Riverton, WY – No charges have been filed, but the investigation into the death of a nurse at the Wyoming Honor Farm is focusing on an inmate. That's according to Riverton Police Chief John Snell. Snell says nurse Tammy Watts was beaten and strangled before she was found dead last Thursday. He refused to release any more details other than to say investigators have yet to determine a motive for the killing.
Laramie, WY – A Laramie-based environmental group is pleased the U-S Fish and Wildlife Service will consider whether the sage grouse needs Endangered Species protection. The agency published a "90-Day Finding" which will start a scientific investigation into the animals' status. Biodiversity Conservation Alliance wildlife biologist Erik Molvar says oil and gas drilling has threatened the sage grouse habitat across Wyoming. He says the decision serves as a wake-up call to other federal and state agencies that they haven't done enough to protect habitat.
Calgary, Alberta – An energy company with a major natural gas operation in Wyoming is purchasing another company that does work in the state. Canadian energy giant EnCana is buying Tom Brown Incorporated. The $2.2 billion cash deal will boost EnCana's assets in Wyoming, Colorado, and Texas. Tom Brown is a natural gas producer in the Green River and Wind River Basins. EnCana also works in the Green River Basin, with its Jonah Field operation.
Laramie, Wy – The Environmental Protection Agency just put out a list of counties where ground level ozone does not meet health standards. But, none of these counties are in Wyoming. Environmental Scientist for the E-P-A Tim Russ says the state only has two monitoring sites, one in Yellowstone and the other in the Thunder Basin Grassland. He says right now more monitoring is not needed but there could be needed if energy development continues in the state at a high rate.
Laramie, Wy – A former Park Service employee says the Bush administration is misleading the public on snowmobiles. The Coordinator of the Coalition of Concerned National Park Service employees points out that studies are showing the new four stroke snowmobiles are nearly as noisy as the old two stroke models. Bill Wade adds that internal park service documents show the four stroke machines are loud enough to damage hearing. But Wade thinks the Park Service is trying to keep the information from the public...
Cheyenne, Wy – A State Trooper was involved in a high speed car chase on I-80 East of Cheyenne this week. The officer pulled over a vehicle with California plates and issued a warning for speeding. Then told the driver a K9 drug unit was en-route. Upon hearing this the driver sped off triggering a 14 mile chase.
Rock Springs, WY – House Speaker Fred Parady does not plan to run for a sixth term in the state House. At a luncheon in Rock Springs this week, Parady urged those in attendance to get involved in Wyoming government and he suggested they could do so by running for his seat. Later, he said it's traditional for the House speaker to retire after serving in that position. Asked if he intended to retire or whether he had other plans, Parady would only say that he intends to honor that tradition. Parady, an OCI trona mine manager, was first elected in 1994.
Cheyenne, WY – Increasing traffic has the Wyoming Highway Patrol creating a new patrol division based in Elk Mountain. Troopers that patrol roads in the Elk Mountain, Saratoga, Hanna, and Medicine Bow areas are currently under the Rawlins Division. But WHP Sergeant Steven Townsend there's been more calls for service on Interstate 80 and other roads in the area recently. Townsend says drivers will not notice more patrolling with this new division. He says they aren't adding personnel to the area, just making internal adjustments to make operations run smoother.
Cheyenne, Wy – The U-S Fish and Wildlife Service has rejected a complaint filed over its decision against protecting trumpeter swans in the Yellowstone region. Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility filed the complaint last May. The group accused Fish and Wildlife of relying on false information and violating the Data Quality Act. They also said the agency distorted the findings of another study in issuing its decision last January. In a letter, Fish and Wildlife Service Director Steve Williams