Jackson, Wyoming – A report last week understated the amount of money being fundraised by Democratic Congressional candidate Ted Ladd of Jackson. Wire reports listed Ladd as raising only 25-hundred dollars, but federal reports show Ladd as having fundraised over 15 thousand from individuals. Another ten thousand came from Ladd for a total of 25 thousand. Ladd thinks this shows there is support for his campaign. Ladd says the campaign is very early, and it will take a lot more money for someone to actually win the seat.
Riverton, WY – Riverton airport officials are seeking financial help from Fremont county to pay for much-needed runway improvements. Airport board members and Riverton City Councilors want nearly 200 thousand dollars from the county to make up an anticipated shortfall. A higher than anticipated bid of one-point-five million dollars was submitted on a crosswind taxiway project. Riverton city officials say they can't afford to pay more due to the city's mainstreet reconstruction project coming in over bid. Commissioners are expected to reach a decision on the request by June 30th.
Cheyenne, WY – The Historic Governor's Mansion in Cheyenne is closed until 2005 to allow for major renovation work. Mansion Superintendent Tim White says the last time the mansion had a top to down renovation was in 1937. He says everything from plumbing, heating and electrical systems need updating. White says renovations began last year when the mansion received a new hail-resistant roof and new gutters and downspouts. He says the legislature has appropriated 835 thousand dollars over the last three years for the work.
Laramie, Wy – A brother and sister from southeast Wyoming have won a business competition at the University of Wyoming. Patrick and Amie Zimmerer, of Huntley, topped the Entrepreneurship Competition with their proposal to make wine from state-grown grapes. They were awarded five thousand dollars to start their business this summer. Another five thousand dollars will be made available based on a progress report. Patrick Zimmerer is a third-year law student and the general
Cheyenne, WY – State Game and Fish officials are keeping a close eye on hunting license applications following a fee increase that averaged 20 percent. Wyoming Game and Fish Deputy Director Bill Wichers says fewer non-residents have applied for licenses since the new fees went into effect. He says that's typical following a fee increase. Wichers says adding that to the cost of investigating the elk deaths near Rawlins and it stretches an already tight budget. But he believes the Game and Fish was able to absorb the cost of the investigation into this year's budget.
Laramie, Wy – Many consumers are making their choice gas selections this month, but Wyoming's Consumer advocate thinks it might be just as smart to stay with the market. Bryce Freeman says over the last two years, those who took what is called the pass on rate actually saved money, compared to those who selected a choice gas supplier. Freeman reminds consumers that gas companies like Choice Gas because they can set fixed rates. Freeman says his office also dislikes the program because it is confusing and because rates change daily.
Laramie, Wy – Another person has entered the race to try and unseat Congresswoman Barbara Cubin. Al Hamburg from Torrington announced he will run in the Democratic primary. Hamburg is 72 and says he does not necessarily expect to win, but will speak his mind. He says a priority should be the creation of jobs, which he says can be done by stopping the flow of illegal immigrants into the country.
jackson hole, wyoming – For a fourth winter in a row, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort didn't meet its goal of attracting visitors. The stagnant visitation comes after an intense period of upscale development at the base of the resort. The improvements include the recent opening of the 225-(M)-million-dollar Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole. Resort spokeswoman Anna Olson says the figures are disappointing. But she marketing surveys and other factors suggest improvement over the next couple years.
Cheyenne, WY – Volunteer help and an outpouring of donations have kept all but one of Wyoming's local Red Cross branch offices open. The Red Cross announced lst summer that budget constraints would force all the Wyoming branches to close except the Cheyenne headquarters. The Sheridan, Lander and Rawlins branches are staying open with help from waived rent. And increased donations have kept open the branches in Laramie, Jackson, Worland, Casper, Gillette and Douglas. The exception is the office in Green River, which was closed.
Cheyenne, Wy – An economist says Wyoming's investment policy is too conservative. Doctor Shelby Gerking was a professor at U-W for 20 years. He says the state treasurer's office keeps too much money in cash. He compares Wyoming to Alaska because that state has about 50 percent of its money in in the stock market. Wyoming has about 10 percent of its money in the markets. Gerking says Alaska makes 2% more on their investments. If Wyoming got this rate of return he says the state would get 80 million dollars more every two years, which translates into $100,000 per day.
Topic: The future of the Campbell County economy will be the focus of interviews with the County Economic Development Corporation; Guest: Ruth Benson, Market Director of the Economic Development Corporation
Topic: Wyoming Reporter's Roundtable State Tax System, National Park budgets and the wolf lawsuit
Riverton, Wy – Department of Corrections officials say a person suspected of killing a Honor Farm nurse has been returned to the state pen in Rawlins, to await formal charges. Riverton police are continuing their investigation, but Chief John Snell admits they have one main suspect. Corrections Spokesperson Melinda Brazzale says the Honor Farm won't return to normal until next week. Brazzale says the suspects name will be withheld until charges are filed. She says it was the first such incident at the Honor Farm in almost 25 years.
Cheyenne, WY – Volunteer help and an outpouring of donations have kept all but one of Wyoming's local Red Cross branches open. The Red Cross announced last summer that budget constraints would force all the Wyoming branches to close except the Cheyenne headquarters. The Sheridan, Lander and Rawlins branches are staying open with help from waived rent. And increased donations have kept open the branches in Laramie, Jackson, Worland, Casper, Gillette and Douglas. The exception is the office in Green River, which was closed.
Cheyenne, Wy – Agriculture funding in the state received a significant boost from the Wyoming Legislature this year. The Agriculture Department's General Fund budget will increase by four-million dollars, or 35 percent. Livestock Board funding will go up by over 50 percent. Many of the new dollars will be spent on brucellosis testing and to fight West Nile virus and other insect diseases. Ag Director John Etchepare says he was pleased lawmakers funded four new positions in his agency, including an agricultural policy coordinator.
Cheyenne, Wy – The Bureau of Land Management and the state announced an historic partnership today (Friday). The governor and the Wyoming director of the B-L-M say this will protect cultural and historic resources in the state. The change is that a B-L-M employee will now work in the State Historic and Preservation Office.
Cheyenne, WY – Some want to see a Special Master to serve as a neutral officials in the state's 12 year old school funding battle. Thirty of Wyoming's 48 school districts joined the Wyoming Education Association and Wyoming School Boards Association in petitioning the state Supreme Court on the issue. The groups say the person would gather facts about the constitutionality of Wyoming's school financing system. The court document was in response to a petition filed by the Wyoming Attorney General to ask the court to declare the system constitutional.
Topic: 40 states from around the country are receiving five-point-six million compact discs for free; Gust: Attorney General Pat Crank
Topic: As the state enters the road construction season, a handful of projects will cost much more then expected; Guest: Ken Spear, Contracts and Estimates Engineer with the Wyoming Department of Transportation
Topic: Gardening tips with Shane Smith, the director of the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens
Cheyenne, WY – As the state enters the road construction season, a handful of projects will cost much more then expected. The winning bids for Main Street renovations in Riverton and Newcastle, and rehab work to six Western Wyoming bridges were all well above engineers' estimates. Several factors are to blame. The first problem is the price of steel, which has gone up about 30% in recent months. Rising oil prices are also affecting how construction companies make bids. Those have combined with unknowns in these three projects to drive costs up.
Laramie, WY – Two groups on opposite sides of the issue have filed last-minute appeals over the amount of logging called for in the new Medicine Bow National Forest plan. The Local Governments Coalition is seeking more logging and livestock grazing in the forest. The coalition includes three counties, five conservation districts and a timber trade group. The Laramie-based Biodiversity Conservation Alliance is seeking less logging and more wildlife protection. Both appeals will be reviewed by Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth.
Cheyenne, Wy – The state filed a lawsuit Thursday against the federal government over its rejection of the state's proposed wolf management plan. Attorney General Pat Crank says his staff planned to file a complaint in U-S District Court in Cheyenne this afternoon. In the complaint, the state is alleging that the U-S Fish and Wildlife Service violated Wyoming's constitutional rights and the federal Administrative Procedures Act by rejecting the plan. Governor Freudenthal says litigation was the last resort.
Jackson, WY – Wyoming Business Council officials say the Jackson area is developing a budding technology business community. Six Jackson companies have received Business Council grants to develop proposals to receive federal funding. Wyoming Small Business Innovation Research program manager Gene Watson says two of the companies have received additional federal funding to develop their ideas. Watson says a few of the Jackson entrepreneurs have ties to California's Silicon Valley.
Laramie, WY – The U-S Fish and Wildlife Service has decided not to add the Colorado River cutthroat trout to the threatened or endangered species list. An agency spokeswoman says reviewers did not find sufficient information in the petitions or other sources to justify listing the subspecies. Several groups, including Laramie-based Biodiversity Conservation Alliance, submitted petitions to list the trout in 1999. Those groups have not ruled out legal action over how long it took the agency to make a ruling.
Casper, WY – The Casper Area Economic Development Alliance is excited about a San Jose, California company moving its headquarters to Casper. CAEDA President Chris Manegold can't identify the company yet, but says the firm does cutting-edge high tech work that will make it unique to Casper. Even though they will only have about a half dozen people in Casper, Manegold says the company is quite a catch because the ownership and other key people in the firm will be moving. He also hopes by attracting a high-tech California company, that others in the field will consider Casper and Wyoming.
Jackson, WY – More wildfires could be allowed to burn in the Bridger-Teton National Forest under an amended fire management plan. Andy Norman headed up the fire management revision. He says forest officials wanted to look at fire policies following the 2000 fire season. Norman says fire officials have had a history of letting natural wildfires burn inside wilderness areas. He says the rules weren't so clear as to whether they could allow fires to burn outside wilderness. Norman says fuel load also will be taken into consideration on whether to allow a fire to burn.
Cheyenne, WY – An economist says Wyoming has a tax structure that is choking off economic development in the state. Shelby Gerking was a professor at U-W for 20 years and studied taxation in the state at length. Gerking says a big part of this is the tax policy in Wyoming is not set up to keep pace with population and income growth. He says when you engage in economic growth activities, you want to attract people and increase incomes. Gerking says that's going to make the situation worse as those workers will increase the demand on public services.
WYoming – Wyoming's lone representative in Congress, Barbara Cubin wants to give the troubled trona industry a tax break. But, this proposal is drawing fire from Republicans running against her in the upcoming primary.
Wyoming Public Radio's Renny MacKay reports there is also a study out that shows a tax break might not help stimulate the trona industry
Laramie, Wy – The Wyoming Honor Farm, one of the state's two minimum security prisons for men is reviewing its policies after a staff member was murdered there. Warden, Gary Starbuck, says this is the first time anything like this has happened at the Honor Farm and he is shocked and saddened. He says the Department of Corrections will do an investigation soon. One thing they will look at is the process for deciding if an inmate should be allowed to go to a minimum security facility.