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WPR News
10:28 am
Thu March 4, 2004

Budget Impasse Finally Ends

Cheyenne, Wy – An agreement on the state budget has been reached. It is now up to the members of the house and senate to vote on the deal and send it to the Governor.

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WPR News
9:40 am
Thu March 4, 2004

Lawmakers Back New Oil Technology

Cheyenne, Wy – Squeezing more oil from Wyoming's aging fields is the goal of legislation sent to Governor Freudenthal Thursday.
Senate File 61 authorizes two-point-four-million dollars from the General Fund to expand research at the Enhanced Oil Recovery Institute at the University of Wyoming.
Freudenthal had asked for the funding in his State of the State Address, saying a "vast resource" remains untapped.

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WPR News
3:00 pm
Wed March 3, 2004

Mad Cow Created Volatile Beef Market

Torrington, WY – It's been more then two months since the first US case of mad cow disease was found. And the owner of the state's largest cattle sale barn says producers are still getting less money for cattle they sell. Lex Madden from Torrington Livestock Markets says beef prices bounced around a lot. Before the BSE case, cattle ready to go to slaughter sold for $94 per 100 pounds. That price plummeted to $74, then climbed up to $80 and $88, before falling back down into the 70s again. Madden says the volatility of the market has been tough on producers.

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WPR News
1:53 pm
Wed March 3, 2004

Elk Likely Not Run to Death

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Laramie, Wy – A mystery still surrounds the death of 280 elk near Rawlins. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is investigating and has ruled out all likely causes. Tom Reed from the agency says stress or running is a possibility, but is not the leading suspect. He says right now nothing stands out as a probable cause, though they are still looking into toxins and a virus as possibilities. He says the theory that they were run to death is being overblown.

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WPR News
1:42 pm
Wed March 3, 2004

One Medical Malpractice Bill Passes Both House/Senate

Cheyenne, WY – The last major medical malpractice bill standing in the Legislature passed the Wyoming Senate Wednesday. When the 2004 Session started, those interested in trying to reign in rising medical malpractice insurance costs had hoped for an array of solutions. But Suzy Wacker of the Wyoming Medical Society says unfortunately just this single one is left. The measure tries to make a medical review panel constitutional and Wacker says it could provide some relief. But for it to be adopted, it must first be approved by the voters.

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WPR News
1:31 pm
Wed March 3, 2004

Dale Wayne Eaton Trial Set to Start

Laramie, Wy – A jury is expected to be seated Wednesday in Casper in the capital murder trial of Dale Wayne Eaton.
Forty-eight potential jurors have been chosen from a jury pool since February 23rd.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys will make their final selections from among the 48 to seat a jury.
Opening arguments could begin as soon as it is seated.
Eaton is accused of the 1988 kidnapping, rape and murder of Lisa Marie Kimmell.

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WPR News
12:27 pm
Wed March 3, 2004

One Medical Malpractice Bill Remains

Cheyenne, Wy – The last major medical malpractice bill before the legislature will come up for a final time Wednesday and it could face some trouble. House Joint Resolution 11 would ask voters to make a medical review panel constitutional. Senator Charlie Scott added a major amendment to the proposal to make up for some bills that failed earlier in the session. But, Scott says he will try to get it removed because the amendment only had 15 supporters and the resolution needs 20 votes to pass.

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9:54 am
Wed March 3, 2004

Wednesday, March 3, 2004 --

Wyoming –

Topic: Legislative report by Bob Beck on budget negotiations

Topic: Impacts that people habe on the land in the United States; Guest: Dr. Rick Knight, Professor at Colorado State University

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WPR News
3:49 pm
Tue March 2, 2004

House Weighs New Oil Technology

Cheyenne, Wy – The House will vote for a final time on a bill that puts over two million dollars into a new process for extracting oil from existing wells. The funding was restored on second reading, despite continued concerns over whether the state should give money to the University for research. Casper Republican Roy Cohee admits that is a concern because because perhaps they should not give the school more money for something it should be doing anyway.

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WPR News
2:19 pm
Tue March 2, 2004

Gov Signs Off on Several Proposals

Cheyenne, Wy – Governor Freudenthal has so far signed 27 bills from this year's legislative session.
One bill makes the Sacajawea golden dollar the official state coin.
Another bill exempts public fireworks displays from the laws that prohibit fireworks in state parks.

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WPR News
12:35 pm
Tue March 2, 2004

Mysterious Elk Deaths Total 277 Near Rawlins

Rawlins, WY – Wildlife veterinarians and biologists from the Game and Fish Department continue to investigate the bizarre paralysis affected an elk herd in south central Wyoming. After exhausting the obvious causes and eliminating brucellosis and chronic wasting disease, they are still searching for answers to this growing mystery. Reporter Andrew Grace visited the area near Rawlins where hundreds of dead elk have been found and has this report

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WPR News
12:20 pm
Tue March 2, 2004

Graduated License Bill Action Disappoints MADD

Cheyenne, WY – Frustration is being expressed over the failure of the graduated driver's license bill. The legislation will not be heard by the Senate after Senate President April Brimmer Kunz assigning it to the Agriculture Committee, in effect assuring its death. Mothers Against Drunk Driving is a group that vocally supported the graduated license concept. MADD'S Steve Chasson says they're disappointed to see the bill die in this fashion. Chasson says bills to tighten the state's drunk driving and open container laws have also died in a procedural fashion.

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12:15 pm
Tue March 2, 2004

Tuesday, March 2, 2004

Wyoming –

Topic: Bob Beck reports on the legislative session

Topic: Fiddling with a legendary musician, Dick Farrett

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WPR News
11:46 am
Tue March 2, 2004

Victim's Family Upset by Release of Eldery Drunk Driver

Casper, WY – The parents of a man killed by a drunk driver are upset that the man convicted in the case has been released from jail pending an appeal. 84-year-old Lloyd Cohee was convicted of aggravated vehicular homicide and sentenced to three to six years in prison for the 2002 accident in Casper. However, he posted bond, so he could be released while his case is appealed to the state Supreme Court. The victim's father said Cohee was released on bond because he is the father of a state legislator and received special treatment. Cohee's son is Representative Roy Cohee of Casper.

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Wyoming Features
11:27 am
Tue March 2, 2004

Budget Negotiations Not Too Smooth on First Day

Cheyenne – Despite hopes of getting a budget compromise on Monday, the House and Senate will try again today to reach an agreement. This follows a compromise proposal by Senate conferees. Senators are proposing getting local governments the $70 Million the House had in the budget and putting $100 Million into the Permanent Mineral Trust Fund. But Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck reports that despite the Senate proposal, it remains to be seen if it will be enough for the House.

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WPR News
11:21 am
Tue March 2, 2004

Budget Negotiations at Impasse

Cheyenne, WY – An attempt to reach an agreement on the state budget failed Tuesday and negotiators will now go to an open committee. An open committee means that all previously agreed to budget items are on the table, along with differences between the house and senate. Senators rejected a counter proposal from the house that asked the Senate to put 17 million more dollars from the General fund into local government funding. Senator Rich Cathcart says the House is not negotiating in good faith. Senator Grant Larson adds that house does not have the statutory required reserves.

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Wyoming Features
4:38 pm
Mon March 1, 2004

What Now With Wolves

Cheyenne – It seems the Wyoming legislature is done dealing with wolves. After two sessions of often contentious debate the last bill addressing wolf management has died. The state had to go through this process because the population of wolves reached a high enough level that the federal government decided the species could come off the endangered species list. Wyoming Public Radio's Renny MacKay reports on what happens from here

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WPR News
3:23 pm
Mon March 1, 2004

Lottery Bill Dies Without Committee Vote

Cheyenne, WY – The lottery bill has died in the legislature, apparently a victim of process and opposition. The legislation would have allowed Wyoming to enter in a multi-state Powerball-style lottery. But, after passing the House for the first time in decades the Senate committee chair, Delaine Roberts did not bring the bill up for a vote. Representative Dave Edwards sponsored the proposal. He says that doesn't make sense to him. He says the point of the bill was to keep money from leaving the state when residents leave Wyoming to purchase lottery tickets and other items.

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1:44 pm
Mon March 1, 2004

Monday, March 1, 2004

Wyoming –

Topic: Legislative report by Bob Beck

Topic: Wildlife veterinarians and biologists from the Game and Fish Department continue to investigate the bizarre paralysis affected an elk herd in south central Wyoming

Topic: Reaction to the failure of the graduate drivers license bill in the state; Guest: Steve Chasson, Mothers Against Drunk Driving

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WPR News
12:34 pm
Mon March 1, 2004

Less Contentious Wyoming Budget Session

Cheyenne, WY – The budget surplus that greeted Wyoming lawmakers three weeks ago has resulted in a relatively peaceful budget session. House Speaker Fred Parady says legislators are uinited in their desire to address the state's construction needs. Lawmakers have generally rubber-stamped the Joint Appropriation Committee's 425 million dollars in school and prison construction. However, some budget details still need to be worked out. Legislators are wrangling over how much to put in the Permanent Mineral Trust Fund or set aside for the 2005 session.

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WPR News
11:18 am
Mon March 1, 2004

House Debates Firearms Rights Restoration

Cheyenne, WY – The Wyoming House will debate the restoration of gun rights in domestic violence cases. Senate file 64 would remove the record of someone convicted of a misdemeanor if they lose those gun rights. Senator Cale Case of Lander says people convicted of a domestic violence offense cannot get gun rights restored under the Brady Bill. His beill gives people an avenue to petition for the restoration of those rights. Wyoming Police Chiefs and Sheriff's lobbyist Byron Odekoven favors the bill because it requires someone to apply through the court.

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WPR News
10:08 am
Mon March 1, 2004

House Debates Firearms Rights Restoration

Cheyenne, WY – The Wyoming House will debate the restoration of gun rights in domestic violence cases. Senate file 64 would remove the record of someone convicted of a misdemeanor if they lose those gun rights. Senator Cale Case of Lander says people convicted of a domestic violence offense cannot get gun rights restored under the Brady Bill. His beill gives people an avenue to petition for the restoration of those rights. Wyoming Police Chiefs and Sheriff's lobbyist Byron Odekoven favors the bill because it requires someone to apply through the court.

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WPR News
9:27 am
Mon March 1, 2004

Snowstorm Closes Wyoming Highways

Cheyenne, WY – A major winter snowstorm closed parts of Interstates 80 and 25 in southeastern Wyoming Monday morning. A 90 mile stretch of I-80 was closed between Laramie and the Nebraska border, while a 70 mile stretch of I-25 was closed between Cheyenne and Wheatland. Drifted snow and limited visibility prompted transportation officials to shut down Powder River Pass west of Buffalo Sunday. One fatal crash was reported Sunday on Interstate 90 near Sundance. It's not known if that crash was weather-related.

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WPR News
9:19 am
Mon March 1, 2004

House Debates Firearms Rights Restoration

Cheyenne, WY – The Wyoming House will debate the restoration of gun rights in domestic violence cases. Senate file 64 would remove the record of someone convicted of a misdemeanor if they lose those gun rights. Senator Cale Case of Lander says people convicted of a domestic violence offense cannot get gun rights restored under the Brady Bill. His beill gives people an avenue to petition for the restoration of those rights. Wyoming Police Chiefs and Sheriff's lobbyist Byron Odekoven favors the bill because it requires someone to apply through the court.

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WPR News
9:08 am
Mon March 1, 2004

Fewer Trout Found In "Miracle Mile"

Casper, WY – Wyoming Game and Fish officials have found a decline in the fish population in the "Miracle Mile" upstream from Pathfinder Reservoir. That six-mile stretch of the North Platte River is acclaimed as one of the world's best trout fisheries. Recent Game and Fish surveys found 60 percent fewer fish than in the mid to late 1990's. Casper Regional Fisheries Supervisor Al Conder says years of drought could have impacted the fishery as well as walleye predation from Pathfinder Reservoir.

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WPR News
4:05 pm
Fri February 27, 2004

Former Gov. Hathaway Honored at Capital

Cheyenne, WY – Almost all of the top state officials took time to honor former governor Stan Hathaway Friday. They unveiled a plaque that will hang in the capitol and spoke about the impact Hathaway's had on the state. He was governor from 1967 to 1975. Among his accomplishments are the creation of the Permanent Mineral Trust Fund and Departments of Health, Environmental Quality, Recreation and Parks. Hathaway who is 79 attended the ceremony with his wife, children and grandchildren. After serving as Governor he also went on to be Secretary of US Department of Interior.

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WPR News
3:00 pm
Fri February 27, 2004

Line Officially Drawn in the Sand on Wolves

Cheyenne, WY – The state's wolf management law and the plan the Game and Fish Commission passed do not exactly match up and now they won't, at least for another year. The legislature was considering a bill to synch up the law and plan, but the chair of the Senate committee that needs to approve the proposal says it won't come up for a vote. Senator Delaine Roberts says House Bill 111 just is not needed, whether there's litigation or not.

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12:41 pm
Fri February 27, 2004

Friday, February 27, 2004 --

Wyoming –

Topic: Wyoming Reporters Roundtalbe
Bob Beck and
Alison Fashek: Wyoming Tribune Eagle

Topic: First Annual Inventors Workshop in Gillette; Guest: Senator Mike Enzi

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WPR News
12:34 pm
Fri February 27, 2004

Brucellosis Testing Funds Advance

Cheyenne, WY – A bill to help with brucellosis testing costs cleared the Wyoming Senate Appropriations Committee Thursday. Committee members changed direct compensation from five dollars a head to three dollars. They also removed 50 thousand dollars that would have paid for feed for those cattle that get quarantined. Senator John Hines says lawmakers were concerned about directly funding a business and whether that might set a precendent. He says coal-bed methane producers might seek state funding if their businesses are damaged by delays in permitting.

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WPR News
11:42 am
Fri February 27, 2004

Manufacturing Sales Tax Exemption Passes Senate

Cheyenne, WY – A bill that lifts sales taxes on new manufacturing equipment survived some final debate and passed in the Wyoming Senate Friday. House Bill 44 is being called a major tool for economic development and state officials say the lack of such an exemption has cost Wyoming business. But Senator Jayne Mockler of Cheyenne says the exemption will take too much revenue from the state. She says the litany of exemptions this creates weren't talked about. Senator Bob Peck countered that the sales tax may apply to existing businesses, but only to new equipment.

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