Laramie, Wy – Tourist visits to Yellowstone National Park remained steady during the traditionally busy Christmas season, compared to 2005. However, the 2005 season was one day shorter, making the daily averages comparable. A Yellowstone spokeswoman says there were six-thousand-49 snowmobile riders in December 2006; and four-thousand-106 coach riders.
Laramie, Wy – A piece of a Russian rocket landed near Riverton, Wyoming about six o'clock this morning. Descriptions range from an "unreal bright light" to a "spectacular fireworks display." Riverton Police Captain Mark Stone says he witnessed the event and at first thought it was an aircraft crashing. He says it came down about 55 miles southwest of Riverton in a national forest. Authorities say the Russian rocket was used to launch a French satellite late last month. There have been no reports of injuries.
Gillette, Wy – A 42-year-old man has been sentenced to life in prison for ordering others to kill a Gillette teenager. Kent Alan Proffit was convicted last November of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder for ordering two men to strangle 19-year-old Jeremy Forquer in October 2005. He was sentenced in Gillette by District Judge John Perry. Proffit's lawyer challenged the conviction during the sentencing, but the judge says prosecutors proved guilt well beyond reasonable doubt.
Sheridan, Wy – There may be a recount in that close U-S House race between Representative Barbara Cubin and Gary Trauner after all. Three Sheridan Democrats say they plan to conduct a hand recount of Sheridan County's results in the race to see whether the county's new voting machines are accurate. Cubin, a Republican, beat Democrat Trauner by just over a thousand votes in the November general election. Cubin won the race in Sheridan County by 628 votes. Sheridan County Democrat Liz Howell is one of those planning to
Laramie, Wy – A 47-year-old woman died in a house fire early today (Wednesday) in Laramie. The victim was identified as Lori L. Morton, of Laramie. The fire was reported about 5:25 a-m and firefighters found an unconscious woman inside. The cause of death as well as the cause of the fire were under investigation.
Lander, Wy – A federal report is suggesting that communities and landowners should pay more of the cost of preventing and suppressing wildfires. The report says the abundance of private homes in areas that used to be remote is driving up costs. Federal officials say there will be a vigorous debate over how to split the costs. The fire warden in Fremont County is Craig Haslam. He says if less federal money was available they would have to adjust but Haslam does not support ideas to limit housing near federal land.
Laramie, Wy – Wyomingites can deduct what they pay in sales tax again when they file their returns this year. Congress recently passed a bill extending the deduction. But, the Internal Revenue Service had written up its tax forms and instructions before the bill passed, so it may be NOT be obvious that this tax deduction and two others are available.
Laramie, Wy – The Jackson Hole Airport board has adopted a utility company's plan to save electricity and help cut greenhouse gas emissions. The plan resulted from an energy audit at the airport by Lower Valley Energy last month. Assistant airport director Jeanne Kirkpatrick says most of the airport's energy savings will come from switching to low-wattage light bulbs. The airport board has also voted to have renewable sources supply 20 percent of the airport's electricity.
Laramie, Wy – The city of Gillette issued a record 631 housing construction permits in 2006. City planner Michael Surface says it appears that housing construction in Gillette has outpaced all other cities in Wyoming. And at least one contractor thinks that 2007 could be just as busy. Jim Anderson is with Premier Homes L-L-C. He says a shortage of workers will also continue to make it necessary for subcontractors to come in from out of town. Gillette's economy is booming because of coal, gas and oil development.