Jackson Hole, Wy – A conservation group has put out its annual list of the nation's most endangered rivers. American Rivers ranks the Colorado River as the most endangered because of radioactive, toxic and human waste. The Snake River, which begins in Wyoming and flows through Idaho, Oregon and Washington, is ranked third. American Rivers President Rebecca Wodder says the country's waters are in danger of returning to where they were in the early 1970's -- when they were the most polluted in history.
Laramie, Wy – A railroad that wants to tap into northeast Wyoming's coal fields received a split decision in a federal appeals court. The Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern Railroad had gone to court to fight restrictions placed on it by the 1999 South Dakota Legislature. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld some of the state's eminent domain laws and struck down others. Neither the railroad nor the state of South Dakota indicated plans to appeal the ruling.
Topic: Soliders serving in Bagdad just found out that they're not coming home after a year of deployment, one of those is Matt Hastings from Lander, Wyoming; Guest: Whitney Hastings, wife of Matt Hastings living in Germany
Topic: The Wyoming Aids Walk is the largest aids and HIV fund raising event in Wyoming. For more information visit http://www.wyoaidswalk.org/ ; Guest: Bob Hooker and Katie Morgan
Topic: Annual Strook on Wyoming Lands and People will be this weekend; Guest: Jason Shogren
Wyoming – While the 9-11 Commission is finishing up work in Washington D-C a member of another federal commission told an audience in Wyoming that he and colleagues predicted the September 11th attacks. Wyoming Public Radio's Renny MacKay has more details about a report U-S Senator Gary Hart and the National Security Commission gave to Presidents Clinton and Bush
Jackson, WY – More wildfires could be allowed to burn in the Bridger-Teton National Forest. An amended fire management plan clarifies policies both inside and outside of forest wilderness areas. Currently, forest officials can let wildfires burn in wilderness areas as a resource management tool, but elsewhere, the policies are less clear. The amendment also requires all fires caused by humans to be suppressed. Forest officials say the changes will save money in the long run by managing fires, rather than suppressing all of them.
Laramie, Wy – Congress is getting ready to approve a federal highway bill and send it to the President. The House's plan would mean about 275 billion dollars in spending over six years; the Senate's bill includes 318 billion dollars. The director of the Wyoming Department of Transportation, Sleeter Dover, says either way the state would see an increase of about 20 thousand jobs over six years, though that is contingent on finding enough skilled people to fill those jobs.
Laramie, Wy – Reducing health care costs is not the only item on John Henley's agenda, but he devoted nearly all of his opening statement to it in announcing a run for Congress today Tuesday). The Casper Democrat also says America needs a strong energy policy and reduction of the federal deficit.
Cheyenne, Wy – A Republican challenger to incumbent Rep. Barbara Cubin leveled his first attacks against her. Bruce Asay says the illness of Cubin's husband is no excuse for her missing votes in Congress. The Cheyenne attorney says Wyoming's voice has not been heard in Congress because Cubin has missed too many votes in the last year and a half. Cubin has defended her absences as her personal decision to be with her gravely ill husband.
Cheyenne, Wy – During an investigation of the state hospital, a Wyoming advocacy organization says they have uncovered several problems. Protection and Advocacy Director Jeanie Thobro says they have uncovered a number of problems at the State Hospital that go beyond the recent suicide. They range from staffing numbers to treatment of staff. Thobro has asked the Wyoming attorney generals office for formal mediation. The state had settled with Protection and Advocacy during a previous lawsuit and Thobro is hoping they can avoid going to court.
Dubois, WY – There's been another death in Iraq with ties to Wyoming. Marine Private First Class Chance R. Phelps died after he was shot in the head Friday while battling insurgents west of Baghdad. Phelps lived in Dubois as a youngster, than moved to Colorado with his mother while he was in grade school. His father, John, still lives in Dubois. Local residents are expressing shock at the death.
Casper, Wy – America needs affordable health care and strong economic and energy policies. That's according to a Casper attorney who is expected to become the latest Democrat to join the U-S House race. John Henley has scheduled news conferences tomorrow (Tuesday) in Casper and Cheyenne regarding his candidacy. Henley was born and raised in Evanston and obtained a degree in accounting from American University in Washington, D-C, in 1978. He graduated from the University of Wyoming Law School in 1981.
Gillette, WY – Governor Freudenthal says the coal-bed methane industry needs to address water quality if it expects the boom in northeast Wyoming to continue. Freudenthal recently toured the Powder River Basin and says if something isn't done soon to improve water quality; there will be more stock ponds than cattle. Methane drilling is moving away from Gillette, where the water discharged from wells is relatively pure, and into an area where the water contains more salt.
Laramie, Wy – A former U-S Senator and member of the National Security Commission says that commission warned of terrorist attacks on American soil two years before 9-11. Gary Hart told this to an audience on the campus of the University of Wyoming. He also says he's shocked no one was fired after the attacks. The National Security Commission Hart sat on started work in October of 1998 and reported to Presidents Bush and Clinton about imminent attacks that could mean thousands of civilian casualties.
Laramie, Wy – Yellowstone National Park is drawing criticism from conservation groups regarding the height of cell phone towers there. Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility say a tower near Old Faithful is twice as high as originally planned. Park spokesperson Cheryl Mathews says they are in the process of creating an antenna management plan; it will look at any existing or proposed cell phone towers.
Casper, Wy – Democratic U-S House candidate Ron Akin is suspending his campaign because of financial troubles. Akin says he has not raised enough money to continue, and that he has found it increasingly difficult to mount a viable campaign. Republican incumbent Barbara Cubin defeated Akin two years ago by a 61 percent to 36 percent margin, but he carried her hometown of Casper and lost in Natrona County by one vote.
Cody, WY – The tourism industry is closely watching the nation's rising gas prices. Predictions of $2 per gallon and higher are being made for Wyoming, which gets most of its tourists from the so-called drive market. Thom Huge is the Communications Director at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center. The BBHC's visitation numbers have been on an upswing in recent years, but Huge says there is some concern that gas prices could cut into this season. He says prices at the pump are always an issue, but its impacts are hard to predict.
Casper, WY – The Casper-Natrona County Public Health Department is celebrating its 50th anniversary next week. During its history, staff has prevented an outbreak of diphtheria, vaccinated people for many other infectious diseases and done work on chronic health problems. Director Bob Harrington says one major health crisis they dealt with happened last summer when there was an outbreak of Hepatitis B and C among methamphetamine users. It was so serious the Centers for Disease Control sent investigators.
Cheyenne, WY – The state's dry spring conditions have officials worried about the potential for wildfires. Tuesday, the Laramie County Commission banned outdoor fires and the use of fireworks in the county. A similar ban was passed in July last year. County Fire Warden David Thompson is certainly concerned about the upcoming fire season. He says there's a build-up of combustible fuels in the county that actually started a year ago, when there was a lot of spring moisture. That allowed grasses to grow, but those dried out over the summer and are now a serious fire hazard.
Cheyenne, Wy – Friends and family are remembering the life of former Wyoming First Lady Roberta Hathaway, who died Monday in Cheyenne. The wife of former Governor Stan Hathaway died of natural causes. She was 79 years old. Friends say Roberta Hathaway was more than just Stan Hathaway's wife, describing her as a source of courage to her husband and a true leader with compassion for others. Former Governor and U-S Senator Cliff Hansen says Roberta Hathaway's concerns were widespread and praised her interests in children and helping others.
Laramie, Wy – Wyoming is not likely to be a battleground state in the 2004 presidential election. That's probably why it has been almost two years since a presidential candidate was in Wyoming. However, Ohio Representative Dennis Kucinich will be nearby this week, speaking Thursday in Fort Collins, Colorado. Cheryl Beckett is the Fort Collins representative for the Kucinich campaign. She says he is still campaigning because he feels neither party is addressing issues important to his supporters.
Laramie, WY – One of the men convicted of killing Matthew Shepard wants the right to appeal his life sentence. An attorney for Russell Henderson says the public defender's office didn't give Henderson the opportunity to appeal his sentencing. Henderson and Aaron McKinney are both serving life sentences for 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, a gay University of Wyoming student.
Laramie, Wy – L-D-S Church officials say they're grateful to the state of Illinois for their expression of regrets for events that happened about 160 years ago. The Illinois House approved a resolution last week expressing official regrets for the 1844 murder of Mormon leader Joseph Smith Junior and the expulsion of about ten thousand church members from Nauvoo. Today, Illinois Lieutenant Governor Patrick Quinn and Illinois State Representative Daniel Burke presented church officials with that resolution.
Cheyenne, WY – The stage is finally set for a second business park in Cheyenne. The Laramie County Commission Tuesday re-zoned 520 acres of land as light industrial, after amending a master plan for West Cheyenne development. Some saw changing the plan as an unnecessary delay and questioned why the commission saw the master plan as anything but a guide. County Commissioner Jeff Ketchum admits it added time to the process, but doesn't think there's a point to having a planning document if you aren't going to use it.
Laramie, Wy – The Governor has appointed a commission to oversee the Enhanced Oil Recovery effort. The technology is used to get more oil out of existing wells and studies show it could mean millions of dollars in extra revenue for the state. Lynne Boomgaarden (boom garden) is a member of the new commission. She says they will try coordinate the work of policy makers, researchers, and members of industry. The commission must establish a research institute at the University of Wyoming and help with the transfer of new technologies.
Green River, WY – A new road system is in place this spring at Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge near Green River. Refuge Manager Carol Damberg says the changes strike a good balance between their primary mission, protecting wildlife habitat, and providing access to the public. Damberg says there is an overall reduction in of 7.5 miles available for vehicle traffic under the plan. Damberg says there will be areas where people can't just drive to the edge of the Green River, which cuts through the refuge.
Laramie, WY – Several national Latino groups are trying to sign up an additional 500,000 Hispanic voters before the November elections. The Wyoming Latino/Latina Coalition has the goal of also registering new voters. The secretary of the coalition, Cynthia Chavez Kelly says despite voting history, this isn't a partisan effort by Democrats. She thinks the presidential election could be a big draw because President Bush has reached out to Latinos and the Democratic Vice Presidential nominee could be Bill Richardson; the governor of New Mexico and a Hispanic.