Laramie, Wy – Conservationists are taking the Bush administration to court over new rules for managing the national forests. The rules -- issued in December -- give managers of the 155 national forests more discretion to approve logging and other commercial projects without lengthy environmental reviews. San Francisco-based Earthjustice alleges in the suit that the rules water down protection of wildlife and the environment "to the point where they are virtually meaningless." The litigation was filed on behalf of a coalition of conservation groups.
Torrington – Torrington will be the site of the New Medium Security prison following final debate on the issue in the state Senate. In the past three days the Senate fought over questions of bias, a poor study and scoring method, and whether the state could be hurt by placing the prison in a border community. Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck reports that Torrington officials won out despite one final push to place the facility in Rawlins.
Laramie, Wy – Earlier this week an investigative report came out in the Wyoming Tribune Eagle. It showed that the payroll in the Department of Education increased two-point-five million dollars per year since Trent Blankenship was elected to head the department. It also shows that he created four new high level positions. Today at a press conference Blankenship responded to the report. He says made the changes to address new programs that enhance schools in Wyoming and serve the people as best as possible.
Cheyenne, WY – Once again, Torrington has survived an attempt to place the new medium security prison in another location. Wednesday, State Senator Bob Peck tried to convince the Senate to place the prison in Riverton, saying that it has more amenities, the largest prison industry in the state, and even a strong education program. But opponents urged Senators not to stray from Torrington. Goshen County Economic Development Director Brad Sutherland says the discussion over the last two days has been frustrating.
Cheyenne, WY – Legislation to create a Medical Review Panel has taken yet another turn. A number of amendments in a State Senate Committee have dramatically changed the bill's makeup. The Panel is supposed to screen medical malpractice cases and determine whether they should be heard in court. The house version of the bill had one lay person, two attorneys and two medical providers. The Senate version as it heads to the floor now has three health care providers, two lay people, and no attorneys.
Cheyenne, WY – The Governor and First Lady released data Wednesday on what it costs to be self sufficient in Wyoming's counties. This cost is based on the amount of money required to meet basic needs without any help from the government or family members. First Lady Nancy Freudenthal says it is not up to the government to make laws to help get everyone to the level of self sufficiency. She says what the state can do is spend wisely when it recruits companies. The study shows that on average a single parent needs to make about $10 an hour to be self sufficient.