Laramie, Wy – Rising costs for asphalt and other materials means there will be fewer road repairs this summer. Wyoming department of transportation director John Cox says it is becoming a trend and that it means that they cannot rebuild some roads that desperately need it. The legislature put more money into road construction this past session, but Cox says rising costs offset the increased funding. A national asphalt publication says the cost for construction materials is up 26 percent from last year.
Pinedale, Wy – The farm bill re-approved by congress provides some increased tax incentives for those who want to provide a conservation easement. Such easements protect and preserve agricultural land and open spaces across the state. Congress will provide the renewed incentives until 2009 and could give those donating their land huge income tax breaks. Jordon Vanna of the Green River Valley Land Trust thinks the incentives will encourage more people to set up such easements.
Cheyenne, Wy – The Wyoming Board of Medicine has suspended the license of a Lovell doctor facing federal charges of unlawfully distributing painkillers. The board filed an order Monday suspending the license of Dr. Joseph Baumstarck Jr. The U.S. Attorney's Office announced last month that Baumstarck had been arrested during a search of his clinic. He's accused of unlawfully prescribing the drugs oxycodone and hydrocodone outside the scope of his medical practice. Kim Baumstarck is the doctor's wife. She says that the couple
Cheyenne, Wy – A federal judge has sentenced former Campbell County Fire Chief Gary Scott to serve 24 years, five months in prison on 10 felony convictions of taking children under the age of 18 across state lines to sexually molest them. Some of the victims were molested while they were members of a fire cadet program for children that Scott created. Scott served as Campbell County fire chief from 1991 until his arrest last August. U.S. District Judge Clarence Brimmer on Friday ruled that the
Riverton, Wy – Autopsies have been completed on three teenage girls found dead this week on the Wind River Indian Reservation. The Larimer County coroner's office in Loveland, Colo., says the autopsies were done yesterday (Thursday). However, the FBI and other authorities were not releasing any information about what the autopsies may have found. Northern Arapaho Tribe spokesman Jonathon Barela says he was told no information will be released until Monday. The three girls, ages 13, 14 and 15, were found dead Wednesday
Laramie, Wy – An administrator at the University of Wyoming will move to Montana and work for the state commissioner of higher education. Sylvia Moore has accepted the position of deputy commissioner of academic and student affairs. Montana Commissioner of Higher Education Sheila Stearns says Moore will begin work in September. Moore is the University of Wyoming's director of an interstate program of medical education. She holds bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees from Wyoming.
Laramie, Wy – A new report shows that many of the approved oil and gas leases for the west are sitting idle. This is at the same time federal reports have taken some Wyoming communities to task for slowing up development. They say local water protections are slowing up important oil and gas development. The Wilderness Society's David Alberswerth says some 44 million acres could be drilled right now.
Casper, Wy – A Department of Family Services investigation learned that an inmate may have been sexually assaulted at the Juvenile Detention Center in Casper... but when a child reported the incident to those in charge of the facility the allegation was not reported to the state. It's one of several problems concerning the operation of the facility uncovered by D-F-S. The Department says there are few actions they can take against the company that operated the facility, called Cheyenne based Frontier Correctional services.
Hulett, Wy – A practice called in- situ leaching where companies search for Uranium has several landowners in northeastern Wyoming concerned. The practice involves drilling into the ground and a leaching solution is sent into the holes. Landowners fear that will contaminate their water supply. Company officials say they are testing to make sure that won't happen. Hulett resident Pam Viviano and others have formed the group Ranchers and Neighbors Protecting our water. One thing they would like is regular monitoring of their water by an independent source but that is not available.