Cheyenne – After three days of contentious debate the state legislature passed a constitutional amendment that for the first time in history will allow voters to decide if they want to allow caps on non economic damages in medical malpractice cases. Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck reports
Laramie, Wy – Authorities safely detonated a suspected pipe bomb found in Hot Springs State Park in Thermopolis. Thermopolis Police Chief Jim Weisbeck says tourists spotted the suspicious looking device near a boat ramp in the park Tuesday. Weisbeck says the device had three pieces of copper tubing that were capped and held together with duct tape. A nearby public swimming pool was evacuated. A bomb disposal unit from Natrona County blew up the device, and its remains will be studied by the state crime lab.
Cheyenne, Wy – The Wyoming House and Senate gave initial approval to legislation that would provide Obstetricians help with Medicaid reimbursements. The Senate version of the bill would provide 100 percent reimbursement of their regular charges for delivering what are termed "Medicaid babies." Senators were told there is a difference of about a thousand dollars between what Medicaid currently pays and what doctors would normally get from their insured patients. Senator Rae Lynn Job says they are hoping to close the gap, but she says it's unclear how many doctors will be affected.
Cheyenne, Wy – The Wyoming House has approved its version of a constitutional amendment that would place a cap on non-economic damages. Following extensive debate and opposition from the Speaker and several leading Republicans the house removed a provision that would have kept a cap from being less than 500-thousand dollars. Representative Colin Simpson says citizens benefit from having a floor in the bill.
Cheyenne, Wy – Following a debate that lasted over two hours the Wyoming house gave initial approval to a proposed constitutional amendment that sets a cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases. The debate focused on two main issues. House members defeated an attempt to remove a cap if Gross Negligence is proven. But they did pass an amendment that says no cap can be less then 500-thousand dollars. Putting a number in the bill concerned many, who thought the issue should not be placed in the constitution.
Laramie, Wy – Five homicides have been recorded so far this year in Fremont County. That's a lot for a Wyoming county with 36-thousand people. County Coroner Ed McAuslan says this is the worst year for homicides in his 29 years on the job - and there is no explanation or quick solution for the spike. The most recent homicide was that of 22-month-old Marcella Hope Yellowbear, of Riverton. The girl's mother, Macalia Blackburn, was arrested last week. On June 26th, 18-year-old William Jevon Antelope, of Riverton,
Laramie, Wy – The Bush Administration has proposed replacing the Roadless Rule. That was a policy President Clinton put in place barring development in parts of National Forests. In Wyoming there are about three million acres of land that was classified as roadless. This is about five percent of the state. Those forests are now open to development unless the governor appeals to protect them.
Laramie, Wy – As the summer goes on the chance of contracting West Nile Virus increases. That's the word from the Wyoming coordinator for the virus, Terry Creekmore. He says the peak of the year should be the first two weeks of August. He reminds people to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites especially in the state's hot spots, which are Goshen and Fremont Counties. So far this year one person and 15 horses have tested positive for West Nile. Creekmore says using repellent with DEET is safe to use.