Laramie, Wy – Fifty-seven members of the Wyoming Army National Guard returned home last night after an eleven-month mission to the Middle East. It was a cold evening in Cheyenne, but Kristin Sierocki didn't seem to notice. She was waiting for her father to return from Kuwait, where he was deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom. She said the waiting was the hardest part. But Staff Sergeant John Sierocki and the other 56 soldiers with the 115th Field Artillery Brigade eventually stepped off a plane at
Gillette, Wy – A major increase in caseload has a pair of Gillette area District Court Judges asking for a little help. Judge John Perry is one of two judges that have seen their caseload increase from 11 thousand cases in 2000 to 42,000 by the end of last year. Pery says the booming energy industry has played a major role in the increase. The sixth Judicial District includes Campbell, Crook and Weston Counties.
Yellowstone National Park – Montana wildlife officials today (Thursday) approved a limited hunting season for bison that wander from Yellowstone National Park this winter. It's the first time in more than a decade that Montana has had such a hunt. The state wildlife commission voted four-to-one today to award ten licenses to hunt the animals between mid-January and the middle of February. The action came after critics told commissioners it's the wrong time to resume hunting of bison. Such hunts were canceled in the
Laramie, Wy – The state of Wyoming will be getting even more money thanks to the latest Coal Lease Sale. The Bureau of Land Management says the sole bid from Antelope Coal for the Land in southern Campbell County was for 146 point three million dollars or better then 75 cents per ton of coal. The state gets half of the revenue, and Legislative Service Office Budget Director Steve Sommers says it's more then they hoped for and will help the school construction account. A billion dollars was earned in four sales this year.
Laramie, WY – The city of Laramie has asked a judge to dismiss a lawsuit seeking to overturn a citywide smoking ban. Six Laramie residents filed the lawsuit claiming the city failed to comply with laws governing special elections and referendums. The City argues that Albany County District Court doesn't jurisdiction in the matter and that any questions should have been raised before the election. The ordinance to ban smoking in public places, including restaurants and bars, passed by 366 votes in November.
Casper, Wy – The legislature's Education Committee supported the State Superintendent's proposal to change existing law. The change would mean school districts again would be completely in charge of determining graduation requirements, with no oversight. Former Wyoming teacher and current school consultant, Kim Ferguson, says the law is used to get real information about whether a student is proficient in a certain subject. The State Superintendent says gathering all of that information is too much work for schools. He also says it is not a good way to help students.
Casper, Wy – The idea of giving all teachers a five thousand dollar raise did not get support from the legislature's education committee. Most lawmakers on the committee say they are in favor of getting more money to teachers, but say it should not be done across the board. Senate Chair of the Committee, Hank Coe, says better planning is needed. The State Superintendent of Education says he understands the committee's decision but he thinks the raise is critical. He says it is needed to attract new people to the state's schools.
Laramie, Wy – While he says players have done as well as they can, Wyoming Football Coach Joe Glenn says it's been tough to spend a lot of time preparing for UCLA. The Cowboys face the Bruins in next weeks Las Vegas bowl, but it is final's week at the University, and Glenn says it's tough to get everyone together. Glenn continues to say that several injured players are getting more healthy by the day. The Cowboys leave for Las Vegas this weekend. The game is Thursday the 23rd.
Cheyenne, Wy – Great Lakes Pilots have unanimously rejected a contract offer as both sides continue to haggle over what pilots should be paid. Teamster local 747 spokesman Jason Hedgepath says salaries for many pilots are around 15-thousand dollars. While Hedgepath says the pilots don't want to return to the negotiating table, he suspects that is what they will be directed to do. A request to strike has been denied.