Laramie, Wy – All federal money coming to the Wyoming Department of Education will soon be audited. The director of the Department of Audit, Mike Geesey, says they are setting up a system to track grants coming to the state. He says previously it was hard to tell where federal money was being spent. Geesey says this is just the beginning and they'll eventually audit all federal grants coming to state government. He says this makes the system more efficient and produces a nice audit trail.
Lararmie, Wy – Governor Dave Freudenthal was briefed Wednesday by Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff. Freudenthal says he and other governors were told the states should stand down their effort to bring in evacuees. He says this is because most people have been evacuated or are staying in the region. And the Governor says Wyoming is not well suited for hosting evacuees because of the housing shortage that exists here, no major airport, and a climate the many people from the south might not desire.
Laramie, WY – A scientific journal this week published the last article written by the late University of Wyoming professor Beth Williams. Williams was known for her work on chronic wasting disease, and this article was a comprehensive review of what is known about the disease. Williams died in a December car accident, along with her husband Tom Thorne, who was also a noted wildlife veterinarian. The last article written exclusively by Williams is in the September issue of the journal Veterinary Pathology.
Yellowstone National Park – Federal Fish and Wildlife officials note that the numbers of wolves in the Yellowstone area is increasing, however the population is down by nearly 40 in Wyoming. Federal Wolf Recovery Co-ordinator Ed Bangs says some conflicts and disease has led to the decrease, but he's convinced that there is nothing to worry about. Instead, he calls it a leveling off of wolf numbers. Bangs says this should show that concerns that wolf numbers will explode are overblown. While Idaho saw an increase in wolves, Bangs predicts that those numbers will also stabilize.
Washington D-C – Republican Wyoming Senator Mike Enzi is meeting with relief organizations working to help victims of Hurricane Katrina. Enzi is chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. He says all of these areas will be influenced by the recent disaster.
Laramie, Wy – This weekend five people died on Wyoming highways. That happened while the Highway Patrol was out in full force and two national campaigns to prevent dangerous driving were underway. Sergeant Stephen Townsend from the Highway Patrol says they had hoped to prevent all deaths. He guesses the deaths were due to the increase in traffic in the state. Townsend says their efforts could use more help from the public to make these national campaigns work.
Washington D-C – Wyoming's Senior Senator says the disaster relief effort in New Orleans and the gulf area is going as well as possible. Senator Craig Thomas flew to Washington D-C to vote for a 10 billion dollar aid package for victims of Hurricane Katrina. Thomas said he is growing impatient with the idea that everything hasn't been done yet, he says it hasn't been done because this is a horrible disaster. Thomas says the aid package will pay for relief efforts that are going on now and should help stabilize the area affected by Hurricane Katrina.