Laramie, Wy – While Governor Dave Freudenthal is disappointed that citizens will not get to vote on whether or not to cap damages in medical malpractice cases, he wants to see if the state can work on some other alternatives before looking into a special session. Freudenthal thought focus on the ballot issue got lost through the numerous health care bills that legislators offered as alternate solutions. While he notes an insurance company has left and some doctors are leaving, the Governor is not ready to call a special session.
Wyoming – A group of retired National Park Service employees attacked the Park Service Wednesday for how it is funding the parks. The Coalition of Concerned National Park Service Retirees says at a time the agency is talking about increasing park visitation, it is putting pressure on parks, behind-the-scenes, to reduce maintenance and services. Wyoming Public Radio's Aaron Alpern reports on the group's claims and what the budgets look like at Park Service sites in Wyoming
Laramie, Wy – While many feared a decrease in snowmobiling in Wyoming this winter, it did not happen. In fact some sites saw an increase. One of those sites was the Shoshone National Forest. Togwotee Mountain Lodge General Manager Jeff Golightly says people who would have normally gone to Yellostone, came to their location instead. He says business at his lodge increased by 15 percent.
Laramie, Wy – The Director of the Stockgrowers Association says the feds don't need to spend so much on Mad Cow Testing. The U-S Department of Agriculture says it will spend 70 million extra dollars testing for Mad Cow, by Wyoming Stockgrowers Association Director Jim Magagna says it is not needed. He says the current method has already brought about a high level of confidence in the beef supply.
Washington, D-C – For the first time since 1994, Wyoming Congresswoman Barbara Cubin is facing competition in the Republican Primary. State Senator Cale Case of Lander and Bruce Asay of Cheyenne have entered the race,but Cubin welcomes the chance to defend her record. But Cubin says she welcomes the competition and the chance to highlight her accomplishments. She says she has a good record and wants people to know about. Cubin does not view the challenges as personal, but notes there are few chances for people to run for federal office. The primary is in mid-August.
Lander, WY – Pictures taken by a resident just outside Lander last week has the Game and Fish reminding people about the danger of mountain lions. The resident snapped several pictures of the big cat as it looked through his porch windows. The Game and Fish's Brad Meyer says mountain lion sightings are more likely in February, March, and April, when their prey, deer, are traveling more in search of good forage. Meyer says residents should be aware when they are outside in the early morning or at dusk, the hours when mountain lions hunt.
Buffalo, Wy – An earlier prediction that 3-thousand gas wells would be drilled in the Powder River Basin appears to be off base, but a Wyoming based Bureau of Land Management official says the effort should soon pick up steam. The B-L-M's Richard Zander blames some new paperwork and the lack of adequate staff for the slowdown and the reason that less then a thousand permits have been issued. But he is predicting that many more permits will be issued in the next couple of months to get the program on track.
Cheyenne, WY – Rezoning a piece of land for the creation of a second business park in Cheyenne has been slowed somewhat. The economic development group Cheyenne LEADS needs the parcel re-zoned light industrial to start work on the West I-80 Business Park. The problem is the West Cheyenne Master Plan doesn't call for all of the 600 acres to be light industrial. So the Laramie County Commission says the master plan needs to be changed first. Some observers don't think that's necessary because they say the master plan is just a guide.
Casper, Wy – A man has been convicted for the killing, rape and 1st degree murder of Lisa Marie Kimmell 16 years ago. A jury found Dale Wayne Eaton guilty on all eight counts, following two days of deliberations. Eaton will now face a sentencing phase where he could get the death penalty. That is scheduled to begin at 9:30 in the morning. The 18-year-old Kimmell disappeared while driving from Denver to Cody to see her boyfriend. Her body was found eight days later in the North Platte River.
Lander, WY – Another name has been thrown into the hat for the Republican nomination for the US House. State Senator Cale Case of Lander is now the second Republican to announce he will challenge 5-term incumbent Barbara Cubin. Case has served six years in the state House and six years in the Senate. Cheyenne Attorney Bruce Asay announced his candidacy last week. The only Democrat to announce for the position is Ron Akin of Casper.
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.