Cheyenne, WY – As the Wyoming legislature tried to figure out what to do next over the wolf issue, there's another potential problem looming on the horizon. Last week, the U-S Fish and Wildlife Service Director met with legislative leaders and Governor Dave Freudenthal. The main topic was how the two sides could reach a compromise over Wyoming's wolf management plan in order to remove the species from the Endangered Species list. But Freudenthal also asked about who would pay for wolf management. He says the response was if the species is de-listed, U.S.F.W.S.
Cheyenne, WY – A bill that's been in the works for several years was approved on general file Monday by the Wyoming House. The legislation would provide a sales tax exemption on manufacturing equipment. Supporters claim a lack of such an exemption has kept some businesses from coming to the state. Cheyenne Representative Pete Illoway says it costs his community a key business last year.
Cheyenne, Wy – Gay marriages granted in other states like Massachusetts would be declared void in Wyoming under a measure introduced in the Senate. State law already defines marriage as a union between men and women only. But Gillette Senator Dick Erb said he discovered this week that Wyoming would have to recognize same-sex marriages granted in other states under current statutes. Erb says he drafted Senate File 85 as an attempt to "head off" the issue before it becomes one in Wyoming.
Cheyenne, Wy – A Wyoming Army National Guard soldier killed in a rollover in Wyoming is as much a hero as soldiers who died in Iraq. That's according to Governor Dave Freudenthal. Specialist Billy Jess Watts of Cody died February 5th while riding in an Army truck in a convoy on his way to train at Camp Guernsey. The wreck occurred on an icy stretch of Interstate 25 near Douglas. Two other soldiers were injured.
Cheyenne, Wy – Congresswoman Barbara Cubin is praising the state's efforts when it comes to wolves. During a speech before the legislature Cubin said that she appreciates their battle with the federal government. She says she hopes the state does not have to go to court to solve this issue, but admits Wyoming may have little choice. Cubin, a Republican, says this one time she's willing to go against the Administration and that the legislature can count on her support.
Sheridan, WY – A Sheridan native in the Army's 2nd Armored Cavalry was wounded in action in Iraq Wednesday. According to Nathan Leikip's parents, Leikip received shrapnel in his left eye, and "a chunk" of the eye subsequently had to be removed in surgery. Two other members of Leikip's unit were killed in the incident. Leikip's mother told the Sheridan Press that Leikip was due to leave Iraq in late March or early April. Leikip was also wounded in November.
Laramie, WY – Laramie could become Wyoming's first city to institute a smoking ban. The City Council is preparing to consider a measure written by Laramie residents to outlaw smoking in all workplaces, including restaurants and bars. The Laramie school board gave its unanimous support to the proposal Wednesday. Residents behind the ordinance say it would protect people from secondhand smoke and help prevent children from taking up smoking. A similar ordinance failed narrowly in Casper three years ago.
Cheyenne, Wy – The Senate said no, but the house said yes to a bill that could bring about a compromise on the wolf issue. The Wyoming house will consider a bill that deletes the word predator from the state wolf management plan. The word is a source of trouble for the U-S Fish and Wildlife service who says it wants to delist wolves. But they also told key legislators that they would allow trapping and snaring of wolves outside of the national parks. House Wildlife committee Chairman Mike Baker urged Representatives to send the issue to committee.