Yellowstone National Park – So far this winter, there's been a spike in the number of snowmobiles that have visited Yellowstone. Park officials say the number increased by more than 12 percent for the period of December-through-February, as compared to the same period last year. Yellowstone spokesman Al Nash says the reason might be that people have been able to plan their trips because the winter use rules have been stable. "We've been operating under temporary rules now for three winters.
Casper, Wy – State Superintendent Jim McBride says the federal No Child Left Behind law is designed more for urban areas and not for a small, rural states like Wyoming. The law requires that schools meet yearly progress goals. If schools miss those marks, they can be labeled as needing improvement and may face consequences. But McBride says the federal law doesn't differentiate enough between small school districts and large school districts. He noted that the federal government's definition of a small
Cheyenne, Wy – The new Medium Security prison in Torrington is now moving forward. The legislature approved funding for the project and Corrections director Bob Lampert says a different approach to building the project will keep costs in line. Rising costs helped delay the original construction of the facility. Lampert says the state needs the new prison to not only deal with prison overcrowding, but to help better treat inmates, so that they don't return to prison when they are released.
Laramie, Wy – Former U-S congressional candidate Gary Trauner says another run for office is not out of the question. The Democrat from Teton County lost the race for Wyoming's U.S. Representative seat last year by a razor-thin margin to incumbent Barbara Cubin. And Trauner says he's not quite recovered from the defeat. Trauner says he's been mulling his public service options these days and keeping up with his business consulting.
Cheyenne, WY – The state legislature has finished its time in Cheyenne, but lawmakers will soon be starting work on proposals for the future. But, the President of the Senate John Schiffer says next year he wants lawmakers to focus on the budget and urgent needs. He says part of the reason for that is the growing complexity of Wyoming's budget. Schiffer says leadership will ask lawmakers to study the future of Interstate 80 and how to improve the quality of education in the state. But, he says those projects might take a couple of years.
Laramie, Wy – The top educator in Wyoming sent off his recommendations for how to improve the federal No Child Left Behind Law today. Congress is getting ready to rework the law and State Superintendent Jim McBride came up with several proposed improvements. One idea he has is to change the student tests. McBride says he wants an exam that measures the growth of a child, rather than if they meet a definition of proficient. He says the current way of doing things is one size fits all. McBride would also like it if the law was more flexible when dealing with small schools.