Wheatland, Wy – Two citizens have notified Wyoming Premium Farms and The Department of Environmental Quality of their intent to sue over alleged air and water quality violations at the Hog Farm operations in Platte County. Despite a previous settlement, the Hog Farm has failed to resolve issues involving odor and water quality. Attorney Mary Throne says her clients, Richard and Bonnie Johnson are upset that although the state has cited the company, they have done little more.
Cheyenne, WY – Threats over possible legal action concerning the State Hospital has Wyoming officials reviewing practices at the Evanston facility. Health Department Director Deb Fleming says a third review team that includes regional and national experts will be the next group to study the facility. While Fleming calls a recent suicide at the State Hospital tragic, she hopes the review teams will be able to make the hospital better. She welcomes the kind of outside expertise being used to study the facility's operations.
Laramie, Wy – After getting turned down once the state is making another offer to buy land around Fort Phil Kearney and the Fetterman Battlefield. ChevronTexaco owns a ranch that basically surrounds the National Historic sites. The company turned down the first proposal to buy some of the property. The director of the Office of State Lands and Investments, Lynne Boomgaarden, says there is wide support for this effort because its purchase will help protect the historical designation and a viable tourist destination.
Sheridan, Wy – Threats over possible legal action concerning the State Hospital, has Wyoming officials reviewing practices at the Evanston facility. Health Department Director Deb Fleming says a third review team that includes regional and national experts will be the next group to study the facility. While Fleming calls the recent suicide at the State Hospital tragic, she is hoping the review teams will be able to make the hospital better.
Laramie, WY – Wyoming law enforcement agencies are dividing up a three million dollar federal grant. In Laramie, it means a total of 92 thousand dollars. Police Chief Dave O'Malley says the grant money has to go toward training or equipment in the effort to prevent terrorism. He says it could be used for bullet-proof helments, a mobile command center, or pay the costs of training. The grant came from the Department of Homeland Defense and each police department is getting money based on the number of officers it employs.
Laramie, WY – A German Fulbright scholar studing at U-W says the state continues to have a problem with poverty even though there are very few people collecting welfare. Annette Tezli has researched welfare reform. She says part of the reason there continues to be a large number of poor people in the state is because lawmakers who pushed the reforms recognized there was a low unemployment rate in Wyoming. Tezli says work requirements meant most of those people went into low paying jobs. She says more Wyomingites are now using food stamps and Medicaid programs.
Cheyenne, WY – Wyoming's school funding lawsuit may be a topic of discussion during a closed door meeting of the state's supreme court justices. Justice Michael Golden tells the Associated Press procedural matters regarding the future direction of the suit are on the court's agenda. He left open the possibility the court might delay a decision regarding the 12 year old funding lawsuit. Golden says justices may want to discuss the issue further and hold off on issuing a decision.
Cheyenne, Wy – The Wyoming Supreme Court has ruled against the states request to declare the new school capital construction model constitutional. But it also ruled against appointing a special master to oversee school finance disagreements. Justice Michael Golden wrote that the court found that the matter does not represent the type of impasse that should invoke the court's retained jurisdiction. Deputy Attorney General Mike O'Donnell says the ruling is good for the state.
Laramie, Wy – The Old Faithful Inn located in Yellowstone National Park has been standing for almost exactly 100 years. It officially opened for business in June of 1904 and was the first of its type in any national park. Yellowstone Historian Lee Whittlesey says when it was built it was not controversial because back then there was plenty of forests and wildlands, so the emphasis was on creating resorts.
Laramie, Wy – An attorney for the state says that a man convicted of murdering Matthew Shepard five years ago should NOT be given a chance to argue for a lighter sentence. Russell Henderson filed a petition last month asking Judge Jeffrey Donnell to find that he was denied effective assistance of counsel after his guilty plea to felony murder and kidnapping. Henderson received two consecutive life terms without parole. His attorney, Tim Newcomb, claimed the state's appellate lawyers
Laramie, Wy – A man accused of running over his girlfriend with a car in Newcastle has been charged with first-degree murder. Lauren LaPointe is accused of killing Dusty Renee Tuttle during an alcohol-fueled fight last Sunday evening. Both have lived in Newcastle for a few months. Court papers say LaPointe and Tuttle have had numerous domestic arguments.
Laramie, Wy – About half of the state lawmakers who would have been term-limited this year say they are undecided about their political futures now that the law has been overturned. According to the Associated Press three plan to run for re-election; two are retiring; five are undecided; and two could not be reached for comment. Those who plan to run again include Senator Charles Scott of Casper and Representative Ross Diercks of Lusk. Representative Wayne Johnson of Cheyenne plans to attempt a
Cheyenne, WY – An explosives demonstration for firefighters and emergency personnel touched off a small grass Wednesday east of Cheyenne. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms was detonating explosives in cars at the Cheyenne Fire Training Center when flames ignited grass under a vehicle. Strong winds blew the fire out of control briefly before firefighters reined in the blaze. It was kept to about 25 acres in size.
Laramie, WY – Wyoming Congresswoman Barbara Cubin has a new opponent in her re-election bid. According to the Casper Star Tribune, Laramie resident Mike Oxley has announced as the fourth candidate to run for the Republican nomination. Oxley and Cubin will be joined by Cheyenne Attorney Bruce Asay and State Senator from Lander Cale Case.
Cheyenne, Wy – Governor Freudenthal was on hand as a non-profit company was unveiled in Cheyenne Thursday. The Mountain Plains Equity Group is the product of conversations by state officials in Wyoming, Montana, and North Dakota about the need for affordable housing. Company CEO Don Sterhan says they hope to serve as a bridge between investors and developers to get more affordable housing built in the three states. No specific communities will be targeted, at first. Sterhan says they will look at projects already on the drawing boards of developers and find out where the needs are.
Laramie, Wy – The sportsmen's group Trout Unlimited has put out a study critical of the amount of oil and gas development the federal government is allowing. Dave Stalling wrote the report. He says the water discharged during coal bed methane extraction is likely impacting the quality and quantity of water in streams and could be killing fish, but unfortunately there has not been enough research done to prove if this is true or not. His solution is to slow down production until there are some conclusive answers about what impact coal bed methane water has on fish.
Laramie, Wy – The Sybille Education Center is closing its doors this summer. The facility, which allows people to see big game animals up close normally opens on May first, but this year the Game and Fish Department decided to keep the center closed to save money and do some repairs. Information Specialist Michelle Zitek says they will consider whether they can afford to reopen the center and run tours next year. She says they do not want to have it open if the service is not all that it can be.
Laramie, Wy – People from across Wyoming donated a total of two and a half tons of new school supplies, which will be sent to children in Baghdad. Leo Sanchez, from Casper, helped organize this effort and then drove the donations to Kansas City, he says when he arrived people were amazed with Wyoming's generosity. FedEx then flew the supplies to Baghdad where members of the military delivered them to schools. Sanchez says they got donations from every school district in the state.
Laramie, Wy – Just over one year after firing its last city manager the Laramie city council voted to terminate the contract of Bonnie Ridley-Kraft. She served as city manager for about eight months. After the vote mayor Fred Homer said the council did not have any confidence in Ridley-Kraft, who resigned from her last job. Still Homer says nothing stood out in her record when they reviewed her credentials that would have been a warning. He says the city manager profession is a tough one because few people serve for very long and you have nine bosses.
Cheyenne, WY – The Wyoming Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that voters do not have the right to impose term limits on state legislators through a ballot initiative. The ruling means about a dozen House and Senate members who were prohibited from seeking re-election this year can now do so if they choose.
Laramie, Wy – Many states around the country are dealing with the fact that many inmates will die in prison, and that inmates on average are getting older and will require more health care. The issue is starting to be a concern in Wyoming. State Corrections Director Bob Lampert notes that Wyoming has an older population overall, and many of those could end up in the prison system. For that reason, Lampert is considering elderly care as they move forward with a new prison.
Laramie, Wy – The Laramie city council is expected to decide the fate of the Laramie city manager tonight. Officials have been negotiating with Bonnie Ridley-Kraft over the past several days after telling her that they want to make a change. The issue will be over a severance package. It could be the second straight year that Ridley-Kraft has left a City Manager's Post without completing a year on the job. She worked eight months in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
Sheridan, Wy – A group of Sheridan homeowners claim coal-bed methane development is lowering water well levels, but a drilling company denies the charge. Allison Cole of Beatty Spur Subdivision north of Sheridan claims methane development is reducing well production and water levels. However, Bill DeLapp of J-M Huber Corporation disputes that methane development is to blame. He says a number of other reasons could explain the drop, including drought, increased water well density in the subdivision
Cheyenne – Wyoming legislators can now stop the constant hand-wringing over term limits. The Wyoming Supreme Court ruled that voters do not have the right to impose term limits on legislators, saying that such a change can only be done through a constitutional amendement. Wyoming Public Radio's Bob beck reports that lawmakers who were facing term limits are pleased, but a man who got the law passed in 1992 is furious.
Thermopolis, Wy – Voters in Hot Springs County head to the polls today (Tuesday) to decide whether to approve a larger high school. The question is whether three-point-five-(M)-million dollars in revenue bonds should be issued. The money would be used to build a school that would be 24-thousand square feet larger than the size the state will pay for.