Evanston, WY – The next director of the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation was announced Thursday. He is Uinta County Sheriff Forrest Bright. Uinta County voters elected Bright as sheriff in 1991. He has a total of 30 years of law enforcement experience, including 15 years with the Evanston Police Department. He takes over as DCI Director March 13th, replacing Kurt Dobbs, who is retiring after three years as D-C-I chief.
Cheyenne, WY – Wyomingites looking for some tax relief got some good news Thursday. The state House approved a bill to remove the sales tax on food. But, a bill to reduce the total state sales tax from four to three percent died. Representative Ann Robinson is sponsoring the measure to get rid of tax on food. She says it would save a family of four between 400 and 500 dollars a year. Robinson says legislators are sitting at every dinner-table in Wyoming, taking a bite out of every family's food. She says it's not because they're hungry, but because they can.
Bozeman, MT – Wyoming's winter elk feeding program is the target of a new lawsuit. Three conservation groups say the program unnaturally concentrates elk on feed-grounds, creating a greater risk of disease. Brucellosis already occurs at high levels among feed-ground elk. And the groups worry about the westward spread of chronic wasting disease, which scientists believe could infect 50% of feed-ground elk herds. Earthjustice Attorney Tim Preso is representing the environmental groups.
Cheyenne, WY – An effort to keep e-mails and certain legislative communications secret will move forward. A Senate committee gave unanimous support to a bill permitting lawmakers to delete all e-mail correspondence. The panel also signed off on a bill to keep secret all communications with staff. The second measure could also keep away from public view discussion about proposed bills, drafts of legislation, and consultant reports. The Wyoming Press Association objects to both measures, and wants lawmakers to keep as much information before the public as possible.
Gillette, WY – Arch Coal plans to invest $50 million to reopen a Campbell County coal mine sometime this summer or early fall. The Coal Creek mine has been idle since 2000. It is where Denver-based K-F-x Incorporated has proposed building a plant that to process coal to make it burn more cleanly. The announcement of the re-opening of the mine coincides with record-high coal production and prices in the Powder River Basin. Last year, the basin produced about a third of the nation's coal, or 390 million tons.