Laramie, Wy – The Coalbed Natural Gas Alliance has done a survey of landowners in Wyoming and Montana with development on their property. The coordinator for the Alliance, Karen Brown, says the results show most landowners believe the development has a positive effect on communities and the environment. Brown says that even though they did the survey themselves it should not be discounted because all surveys show a grain of truth.
Lander, WY – Prosecutors will seek the death penalty against a former Wyoming Honor Farm inmate accused of killing a nurse there last April. Floyd Grady is scheduled to go on trial October 31st for kidnapping, attempted sexual assault, and murder stemming from the death of Tammy Watts. Fremont County Attorney Ed Newell filed notice this week that his office will go after a death sentence for Grady. Newell says the prosecutor's decision in any case like this should be based on what is set forth in Wyoming law and the wishes of the vitim's family.
Cheyenne, Wy – The four lane highway issue is back. The Senate Revenue committee gave a do pass recommendation to a bill that could begin expanding Wyoming two lane roads to four lane highways. It might also set the stage for new interstate highways in Wyoming. The concept is to use federal mineral royalty money to fund the projects. Gillette Senator Michael Von Flatern believes it will make roads safer and enhance the economy. Torrington Mayor Mike Varney is a big supporter.
Cheyenne, Wy – Wyoming house members gave initial support to a bill that seeks to remove a controversial provision from high school students' graduation transcripts. House Bill 51 would remove a three tier provision from the transcripts. To the concern of some, it would remove state graduation requirements and leave such standards under the control of local districts. While the state department of education contends that federal No Child Left Behind requirements will keep districts from dumbing down diplomas, others are not so sure.
Cheyenne – With Wyoming's history of jobs in the extractive minerals sector, state lawmakers have not spent a lot of time on Renewable energy. A group of legislators and University of Wyoming students tried to change that, but without success. Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck reports that renewable energy continues to be a tough sell in this state.
Denver, CO – The investigation into last week's fatal plane crash near Rawlins is still in its early stages, but icing on the wings is already standing out as a possible cause. David Bowling is the National Transportation Safety Board's Investigator in Charge of the air ambulance crash. Bowling says they noticed icing on the leading edges of the wings when they first examined the aircraft itself last week. And while it's far too early for Bowling to say that icing is what caused the crash, he's leaning that way at this point.
Cheyenne, WY – A bill that would have set up a Renewable Energy Commission has died. That's despite support from a number of University of Wyoming students who argued that the renewable energy sector will create jobs. Representative Jane Warren says the concept was to set up a commission to explore Renewable energy because she believes the job growth there possibilities are immense. But Senate minerals committee chairman Bill Hawks says the immediate future is not all that bright.
Montana – Montana's new Governor has proposed a plan that he says would eliminate brucellosis in the Yellowstone National Park bison herd. Brian Schweitzer's plan would essentially separate infected bison from those that aren't infected. Animals with brucellosis would be tagged and hunted or merely destroyed. Meanwhile, bison without brucellosis would be moved away from the park and then some years later brought back as a clean herd. Wyoming Public Radio's Aaron Alpern reports
Cheyenne – After a lengthy process the Department of Corrections announced last month that Torrington should be home to the new $83 million prison the state is going to build. Officials used a lengthy scoring system to grade the three communities interested in being home to the prison. The hope was to create an objective process. Wyoming Public Radio's Renny MacKay reports the objectivity and fairness of the process came under scrutiny Tuesday.