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WPR News
3:40 pm
Fri February 20, 2004

Courts Looming in Wolf Dispute as Norton Fires Back

Cheyenne, WY – Wyoming continues to move towards a legal battle with the federal government over wolf management. Friday, the House gave initial approval to a bill that will clean up the state's plan but maintains the stance that Wyoming should classify wolves as both trophy game and predators, which has caused the U-S Fish and Wildlife Service concern.

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WPR News
2:34 pm
Fri February 20, 2004

Health Commission Debates Medical Liability

Cheyenne, WY – Wyoming Healthcare Commission Director Diane Harrop says her group is hoping to expand the medical liability debate beyond damage caps or a medical review panel. Harrop says Monday's meeting will feature a discussion on the strengths and weaknesses of the current system. She says the keynote speaker is the Director of the Washington, D.C.-based group Common Good. Harrop says that group's members believe the medical tort system is not doing a good job of compensating injured people in a timely and efficient manner.

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WPR News
1:36 pm
Fri February 20, 2004

Business Council Hires COO

Cheyenne, WY – There's a new Chief Operating Officer at the Wyoming Business Council. Bob Jensen comes to the position from the Plains Hotel in Cheyenne, where he was the general manager and is still a partner. Jensen's resume also includes work as a management and marketing consultant. Jensen says he's excited to have this opportunity and thinks economic development is primed fo meaningful growth in the state. As Chief Operating Officer, Jensen will manage the day-to-day operations at the Business Council headquarters in Cheyenne.

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Wyoming Features
12:48 pm
Fri February 20, 2004

Education Legislation

Cheyenne – Over the next 2 years the state will spend about $1.1 Billion on education. That's up from just less then $725 million. Much of the increase is due to the legislature's effort to create a system that funds schools equally and adequately. Yesterday, the house gave first round approval to a bill that would try to put an end to the court fights that have surrounded Wyoming education in recent years. Wyoming Public Radio's Renny MacKay reports

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WPR News
11:05 am
Fri February 20, 2004

Air Enhancement Fund Won't Be Spent

Cheyenne, WY – The Wyoming Business Council Board of Directors decided Thursday not to spend any of the three million dollar fund to improve air service. The fund was created by the legislature a year ago to help communities statewide. But the board was reluctant to take a risk on revenue guarantees to lure airlines and wasn't convinced this was an appropriate way to use state money. Board Chairman John Kauchich says the program's statewide approach may have to be amended. He says much like other Wyoming economic development programs, you start at the local community.

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WPR News
11:02 am
Fri February 20, 2004

House Approves Manufacturing Tax Break

Cheyenne, WY – Manufacturing machinery would be exempt from excise tases if a bill the Wyoming House has approved gets approval in the Senate. Supporters of House Bill 44 say it will help attract new companies to Wyoming and others may expand, which means more jobs. Representative Roy Cohee says little is known about economic development. Cohee says what is known is is what the state has been doing isn't working. He says Wyoming's entire economic development budget is smaller than that of Detroit, Michigan. Cohee says something bold need to happen and this tax break may be the answer.

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9:48 am
Fri February 20, 2004

Friday, February 20, 2004 --

Wyoming –

Topic: Wyoming Reporters Roundtable
Bill Luckett: Casper Star Tribune
Jim Stanford: Jackson Hole News and Guide

Topic: Wyoming is one of the two States in the country who tax the purchase manufactoring equipment.

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WPR News
9:39 am
Fri February 20, 2004

Raising Age of Those Eligible for Death Penalty

Cheyenne, WY – The state would not be able to put people under the age of 18 to death if the State House has its way. On Friday, 45 of 60 representatives in the House voted in favor of changing Wyoming's law and moving the minimum age for receiving the death penalty up from 16 to 18. The head of the state's County and Prosecuting Attorney's Association Steve Weichman says his group has not officially taken a stance on this bill, but says he thinks it's probably appropriate to move the age by two years. House Bill 5 now moves to the Senate.

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Wyoming Features
4:48 pm
Thu February 19, 2004

First Look at Budget

Cheyenne – The state legislature's main task this year is passing a budget. Yesterday, the House took a first look at the $2.4 Billion budget. Wyoming Public Radio's Renny MacKay reports on what representative put in and took out.

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WPR News
4:37 pm
Thu February 19, 2004

Airline Enhancement Grants To Be Decided

Cheyenne, WY – The Wyoming Business Council Board of Directors are expected to make decisions on the state's three million dollar air service enhancement fund Thursday. The board will received a presentation on the proposals made by six airlines to improve Wyoming air passenger service and decide which airlines will receive grants. Great Lakes C-E-O Chuck Howell will be watching the meeting closely since his airline is one of the six to make proposals.

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Wyoming Features
3:55 pm
Thu February 19, 2004

Same Sex Marriage Bill Dies

Cheyenne – A bill voiding same sex marriages in Wyoming that were granted in other states was defeated by the Senate Judiciary Committee following a spirited debate. Senate File 85 was filed in response to the legalization of same sex marriages in other states. Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck has more.

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WPR News
1:36 pm
Thu February 19, 2004

House Supports Ending Death Penalty For Juveniles

Cheyenne, WY – The Wyoming House continues to support ending the practice of executing juveniles. The bill passed out of committee Monday and the entire House approved it Wednesday. Cody Representative Colin Simpson says he feels the move is driven by new science. He says it's more than just the House objecting to executing kids. Simpson says there is great justification for acknowledging there are a lot of reasons why a juvenile would act in a crazy manner. There wasn't unanimous support for the bill.

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WPR News
12:07 pm
Thu February 19, 2004

Wolf Management Compromise Won't Be Introduced

Cheyenne, WY – The Wyoming House Majority Floor Leader has decided not to introduce a bill that would have brokered a compromise on Wyoming's wolf management plan. House Bill 155 was put together after a discussion with federal wildlife officials. But Majority Floor Leader Randall Luthi says he won't spend any more time on the bill because no major constituency supports it. He says there are so many other bills that do have a lot more support. The Sierra Club's Patricia Dowd is disappointed because it forces litigation.

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Wyoming Features
11:24 am
Thu February 19, 2004

Same Sex Marriage Bill Dies

Cheyenne – A bill voiding same sex marriages in Wyoming that were granted in other states was defeated by the Senate Judiciary Committee following a spirited debate. Senate File 85 was filed in response to the legalization of same sex marriages in other states. Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck has more.

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Wyoming Features
9:15 am
Thu February 19, 2004

Same Sex Marriage Bill Dies

Cheyenne – A bill voiding same sex marriages in Wyoming that were granted in other states was defeated by the Senate Judiciary Committee following a spirited debate. Senate File 85 was filed in response to the legalization of same sex marriages in other states. Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck has more.

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WPR News
9:00 am
Thu February 19, 2004

Wolf Management Compromise Won't Be Introduced

Cheyenne, WY – The Wyoming House Majority Floor Leader has decided not to introduce a bill that would have brokered a compromise on Wyoming's wolf management plan. House Bill 155 was put together after a discussion with federal wildlife officials. But Majority Floor Leader Randall Luthi says he won't spend any more time on the bill because no major constituency supports it. He says there are so many other bills that do have a lot more support. The Sierra Club's Patricia Dowd is disappointed because it forces litigation.

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Wyoming Features
2:28 pm
Wed February 18, 2004

House Committee Holds Tort Reform Hearing

Cheyenne – A constitutional amendment dealing with a cap on non-economic damages and a series of bills dealing with medical malpractice and insurance reform were the topics of a full day hearing in the House Judiciary Committee. Committee members heard several predictable arguments, but Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck reports that it remains clear the issue is a hot topic among many in the state.

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WPR News
1:53 pm
Wed February 18, 2004

DC Judge Threatens Park Service Over Snowmobiles

Washington, DC – A judge ordered the National Park Service Tuesday to explain why it should not be held in contempt, for allowing more snowmobiles into Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks than allowed under his December ruling. US District Judge Emmet Sullivan in Washington DC scheduled a contempt hearing for March 9th. In December, Sullivan ordered that only 493 snowmobiles be allowed in the park per day. The Park Service last Wednesday began allowing 780 snowmobiles per day to enter Yellowstone.

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WPR News
1:41 pm
Wed February 18, 2004

Senate Committee Kills Anti-Same Sex Marriage Bill

Cheyenne, WY – A bill intended to keep same sex marriages from being recognized in Wyoming was defeated in the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Senate File 85 was sponsored by Gillette Senator Dick Erb. He told the committee that people of Wyoming are independent thinkers, but he has not heard a majority support gay marriages. Cheyenne resident Bruce Hays had a stronger opinion. Hays says for the country to recognize homosexual marriage would be a gradual slide into decadence and immorality.

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WPR News
1:14 pm
Wed February 18, 2004

Investigators Still Probing Pipe Bomb Bust

Cheyenne, WY – Two men found traveling with eight pipe bombs east of Cheyenne are members of white supremacist groups. The bombs wer found in a vehicle and trailer it was towing Monday night on Interstate 80. A state trooper had stopped the vehicle for driving erratically. Gil Salinas of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms office in Cheyenne says authorities have identified the two men. But he could not immediately release their names because it might jeopardize another investigation in Utah. Investigators don't know where the men were headed in the rented vehicle.

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WPR News
10:11 am
Wed February 18, 2004

Lively Debate Over Children/Families Study

Cheyenne, WY – A plan to study children and families in the state survived some opposition in the state House Tuesday. The bill being discussed includes a $200,000 dollar appropriation and would look at how the state uses resources to help children. That includes an examination of the Department of Education, the Department of Family Services and the court system. On the floor Representative Mike Baker spoke passionately about how he supports families but says this is not something government should get involved in.

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WPR News
9:58 am
Wed February 18, 2004

Homeowner Insurance Regulations Clarified

Cheyenne, WY – Many homeowners around Wyoming told lawmakers that insurance companies have canceled policies after a simple claim. In response, the Wyoming House approved a bill to clarify insurance regulations. Representative Tony Ross says the legislation seeks to establish rules for when a company can cancel or not renew a policy because of a natural cause. Ross says if you have a hail storm come through Laramie county, there are certain perameters when that would be used to not renew or cancel a homeowner policy.

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9:43 am
Wed February 18, 2004

Wednesday, February 18, 2004 --

Wyoming –

Topic: Bob Beck reports on the legislative issues

Topic: The system of the Wyoming Retirement System Board and what will be considered during this legislative session; Guest: Matt Potter, Wyoming Retirement System Board of Trustees Chair

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1:49 pm
Tue February 17, 2004

Tuesday, February 17, 2004 --

Wyoming –

Topic: Bob Beck reports on the legislative report

Topic: Veterans in Wyoming are upset with the work of the Veteran Committee; Guest: Bob Craft, Veteran Foreign War Department Service Officer

Topic: How business owners can effectively utilize the media to get message out; Guest: Eliza Sherman

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WPR News
1:36 pm
Tue February 17, 2004

Wyoming To Lose Brucellosis-Free Status

Cheyenne, WY – Wyoming is going to lose its federal brucellosis-free status after the federal government rejected an appeal by the state. Governor Dave Freudenthal appealed the second finding of brucellosis in cattle at a Worland feedlot because those animals were originally part of the first infected herd. U-S-D-A Chief Veterinarian Ron DeHaven sent a letter to Freudenthal last week saying the federal government cannot grant the state an exemption because their rules and regulations don't allow it.

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WPR News
1:31 pm
Tue February 17, 2004

Found Explosives Closes Interstate 80

Cheyenne, WY – Eastbound Interstate 80 outside of Cheyenne was detoured because of several explosive devices that were found during a traffic stop. Sergeant Steven Townsend of the Wyoming Highway Patrol says the explosives were found in a small U-haul trailer. Two adult males were arrested and jailed. Townsend says it's unknown who the men are and where they came from, but it's believed they were just passing through Wyoming.

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WPR News
12:27 pm
Tue February 17, 2004

VFW Rips Wyoming Veterans Commission

Cheyenne, WY – The Wyoming Veterans Commission is coming under fire. Wyoming members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars recently approved a no-confidence vote in the commission. Bob Craft is the VFW's Service Officer in Wyoming. He says the commission focuses too much on window-dressing issues, like improving the veterans' memorial at War Memorial Stadium, instead of addressing quality of life matters, like building a second veteran's nursing home in the state.

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WPR News
12:21 pm
Tue February 17, 2004

Committee Adds to Brucellosis Aid

Cheyenne, WY – Ranchers could get some financial help from the state to deal with brucellosis. Because the disease was found in two herds of cattle in the state, Wyoming will lose its brucellosis-free status and ranchers will have to pay to test their animals before they can sell them outside of Wyoming. Under a bill passed out of a house committee Tuesday the state could end up paying $1.6 Million to cover the cost of testing. Originally the plan was to pay $500,000. Representative Monte Olsen says he's glad the committee increased the funding.

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WPR News
10:45 am
Tue February 17, 2004

Another Group Enters Medical Malpractice Debate

Cheyenne, WY – A new group has entered the debate into Wyoming's skyrocketing medical malpractice insurance rates. The Equality State Policy Center is the latest to ask legislators to try to find solutions other than amending the constitution to address high premiums. Center Director Tom Throop says Governor Freudenthal's call for a ballot issue should only come as a last resort. Center Board President Sarah Gorin says there is not just one solution. She says there are a lot of issues affecting Wyoming's access to health care.

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Wyoming Features
10:36 am
Tue February 17, 2004

UW Athletics Funding

Laramie – The University of Wyoming got a win in a House Appropriations Committee meeting. Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck reports that the committee approved the university's request of $10 Million and the ability to match that money to improve athletic facilities.

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