Cheyenne, Wyo. – The Wyoming House is debating a bill that would keep wind energy companies from using eminent domain in cases where collector lines are installed. The state would revisit the issue in 2013.
Collector lines are used to distribute electricity from wind farms. But many landowners do not want them on their property. State officials have not determined a fair way to compensate landowners for allowing the systems to be installed, and will use the next two years to find a solution.
Cheyenne, Wyo. – The State Senate on Thursday took a major step toward doing away with teacher tenure in Wyoming. The Senate passed a bill that says teachers would be treated as at-will employees, which means that they can be fired for any reason.
Laramie, Wyo. – The Environmental Protection Agency has spent years studying water quality problems east of the Fremont County town of Pavillion. Now the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality will be monitoring air quality in the area.
Cheyenne, Wyo. – The State Senate has voted down a proposed teacher evaluation tool after hearing concerns that it was not a proper way to gauge teaching.
Senator Ray Peterson of Cowley wanted to put cameras in classrooms and use them to monitor teachers' performance, in an effort to improve teaching. "Is get a true picture of what's happening in the classroom, a true evaluation, an effective evaluation, an evaluation that's efficient so that we can get to the heart of the concern and the problem," he said.
Sheridan, Wyo. – Sheridan County Attorney Matt Redle has filed a motion disputing that the sentence facing a teen in a fatal burglary is unconstitutional.
The attorney for 17-year-old Wyatt Bear Cloud says the possible sentences of life in prison or life in prison without parole amount to "cruel and/or unusual punishment for a juvenile" who didn't pull the trigger. Bear Cloud pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the August 2009 burglary and shooting death of Sheridan businessman Robert Ernst.
Cheyenne, Wyo. – The State House of Representatives gave initial approval to a bill that would let the state sell roughly 1400 acres of state-owned school trust land within Grand Teton National Park. The state would sell the land to the federal government for roughly $105 million. The money would be invested in school trust account.
Cheyenne, Wyo. – The Wyoming Senate on Wednesday gave initial approval to a bill that would ask Congress, as well as state and local governments, to take action on the bark beetle epidemic sweeping through forests across the state.
The bill calls on federal agencies to ramp up funding to manage forests affected by beetle kill. In Wyoming, that's an estimated three-point-one million acres.
Cheyenne, Wyo. – The Wyoming legislature has once again said no to a lottery. The bill would have either set up a statewide lottery or had Wyoming join a multi-state effort. But the Wyoming House defeated the measure by a six vote margin Wednesday.