Jackson, Wy – When the economy picks up it means companies start looking to expand. And one of the people who tells them where to locate new facilities visited Wyoming last week. Bob Ady says one thing he considers when choosing a site is the availability of a skilled workforce. He says it helps a community if it is located near a college, university, or even a distance learning outlet. Ady says he has heard there are over two hundred prospective businesses considering moving to Wyoming.
Laramie, WY – A Laramie group is trying to get the city council to pass an ordinance to outlaw smoking in all businesses. The idea has met with opposition from several Laramie bar owners, who believe the idea to go smoke-free should be voluntary. Larry Deal of Smoke-free Laramie says the ordinance is needed because it's a health issue that should not be voluntary. Deal says business owners aren't allowed to voluntarily regulate the amount of asbestos in their air, so he questions why should it be different with second-hand smoke.
Riverton, WY – There will be a Special Session of the Wyoming Legislature starting July 12th. Lawmakers have voted overwhelmingly in favor of the Special Session to address rising medical malpractice insurance rates and the resulting numbers of doctors leaving the state. The vote was 18-10 among Senators and 48-6 in the House. Senate President April Brimmer-Kunz says she hopes lawmakers will use the Special Session to begin to resolve the matter. She doesn't want to create expectations that they can completely solve the problem in just a week.
Cheyenne, WY – A Campbell County man has become the first resident of the state and the third in the nation to contract the West Nile virus this year. The Wyoming West Nile case comes three weeks earlier than the first recorded case in 2003. The Campbell County man developed West Nile fever and is currently recovering. Wyoming State Health Officer Doctor Brent Sherard says the early discovery may portend a serious West Nile virus season in the state this year.
Laramie, WY – A Laramie-based environmental group contends the Preble's Meadow Jumping Mouse needs continued Endangered Species Act protections. Jeff Kessler of Biodiversity Conservation Alliance also disputes a study cited by the State of Wyoming as evidence why the mouse should be de-listed. Kessler says the Denver Museum of Nature and Science study had a number of problems. He says scientists reviewing the work questioned the study's scientific methods and unsupported conclusions made by the author.
Cheyenne, WY – Citing security concerns, Great Lakes Airlines has been denied the right to start bus service between airport terminals in Laramie and Cheyenne to Denver. The Transportation Security Administration has decided not to approve what would have been a first-of-its-kind service. The T-S-A says there were too many questions about whether the bus would be secure as it traveled to Denver. Great Lakes Vice President for Marketing and Planning Dave Thomas says the decision doesn't make sense to him. He says the airline had a great plan in place to make the bus secure.
Topic: Great Lakes Airlines has been denied the right to start bus service between airport terminals in Laramie and Cheyenne to Denver, Guest: Mike Fearburn, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Spokesperson and Dave Thomas, Great Lakes Vice President for Marketing and Planning
Topic: Bob Beck speaks with Nicole Korfanta and George Jones about the first birding festival of Audubon Wyoming
Cheyenne, WY – A Cheyenne social studies teacher has been suspended with pay amid accusations he molested a 14-year-old girl. Howard Evans faces sexual assault charges. According to court documents, on three occasions, Evans asked the girl to lie down with him. One time, the girl complied and Evans allegedly stripped off his and the girl's clothes and initiated sexual contact. Evans has denied the accusations.
Laramie, WY – Greater Sage Grouse Conservation Task Force coordinator Jim Sims says private conservation efforts will do more to help that species. Sims heads up a group of timber, mining, ranching and outdoor enthusiasts called Partnership for the West. He says his group wants Governor Freudenthal to resist attempts to list the sage grouse as threatened or endangered. Sims says the Endangered Species Act discourages private conservation efforts. He says the E-S-A has not recovered a single species in its' 30 year history.
Cody, WY – Denver International Airport will be the scene of a celebration Friday afternoon. That is when the first United Express flight from Cody will land, starting summer service that's been in the works for 18 months now. The Cody Yellowstone Air Service Organization hopes they can parlay these flights into year-round service. Consultant Rick Wilder says success this summer will be a key component for securing winter service. Wilder is optimistic about how successful the service will be. He says bookings are on par with other United destination and that's positive for their efforts.
Jackson, WY – A temporary plan will be drafted for snowmobiling in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National parks next winter. The National Park Service will start taking comments on the plan in mid-June and is hoping to hear new information about winter use. This comes as there are two conflicting court opinions on whether snowmobiling should be allowed in the parks. Yellowstone spokeswoman Cheryl Matthews says they want to provide the public with some certainty about next winter. She says confusion over the issue led to fewer winter visitors this past year.
Jackson, WY – The Wyoming Business Council voted to fund 12 projects meant to stimulate economic development Wednesday in Jackson. The Council's Board of Directors did this even though it means spending money set aside for the Business Ready Community program next year. That program only had $4 Million left in its budget for this year. So, it looked like the council would have to make some tough choices because it had applications totaling $15 Million. But, the council decided to spend money that isn't available until July first.
Washington, D.C. – Leaders with the U-S Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service say they won't place lives at risk by using aging air tankers to fight wildfires this year. Kathleen Clark with the B-L-M and Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth issued a joint statement Tuesday defending their decision. They say they understand public concern, but for now wildfires will be fought on the ground. And they say a fleet of 33 air tankers won't take flight again until officials can find some way to assure their safety. Some lawmakers have criticized the decision to ground the planes.
Boise, ID – Federal firefighting agencies announced Wednesday that they will acquire over a hundred additional aircraft to battle wildfires this summer. Last month, 33 large air tankers were grounded because safety concerns. This move is to make up for the loss of those aircraft. National Interagency Fire Center Spokeswoman Venetia Gempler says the $66 Million to pay for the new aircraft will come out of the existing firefighting budget. Gempler says the plan is to acquire 38 smaller air tankers and 71 helicopters.
Washington, D.C. – A federal appeals court in Washington, D.C. has upheld tougher pollution controls on snowmobiles used in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. But the judges Tuesday asked why the Environmental Protection Agency rule would exempt almost a third of newly built snowmobiles. The three judge panel also rejected claims by the snowmobile industry that the E-P-A had no authority to require new snowmobiles to have cleaner burning engines to reduce air pollution. The rule came in a lawsuit filed by two environmental groups over the 2002 E-P-A rule.
Wyoming – Because of high school graduations and the start of summer, drinking and driving has been on the minds of many law enforcement officials. But a group says Wyoming has had too many alcohol related tragedies. The Governors Council On Impaired Driving are trying to bring even of an emphasis on drinking and driving throughout the year. Recently the legislature did lower the legal limit for drinking and driving, but the state has not touched a number of laws that some think it should pass.
Cheyenne, WY – Wyoming contractors are feeling the pinch of higher gasoline prices. Wyoming Contractors Association Executive Vice President Charlie Ware says higher fuel prices are having a devastating impact on some contractors. Ware says construction companies working on federal highway project are particularly hard hit. He says those contractors usually get the bid six to eight months before they start work. Ware says having to estimate how much gasoline costs to complete a project cuts into a company's bottom line.
Topic: Bob Beck reports on drinking and driving has been on the minds of many law enforcement officials and the Governors Council on Impaired Driving is trying to bring more of an emphasize on drinking and driving throughout the calendar year
Topic: The on going question of how Jackson will handle growth in the future; Guest: Mark Barron, Mayor of Jackson, Wyoming
Topic: Preparations for droughts: Guest: Brian Remlinger, Water Resource Specialist at the Teton Conservation District
Jackson, WY – The fate of an effort to start flights between Casper and Minneapolis will be decided Wednesday. The Wyoming Business Council will decide whether to award a $1.8 Million grant that's needed to start the Northwest Airlines service. Casper Area Economic Development Alliance President Chris Manegold says having Northwest in Casper would benefit travelers throughout central Wyoming. He says another airline will bring competition and hoepfully lower airfares. One of the most attractive parts of this proposal is that Northwest would fly jets.
Washington, D.C. – A review of federal records shows nearly three-fourths of the public land leased for oil and gas development in the continential U-S isn't producing any oil or gas. That, even as the Bush administration pushes to open more environmentally sensistive public lands for oil and gas development. Eighty percent of federal lands leased for oil and gas production in Wyoming are producing no oil or gas. Neither are 83 percent of the leased acres in Montana or 77 percent in Utah.
Cheyenne, WY – The Wyoming Department of Agriculture is concerned about the spate of dog poisonings in Teton county. Pesticide Compliance Officer Slade Franklin says the person distributing the poison is using the pesticide Temik, which is used in the sugar beet and potato crop industries. Franklin says the misuse of this pesticide could prompt state or federal officials to restrict its' sale. He says it's also possible the company that manufactures the poison could restrict sales of its product. Franklin says that could be problematic for the agriculture industry.
Jackson, WY – A black bear that became used to raiding garbage cans and bird feeders has been killed near Teton Village. Friday night, the bear got into a garage through a pet door, got into some garbage, and did considerable damage before leaving. The Game and Fish Department decided to euthanize the bear because it would have continued to seek out food in residential areas and remain a safety hazard. Bear management officer Eric Shorma says it was a frustrating incident because the homeowner had already been warned about having bird feeders too close to the ground.