Laramie, Wy – Albany County's superintendent of schools says his district is under "fiscal assault" by a proposed school funding formula legislators are considering. Brian Recht says the Albany County School District is expected to lose 300 thousand dollars due to declining enrollment. He says the regional cost adjustment and small schools adjustment would mean even more lost revenue. Recht says declining enrollment led his school board to make the difficult decision of closing an elementary school at the end of this school year.
Cheyenne, Wy – Governor Dave Freduenthal is looking for support of several economic development proposals in his budget. The biggest is an attempt to enhance the Business Ready Communities bill approved by lawmakers last year. The Governor thinks the legislation will be key to Wyoming's future, but he says local government need to know that the program isn't going to just disappear after a couple of years.
Wyoming – Topic: Term limits could effect legislatures but attorneys are planning on challenging the term limit law; Guests: Harriet Hageman, attorney from Cheyenne and Tim Stubson, attorney from Casper
Topic: School Funding Proposal may effect districts across the state of Wyoming, Guest: Brian Recht, Albany County Superintendent
Renny Mackay speaks with Kate Taylor about the graduated drivers license bill
Gillette, Wy – The Bureau of Land Management today (Wednesday) ordered more environmental analysis on 18 planned coal-bed methane wells southwest of Gillette. The Powder River Basin Resource Council has sought more detailed environmental study of the planned drilling. No timetable is set for the additional study, but B-L-M officials say it should be conducted soon.
Cheyenne, WY – The state's consumer advocate believes "Choice Gas" has done little for consumers. K-N Energy has offered the fixed-rate plan saying it allows consumers to keep a locked-in rate and not be subject to the ups and downs of the market. But Wyoming Consumer Advocate Bryce Freeman says if customers had not locked in a rate and kept was is called the pass-on rate, they would have spent less on their utility bills to date. Freeman expects that will be the case in the near future. He notes gas companies have made money from the "Choice Gas" program.
Cheyenne, Wy – Two attorneys are trying to get rid of Wyoming's term limits law for legislators and the top five elected officials. Attorney's Harriet Hageman and Tim Stubson are challenging the law approved by voters on behalf of some citizens and a couple of legislators. Hageman thinks they have a great case and says it is likely others may choose to join the suit. She contends that Wyoming amended the consitution the wrong way. They also think that they have a couple of things going for them, such as the U-S Supreme Court throwing out the congressional term limits law.
Casper, Wy – Wyoming has new brucellosis testing rules. The State Livestock Board unanimously adopted the rules Tuesday in response to the recent cases in Sublette County. Under the rules, all female cattle sold for breeding purposes will need a negative brucellosis test within 60 days before change of ownership.
Laramie, Wy – Recent statistics show more kids have type 2 diabetes and some young children are even starting to develop some other health issues that used to be found sedentary adults. A University of Wyoming Professor of Kinesiology and Health,Tami Benham-Deal says a big problem continues to concern what children do with their free time. Instead of playing, many spend a lot of time around the television. Benham-Deal says parents need to make sure their children play and get exercise and children also need to eat smaller portion sizes.
Laramie, Wy – A convicted murderer who escaped from a Michigan prison was arrested Tuesday morning after a high-speed chase on Interstate 90. Ervin Brown was arrested by the Montana Highway Patrol in Billings, Montana, after using a spike strip to flatten two of the tires on his vehicle. He's being held at the Yellowstone County Detention Center on assault, criminal endangerment and eluding a peace officer. Brown, a 41-year-old Michigan native, escaped while on trash detail at Mound Correctional Facility in Detroit late Friday.
Cheyenne, Wy – The Wyoming Association of Municipalities has been pushing to raise the cap on the main revenue stream where they get funding. They say it is because they have a desperate need for more revenue. But Senator John Schiffer of Kaycee thinks that is a bad idea. Schiffer, who co-chairs the appropriations committee, mainly opposes the move because if the cap were raised, other entities would also get additional money that he says they don't need. Among those, is the legislature.
Laramie, Wy – The Wyoming Farm Bureau President admits her members are scared about what is happening with beef markets following the discovery of Mad Cow Disease in Washington State. Karen Henry says coupled with brucellosis in Wyoming, the whole industry is very nervous especially since the Wyoming cattle industry has been battling a drought. Henry says many have already lost money, and if the foreign markets disappear it will be devastation. She says low prices impact Wyoming worse because the climate keeps farmers and ranchers from diversifying.
Sheridan, Wy – Sheridan's Mayor is not surprisingly behind the Governors push to provide more money to local government. Governor Freudenthal has a proposal that could get 100 million in new dollars to cities, towns and counties. Sheridan Mayor Jim Wilson says the Governor is on the right track because local governments like his have a variety of needs and no other way to raise revenue. He says Sheridan needs upgrade to water and sewer plants, along with replacement of water lines under streets.
Laramie, Wy – A Laramie representative wants to eliminate capital punishment for Juveniles. Democrat Jane Warren has drafted such a bill for next months legislative session. Her bill would increase the age for capital punishment from 16 to 18. Warren says a lot of data supports the idea that the death penalty is NOT an appropriate option for juveniles. Among other things, Warren says the developmental level of people that young is NOT the same as adults.
Laramie, Wy – This past November residents of Jackson voted down a plan to change zoning in the city. The changes would have allowed more dense construction. One of the leading opponents of the Downtown Redevelopment District or D.R.D. was the Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance. Now that group is holding public meetings to talk about growth in Teton County broadly. Program Director Margie Lynch says this discussion is a prerequisite for revisiting the D.R.D. Lynch says they will take the public's comments and draft them into recommendations for local officials.
Casper, WY – The State Livestock Board will consider a new plan for brucellosis testing at a Tuesday meeting in Casper. The possible change would require negative brucellosis test, prior to change of ownership, for cattle that are sold for the purpose of breeding. Breeding cattle do not make up the majority of cows sold from Wyoming, but State Veterinarian Jim Logan says this change would help Wyoming's standing with other states and improve brucellosis surveillance.
Wyoming – Topic: Websites that work and making your website affective; Guest: Aliza Sherman, former marketing director of the Wyoming Business Counsel
Topic: Statewide statistics show that there are continuing problems with obesity in the state of Wyoming and youth are not as fit as they should be; Guest: Tami Benham-Deal, Physical fitness expert and UW Associate Professor of Kinesiology and Health
Laramie, Wy – This year was the last time Bob Action Jackson will patrol Yellowstone's backcountry. Jackson is the embattled ranger who needed help from a U-S Senator to get his job back this summer. The Park Service said Jackson had poor evaluations, but he says he ruffled feathers by working to have salt baits removed from the edge of Yellowstone. He says they lured elk and grizzly out of the park.
Laramie, Wy – A group of citizens in Laramie is working to have an eight lane swimming pool included in a new recreation center. The group had to raise the money to pay for it on their own. President of Friends of Community Recreation, Lisa Kinney, says this Tuesday is the critical date for their effort. She says they find out if they raised enough money and then the city council will vote on whether or not to formally change the plans for the rec center. Kinney says if the council does not approve the change then the effort is probably over.
Casper, Wy – A University of Wyoming Professor doubts that more testing will weed out more animals with brain diseases. Ag officials think that more testing will help determine if animals have Mad Cow or other brain diseases. But Beth Williams, a leading expert on Chronic Wasting Disease says it won't help and is not an effective use of public resources.
Laramie, Wy – Western Wyoming is seeing more snow then it has in years, but it will take years before Wyoming recovers from the drought. State Climatologist Jan Curtis says it is great news that parts of the state are seeing desperately needed moisture. But Curtis quickly adds that things have been so bad, it will take awhile to return to normal."My forecast for getting out of this drought in 2006 or 2007, is starting to look better and better. But it is going to be a slow recovery despite the fact that we have had some decent snows of late."
Cheyenne, Wy – Eleven new laws went into effect in Wyoming Thursday. Five of the new laws relate to the Game and Fish Department, including two that raise general hunting and fishing license fees. For most instate hunters and anglers, the fees will go up 20 percent. Another law doubles the cost of a lifetime conservation stamp from 75 dollars to 150 dollars. A fourth Game and Fish law creates a reduced-rate hunting license for people who have lived continuously in the state for at least 50 years and are at least 70 years old.
Laramie, Wy – A big winter storm and high winds closed several roads around the state Friday morning. The Western part of the state was hit with its third storm in a week. Central and Southeastern Wyoming felt the effects of high winds and blowing snow. Sergeant Steve Townsend of the Highway Patrol, urges people to use caution and he says if you come up on a closed road, turn around go back to the nearest city or town. He says if people park on the highway it makes it hard for snowplows and emergency vehicles to get around.
Cheyenne, Wy – Governor Dave Freudenthal has just completed his first year in office, and overall, he's received high marks. Sarah Gorin of the Equality State Policy Center says Freudenthal has brought an enthusiasm that hasn't been seen in a long time. Republican Bill Sniffin says the man who became governor is 100 percent identical to the man who ran for governor. Sniffin says Freudenthal is a fiscal conservative who appeals to Republicans and much as Democrats.
Laramie, Wy – The body of a snowmobiler missing since Christmas was found yesterday just one mile from a parking lot in the Snowy Range. Sheriff Jim Pond says 33-year-old Michael Levi Heinrich, of Laramie, died of hypothermia after trying to find his way back to the parking area. Teams found Heinrich's snowmobile stuck in a Creek Tuesday. Pond says Heinrich apparently got wet trying to free the snowmobile and then headed out on foot. Snow and strong winds hampered rescuers in the five-day search.
Powell, Wy – Trustees in Powell approved a new walk-in clinic after a survey showed 85 percent of residents want more choices in urgent care. Powell Valley Healthcare board members say the ExpressCare clinic will be built at the city's hospital/physician complex. It could open early as July if staff recruitment goes well. The board's been eyeing a walk-in clinic and other options in response to the growing difficulty of seeing physicians in a timely manner.
Boise, Id – Researchers say loudspeakers or dog shock collars could resolve problems with wolves before ranchers resort to bullets. In the past three years, at least 30 wolves have been killed or removed around the Sawtooth National Recreation Area because of conflicts with livestock. Now research from the Department of Agriculture shows radio-activated guard boxes blaring loud noises often scare off wolves and keep the animals from preying on livestock.
Laramie, Wy – It is the high point of the season for the state's ski resorts. And those that are located in the Northwest are benefiting from great conditions. The Communications director for Jackson Hole Mountain Resorts, Anna Olson, says they've had nearly five feet of snow during the last week.
Laramie, Wy – During the last year the state said goodbye to many residents. Some of the people were known for their prominence and impact, that group includes former Congressman Tino Roncallio, wildlife filmmaker Bill Grunkemeyer, State Auditor Stan Smith and conservationist Mardy Murie. Murie helped create the Arctic National Refuge and the federal Wilderness Act. Other Wyomingites who passed away in 2003 were former State Auditor Jack Seedee, Laramie businessman Dick Foster who died this month, and the creator of the jackalope: Douglas Herrick passed on in January.
Cheyenne, Wy – The world's largest operating steam locomotive -- Union Pacific Railroad's Challenger -- will embark on a nine-state, 35-hundred-mile tour on its way to Houston and Super Bowl 38 activities. The Challenger, also known as Number thirty-nine-eighty-five, will depart from Cheyenne on January 12th at 8 in the morning. From there it will head through Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Arkansas and Texas. On its return trip, the Challenger will pass through Oklahoma and arrive back in Cheyenne on February 12th.