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WPR News
10:55 am
Tue February 3, 2004

Graduated Licenses Bill Gaining Support

Cheyenne, WY – Wyoming lawmakers will be asked to consider a graduated driver's license bill once again. Similar legislation failed last session, but Casper Police Chief Tom Pagel is hopeful about the effort this time around. One change made to the legislation regards driver training. A requirement for an official driver's education course was replaced by 50 hours of adult-supervised driving. While he supports the bill, Pagel isn't sure about the change. He says any time you don't articulate exactly what training is required, you have a "fudge factor" in there.

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WPR News
9:41 am
Tue February 3, 2004

100 Days Of Arts Goal Met

Laramie, Wy – The 100 Days of Arts campaign exceeded its fundraising goal this week. The Wyoming Arts Council needed to raise 100-thousand dollars as matching money to receive 100-thousand from the legislature. And the campaign to do that went over the edge last weekend with a fundraiser in Denver. 100 Days of Arts Coordinator Sonya Chung-Hirano thinks the success shows how much individual Wyomingites care about the arts.

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9:38 am
Tue February 3, 2004

Tuesday, February 3, 2004 --

Wyoming –

Topic: The University of Wyoming will be attending the legislative session to get money back from the legislatures; Guest: Phil Dubois, President of the University of Wyoming

Topic: A non-profit group formed by University of Wyoming students is launching a statewide youth mentoring program called the "High School Coaching Initiative"; Guest: Adriane Mallina

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WPR News
9:00 am
Tue February 3, 2004

Casper College President Finalists Named

Casper, WY – Casper College has narrowed its search for a new President to four candidates. All have community college experience and ties to the west. The finalists are: Skip Gillum, Casper College's Vice President for Academic Affairs; Richard Fleming of Hobbs, New Mexico; Robert Musgrove of Pine City, Minnesota; and Walter Nolte of Trenton, Missouri. The college hopes to name a replacement by the end of March. The new President will replace Leroy Strausner, who announced in August he planned to retire in June after 13 years as the college's top executive.

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WPR News
4:25 pm
Mon February 2, 2004

National Forests Get to Keep Fees

Laramie, Wy – By an act of Congress National Forests can now use camping fees to improve their campgrounds. The spokesperson for the Shoshone National Forest, Gordon Warren, says this is just a trial project, but it will be a big help. He says they've got some picnic tables and outhouses from the 1960s.
Warren says his forest used to get money from timber sales, but they don't do as many of those any more so they didn't have enough money to keep up with needs at campgrounds.
Improvement projects will start this summer.

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WPR News
4:14 pm
Mon February 2, 2004

Teton County Man Dies in Avalanche

Laramie, Wy – A Teton County man died over the weekend after being swept 17-hundred feet down a mountain in an avalanche near Teton Pass in northwest Wyoming.
It is the first avalanche fatality of the winter in Wyoming.
The victim was identified as 48-year-old Ray Azar, of Teton Village.
Authorities say he died Saturday of suffocation after being buried for about an hour.
Friends say the avalanche swept Azar down the southeast face of the Pyramid, a peak north of Teton Pass.

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2:34 pm
Mon February 2, 2004

Monday, February 2, 2004 --

Wyoming –

Topic: Chad Pergram reports from Washington about the No Child Left Behind law and how the program is doing after two years

Topic: In the past years there has been a decrease in day-care and in 2003 it changed; Guest: Deanna Fry, Director of the Wyoming Child Action Alliance

Topic: State Officials are considering adding more youth homes and youth crisis centers around the state as a prevention tool but the programs cost money; Guest: Sharon Webber with Laramie's Youth Crisis Center

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WPR News
2:23 pm
Mon February 2, 2004

Enzi Still Likes No Child Left Behind

Washington, D-C –
A Wyoming U-S Senator disagrees with those who say No Child Left Behind won't work in a rural state. Mike Enzi is working with the department of Education on the rules that will accompany the law. He says the bill took Wyoming into consideration, and "now we need to make sure the rules themselves take into consideration Wyoming's rural nature.
Enzi says Wyoming's own school reform rules should dovetail nicely with what federal officials want.

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WPR News
12:27 pm
Mon February 2, 2004

More Daycare Spots Open in 2003

Laramie, Wy – For over five years Wyoming has seen a continual drop in the amount of childcare available in the state. But, last year that trend ended when 750 new spots opened up in daycares.
The executive director of the Wyoming Children's Action Alliance, Deanna Frey, says this does not necessarily mean all children who need adequate care are getting it. She says the problem is they do not track children who are not in daycare.
Frey says she hears that parents are more worried right now about finding any childcare provider than finding quality care.

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WPR News
11:49 am
Mon February 2, 2004

Wyoming Gives Region's Economy a Boost

Laramie, Wy – Inflation remains a threat to the economy of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, but business leaders are growing more confident.
That's the finding of the latest report on the Mountain States Economy.
The confidence index for January stood at 83-point-five, its highest level since initiation of the survey in 1994.
Wyoming accounted for most of the gains while Utah and Colorado continued to lose jobs. New orders rose to 71-point-four, the highest level in more than seven years.

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WPR News
3:36 pm
Sat January 31, 2004

No More D-M-AND-E Appeals

Rochester, Minn – A federal appeals court says it won't consider any further legal challenges to the Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern Railroad expansion project into Wyoming.
The court in St. Louis has denied petitions seeking a rehearing of the case to overturn federal approval of the project.
That means the court's ruling issued last October second stands. That order upheld some of the most critical parts of the Surface Transportation Board's 2002 decision, which authorized the project and rejected Rochester's request for a 34-mile bypass around the city.

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WPR News
3:10 pm
Fri January 30, 2004

Wyoming Gas Production Expected To Drop

Gillette, WY – State budget officials are predicting that Wyoming's string of 18 straight years of natural gas production growth could come to an end this year. State Geologist Lance Cook serves on the Consensus Revenue Estimating Group, which made the prediction. Cook says he's hoping the forecast is wrong and there will be an increase. But he says the group does not see an opportunity for higher production this year. State Oil and Gas Conservation Commission Supervisor Don Likwartz attributes the slowdown mainly to questions about Powder River Basin permitting.

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WPR News
3:09 pm
Fri January 30, 2004

Governor Reacts To Republican Proposal

Cheyenne, Wy – While three Republican Top Elected officials are still pushing for equal footing with the Governor on hiring, legal and budget issues, Governor Dave Freudenthal is not paying much attention. But when asked about the issue during a news conference, the Governor stated that it is an issue that nobody in the state cares about. He says citizens are concerned about the budget, brucellocis and economic development and do not care where someone sits in Cheyenne.

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WPR News
1:02 pm
Fri January 30, 2004

Avalanche Risk High in Tetons

Laramie, Wy – The avalanche danger increased significantly this week in the Tetons. The mountains were hit with 45 inches of snow. Avalanche forecaster Bob Comey says that's sitting on an unstable layer called surface hoar.
Comey says skiers and snowmobilers need to be cautious for a few weeks because hoar frost remains weak for a long period of time and it is usually several weeks after a storm that fatalities occur.
Comey says snowmobilers are at higher level of risk because they're heavier.

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WPR News
11:21 am
Fri January 30, 2004

Judge Dismisses Suit From Burn Victims

Laramie, Wy – This week a judge dismissed a lawsuit against Yellowstone National Park. Two men who say they mistakenly jumped in thermal pools and were critically burned filed the suit. Another woman died in the incident. The men who were 18 at the time say the government failed to provide adequate warnings of the danger.

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WPR News
9:20 am
Fri January 30, 2004

Ranchers Encouraged To Comment On Grazing Rules

Cheyenne, WY – The U-S Department of Interior urges Wyoming ranchers to comment on proposed federal grazing regulations announced last month. B-L-M Deputy Director Jim Hughes stresses the final rules will not disregard environmental concerns. Hughes says the agency has to protect the resource for future generations. He says it's important to keep ranchers and the ranching community viable, but they won't sacrifice the environment to do that. Comments will be taken on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement until March 8th.

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9:12 am
Fri January 30, 2004

Friday, January 30, 2004 --

Wyoming –

Topic: An attempt for three republican top officials to get more power has created a political buzz in Cheyenne, Bob Beck speaks with Governor Dave Freudenathal about the issue.

Wyoming Reporters Roundtable
Angus Thuermer: Co-Editor of the Jackson
Hole News and Guide
Jessica Lowell: From the Wyoming Tribune Eagle

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WPR News
4:05 pm
Thu January 29, 2004

Auditor Fires Back

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Cheyenne, Wy – Two Republican state officials contend that their effort to give equal footing to all elected officials was supported at one time by Governor Dave Freudenthal. Treasurer Cynthia Lummis and Auditor Max Maxfield argue that the Governor knew of their intentions before he took office. Among their goals is to be able to have budget control without input from the Governor. They also want separate legal representation from the attorney general and they want those who work for all the top office holders to be hired by all of them not just the Governor.

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WPR News
2:45 pm
Thu January 29, 2004

Education Coalition: More Money Needed

Laramie, Wy – The legislature is moving to spend more money on education this coming year. And that's good news to a coalition of school supporters. The president of the Wyoming Education Association, Gary McDowell, says more funding needs to go to building good schools.
McDowell says the state should also spend more on teacher salaries and benefits.
The coalition McDowell belongs to will also push a reading program for students in kindergarten through second grade and a summer school proposal.

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WPR News
1:40 pm
Thu January 29, 2004

Niobrara Numbers Misleading

Laramie, Wy – While state figures show a huge drop in Niobrara County's unemployment over the past year, there also seems to be a huge drop in the labor force. According to State Economist Dave Bullard, that could mean that people have simply left area communities. That seems to be backed up by Census numbers that show the population fell by a hundred residents from 2000 to 2002.

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WPR News
1:20 pm
Thu January 29, 2004

Anglers And Outfitters Go To Washington

Laramie, Wy –
A group of western anglers and hunters converged on capital hill this week trying to get provisions curtailing wildlife protections removed from the proposed Energy Bill. Pinedale's Courtney Skinner joined the group and met with congressional representatives from the west, begging them to protect wildlife from mineral development. Skinner is very concerned about the impacts gas development could have on a migration corridor in Western Wyoming. He says the impact on the hunting industry could be devastating.

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WPR News
12:53 pm
Thu January 29, 2004

Questions Raised About Death Penalty for Youths

Laramie, Wy – The U-S Supreme Court decided this week that it will rule on whether executing juveniles is constitutional. And a state legislator here has proposed a ban on the practice. Representative Jane Warren is sponsoring the bill; she says the timing is a coincidence. But, she does note there is a growing sentiment in the country that the death penalty for juveniles isn't necessary.

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12:33 pm
Thu January 29, 2004

Thursday, January 29, 2004 --

Wyoming –

Topic: Bob Beck speaks with Auditor, Max Maxfield about a new conference discussing the equal footing to all elected officials supported by Governor Dave Freudanthal

Topic: Chad Pergram reports on a plan to pay Wyoming for the Abandon Mine Lands fund that is stalled in Washington

Topic: Bob Beck speaks with Courtney Skinner from Pinedale about a group of western anglers and hunters who have converged on capital hill trying to get provisions for wildlife protection from proposed energy bill

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WPR News
12:13 pm
Thu January 29, 2004

Simpson To Lead Arts Council

Cheyenne, Wy – Milward Simpson -- who bears the same name as his grandfather, the former Wyoming governor and U-S senator -- has been hired as program manager of the Wyoming Arts Council.
State Parks and Cultural Resources Director Phil Noble made the announcement today (Thursday) of Simpson's hiring, effective February 18th.
The younger Milward Simpson has spent a lifetime in the arts.

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WPR News
4:26 pm
Wed January 28, 2004

Agriculture Sec. Before Senators on Mad Cow

Washington, DC – Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman says her department's mad cow probe has "made a lot of headway in the last five weeks." Veneman testified before a Senate Committee Tuesday. She said that protection systems have been enhanced, consumer confidence in the beef supply remains high and that work is being done to reopen foreign markets to US beef. Meanwhile, South Korea still isn't convinced. They've rejected the latest US safeguards against BSE, saying they will not lift a ban on American beef until the meat is "scientifically proven" safe.

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WPR News
4:26 pm
Wed January 28, 2004

Grants and Loans Up for the Taking

Laramie, Wy – Cities, towns, counties and tribes are now able to apply for eight point four million dollars in grants and loans. The Business Ready Community Program has been up and running for almost three weeks now and its first deadline is March fifth. But, the director of the program, Steve Achter says they've only had one application, so far, but he does expect a lot of communities to apply before the first deadline.
Achter says his estimate is they'll get requests for 15 million dollars. A panel will review the applications and determine which are deserving.

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WPR News
3:33 pm
Wed January 28, 2004

Authorities Unravel Mystery of Child Abduction

Laramie, Wy – A five-year-old Utah girl who was allegedly abducted by her father last night has been released back to him.
Authorities in Carbon County unraveled the complicated story of the alleged abduction that triggered an Amber Alert.
Steven Miller from Texas, picked up his daughter, Stephanie, at her mother's home in Harrisville, Utah. The mother reported it as an abduction, and authorities triggered the alert.
The father and daughter were found in Rawlins, where he was arrested and she was put into foster care.

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WPR News
1:28 pm
Wed January 28, 2004

Brucellosis Case Not Caused by Cattle

Laramie, Wy – Investigators continue to look for the source of the brucellosis cases in a Sublette County cattle herd. Much has been made of the elk herds in the area, which are known to carry brucellosis. No one is officially pointing a finger at the elk, but State Veterinarian Jim Logan says they've ruled out cattle as a cause of the transmission. He says it likely came from wildlife.

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1:10 pm
Wed January 28, 2004

Wednesday, January 28, 2004 --

Wyoming –

Topic: Coalition of Education groups from the state will be working together for the upcoming legislative session; Guest: Gary McDowell, President of the Wyoming Education Association

Topic: Bob Beck speaks with Sheridan Superintendent of Schools, Craig Dougherty about an opening of a Native American Professional Development Center in Sheridan

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WPR News
9:04 am
Wed January 28, 2004

Possible New Profits in Wyoming Oil

Cheyenne, WY – Oil prices are high right now and that's getting companies interested in looking at old oil reserves in Wyoming. To get at the oil operators would have to use enhanced oil recovery technologies. The governor reports that this could mean millions more in revenue for the state. And he put together a task force to make recommendations on how to encourage enhanced oil recovery. State Geologist Lance Cook says the task force decided the best thing the state can do is set up a research institute at the University of Wyoming.

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