Cheyenne, Wy – Supporters of the plan to create a wildlife trust fund will need to go to the floor of the state House to try and get some money back in the bill. That's after the House Appropriations Committee removed all the funding from the trust fund, which is intended to provide money to groups that want to enhance wildlife habitat in the state. House Appropriations Chairman Frank Philp says the reason for removing the 30 million dollars is that he's not convinced the money is needed immediately. Philp says once the trust fund gets established they can consider additional funding.
Laramie, Wy – The percentage of unmarried mothers in Wyoming is at all time high. That information came out in the most recent Kids Count Data Book. It's published by the Wyoming Children's Action Alliance. The executive director of the Alliance, Deanna Frey, says the high rate is concerning because of the effects that are tied to single mothers giving birth, such as poverty and all the factors that are tied to it.
Sheridan, WY – A new 20,000-30,000 acre wilderness area could be recommended for the Bighorn National Forest. The Rock Creek Wilderness idea will be discussed this week at a meeting of a steering committee that is working on revising the Bighorn Forest Plan. Forest Supervisor Bill Bass says the idea is on the table because there was quite a response from the public supporting additional wilderness. Bass says the area has wilderness characteristics.
Laramie, Wy – During the last month the Wyoming Highway Patrol has seized over four million dollars in illegal drugs and U-S currency. All of that came from six traffic stops and vehicle searches. Sergeant Stephen Townsend of the Highway Patrol says this is now just part of the job for troopers. He says it does mean the troopers involved aren't patrolling the highways for a time, just as they have to do interviews and paperwork after a crash.
Cheyenne, WY – Governor Freudenthal is expected to sign six more bills into law Tuesday. Among them is legislation to allow doctors to block renewal of a patient's driver's license and a bill to spend more then 21 million dollars on various water projects. Another bill the Governor is expected to sign is one to expand eligibility for property tax breaks for veterans.
Wyoming – A rush to the Senate floor to give a speech on Alberto Gonzalez's nomination for Attorney General. Then a dash back to the office to meet with constituents. Then back to the capitol for the weekly Republican luncheon with Vice President Cheney. Just a typical day in Washington for Republican Wyoming Senator Craig Thomas. Chad Pergram, from our Capital Hill Bureau, recently tagged along with Thomas for an inside look at what Wyoming's senior lawmaker does each day on Capitol Hill.
Laramie, Wy – The City Council in Cheyenne will consider a proposal to build a war memorial honoring Wyoming soldiers. The idea for the memorial comes from Donn Edmunds, whose son Jonn J. Edmunds died in a helicopter crash in Pakistan in 2001. Edmunds says he wants the memorial to honor not just Wyoming natives who have died or gone missing in American wars. He also wants to honor other American service members -- and to leave space for names to be added in future conflicts.
Cheyenne, Wy – The Wyoming House Friday continued to yo-yo on four-lane highway funding, changing the dollar amount for the fourth time in three days. In their final vote before returning the bill to the Senate, representatives slashed three-million dollars -- leaving seven-million to launch planning studies that would widen the state's most dangerous two-lane roads. The Senate had earlier adopted ten-million dollars, which would pay for about five miles of multi-lane highways. Senators will examine the House version next week.