Albany County

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A new economic study could help the State Board of Land Commissioners decide on a proposed exchange that could affect as many as 8,000 acres of public lands in Albany County.

Under the Bonander Ranches Exchange, the state would swap 1,000 acres of state trust land in the Laramie Range to a private landowner for less than 300 acres in Crook County. These areas are valued at the same amount, and the smaller parcel could bring revenue to the state in the form of leases and timber sales. 

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The Wyoming Supreme Court heard arguments Thursday in the criminal appeals case of former Albany County prosecutor, Richard Bohling.  

In February, Bohling was found guilty of five charges related to improperly using government money to purchase cameras, photography equipment and other electronics. He was sentenced to two to four years in prison, along with an order to pay $45,000 in fines and more than $3,000 in restitution to Albany County. Bohling’s counsel then filed an appeals case with the Wyoming Supreme Court to overturn all five convictions. 

Leigh Paterson / Inside Energy

After hearing more than five hours of public testimony, the Wyoming Legislature’s Joint Revenue Committee rejected a bill Thursday that would have increased the tax on wind energy production.

Wyoming currently taxes production at $1 per megawatt hour, the only such tax in the nation. The state is facing a major budget shortfall because of the downturn in coal, oil and gas production. Raising the wind tax came up as a possible way to generate revenue for school construction. Rep. Mike Madden, R-Buffalo, introduced the failed proposal to raise the tax to $3 per megawatt hour.

Aaron Schrank/WPR

On Tuesday morning Wyoming county clerks began issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples for the first time in the state’s history. Wyoming Public Radio’s Miles Bryan was at the Albany County Courthouse for that historic event, while Wyoming Public Radio’s Aaron Schrank was in Cheyenne, at the Laramie County Courthouse. Together, they have this report.

Caroline Ballard

This past Sunday the White House released an ad campaign to address sexual assault on college campuses. It uses celebrities to promote speaking up if you suspect a sexual assault is in the works. But even with renewed awareness efforts, Sexual Assault remains the most underreported crime in the United States. Wyoming is no exception.

Suriel via flickr

The Albany County Library received an emergency infusion of over $100,000 this week.

That money was allocated by the Albany County Commissioners to help the library cover a budget deficit of around $70,000 dollars for this fiscal year.

“We would have had to completely gut the programming and materials. No more programming and materials for the year,” says library manager Joey Dingess. “To be quite honest, we wouldn’t be able to pay our bills the rest of the year.”

Arturo de Albornoz via Flickr

An animal rights group has announced plans to erect a billboard in the Laramie area that depicts a dog locked in a cage. This comes after the news that a child was allegedly kept in a cage in Albany County.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, plan to put up a billboard will read quote “no one belongs in a cage. Never crate your dog.”
PETA campaigner Matt Bruce says this case is a tragedy.

Snowy Range Music Festival

This weekend marks the fifth annual Snowy Range Music Festival at the Albany County Fairgrounds. As Wyoming Public Radio’s Micah Schweizer reports, the festival’s organizer has a grand vision, but it’s up to the region’s music lovers to see it fulfilled.

(MUSIC: Tab Benoit)

MICAH SCHWEIZER: Carl Gustafson’s dream hasn’t been without challenges. He started organizing the Snowy Range Music Festival in 2009.

CARL GUSTAFSON: “Here’s how bad it is…the first time that I had this, six weeks later I had a heart attack.”

SCHWEIZER: So why keep going?

Rebecca Martinez

Ever since the 1999 shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado, law enforcement agencies across Wyoming have been have been preparing for how they might handle an active shooter situation.  

This summer, authorities from agencies across Albany County gathered in Laramie for some high intensity training… together. Rebecca Martinez reports.

OFFICER: Come out with your hands up.

Albany County saw more prescription drug overdoses in the first three months of 2012 than in all of 2011. In fact, a third of non-natural and accidental deaths in Albany County last year can be linked to prescription drug overdoses, according to County Coroner Kathleen Vernon-Kubichek, nearly triple the amount seen in 2011. 

At the end of the month, Susan Simpson will retire from her post as Albany County Librarian. Simpson has worked in the state for more than three decades, and she says she’s proud of the Wyoming library system’s cooperative network.

“I was on a bus in Boston Massachusetts at a conference and I had my name tag on, and woman said to me, ‘Oh, you’re from Wyoming! I wish we did what you did!’ And I don’t remember where she was from, but it’s a very common response.”

Albany County, Wyoming

HOST INTRO: The Casper Aquifer provides fresh groundwater to Laramie and a portion of Albany County. The water is in great condition, and the city and county have traditionally worked in tandem to keep it that way, but their paths diverged a few years ago. Now, Albany County’s most recent Casper Aquifer Protection Plan resolution is open for public comment, and the public has had a lot to say about it. Rebecca Martinez reports.

(water faucet ambi)