Cody, WY – The Shoshone National Forest is getting something new to help battle wildfires. A Type Two medium helicopter will be stationed in Cody to help with the summer's wildfire season. Acting Fire Management Officer Clint Dawson says the helicopter can carry twice as much water and twice as many firefighters when compared to the light helicopters they've used in the past. Even with the new equipment, Dawson expects a challenging fire season ahead.
Jackson, WY – A wolf's death is being investigated as part of the probe into the poisoning of over 20 dogs in western Wyoming and Idaho. Originally, it was believed that wolves were the targets of the pesticide-laced meat baits. That theory has come into question with the finding of the poson inside the town of Jackson. U-S Fish and Wildlife Service special agent Dominic Dominici says a wolf carcass was found about three weeks ago. He says since the dead wolf was found in the Greys River area, it may have been poisoned too.
Ranchester, WY – Sheridan County saw a tornado touch down Thursday afternoon. An air mass moving across northern Wyoming spawned the tornado between 3:30-4:00 in an area between Sheridan and Ranchester. Keith Meier is the Meteorologist in Charge of the National Weather Service office in Billings. Meier traveled to the site of the twister Friday. He says after looking at video shot by Sheridan Police, he thinks it was an F-Zero tornado, which usually carry winds of 70 to 90 miles an hour.
Laramie, WY – Gas stations are seeing an increase in the number of people who fill up and drive off without paying. There have been reported out of Gillette about a number of gas thefts occurring there. Colorado-Wyoming Petroleum Marketers Association Executive Vice President Roy Turner says drive-offs generally go up when gas prices rise. He says it's more a problem in Colorado than Wyoming because Wyoming law enforcement is more aggressive in catching gas thieves.
Wyoming – The Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee is using seven captive grizzly bears in West Yellowstone, Montana to officially certify bear proof containers. The hope is this will protect bears living in the wild. Wyoming Public Radio's Renny MacKay reports on the work of the captive grizz
Cheyenne, WY – Wyoming's two indian tribes will share 12 million dollars in federal mineral royalties. The money for the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone tribes comes from a settlement in a dispute over underpaid royalties between 1973 and 2000. The settlement is part of an ongoing lawsuit between the tribes and the federal government over mismanaged tribal funds and resources. The six million dollars for each tribe will be split with 85 percent going to tribe members and 15 percent to tribal government.
Laramie, Wy – Wyoming is home of such grand things as Old Faithful, Devil's Tower and the Tetons -- but not big tax bills. Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine examined state and local tax assessments in each state's most populous city, based on what an imaginary family of four with an annual income of 90-thousand dollars might pay. Cheyenne was the lowest, collecting 22-hundred dollars on average per year. Houston was second, followed by Jacksonville, Florida and Memphis, Tennessee.
Dubois, WY – Searchers have recovered the bodies of three Nebraska residents who died in a plane crash more than two weeks ago. The bodies were brought out Tuesday afternoon by a team airlifted by helicopter to the crash site near Gannett Peak south of Dubois. Inclement weather prevented recovery of the bodies until Tuesday. All three of the victims were found inside the plane. The airplane wreckage will be removed later.
Topic: Investigation of the poisoning of dogs around Jackson Hole; Guest: Darren Rudd is an animal control officer with the Teton County Sheriff's Department
Topic: Wyoming communities may benefit from the passing down of wealth from one generation to the next called the Inter-generational Wealth Transfer; Guest: George Golt, President of the Community Foundation
Topic: Jim Morgan speaks with Wyoming author and environmental consultant, Jeffe Kennedy about her book "Wyoming Trucks, True Love and the Weather Channel"
Laramie, Wy – Just days after a report on operations at the State Hospital came out a patient there stabbed a staff member. Attorney General Pat Crank says the report on the psychiatric facility did mention that staff needs to be more cautious with silverware. And it was a butter knife that the patient used in the attack. Crank says fortunately the staff member will be OK.
Dubois, WY – A crew has been flown to an 11,000 foot peak in the Wiond River Range to retrieve three people killed in a plane crash. The effort to recover the bodies of the three Scottsbluff, Nebraska residents has been hampered by foul weather since the May 23rd plane crash. County Coroner Ed McAuslan says authorities met Monday and decided the weather had improved enough to go ahead.
Casper, WY – Casper's 10 Commandments monument will remain in storage for another year. That's due to rising construction costs, which will delay work on a monument plaza near Casper's downtown. The plaza is designed to be an entryway to downtown and will hold other historical monuments. The only bid for the work came in 50 percent higher than what the city budgeted. City Manager Tom Forslund says private and public construction projects have seen higher than expected bids recently. He says the project is too small for large contractors and too big for smaller one.
Sheridan, WY – Firefighters have managed to contain a small blaze burning the in the Bighorn National Forest southwest of Sheridan. Forest spokesman Craig Yancey says a 20 percent hot shot crew conducted mop-up operations on the lightning-sparked ten acre fire near Twin Lakes Tuesday. Yancey says it's the earliest start to the fire season he's seen in the 15 years he's been with the Bighorn forest. He says it could predict how bad the fire season might be due to drought conditions.
Jackson, WY – The poisoning of dogs in Jackson Hole has taken a new turn. Authorities have two confirmed cases and a possible third where meat laced with poison has been found inside the Town of Jackson. A total of 21 dogs have been poisoned in this way in Wyoming and Idaho with eight dying. Additionally, foxes, coyotes, and moose may have also been killed by the poison baits. Darren Rudd is an animal control officer with the Teton County Sheriff's Department. Rudd says finding the poison within city-limits changes what they think motive may be.
Laramie, Wy – The chair of the Healthcare Commission says the state is losing doctors. And he says to stop this the legislature needs to approve a constitutional amendment and give doctors subsidies. All of this is to deal with increasing rates of medical malpractice insurance. Chairman, Chris Muirhead, says it is critical to pass the constitutional amendment because it would give future legislators the ability to cap the amount of money someone can sue a doctor for.
Cody, WY – Governor Dave Freudenthal says a newly appointed Split Estate Task Force has a difficult job ahead. The task force was created to recommend legislation to solve problems between people who own land and others that own mineral rights under that land. Task Force member Representative Colin Simpson of Cody chairs the House Judiciary Committee, which tried to craft a bill to deal with the issue. He says it's an extremely complex one when you consider some options fly in the face of 100 years of property law.
Topic: Renny Mackay reports that the governor formally protested the leasing of some land for oil and gas around Pinedale
Topic: Governor Dave Freudenthal says a newly appointed Split Estate Task Force has a difficult job ahead; Guest: Colin Simpson, Task Force member Representative and Cody chairs the House Judiciary Committee
Topic: Gateway park in Lander built by a group of High School Students; Guest: Megan Roberts, Interact Club Member
Laramie, Wy – The governor formally protested the leasing of some land for oil and gas around Pinedale. In a letter written Monday to the director of the Bureau of Land Management Governor Freudenthal asked that no more parcels be leased until a resource management plan is done. He says this would not slow down development because 92 percent of the area is already leased. The Vice President of the Petroleum Association of Wyoming, Dru Bower, says it is a bad idea to block any potential leases because of the importance of developing domestic sources of energy.
Buffalo, WY – While fire crews around the west are battling wildfires, the wildfire season in Wyoming has just begun. Firefighters in the Bighorn National Forest are battling a ten-acre blaze about 30 iles northwest of Buffalo. The fire on the western edge of Twin Lakes was started by lightnining on Sunday. About 20 members of the Wyoming Hotshots inmate firefighting team are on the scene along with seven firefighters from the Bighorn National Forest crew.
Cheyenne, WY – The Wyoming Education Association is expressing dismay that teacher salaries remain stagnant despite the state's economic boom. That's the conclusion of a new National Education Association report. W-E-A President Gary McDowell says investing in children is the best way the state can spend its' surplus. He says the current school funding model leaves it up to school districts to allocate money for teacher salaries. McDowelll says if a district chooses to increase teacher salaries, then they have to take those funds away from other programs.
Denver, CO – A young wolf from Yellowstone was found dead last weekend, near Denver. That's nearly 500 miles from her home, and officials are trying to determine how she got there and how she died. Federal officials say the 2-year-old wolf had broken legs and believe she was struck and killed by a vehicle on Interstate 70. The wolf was identified by her radio collar. Her last radio signal was detected in January near Mammoth Hot Springs in the northern part of Yellowstone. A necropsy, the animal equivalent of an autopsy, is planned.
Jackson, Wy – When the economy picks up it means companies start looking to expand. And one of the people who tells them where to locate new facilities visited Wyoming last week. Bob Ady says one thing he considers when choosing a site is the availability of a skilled workforce. He says it helps a community if it is located near a college, university, or even a distance learning outlet. Ady says he has heard there are over two hundred prospective businesses considering moving to Wyoming.
Laramie, WY – A Laramie group is trying to get the city council to pass an ordinance to outlaw smoking in all businesses. The idea has met with opposition from several Laramie bar owners, who believe the idea to go smoke-free should be voluntary. Larry Deal of Smoke-free Laramie says the ordinance is needed because it's a health issue that should not be voluntary. Deal says business owners aren't allowed to voluntarily regulate the amount of asbestos in their air, so he questions why should it be different with second-hand smoke.
Riverton, WY – There will be a Special Session of the Wyoming Legislature starting July 12th. Lawmakers have voted overwhelmingly in favor of the Special Session to address rising medical malpractice insurance rates and the resulting numbers of doctors leaving the state. The vote was 18-10 among Senators and 48-6 in the House. Senate President April Brimmer-Kunz says she hopes lawmakers will use the Special Session to begin to resolve the matter. She doesn't want to create expectations that they can completely solve the problem in just a week.
Cheyenne, WY – A Campbell County man has become the first resident of the state and the third in the nation to contract the West Nile virus this year. The Wyoming West Nile case comes three weeks earlier than the first recorded case in 2003. The Campbell County man developed West Nile fever and is currently recovering. Wyoming State Health Officer Doctor Brent Sherard says the early discovery may portend a serious West Nile virus season in the state this year.