Washington D-C – It is not what Wyoming's delegation wanted, but the U-S Senate has agreed to renew a government program to clean up abandoned mines for nine months. The deal disappoints Senator Craig Thomas since the state is owed nearly 400 million dollars in backpayments for cleaning up sites. But Thomas says they had no other choice but to accept this offer. Thomas thinks the issue will remain on the front burner when it gets revisited next year.
Jackson, Wy – To protect Wyoming cattle from brucellosis the state needs to first address the disease in elk and bison. But a state task force charged with addressing brucellosis is proceeding cautiously with recommendations to reduce or eliminate the disease in wildlife. Wyoming Public Radio's Aaron Alpern reports
Casper, WY – Wildlife biologists continue to study last winter's elk die-off south of Rawlins. Officials know a commong lichen the elk ate is what caused the illness. What they don't know is exactly what the toxic compound in the lichen was, whether that compound is present in lichen elsewhere in Wyoming and if other animals are at risk. Hunting this fall has been impacted with fewer licenses offered in the affected area near Rawlins. Walt Cook of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department says as far as they know, those elk are safe to eat because no other animals were affected.
Laramie, Wy – A higher percentage of University of Wyoming students are graduating within six years compared to a decade ago. That's the findings of a report on higher education. But, U-W President Phil Dubois says the school still needs to do better at retaining students. He says it is their goal to have a graduation rate between 60 and 65% and right now it is around 52%.
Cheyenne, WY – The Wyoming Supreme Court says it's illegal for a police officer to ask questions of a driver that are unrelated to a traffic stop after issuing a ticket or returning the driver's paperwork. The Justices handed down that ruling Monday in a case involving the detention of an Illinois man and the search of his car in 2002. As a result, Alan Campbell will be allowed to withdraw his guilty plea to marijuana possession with intent to deliver the drug. Also, more than eight pounds of pot allegedly seized from Campbell's car cannot be used as evidence against him.
Jackson, Wy – A group in Jackson will be hosting a forum on hate and acceptance this week. Parents, Friends and Families of Lesbians and Gays is trying to raise awareness of such issues and promote tolerance. Organizer Mark Houser says the Jackson school system has been very open to the message. This week the Jackson schools will be host to a reading of the play The Laramie Project and Judy Shepard will present a forum and a number of talks on hate and acceptance.
Laramie, Wy – A nationwide investigation shows that absentee voting has led to fraud in at least 15 states. The New York Times did the investigation but did not find wrongdoing in Wyoming. The Equality State Policy Center's Sarah Gorin, says there are safeguards in this state that don't exist elsewhere but she says there is a possibility of voter fraud here. And she says that could affect local and even federal elections. Gorin says Wyoming could shore up its system by spending more money on voter technologies and by removing deceased people from voting lists.
Cheyenne, Wy – A new report says Wyoming's recent high school graduates are more prepared for college than their counterparts ten years ago. But a smaller percentage of them are enrolling. The report was released today (Tuesday) by the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education. The center gave Wyoming a C-plus for its percentage of K-through-12 students taking upper-level math and science courses and those scoring at or above proficient in math, science, reading and writing.
Casper – The moose population in northwestern Wyoming has declined significantly in recent years. A decade ago, there were more then 500 moose hunting permits offered every fall around Jackson Hole. That number is about 150 now. One culprit often named is the re-introduction of wolves and grizzly bears. But a study presented Thursday to the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission suggests the predators only play a minor role. Wyoming Public Radio's Aaron Alpern has more from Casper