking to do more drilling year round in an area that is crucial winter habitat for wildlife. Questar Corporation already has permission to operate one drill rig all year, but Wyoming Public Radio's Renny MacKay reports that this time the company is offering to spend a lot of money to try and reduce impacts
Laramie, Wy – The public will have a chance to ask questions about a proposal by Questar to do more all year drilling in crucial winter habitat for big game Thursday. The proposal involves land south of Pinedale. The company wants to use several techniques to reduce the impact on the habitat and on wildlife. Questar's Pinedale General Manager, Ron Hogan says this includes decreasing the ecological footprint by a third and cutting down on the number of vehicle trips into the habitat by up to 25 thousand every year.
Laramie, WY – Entrepreneurs from around Wyoming are gathering in Laramie Thursday to learn how to bring in capital. Well Dog President John Pope says the one day event will be a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs. Pope says several out-of-state investors that have demonstrated a willingness to invest in Wyoming companies will be in attendance. He says those investors will tell participants how to attract their money and what kinds of companies they seek.
Cheyenne, Wy – Governor Freudenthal has an invitation to this week's Democratic National Convention in Boston, but he's not attending because he says the timing of it is horrible. Freudenthal says he and his wife, Nancy, have long been committed to support Cheyenne Frontier Days this week. Then on Saturday, they plan to be in Rock Springs for several events including the Red Desert Roundup parade and a cattle drive.
Laramie, Wy – Bureau of Land Management Director Kathleen Clarke says recent rains have eased this year's wildfire outlook for the West. After a briefing at the National Interagency Fire Center today, Clarke says there's still potential for serious fires in California, Washington and in the Sierra range. But she says that overall the season shouldn't be as bad as last year.
Laramie, WY – The Republican candidates for Wyoming's lone seat in Congress almost all agree on the Marriage Protection Act. The U-S House approved the legislature that would keep federal courts from reviewing parts of a law that says states do not have to recognize same-sex marriages from other states. Incumbent Representative Barbara Cutin voted in favor of the act and opponents Bruce Asay and Jim Altebaumer say they would have too. Altebaumer says marriage should only be between a man and a woman.
Laramie, Wy – The Democratic National Committee is taking a closer look at Wyoming's U-S House race. Wyoming state House Minority Leader Wayne Reese of Cheyenne spoke with the national committee members in Boston at the national convention. Reese says the committee members see this year's race as winnable at least against Republican incumbent Barbara Cubin. Reese says the Democrats believe Cubin has overstayed her welcome.
Casper – Starting October 4th, Northwest Airlines will fly two planes a day from Casper to Minneapolis-St.Paul. The new service was announced Tuesday morning at the Natrona County International Airport. And while excitement over jet service to the Twin Cities is high, the pressure is on make the service viable. Wyoming Public Radio's Aaron Alpern reports from Casper.
Laramie, WY – A group of Wyoming landowners are trying to get enough signatures to put a split estate initiative on the ballot. Landowners Association of Wyoming spokeswoman Laurie Goodman says they're hoping to get enough signatures to put the issue on the 2006 Wyoming ballot. Lawmakers have failed to pass similar legislation and Goodman says they're trying to get something passed to even the playing field with oil and gas developers. She says there is no law in Wyoming requiring compensation for property damage done by oil and gas drilling.
Laramie, WY – A dietician and author says each community can do something to reduce childhood obesity. Dayle Hayes says it doesn't take laws or regulations, just an effort to help kids be more active. Hayes says you can't walk to school if there are no sidewalks in your subdivision. She says that means kids have to be driven to school. Hayes says Wyoming communities don't need to ban vending machines, but rather work to put healthier products in those machines.
Laramie, WY – The same-sex marriage issue has found its way into the race for Wyoming's seat in the U-S House of Representatives. A vote last week by Representative Barbara Cubin on the Marriage Protection Act is drawing criticism from one of Cubin's Republican opponents. The act would prohibit federal courts from reviewing portions of another law that says states cannot be forced to accept same-sex marriages from other states. State Senator Cale Case of Lander says the bill's passage trampled the constitution by undermining the country's system of checks and balances.
Casper, Wy – Northwest Airlines announced Tuesday that it will begin flying a Casper to Minneapolis-Saint Paul route in October. And the new flights will likely receive a lot of attention because this effort is one of three the Wyoming Business Council has invested state money into. The Business Council's Patrick Pitet believes legislators will focus on these flights to determine if they want the air service enhancement program to continue.
Topic: A group of Wyoming landowners are trying to get enough signatures to put a split estate initiative on the ballot. Guest: Laurie Goodman, Landowners Association of Wyoming spokeswoman and landowner, Eric Barlow
Topic: Consumer Issues with Consumer Advocate, Bryce Freeman
Cheyenne, WY – One reason hospital administrators are hopeful the state is moving toward a resolution on the medical malpractice front is due to doctor recruitment. Since the American Medical Association named Wyoming a crisis state due to a lack of caps on non-economic damages, it's been difficult to get specific doctors to come to the state. Wyoming Hospital Association Director Robert Kidd says finding specialists has been nearly impossible. Kidd says there's a national shortage of medical professionals which compounds the problem in Wyoming.
Laramie, WY – Wyoming's Republican Party has both local and national plans underway to support the upcoming elections. Party Chair Jim Willox says grassroots level organizing in counties throughout Wyoming will be a key park in this year's election cycle. Willox says party members discussed the need for such grassroots organization at the state convention and a number of plans are operating in counties around the state.
Minneapolis, MN – A deal to start flights from Casper to Minneapolis on Northwest Airlines appears to be complete. Negotiations between Northwest and the Casper Area Economic Development Alliance started in June and if the airline's website is any indication, an agreement has been reached. Reservations for the Casper to Minneapolis route can now be made on the Northwest website for flights after October 4th, which has been the expected start date for the service.
Moose, WY – Grand Teton National Park biologists euthanized a male black bear Friday that had become habituated to people and human food. Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott says the 229 pound bear was about eight years old and was put down out of concern for public safety. The bear had obtained at least a half dozen food rewards from unattended coolers and backpacks over the past few weeks from popular visitor areas. The bear showed no fear of people, approaching hikers and picnickers repeatedly.