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.
Riverton, Wy – The FBI and Bureau of Indian Affairs police are investigating the deaths of three people whose bodies were found at a housing complex on the Wind River Indian Reservation. The Northern Arapaho Tribe public relations department says the people died Wednesday morning in a residence at the Beaver Creek Housing Development, a few miles south of the central Wyoming town of Riverton. Jonathan Barela, assistant director of public relations for the tribe, says no information has been released on the cause of death,
Cheyenne, Wy – An investigation by the Wyoming Department of Family Services has concluded that juveniles weren't adequately supervised when a boy allegedly was sexually assaulted at a Casper juvenile jail a few months ago. The department also found that staff and administrators at the Regional Juvenile Detention Center didn't report the alleged assault to the state as required. The Associated Press obtained the report outlining the department's conclusions after filing an open records request with the department.
Cokeville, Wy – A Game and Fish Department Wildlife Biologist says he is alarmed by the large number of Mule Deer deaths in the Wyoming range this winter and the early spring. Gary Fralick says most occurred in Central Uinta County and near Cokeville. Fralick says the die off was enough that it will be difficult for the population to bounce back quickly. He adds that forage losses will not help the animals rebound.
Rock Springs, Wy – After struggling to find housing for new employees several housing developments have been built throughout Southwest, Wyoming. The area received a state grant and they found a developer who conceived clustering houses together. They are a mix of homes both for-sale and for-rent. At first the challenge was to get local residents agree to the developments and that was done with an ad campaign. Sweetwater Economic Development Association Director Pat Robbins says that finding builders was a tougher challenge.
Cheyenne, Wy – Tourist numbers are expected to be high this summer, but restaurants and hotels across Wyoming may still struggle to make a profit. The Wyoming Lodging and Restaurant Association's Lynn Birleffi says the state's worker shortage makes it particularly hard to hire seasonal workers. Add to that higher utility costs for hotels and higher food costs and Birleffi says the hospitality industry is struggling. Birleffi says tourists probably won't see much change. But she says some businesses may be in the red by the end of the summer.
Washington D-C – In separate speeches on the Senate floor, Wyoming Senators John Barrasso and Mike Enzi spoke out against Lieberman-Warner global climate change bill. Enzi says the bill would require too many costs of companies that would in turn drive up consumer costs. Senator John Barrasso says it would hurt Wyoming families and likely cost the state several energy jobs. Enzi says the solution to using global warming needs to involve innovation and technology.