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4:47 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Jackson's Slow-Moving Landslide Accelerates

Credit Rebecca Huntington

A slow-moving landslide in Jackson has started accelerating, blocking off the area's only access road and undermining options for stabilization.

Crews stopped work Thursday on an emergency buttress designed to slow down the slide. Officials decided it was no longer safe to work beneath a cut slope that kept releasing gravel slides, and pulled workers off the job. The only access road to the hillside has become impassable.

The Town has hired landslide expert George Machan, who gave an update today.

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4:46 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

BLM Considers Limiting Development On Wilderness-Type Areas Near Rawlins

Wyoming's Red Desert.
Credit Joe Kiesecker

The Bureau of Land Management is considering protecting some areas in the Red Desert because of their scenic qualities.

The agency’s Sheila Lehman says they’re considering amending the Rawlins Resource Management Plan, to limit development on parcels of land with important wilderness characteristics.

“There’s the potential to maybe be able to preserve it a little bit more, or by mitigating certain things to keep that quality – that wilderness quality,” Lehman said.

Environmental groups are pleased.

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6:43 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Money Heads To The Wind River Indian Reservation

Long-awaited money from a settlement on the Wind River Indian Reservation is finally on its way. The 157 million dollar settlement between the tribes and the federal government is for underpayment of royalties on oil and gas development…and improper management of royalties that were paid.

Northern Arapaho spokesman Mark Howell says some people don’t have bank accounts…and there were concerns they would not be able to cash their checks.

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6:26 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Davis Will Leaves Money For Y Cross Teaching

The will of a wealthy Denver philanthropist who has died contains an incentive for the University of Wyoming and Colorado State University to use a ranch for agricultural education rather than sell the property.

Amy Davis died Wednesday. She was 86.
 
Davis' personal representative, Tyson Dines, said Thursday that Davis' will sets aside a considerable amount to support teaching at the Y Cross Ranch. He wouldn't specify the amount.
 
University officials said they were saddened by Davis' death but had no additional comment.

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6:22 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Mead Meets With Taiwan Representatives

Governor Matt Mead met with Taiwanese officials Thursday in an effort to enhance Wyoming’s foreign trade.  The meeting was in Cheyenne.

He says Taiwan is very interested in Wyoming Coal and Mead is hoping that they can reach other trade agreements as well.    

"We want the opportunity to reach out to great trading partners and friends who can help us as we help them with these trade relationships.  And so it’s a great way for us to continue to build our economy."

The governor traveled to Taiwan last year.

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6:17 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

New Director For Jackson Conservation Group

A Wyoming conservation group is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year with a new director.

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4:34 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Settlement Money For Tribal Members Finally In Sight

Long-awaited money from a settlement on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming is finally on its way.

The federal government is paying the tribes $157 million for underpayment of royalties on oil and gas development and improper management of royalties that were paid. Northern Arapaho spokesman Mark Howell says some people don’t have bank accounts and there were concerns they would not be able to cash their checks.

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News
6:59 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Sinclair Refinery Is Fined Again

The Sinclair Refinery is being cited with seven safety violations and over 200-thousand dollars in fines for an explosion and fire at its refinery near Rawlins last fall. 

Wyoming’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA says that two of the violations were willful.  The company has been fined numerous times in the past for a variety of fires, explosions, and other issues. 

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8:02 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Setback Rule Review A Priority For Oil And Gas Commission

Interim Oil and Gas Supervisor Mark Watson
Credit Willow Belden

Interim Oil and Gas Supervisor Mark Watson says he's making it a priority to review Wyoming's setback rules.

Setback rules govern how close oil and gas development can be to things like houses and streams. The current limit is 350 feet.

At an Oil and Gas Commission meeting Tuesday night in Casper, several residents said they'd like to see the distance raised to a mile, because of concerns about potential health impacts of energy production. Watson says they're asking a lot.

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News
2:52 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Jackson Council Approves Funding To Buttress Slipping Hillside

Members of the media inspect a large crack Friday that has formed in the driveway of a home at 1045 Budge Drive in Jackson.
Credit Jackson Hole News and Guide

On Monday, the Jackson Town Council voted to increase emergency spending from $50,000 to $750,000 to deal with the slow-moving landslide beside the town's main thoroughfare. Town officials say the money is needed to manage the slide and to build a buttress to create pressure at the base of the slide to slow it down.

The Council voted four-to-one to approve the funding. Councilman Jim Stanford cast the lone dissenting vote.

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2:44 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Internet Services To Expand To Rural Areas

Several remote communities in the state will be able to receive better internet service in the near future.  Visionary Communications has announced a plan to expand its fiber optic line to connect the towns of Chugwater, Guernsey, Pinedale and Torrington to the rest of the state. 

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7:54 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Conservative Group Predicts Strong Economic Growth For Wyoming

Wyoming is one of the easiest places in the country to make money. That’s according to a report by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative advocacy nonprofit.

The report ranks states based on things like labor and tax policies. Report author Jonathan Williams says those factors can help predict job creation and other forms of economic growth.

“We find that … states that value competitiveness, lower taxes, and reasonable regulations are the states that are growing today,” Williams said.

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5:37 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Linc Energy Charged With Causing Environmental Harm In Australia

A company proposing to open an underground coal gasification demonstration site in Wright has been charged with environmental violations in Australia.  The charges could cost the company over two million dollars per violation.

Underground coal gasification involves igniting coal seams deep underground to produce syngas, which can then be processed into various liquid fuels or other chemicals.     

What exactly the environmental harm is has not yet been revealed.

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5:15 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Evacuation Order In Jackson Downgraded To Advisory

An evacuation order is being downgraded to an advisory for some homes and apartments under threat from a slow-moving landslide in Jackson. An evacuation order will remain in effect for five residences within a high-risk zone where geologists are seeing slope movement of about an inch a day.

Even though residents in lower-risk areas are allowed to move back, Acting Police Chief Cole Nethercott says he's not encouraging them to do so.

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6:03 am
Mon April 14, 2014

Officials Mull Options For Stabilizing Jackson Hillside

Officials in Jackson are exploring alternatives for access and possible emergency stabilization efforts for an unstable hillside that continues to shift.

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7:47 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Board Of Education Takes No Action On Science Standards

The state Board of Education met in Casper today to adopt some state standards, including a controversial set of national Next Generation Science Standards. The legislature prohibited the Board from adopting those standards. Bob Beck joins us to talk about what happened at the meeting.

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7:30 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

60 Jackson Residents Remain Under Evacuation Order From Slow-Moving Landslide

About 60 Jackson residents remain under an evacuation order due to a slow-moving landslide on the lower flank of East Gros Ventre Butte that has buckled pavement, cracked retaining walls and undermined water lines.

Some homes in the Budge Drive Hillside area are not at direct risk from the slide. But the slide has compromised the only road to the homes and broken the main waterline. During a tour of the area today, Jackson Fire Chief Willy Watsabaugh said those problems make it unsafe to reoccupy those homes at this time.

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7:17 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Board Of Education Takes No Action On Science Standards

The State Board of Education today deferred taking action on the Next Generation Science Standards for Wyoming students. The legislature, during the last session, barred the Board from adopting the national standards wholesale and today’s meeting left no clear resolution and no clear plan on when Wyoming might see science standards and what they would look like. Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck was at the meeting. He says many people came out to support the standard’s passing.   

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6:27 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Local Commercial To Feature Al Simpson Supporting Marriage Equality

Former U.S. Senator Al Simpson is appearing is a commercial in support of marriage equality, which is airing across Wyoming, Colorado and Utah.

Wyoming currently does not allow same sex marriage. Simpson not only supports gay marriage but also says same-sex couples should be treated the same as heterosexual couples, when it comes to having or adopting children.

“I have seen the most dysfunctional children come out of a union of a man and wife that I have yet to observe out of a same sex couple," Simpson says.

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6:23 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

First U.S. Rare Earth Minerals Mine In Decades Could Be In Wyoming

The first rare earth minerals mine to open in the U.S. in decades could be here in Wyoming. Permitting gets underway this week for the Bear Lodge mine, near Sundance. Rare earths are a group of metals that are critical to high tech devices like smartphones and lasers. They’re currently mined almost exclusively in China. Rare Element Resources’ George Byers says the company is hoping to change that.

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7:03 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Jackson Evacuation Order Downgraded

A geologist and landslide consultant says the chance of a sudden, catastrophic slope failure on East Gros Ventre Butte in Jackson is only about 5 percent. As a result, town emergency services have downgraded their evacuation order, allowing most businesses in the Hillside building to reopen this morning. Some businesses and many residences remain under an evacuation order.

At a community meeting last night, Acting Chief of Police Cole Nethercott asked residents not to take unnecessary risks by entering the evacuation area on their own.

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5:38 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Groups Disagree On Implications Of New Federal Energy Production Data

Recently released data compiled by the federal government shows oil production on federal lands is up from last year, while natural gas production is down. Overall, the energy sector is booming, but industry analysts say companies are shifting from natural gas to wetter plays because of low natural gas prices. But even though production is up, some industry groups point out that it's increasing more quickly on private lands and blame the trend on slow permitting by the federal government.

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9:01 am
Thu April 10, 2014

Governor Mead Does Not Want Canned Science Standards

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead says that he wants the State Board of Education to adopt rigorous science standards.

He recently signed into law a budget footnote that prevents the State Board of Education from adopting a set of national standards called Next Generation Science Standards. The governor says his only objective in doing that was to get the board to consider a variety of options as it develops Wyoming education standards.                

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7:16 am
Thu April 10, 2014

Proposed Regulations for Wood Stoves Worry Businesses

Credit sciencenewsonline.com

Rural states are bristling over proposed regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency to reduce emissions from wood stoves. 

Currently, wood stove manufacturers must keep emissions down to 7.5 grams of particulates per hour.  But the proposed rules would reduce the allowable amount to less than two grams over the next five years. Soot emissions are a serious public health concern in some areas of the country because they can cause lung problems and heart attacks.  

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6:50 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Landslide Potential Prompts Evacuation In Jackson

The areas in red have previously been identified as potential landslides zones by the Wyoming Geological Survey.
Credit Wyoming Geological Survey

Update 04/09 20:30 

City officials have now ordered an evacuation of the area. For the most up-to-date information, visit the city's website.

Original post:

Jackson emergency services have issued an evacuation advisory for an area in the northwest part of town because of concerns over landslides

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7:05 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Wage Gap Worsening in Wyoming

Wyoming continues to have the worst gender pay gap in the country, and the gulf is widening. According to a new report released by the National Partnership for Women and Families. Wyoming women made only 64 cents for every dollar that men in the state made. That amounts to an annual wage gap of over $18,000 dollars.

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5:00 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Public Invited To Experience Islam First-Hand

The University of Wyoming Muslim Student Association is inviting the public to experience Muslim people and culture first-hand during Islam Awareness Week, April 8-13.

One of the organizers is an education student from Morocco. Adil Bentahar has lived in the U.S. for four years, and he says many Americans know very little about his religion, Islam. “When I watch the news, I see that much of what is being communicated does not describe me as I am.”

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9:59 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Task Force On Forests Makes Progress

A group tasked with making recommendations about forest policy in Wyoming is meeting this week in Saratoga.

Originally called the Governor’s Forest Health Task Force, the group dropped that name after members couldn’t agree on what constitutes forest health. Jessica Crowder, with the Governor’s office, says the new name, Task Force on Forests, better reflects the broad range of management ideas the group is considering.

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10:06 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Eastern Shoshone Business Council Members Voted Out

On Saturday, the Eastern Shoshone Tribe's General Council dismissed two elected tribal officials.

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4:56 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

BLM Seeks New Horse Contraceptive Methods

The Bureau of Land Management is asking for nearly $3 million to spend on research into birth control for wild horses.

Population growth has made it difficult to manage wild horses, and currently the agency removes horses from public lands in order to maintain an adequate population.

A study by the National Research Council last year concluded that the current practice is flawed, and that the BLM should use birth control instead. But BLM spokesman Tom Gorey says the agency isn’t happy with the drug that’s available.

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