Washington D-C – A bill that a Wyoming U-S Senator calls landmark was given approval by a Senate committee. It allows Small business people the chance to work together to offer insurance. Senator Mike Enzi says it is an effort that took a long time to get accomplished. While the bill is being praised by many small business organizations, other health organizations worry that it will allow companies to opt out of offering coverage mandated by some states. Enzi would like all mandates to be offered but he also says the main objective is to get more people on insurance.
Pinedale, Wy – The Bureau of land management is raving about its decision to approve the 30 thousand acre Jonah Infill drilling project. The project will occur near Pinedale and they say the project provides incentives for minimal impacts and sets up monitoring. But Conservation groups say the decision lacks requirements that will make sure that impacts are minimal from the start. Linda Baker of the Upper Green River Valley Coalition fears that too much development will be allowed up front which could lead to serious wildlife impacts.
Laramie, Wy – The Wyoming army national guard has already met its end-of-year recruiting goals. Bringing nearly 1700 new soldiers on board. That's in contrast to nationwide figures which show the army guard behind in recruiting. Major fred fichtner says that Wyoming has managed to reach its goal despite the fact that most new recruits will likely be deployed to Iraq or other overseas conflicts. Fichtner says about sixty percent of recruits have no prior military service.
Cheyenne, Wy – Look for Wyoming flu numbers to starting heading downward. The Wyoming Department of Health reports that after a few difficult weeks with high flu numbers it appears that the flu has reached its peak in the state. Dr. Tracy Murphy does not think the flu season was out of the ordinary. However, the department of health believes they did see about 500 more flu cases this year compared to last year.
Sundance, Wy – A former Crook County legislator has died. Marlene Simons an outspoken representative of the agriculture community died Sunday at her home in Beulah. She was 70. Simons was a fierce Republican, but Crook County Democratic Party Chairman John Shoffstall says the citizens of Crook county owe a debt of gratitude to Simons. Services for Marlene Simons will be Friday at the Old Sundance High School at two.
Laramie, Wy – The discovery of the country's third-ever case of Mad Cow Disease should not have any effect in Wyoming. The vice president of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association, Jim Magagna, says the only effect this could have is if there is a downturn in the price of beef. He says the fear is always that consumers might decide not to eat as much beef and that could impact the market. But, Magagna says since the last time a case of Mad Cow was found consumer confidence in beef has increased.
Gillette, Wy – The case of a 15-year-old boy charged with murder and conspiracy to commit murder in Gillette has been delayed until the court can resolve whether to try him as an adult. As a result of the decision by District Judge Michael Deegan, Michael Frank Seiser was not asked to enter a plea today (Monday) during his arraignment hearing. Seiser is accused of plotting to kill 16-year-old Bryce Chavers with Christopher Robert Hicks and Jacob Paul Martinez and then driving Hicks and Martinez to Chavers house on the night he was
Denver, Co – Oil prices in Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming have dropped dramatically in recent weeks, to the surprise of independent producers. Cuts of up to 30 dollars a barrel off the posted regional prices are being reported in some places in the region. Some producers are shutting down wells, rather than selling oil at the reduced rate. Producers aren't sure what's behind the pricing discounts, but say factors may include the country's static refining capacity, increased production in the Canadian Tar Sands, and limited
Washington, DC – Look for another westerner to take over the US Interior Department. The Denver Post reports that President Bush will tap a westerner to replace outgoing Interior Secretary Gale Norton. White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card says it is a tradition to look to the western US for this position. He also says the White House will look for another pro-development candidate like Norton.
Washington, DC – The National Park Service is stepping up the use of technology. The aim is to help capture the interest of a new generation, and grow support for places like Yellowstone. At the Benefield Elementary school outside Atlanta, children take an online, Yellowstone field trip. The school's technology coordinator says kids are interested in the country's first national park, but some can't afford to actually see it. E-trips offer a mix of animation, video, and scientific facts.