Cheyenne, Wy – A new report shows that Wyoming eighth grade students do better on state assessment tests for math and reading then they do on the main national assessment test. But the gap is much less then the national average. On the state assessment test 62 percent of students were scored as proficient in reading and 55 percent are proficient in Math. But on the main federal test, 36 percent are rated as proficient in reading and 29 percent are proficient in Math. Despite the numbers, State Superintendent Jim McBride says he is satisfied with the rigor on Wyoming's main test.
Pinedale, Wy – The new Environmental Protection Agency's tougher air pollution standards are being welcomed in Pinedale. Three times this winter, the state Department of Environmental Quality put out an advisory warning about high levels of the pollutant ozone. Terry Svalberg of the Forest Service in Pinedale says those days have been hard on some people. "Over the last several events with the high ozone I've heard numerous complaints about having difficulty breathing as well as burning eyes."
Laramie, WY – A Thermopolis woman is so afraid of her colonoscopy that she's having a party for moral support.
Candy Whitt is urging others across the state to do whatever it takes to get a colorectal screening. A good friend of hers was recently diagnosed with cancer. At 55, Whitt realized she also needed a screening. So she decided to have a party before her appointment on Thursday.
State health officials say early detection is important.
Laramie, WY – Gov. Dave Freudenthal has signed into law a bill that extends a property tax refund program for needy residents.
Freudenthal signed the bill into law today but also criticized the Legislature for not doing more to give citizens property tax relief.
The bill Freudenthal signed extends an unpopular property tax refund program that had expired at the first of the year. The program requires citizens to show proof of their income and establish that they're needy to qualify for refunds.
Bridger Teton National Forest, WY – Fire risk managers often want to clear out dead trees and brush to reduce the chance of a wildfire. But one wildlife expert says that dense under-story is just the kind of habitat needed by one important animal: the snowshoe hare.
Among small mammals, the snowshoe hare is especially important because it's the main food source for the Canada Lynx, a threatened species. More snowshoe hares could mean better survival for the lynx.
Saratoga, Wy – Upper Platte Valley irrigators are nervous about a plan by the state of Wyoming to take some water from Pathfinder Reservoir to help preserve some endangered species in Nebraska. The move would be part of an agreement between the two states. But despite verbal assurances by Wyoming officials that irrigators would not be harme. Platte Valley Water Users Association President Joe Glode wants it in writing. Since the state has been unwilling to provide that, Glode says they are very concerned.