Casper, WY – Wyoming health officials suggest using caution if you're cleaning out that cabin for summer use. Doctor Marty Thone of the Casper/Natrona County Health Department says breathing in deer mice droppings while clearning that closed space could lead to Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome. He says there have been a total of four hantavirus cases in Wyoming since 1992. Thone says that may not seem like a lot, but all of the cases have been fatal. He says there's no cure for hantavirus so prevention is the best defense.
Laramie, WY – The Chief Executive Officer of Laramie's Ivinson Memorial Hospital will keep his job following a tense meeting Wednesday night. The Hospital's Board of Trustees met in front of a crowded room and many of those in attendance were not supporters of C-E-O Jeffrey Feike. Feike was called a liar by members of the public and one hospital staff member told trustees Feike asked him to discredit another doctor at the hospital. Feike says the allegations against him are false and he's worked to address various concerns.
Laramie, Wy – The end of summer is the earliest point at which gas prices may come back down to earth. That's according to Roy Turner, the Executive Vice President of the Colorado Wyoming Petroleum Marketers Association, a group that represents those who sell gas. Triple-A says the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded in Wyoming is now a dollar-92, 45 cents more then a year ago. Turner expects prices to continue their steady climb in the near future.
Laramie, Wyoming – After trying it out for a couple of years, State officials are looking at doing away with the 3-tiered diploma. Currently, when high school students graduate, they can get one of three types of diplomas. State Superintendent Trent Blankenship says there is not a lot of support for keeping those diplomas, noting that he has heard complaints from districts and parents. He expects legislators will drop the diplomas in favor of a more traditional model. However, Blankenship says districts will still need to be responsible for making sure students are proficient.
Laramie, Wy – Wildfire danger in Wyoming is low for the moment, but there is still some risk, especially when an abandoned campfire is involved. With summer around the corner, public land managers are reminding people about campfire safety. Already this spring, there have been four abandoned campfires found in the Bridger-Teton National Forest. One of those escaped its fire ring and fire crews had to be called out to deal with it. Forest Fire Prevention Officer Dean Burnham says campers should always be sure their fire is completely out, whenever leaving a campsite.
Laramie, Wy – Number portability is supposed to happen in Wyoming, but a few companies are asking to be exempt. It allows for you to switch phone companies, but keep the same number. Quest has made the necessary changes, but several Independent companies are asking the Wyoming Public Service commission to exempt them. State Consumer Advocate Bryce Freeman says some of the companies want more time to get everything in order, and he does not have a problem with them. But he is concerned about those who want a waiver.
Laramie, WY – One Wyoming group has concerns about the lack of candidates seeking legislative seats. There are 76 seats up for election, but only 24 of those races have more than one candidate. Marguerite Herman of the Wyoming League of Women Voters says this is bad for the democratic process. Herman urges people who are willing to run for office to do it, even if it means facing an incumbent. The deadline to run for office in Wyoming is Friday.
Newcastle, WY – Federal environmental officials want to know how a refinery accident in Newcastle has affected the health of area residents. The 2002 accident at Wyoming Refinery released 20 tons of powdered silica into the air. The Environmental Protection Agency has asked for a public health assessment of the Newcastle community by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency wants to focus on whether inhaling the powdered silica caused asthma, chronic bronchitis, lung fibrosis and other respiratory ailments.
Laramie, Wy – The U-S Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking public comment on a plan to expand the habitat of the endangered Wyoming toad by using ranch land. The toads are only found at Mortenson Lake southwest of Laramie. They were put on the endangered species list in 1984. Wildlife biologists say the lake has grown too salty and alkaline due to the drought and might be hindering reintroduction. Under proposed "safe harbor" agreements, ranchers who allow toads to be released on their land would be protected if the toads
Laramie, Wy – The Medical Director of the Cancer Center that's part of Ivinson Memorial Hospital in Laramie says the administration has made a series of mistakes and failures. On top of that doctor Clinton Merrill says the administration instructed employees to discredit him. Merrill says the C-E-O of the hospital is the major cause of the shortfalls at the institution. In response C-E-O, Jeffrey Feike, would only say the hospital has a tremendous staff and offers quality care. There will be a public meeting of the hospital board of trustees Wednesday night at 5:15.
Cheyenne, Wy – A crowded field of Republicans hoping to unseat Representative Barbara Cubin may get a little smaller. State Senator Cale Case says he and Cheyenne attorney Bruce Asay have agreed to meet this summer about the possibility one of them ending their campaigns. Case and Asay are among six Republicans running against Cubin in the primary. Three Democrats and one Libertarian are also campaigning. Cubin has served five terms since first elected in 1994.
Laramie, WY – University of Wyoming Trustees approved the second five year plan governing academic goals for the institution. Vice President for Academic Affairs Tom Buchanan says nearly 100 percent of the first academic plan's goals have been met. He says the second plan continues some of the important goals started under the first document. Buchanan says academic areas such as natural resources, life sciences and energy sciences speak to the heart of U-W's academic mission.
Laramie, WY – Wyoming Schools Superintendent Trent Blankenship admits he would have preferred the state Supreme Court sign off on the legislature's school finance plan for both funding and construction. The court decided against that last month, setting the stage for more lawsuits this year. Blankenship wants education funding out of the court's jurisdiction. He says retaining jurisdiction means lawmakers will be reluctant to fine-tune the funding mechanisms further.
Cheyenne, Wy – Denver Based Consul General Juan Marcos Guitierrez told Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal that his country is interested in having closer ties with Wyoming. He suggested having Wyoming officials meet with Mexico's Energy Secretary. Guitierrez would like the Wyoming Business Council to make a visit to Mexico to discuss trade possibilities. Governor Freudenthal says Mexico is one of three countries under consideration for such a trip.
Cheyenne, Wy – Members of Cheyenne's black community say they are disappointed the school board is leaning against naming a school for a longtime educator who was the only black member of the Wyoming Senate. Liz Byrd taught in the district for 27 years. According to the Reverend Clinton Lewis, Byrd almost single-handedly got the Martin Luther King Day bill through the Legislature. He says Byrd also made numerous contributions to education. The school board has instead narrowed the possible names for the
Cheyenne, Wy – The Wyoming Stock Growers Association on will closely watch the Supreme Court as it rules on the Beef Checkoff program. Currently producers pay a fee for both advertisements and promotion of beef. Wyoming Stock Growers Executive Vice President Jim Magagna says most Wyoming cattle producers support the checkoff and have benefited from it. The Supreme Court has been asked to determine whether the program is constitutional.
Kaycee, WY – A state Senator from Kaycee is optimistic Chevron/Texaco will accept Wyoming's latest offer to acquire land around the Fort Phil Kearney historic site. John Schiffer believes the offer is equitable for the oil company. He says the state has a great opportunity to protect the area's viewshed. Schiffer says the land in question resembles what the area looked like in the 1860's.
Casper, WY – Growing concern over the rising cost of medical malpractice insurance is prompting calls for a special session of the Wyoming legislature. The Casper Area Chamber of Commerce recently adopted a resolution urging the Governor to call a special session. Chamber Executive Director Chris Holden says their members are all being impacted by the insurance increases, hearing their doctors talk about retiring early or taking jobs elsewhere. Holden says it it's going to take a constitutional amendment to fix the problem, a sense of urgency is needed.
Wyoming – Chevron/Texaco officials are mulling over the latest Wyoming proposal to acquire land around the Fort Phil Kearny historic site. Wyoming Public Radio's Jim Morgan reports concerns are mounting about the oil company's plans to sell it's ranch surrounding the fort.
Farson, Wy – A rancher and veterinarian is joining the race for Wyoming's lone congressional seat. Marvin Applequist the 2nd says he wants to be elected to represent the more rural elements of the state. Applequist says one issue he would watch carefully is government spending. Applequist will run as a Republican.
Cheyenne, Wy – Months ago, national fire managers predicted the 2004 wildfire season would be a bad one. Now, they're changing their forecast: It's going to be worse. With unseasonably warm temperatures in March and April, the potential loss of heavy air tankers for safety reasons, and a years-long drought continuing, Western states and the federal government are grimly facing the possibility of another devastating fire season. Years of drought have left states across the West vulnerable to extreme fire conditions.
Indianapolis, IN – Rulon Gardner will be heading back to the Olympic Games. Gardner won a pair of tight 2-to-1 overtime decisions over top-seeded Dremiel Byers Sunday to secure the return trip to the Olympics. The Afton native was the 2000 Greco-Roman super heavyweight gold medalist at the Sydney Games. Gardner thought going to the Olympics was an impossible goal after losing a toe to frostbite when he was stranded in a Wyoming blizzard on a snomobile in early 2002. He's had to adjust to wrestling without the balance and leverage he lost when his toe was removed.
Laramie, Wy – University of Wyoming trustees have agreed to continue looking at a proposal for a new 27-hole golf course and residential housing development behind Jacoby Golf. It would add a 3 million dollar clubhouse, a nine million dollar golf course and a million and half in other structures. University of Wyoming President Phil Dubois says it should have a positive cash flow in five years. Area banker and Laramie Economic Development Council member Gary Negich says it could be a tremendous boost to Laramie's economy.
Laramie, Wy – Beer could now be on the menu along with burgers and fries at some local fast-food joints and convenience stores in Green River. The City Council has given final approval to an amendment that allows fast-food restaurants and drug and convenience stores to apply for liquor licenses. The city has three retail liquor licenses still available. An unlimited number of restaurant liquor licenses exist. Each request will still require the City Council's approval.