Laramie, Wy – Thirty bison captured this week near the northern boundary of Yellowstone National Park have tested positive for brucellosis, and are being sent to slaughter. The bison were among 50 tested today (Tuesday). Twenty bison tested negative and were added to the number being held at the Stephens Creek facility for release in the park this spring. Fourteen animals were vaccinated. The bison tested today (Tuesday) were among about 150 animals captured Sunday and yesterday (Monday).
Laramie, Wy – U-S Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor today urged attorneys to practice civility and provide free counsel for the poor to help restore integrity to their profession. The nation's first female Supreme Court justice spoke to a standing-room only crowd of more than 700 at the University of Wyoming Fine Arts Center. She says at one time, Americans actually trusted and respected lawyers. O'Connor said a decline in professionalism is partly responsible for that NO longer being the case.
Cheyenne – By the 2005 school year, states are required to meet a federal guideline that ensures all teachers are highly qualified. While it might look good at face value, it meant that teachers could no longer teach multiple subject areas without them passing rigorous assessment tests. This was viewed as especially burdensome in science where a teacher was supposed to be "highly qualified" in a specific subject, like physics. But after complaints from western states, the US Department of Education is allowing for some flexibility for rural districts.
Topic: The Grand Teton National Park has a new Superintendent, Mary Gibbson Scott
Topic: Creation of the 2nd Cheyenne Business Park has been delayed due to re-zoning; Guest: Randy Bruns, President of the Cheyenne Leads
Topic: The Wyoming Chapter of the National Football Foundation and the College Hall of Fame will be honoring a number of high schools and University of Wyoming Scholar athletes; Guest: Mike Shootie, President of the Wyoming Chapter
Laramie, Wy – The cause of death for 290 elk Southwest of Rawlins is still unknown, but more information continues to funnel in. The Game and Fish Department's Tom Reed says they determined that this herd of elk had not visited the spot where many of them died in two or three years. To find out where they are from and where they spend most of their time Reed says they have put radio collars on three live elk. He expects they could move as far away as Colorado.
Laramie, Wy – The feds have stuck in some needed flexibility in a controversial portion of the federal No Child Left Behind law. Teachers in Rural Districts will be allowed to teach more then one subject, even if they are not rated as highly qualified in both. Teachers had been required to be certified as highly qualified in order to teach a subject. But Superintendents like Fremont County District 38 Superintendent Steve Larcomb says that causes problems for small districts. He says that requires those districts to hire more teachers then they have in the past.
Casper, WY – These days it's a popular position to support improvements to Wyoming air service. But the airport manager in Casper says for all the talk, there hasn't been much in terms of results. Dan Mann says across the state, there's less service, higher airfares, and more travelers driving out of state to start their trips. He says the University of Wyoming produced a bold study on the subject, but that's where it stopped.
Casper, Wyoming – Long-time Casper Star-Tribune opinion editor Charles Levendosky has died after a long battle with cancer. He was 67 years old. Levendosky helped launch the Star-Tribune's widely known letters section, encouraging writers of all stripes to contribute. He was a vigorous defender of the First Amendment and devoted many of his weekly columns to that topic. He was syndicated by the New York Times, and his work appeared in many newspapers across the country. He also served as the Wyoming State Poet.
Cheyenne, WY – An expanding business will bring about 100 new jobs to the Cheyenne area over the next two years. Door and window manufacturer JELD-WEN is purchasing 14 acres of land for a new, larger building. Construction is expected to start in May and wrap up in December. JELD-WEN General Manager Mark King says his company had considered leaving Wyoming for a site closer to its large markets in Colorado. But King says that would have cost him the 200 skilled workers he already employs.
Casper, Wy – Jury deliberations began today (Monday) in the murder trial of Dale Wayne Eaton. In closing arguments, Eaton's attorney acknowledged his client raped and killed 18-year-old Lisa Marie Kimmell in 1988. But Wyatt Skaggs says Eaton is "grossly" overcharged. He picked apart D-N-A evidence and told the jury his client did NOT write a note found on Kimmell's grave. Skaggs also disputed testimony from a federal prison inmate who told the court Eaton confessed the murder to him.
Cheyenne, WY – The CEO of the Wyoming Business Council admits census figures indicating child-rearing age couples continue to leave the state is a problem for business recruitment. Census figures indicate the number of residents aged five to 17 dropped 8% between 2000 and 2003 while the 15-44 age group declined by 2.2%. Tucker Fagan says labor force is one of the main drivers of business expansion, retention and recruitment. Fagan says the loss of young people coupled with Wyoming's low unemployment rate compounds the problem.
Laramie – At the University of Wyoming the football and basketball teams get most of the attention. And this year, much to the chagrin of fans, neither was very successful. But, as Wyoming Public Radio's Renny MacKay reports, away from the spotlight, another team is doing something very special.
Casper, WY – Leaders of local governments in Wyoming all seem quite pleased with how they were treated by the State Legislature this year. In the budget, cities, towns, and counties are getting more then a $57 Million infusion of cash. The additional revenue going from the state to the local level is not permanent, but the legislature will be studying the future needs of cities, towns, and counties. Casper City Manager Tom Forslund says he's hopeful that long-term answers will be found, based on what he saw this session.
Lander, WY – Longtime state representative Harry Tipton died Thursday. Tipton died at his home in Lander surrounded by family and friends. He was 76 and had been suffering from leukemia. A Republican, Tipton served 24 years in the Wyoming House and practiced medicine in Fremont County for 50 years. His illness kept him from attending this year's budget session. Senator Cale Case, also from Lander, says many folks talk about compassionate conservatism, but Harry Tipton lived it.
Wyoming – Congress is trying to resolve a dispute that's keeping Wyoming from receiving some $400 Million dollars in backpayments to help clean up abandoned mines. Senators held a hearing Thursday looking into the matter. Chad Pergram reports from Capitol Hill.
Laramie, Wy – An author believes American consumers are reluctant to demand satisfactory customer service. Gerald Breen's book The Customer: You Deserve Customer Satisfaction is based on his experiences in poor customer service. Breen says the first thing a consumer needs to know in dealing with a company is to be very specific about the complaint.
Washington, D.C. – In Washington, the House is considering extension of a law allowing satellite tv companies to retransmit the signals of local television stations. A Wyoming lawmaker says its a matter of giving consumers more and better choices.
Washington D-C – Wyoming's congressional delegation is trying to get its share of Abandoned Mine Land Revenue. A dispute over whether A-M-L money should go towards health benefits of miners instead, is costing Wyoming about 400 million dollars. Senator Craig Thomas chaired a federal hearing on the matter today. He is concerned that Wyoming's money will be diverted to other needs.
Cheyenne, Wy – Lawyers for the state have asked the Wyoming Supreme court to declare the new school capital construction program constitutional. Wyoming has put over a billion dollars into the new plan and Chief Deputy Attorney General Mike O'Donnell says they want to know if they succeeded in meeting court mandates. Governor Dave Freudenthal adds that it is time that the state needs to control its own destiny in the area of public education.
Laramie, Wy – A coalition of environmental groups are petitioning the U-S Forest Service to do more to protect Northern goshawks in Idaho, Montana and western Wyoming. The petition includes all national forests in that tri-state area. It asks for the protection of more than one thousand acres of existing old-growth forests and roadless areas. Conservationists say the loss of habitat is substantial. In the Interior Columbia Basin alone, the groups say goshawk habitat has declined by 95 percent in recent years. Environmentalists say the large bird is slipping through the cracks.
Denver, CO – Ashley Elliott hit six 3-pointers and had 29 points to lead Wyoming over Colorado State 67-61 in the Mountain West Conference tournament today, the Cowgirls' first win ever in a conference tournament. Kristen Lenhardt added 18 points in fifth-seeded Wyoming's first win after 14 straight conference tournament losses - four straight in the Mountain West. The Cowgirls (11-17) will face top-seeded New Mexico in the semifinals Friday, thanks mostly to Elliott's hot shooting early and late.
Laramie, Wy – Warm, dry weather is predicted over the next two weeks for Wyoming. State climatologist Jan Curtis says that could erode Wyoming's snowpack ahead of schedule and delay any recovery from the drought. Curtis says precipitation and snowpack so far this year have been better statewide than during the past several years. But that could be lost quickly with several weeks of warm, dry weather. During March and April, snowpacks can decrease by about one percent for each warm, snowless day.
Laramie, Wy – An online news service is reporting officials from several states would like to change how the national terror alert system works. They are saying they would like regionalized alerts rather than just a single warning for the entire country. The director of the Wyoming office of Homeland Security, Joe Moore disagrees saying the current system works. He says a national alert system keeps terrorists at bay because then they don't know where the American intelligence community is looking.
Laramie, Wy – The Wyoming Insurance Commissioner has no regrets about the state failing to pass a bill that would have allowed the state to either help or put a foot into the medical malpractice business. The Ohio Insurance Company, one of Wyoming's major medical malpractice providers is leaving Wyoming in a few months, but Insurance Commissioner Ken Vines thinks that other providers may be able to step in to replace them. Lawmakers had considered legislation that could have gotten Wyoming into the Insurance business.
Laramie, Wy – Wyoming motorists should prepare for higher gas prices this summer. That's the message from Triple-A, which says lower supplies will drive prices at the pump up across the country. California is already seeing record prices of almost two-dollars and 20 cents a gallon for regular unleaded. Wyoming is at a dollar-64 currently. And while Triple-A Spokeswoman Charity Watt-Levis saystwo-dollars a gallon in Wyoming isn't out-of-the-question.