Laramie, Wy – New Wyoming building standards for schools say the state will only pay for adequate facilities. So, school districts that want larger classrooms, or larger auditoriums will be asked to pay for those things themselves. The plan is to have districts pass local property taxes. Senator Irene Devin does not think it goes against a Supreme Court mandate that the state pay for schools, because the bill specifically addresses enhancements.
Cheyenne, Wy – The Wyoming Attorney Generals office is asking a district court to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the state's term limits law. They argue the statute of limitations in the case are up. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of two legislators and two constituents. Their attorney Harriet Hageman disputes the claim, saying the earliest the clock would have started on the statute of limitations was when Governor Jim Geringer and Superintendent Judy Catchpole were prevented from seeking third terms. She disagrees with the state that the clock started in either 1992 or 1993.
Laramie, WY – A non-profit group is going to honor Wyoming people for making the state's outdoor heritage what it is today. The Wildlife Heritage Foundation of Wyoming will start taking nominations for the first Hall of Fame Banquet. Director Maureen Brown says they will open nominations February 1st. Brown says nominations are open to outdoorsmen and women, artists, authors, sportsmen and women and even those who have crafted policy to protect the outdoors. She says inductees must be of the highest integrity and must have been committed to Wyoming's outdoors.
Casper, WY – The U-S Energy Department is planning to inject carbon dioxide into underground oil reservoirs at the Teapot Dome north of Casper. The project could be one of the world's largest test sites for burying C-O-2 in hopes of slowing global warming. The Teapot Dome project will store carbon dioxide from a natural gas processing plant more than 300 miles away beneath the oil field in central Wyoming. Project Manager Vicki Stamps says the process has been tested at smaller sites nationwide but never on such a large scale. Storage could begin by 2006 and last seven to ten years.
Jackson, WY – Jackson Hole High School Principal Michael Redzich says he will not budge from his decision to change the school schedule from four to seven periods a day. That's despite an outcry from students and parents. Earlier this month, Redzich told parents and staff who had been working on the school's schedule that the school will use a seven-period day he developed over the holiday break. Staff members and students claimed they had been left out of the decision. On January 13, more than 200 students staged a sit-in at the high school gym to protest the change.
Laramie, Wy – Wyoming has finally finished its Amber Alert system. That will allow authorities to put out a bulletin about a child abduction in this state or in one of five surrounding states. Deputy Director of the Department of Criminal Investigations, Kebin Haller says they'll get the bulletin to the public through radio and T-V stations, as well as electronic highway signs.
Cheyenne, Wy – The owner of a resort between Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks says his business stands to lose nearly 2-point-7 million dollars by the end of the decade if snowmobiles are banned from the parks. Bob Walker owns the Flagg Ranch Resort in the John D- Rockefeller, Junior, Memorial Parkway. He testified in Cheyenne Monday before U-S District Judge Clarence Brimmer on how an impending snowmobile ban will affect his business.
Cheyenne, WY – President Bush wants to give American community colleges more money for job training programs. Bush outlined his proposal in his State of the Union address. Wyoming Community College Commission Director Richard Gilliland says Bush's plan calls for re-directing 50 million dollars from the Department of Labor to go to community colleges. He says that money would be welcome news for Wyoming. Gilliland says there's a major concern that over the next decade the state will see a large retirement of registered nurses.
Laramie, Wy – The federal veterinarian working on Wyoming's brucellosis cases thinks the state will lose its brucellosis-free status. Doctor Bret Combs doubts Wyoming can win its appeal of last week's finding of a second case. The new discovery was made in animals that came from the original infected herd. But Combs says those cattle changed owners, and have to be considered as a second herd, by federal rules. Those same rules also don't allow for exemptions.
Kansas City, Mo – Retired Roman Catholic Bishop Joseph Hart is accused in a lawsuit of molesting Kansas City area minors. Hart was the Roman Catholic bishop for the archdioscese of Wyoming from 1976 until he retired in 2001. He is named in the lawsuit along with a retired priest and a former priest. Nine men are plaintiffs in the lawsuit and six of them are remaining anonymous. The lawsuit alleges a series of abuses at a lake home north of Kansas City or in church facilities, often after liquor was given to the minors.
Laramie, Wy – Several conservation groups are trying to convince the Bureau of Land Management to deny a permit for a company to drill during the winter on crucial winter habitat for deer near Pinedale. Marisa Martin of the Wyoming Outdoor Council represented the groups at a presentation before the state B-L-M office. She says the B-L-M does not have the authority to allow the drilling in this area. Martin adds that for years the agency ensured wildlife was protected but lately has granted more exceptions to their prohibition on drilling during the winter.
Laramie, Wy – Law Enforcement officials say that the use of Meth in Wyoming is higher then most realize. A two-day conference in Casper is being used to develop community action plans. Casper Police Chief Tom Pagel who has tried to solve the growing problem for years, thinks the only way to properly attack it is through the local level. He favors treatment over other approaches.
Laramie, Wy – Wyoming is about to ask the federal government to reconsider revoking that state's brucellosis-free status. Governor Freudenthal wants the U-S-D-A to consider the link between six cattle that recently tested positive for the disease in a feedlot in northern Wyoming and 31 cattle that tested positive in western Wyoming last month. Under federal rules, confirmation of the disease in more than one herd results in revocation of a state's brucellosis-free status.
Cheyenne, Wy – Wyoming will lose its brucellosis-free status following today's announcement of a second case. Six cattle at a feedlot in Worland tested positive for brucellosis this week. Those cows were sold out of the same Sublette County herd where the disease was found in November. But because they changed hands, they are now considered to be from a different herd and a second case. Logan says he would not necessarily say the discovery is "devastating" to Wyoming's cattle industry. But he says it's a blow to the industry and will cause hardship.
Casper – Use of the drug called meth continues to increase in Wyoming. For the next two days the city of Casper is holding a conference to discuss the problem. And the state is about to kick off a new public awareness campaign called Wyoming Faces Meth. In the first part of a two part series on methamphetamines in the Cowboy State, we focus on the voices that are seldom heard those of the drug users.
Laramie, Wy – An economist who studies the economies of the mountain west region is praising efforts by some Wyoming leaders to put more money into economic development efforts. Ernie Goss is a economist with Creighton University who says Wyoming's economy is currently doing better then most states in the region. But he agrees with those in the Cowboy state who think more money and effort needs to be put into diversifying the economy.Goss says Wyoming's job growth has been gangbusters, but he expects that to slow down quite a bit in 2004.
Washington, DC – Wyoming may have more incentive to straighten out its wolf plan. Federal officials say the state needs to make changes in order for delisting of wolves to begin. The biggest issue appears to be language that would make wolves predators in most of the state. But Senator Craig Thomas says he has been speaking with federal officials, including Interior Secretary Gale Norton. He's been told that if they reach a compromise with Wyoming officials, then the state might be able to implement its wolf plan sooner rather then later.
Laramie, Wy – Wyoming's Republican congressional delegation is praising President Bush's State of the Union address. Senators Mike Enzi and Craig Thomas and Representative Barbara Cubin are rallying around Bush's health care and economic proposals and say they support his continued war on terror. Bush told Congress that America is strengthening its economy and asked lawmakers to make approved tax cuts permanent. Senator Thomas says he supports the call for tax relief -- saying it's money that can be invested.
Wyoming – Starting February 10th, brucellosis testing will be required by all Wyoming Ranchers selling female cattle used for breeding. The emergency action is meant to clam buyers in other states who worry about the potential for Wyoming to export brucellosis after 31 cases were discovered in Sublette County. The testing will make it more expensive for ranchers to sell cattle. And Wyoming Public Radio's Aaron Alpern reports this comes at a time when BSE, or mad cow disease has dramatically cut into beef prices.
Boulder, WY – Governor Freudenthal is setting up a task force to respond to the brucellosis cases in a Sublette County cattle herd. One item that will get plenty of attention is the elk of the Greater Yellowstone area that are known brucellosis carriers. Efforts to vaccinate elk have not been too successful. Plus many winter feedgrounds seem to be areas where the disease can spread easily. Joel Bousman is a Sublette County Rancher, whose neighbor owned the brucellosis-infected cattle.
Casper, WY – Do not add State Senator Keith Goodenough to the list of those surprised by the federal government's rejection of Wyoming's wolf plan. Goodenough, a member of the Legislature's Travel, Recreation, and Wildlife Committee, also does not favor fighting the federal government over Wyoming's wording. Goodenough believes they were warned that predator status could be a problem, and now that the plan's been rejected, he thinks the state has no choice but to meet federal demands.
Boise, ID – The US Fish and Wildlife Service says a gray wolf found dead in central Idaho was killed by a poison. The wolf carcass was found in May and testing found the presence of a poison known as Compound 10-80. The agency says the chemical, which is used to kill coyotes, is toxic to wild animals, family pets and humans. The service is offering a $2,500 reward for information on the killing.
Cheyenne, Wy – Wyoming's Revenue picture continues to improve. The states Consensus Revenue Estimating Group says this years revenue picture should improve by another 12 million and next years increase will come close to tripling that. State Economist Jim Robinson says improvements in Natural Gas and Oil Prices are big drivers behind the adjusted forecast. Robinson adds that half the projected revenue is already in the bank, and some members of the group think the state will do much better then they are saying.
Laramie, Wy – The President Elect of the American Medical Association says Wyoming will keep losing doctors if it does not place a 250-thousand dollar cap on non-economic medical malpractice cases. Doctor John Nelson is urging legislators to take the first step in changing the constitution to make the change. Currently Wyoming does not have a cap and trial attorneys argue that a cap is not needed because Juries in the state don't hand out large awards. They also say that premiums are high because of economic factors that have little to do with jury awards.