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.
Laramie, Wyoming – A Laramie woman has been bound over to district court on 14 counts of failure or refusal to account for, deliver or pay over property. 27 year old Alexis Ann Everett is a former of employee of the Albany County treasurers office. Authorities say in April of 2003, when Albany County residents paid their vehicle registrations, Everett changed the depreciation value of the vehicles, which altered to amount owed. She would then keep the difference which ranged from around 25-dollars to 168-dollars. In all, authorities say she took around 17-hundred dollars.
Jackson, Wy – Wyoming democrats are off to Boston to take part in the National Democratic Party Convention. State Party Chairman Mike Gireau says it gives his delegates a chance to meet people they normally only see on television. Since democrats can be lacking in the Cowboy state, he says it also helps rev up party members. Gireau says this is especially important since so many are running for office in Wyoming. He is hoping they will return to the state with new vigor to get more democrats elected.
Cheyenne, Wy – Recent rain may have improved rangeland and reduced the possibility of wildfires in much of Wyoming, but State Climatologist Jan Curtis says it is premature to presume that Wyoming is on its way out of drought. Curtis told the Governor's Drought Management Task Force that vigilance is still needed. The drought caused a 565-(M)-million-dollar decrease in Wyoming's crop and cattle production between 1999 and 2003. That figure that appears unlikely to improve given how 58
Laramie, Wy – A Casper company is finishing up a huge deal with the state of Oregon. Aqua Technologies of Wyoming produces a type of clay that can be used to clean up oil contamination. President, Tony Brown says it is going to an Environmental Protection Agency Superfund site polluted with creosote. He says the deal is for over a million dollars and is significant for his 30 person company. Brown says if the clay works as planned in Oregon it will be used again. He says he plans to expand his plant and hire up to 70 more people in Wyoming.
Laramie, Wy – Conservationists and residents from Sublette County are working hard to make sure the Bureau of Land Management hears their voices. The B-L-M is working on a draft plan to manage over a million acres in the Upper Green River Valley. The coalition wants the agency to allow development of oil and gas, but want it done slowly and responsibly. Linda Baker says part of that is because the boom is having an effect on civil services in Sublette County.
Wyoming – Wyoming Republican Senator Craig Thomas today (Thursday) spoke out in support of the Bush administration's proposed plan to change national forest service land preservation policy. Wyoming's five national forests and grasslands include more than 8 million acres of designated wilderness making up one of the largest blocks of public land in the United States. From our Capitol Hill Bureau, Elana [ee-LAH-nuh] Hadler Perl reports.
Laramie, Wy – Northern Arapaho officials have broken ground on a new casino, one that they hope will someday offer Las Vegas-style gaming. A groundbreaking ceremony was held last Friday at the site of the complex two miles south of Riverton. Burton Hutchinson is chairman of the Northern Arapaho Business Council. He told a crowd of about 70 people that the casino will help the Arapaho people through economic development, and he says he's grateful the operation is about to become reality.
Laramie, Wy – There is a unique vacation opportunity coming up in August. The American Hiking Society has helped to organize three trail repair trips in Wyoming next month. Volunteer Program Manager, Shirley Hearn, says for the price of registration people will get training, food and a place to camp. Hearn says only people in good physical condition should volunteer. The trips in Wyoming are a little harder than average because most require backpacking in several miles to a base camp but the American Hiking Society is organizing trips all over the country.
Laramie, Wy – The state Game and Fish Department is making recommendations to the Bureau of Land Management about how to minimize impacts to wildlife around Pinedale. The proposal is drawing criticism from the oil and gas as well as the agriculture industries. Some have said the Game and Fish is overstepping its boundaries. But, the director of the agency, Terry Cleveland, says in his mind things are getting blown out of proportion because these are just recommendations that the B.L.M. does not have to implement.
Laramie, Wy – A Butte, Montana, man apparently died from a fall in Grand Teton National Park while attempting to climb eleven of the major peaks in the Teton Range. His body was found Tuesday evening after a two-day search. Forty-nine-year-old Dwight Bishop had planned to scale all the peaks on the Grand Traverse route on Friday. His body was found about 6:20 Tuesday evening on the west side of a steep slope known as the Grandstand near the Grand Teton.
Laramie, Wy – An educator from Mississippi who has helped transform his school district and community is in Wyoming this week. Doctor Pat Cooper is a superintendent of schools in Mississippi. He has increased test scores while bringing down juvenile crime, drop outs and expulsions in his district. He says they buy less stuff and hire more people, like nurses, social workers and police officers. Cooper says his system could work in rural areas too, if the community figures out other ways to get people into the school. He recommends working with the community to get support.
Laramie, Wy – The federal Government contends that Wyoming has no legal standing in the dispute over the Department of Interiors rejection of Wyoming's wolf management plan. Attorney General Pat Crank says the jumped out at him as he read the answer to Wyoming's lawsuit in the case. Crank strongly disagrees with that view. He thinks the federal government should focus on whether the rejection of the wolf plan is justified under the merits of the Endangered Species act.
Yellowstone National Park – Work crews opened an emergency lane today (Wednesday) on Yellowstone's East Entrance Road, which remains closed to regular traffic since several mudslides Sunday night. Park officials are optimistic that the road could be reopened to normal traffic by Friday. Following heavy rain Sunday, the slides trapped 16 people in four vehicles. All were rescued safely, though some had to crawl out their car windows because of mud that was up to four feet deep.
Casper, Wy – A Democratic Congressional candidate is making a contract with Wyoming. Ted Ladd announced at a news conference that he does not support increasing the deficit without corresponding cuts. He will be present and voting on 90 percent of the votes cast on the floor of the house. Ladd also pledges to visit every Wyoming County each year. If not, Ladd says he will be willing to pay the price. He says he will donate five percent of his salary to a Wyoming charity if he does not live up to his promises.
Laramie, Wy – Debbie McLeland says it won't be easy to appear on stage with the man who was responsible for her son's death -- and seven others in a drunken driving crash three years ago. The Gillette woman will share a stage with Clint Haskins, who is serving 14 to 20 years in prison for the crash September 16th, 2001, that killed Morgan McLeland and seven other members of the University of Wyoming men's cross-country team. Haskins will be allowed to leave prison so he and Debbie McLeland can separately present their stories Tuesday at Gillette's Cam-plex.
Washington D-C – Wyoming Senator Mike Enzi introduced legislation that is similar to a bill passed in the state legislature. Called the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement act it is intended to get better information on health care errors. Senator Enzi says without it, Doctors will be afraid to talk about near misses and other problems. Enzi says this is one more reason why there needs to be an overhaul of the country's medical litigation system.
Laramie, Wy – The U-S Bureau of Land Management is asking the public to review a proposal from Questar. The company is asking to conduct limited year-round drilling, and build a 110-mile pipeline in western Wyoming. The proposal applies to a portion of Questar's leases which lie within big-game winter range near Pinedale. A public open house and meeting will be held July 29th at the Pinedale Volunteer Fire Department from 3 until 8 o'clock.
Yellowstone National Park – Sixteen people had to be rescued last night (Sunday) after mudslides bogged down three vehicles and stranded a fourth near the east entrance of Yellowstone National Park. The east entrance is closed and it doesn't look like it will be reopened any time soon. The two largest slides were ten feet deep and 90 yards long. Yellowstone spokesman Al Nash says thousands of cubic feet of debris will have to be removed. Besides that, the slides undercut part of the roadway and washed away guardrails.
Cheyenne, Wyoming – Wyoming legislators are pointing at a report to prove that lawmakers have taken the issues of school funding seriously. The Nelson A. Rockefeller institute of Government released a report saying that Wyoming had the second highest growth in per-pupil spending between 1997 and 2002. Senate President Hank Coe says the legislature has worked incredibly hard to fund schools. House Education Chairman Jeff Wasserburger adds that rising test scores validate the investment in students.
Laramie, Wy – A mudslide caused by torrential rain trapped 16 people in their vehicles in Yellowstone National Park Sunday. Spokesman Al Nash says no one's been injured. Workers were trying to free three vehicles from the mess, which has temporarily closed the park's east entrance. Nash says the slide occurred around eight p-m Sunday. As much as four feet of mud covers the east entrance road from Cub Creek to an area about seven miles from the park's eastern boundary.
Laramie, Wy – A male wolf that killed four cows southwest of Cody has been removed from its pack and destroyed. A female with pups was left behind. Federal wildlife officials are hoping the attacks on cattle in the area -- near Carter Mountain -- will stop. Five other wolves in the region have been removed this year. They included a male wolf in the Owl Creek range near Meeteetse, three wolves from the Washakie Pack near Dubois and another near Green River Lakes, all for cattle depredation.
Laramie, Wy – Now it is education officials who want to know the status of the school finance litigation case. A Coalition of Education groups have asked a District court to require the state to demonstrate its compliance with the mandate of the Supreme The legislature has had to provide each student with a quality education reguardless of where they live. The legislature was supposed to cost base its funding model. But Campbell County Superintendent Richard Strahorn doubts the cost based aspect has been resolved. He says that is what will keep the case in litigation.
Laramie, Wy – For the first time ever a swimmer from the University of Wyoming qualified for the Olympics. Scott Usher finished second at the trials in California and is ranked fourth in the world now. Usher says the trials were a thrill because 10 thousand people packed the stands. The senior-to-be is now training at Stanford University he leaves for Europe August first. He will compete in the 200 meter breaststroke and he says it is possible he could be asked to swim in the relay event as well.