Cheyenne, WY – Despite concerns that the bill could put unnecessary burdens on young people; the house gave initial support to the Graduated Drivers License bill Monday. The measure requires 15 year olds to get several hours of supervised training. They would then get an intermediate license at 16, and must follow a number of rules for a year. Among those rules, 16 year olds would generally only be allowed one passenger under the age of 18. Representative Elaine Harvey of Lovell says this aspect would hurt good kids.
Cheyenne, WY – Senators are set to take on the issue of where to put the new Medium Security prison. Lobbyists from Torrington, the site picked by the Department of Corrections, and Rawlins have been lobbying Senators on the issue. Senator Curt Meier, who represents Goshen County, defends the Department of Corrections choice of Torrington, saying their workforce is set up for the prison. Senators say they hope the issue does not get political, but they expect some politics to crop up during initial discussion of the bill Tuesday.
Pinedale, WY – There could be another 3,100 gas wells in the already heavily-drilled Jonah Field south of Pinedale. The Bureau of Land Management has just issued a draft proposal for future drilling in the Jonah Field. Compared to the 5-million acre Powder River Basin, the Jonah Field is tiny at 30,000 acres, but it holds 1/3 of the natural gas reserves. So, producers have asked the BLM to allow up to 3,100 more wells in the Jonah Field. BLM Project Manager Carol Kruse says their plan would allow that, but she notes they have some concerns about air quality impacts.
Cheyenne – Wyoming Senators Monday took up the discussion on getting rid of food lawsuits. The idea is to not let people sue for getting fat. The issue led to a lively discussion on the Senate floor. Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck reports that it is an unusual issue for the state to get involved with.
Laramie, Wy – Governor Freudenthal has named Cheyenne attorney Peter Arnold district court judge to replace James Burke, who recently joined the Supreme Court. Arnold is a founding partner with Riske and Arnold, a position he has held since 1991. His specialties include domestic relations, real estate, small business and estate planning. Arnold graduated from the University of Wyoming in 1970 and UW College of Law in 1973. After getting his law degree he was a captain in the Army Judge Advocate General's Corps for five years.
Laramie, Wy – A plaque honoring former U.S. senator and governor Clifford Hansen was unveiled Friday at the State Capitol. About 180 relatives, friends, state officials and lawmakers attended the ceremony. The 92-year-old Hansen was self deprecating and thankful in his remarks. Governor Freudenthal, state Senate President Grant Larson, U.S. Senators Craig Thomas and Mike Enzi, Representative Barbara Cubin and state Treasurer Cynthia Lummis gave brief remarks recounting stories about Hansen.
Laramie, Wy – "Kids make mistakes" is what Attorney General Pat Crank says about his son's guilty plea for possession of marijuana. Crank says 16-year-old Zachary Crank has owned up to his mistakes and he's supportive of him. The younger Crank was ordered to perform community service after pleading guilty to possession of marijuana. He was also ordered to pay court costs and submit to random drug testing. If he completes those tasks and stays out of trouble for the next year, his record will be expunged.
Cheyenne, Wy – A bill hoping to clarify a number of end of life health care decisions got initial approval in the state Senate. State Senator Charles Scott says there have been many complaints about state laws regarding such things as living wills. He's hoping the bill that deals with uniform health care decisions will solve those problems. Scott thinks that to date, a good part of the population has been unable to use the current laws because of the cost of attorneys fees to address a variety of matters. The bill moves to second reading.
Cheyenne, Wy – Senators have given final approval to a bill that provides financial help to areas looking enhance their airline service. Senator Bill Hawks of Casper says they had tremendous success with improved air service. Hawks also says it impacted Casper ticket prices, bringing the cost down about $100. Hawks notes that the program will now be under the state aeronautics division, which should bring an element of expertise.