Rawlins, WY – Carbon County officials are protesting the Department of Corrections recommendation to build a medium-security prison in Torrington, instead of Rawlins. Carbon County Commissioner Art Zeiger says the system for evaluating communities was flawed because it didn't properly account for nearby towns that could help support a prison. Corrections officials used a 35-mile radius for determining the availability of community services. Zeiger says that arbitrary standard eliminates Saratoga and Hanna from Rawlins' evaluation, but it includes Scottsbluff, Nebraska in Torrington's bid.
Yellowstone National Park, WY – The reconstruction of the Sylvan Pass road in Yellowstone National Park will be costlier and take longer than originally planned. The East Entrance road was closed nearly a week when heavy rains in July caused several mudslides. An engineer for the Federal Highway Administration says because of damaged culverts and other problems, the project might take a year longer than planned, possibly stretching into 2007.
Laramie, Wyoming – Governor Dave Freudenthal is disappointed that the State Superintendent is calling their dispute over Department of Education office space political. Freudenthal says it is really about the Superintendent not following proper rules and procedures in moving some employees into the Riverton High School. Superintendent Trent Blankenship says the dispute is simply political. The Governor dismisses that, noting that it was the Auditor who actually questioned the spending and asked for the Audit. He thinks everyone needs to "lighten up a little here".
Laramie, Wy – Prompted by court and administrative rulings, federal land managers will review more than 400 coal-bed methane leases in the Powder River Basin. The leases were issued before management plans in northeast Wyoming were updated to reflect the drilling industry's impact on air and water. Some say the decision could halt some existing development. But B-L-M officials doubt anything that drastic will occur. A 30-day public comment period ends January 15th.
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.