WPR News
8:54 am
Wed February 20, 2008

Prescribed Burn Proposed for Sierra Madres

Laramie, WY – The Forest Service is proposing to conduct
prescribed burns on about 4,400 acres in the Sierra Madre Range in southern Wyoming.

The deadline for public comment on the plan is next Tuesday.

Under the proposed plan, the prescribed burn could take place this fall and in the spring of 2009 in the Big Sandstone and Little Sandstone Creek drainages in the Medicine Bow National Forest.

The purpose of the burn is to help regenerate aspen and create better forage for livestock and wildlife.

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WPR News
8:28 am
Wed February 20, 2008

Lawmakers Debate Funding for Community Colleges

Cheyenne, WY – Community colleges became a focus of debate during discussion on the state budget.

Lawmakers were stingy on additional spending for colleges and in the Senate they rejected over five million new dollars to be stuck into a funding formula for all colleges.

During that discussion there was considerable debate over how colleges should be treated in the future. Senator Gerry Geis of Worland says Colleges are more important now than they have been in the past.

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WPR News
8:15 am
Wed February 20, 2008

Many Budget Amendments Fail

Cheyenne, WY – Lawmakers have been relatively stingy when it comes to spending additional money within the state budget.

Both the house and senate offered a flurry of amendments, and most proposals were defeated.

But in some cases, even budget cuts were rejected.

Senator Eli Bebout tried to reduce over four million dollars in money for various mental health intervention programs.

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WPR News
8:13 am
Wed February 20, 2008

Bill Would Make 3rd D.U.I. a Felony

Cheyenne, WY – Those convicted of multiple driving under the influence violations will face a felony on a third conviction under a law being debated in the Wyoming House of Representatives.

The bill raises fines, following a first offense and enhances penalties after that.

Gillette Representative Erin Mercer says people will be guilty of a felony for a third D.U.I. conviction in seven years. She says when they made it a felony following the 4th conviction, it made a difference, and the number of drunk driving cases dropped.

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WPR News
7:45 am
Wed February 20, 2008

Property Tax Proposals Winnowed to Two

Cheyenne, WY – Two proposals to cut property taxes are emerging from a crowded field of tax relief bills pending in the Wyoming Legislature.

A House bill would establish a property tax refund program for low-income state residents. A Senate bill, meantime, calls for cutting the assessment rates on all industrial and personal property, including residential real estate.

The House has voted to give preliminary approval to its refund program. It's sponsored by the House Revenue Committee.

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WPR News
6:26 am
Wed February 20, 2008

Gov. Opposes Importing Nuclear Waste to Utah

Cheyenne, WY – Gov. Dave Freudenthal has joined officials from the Southeast in opposing a plan to import about 20,000 tons of nuclear waste from Italy to the United
States.

The waste would be shipped to Utah for disposal. Freudenthal wrote the chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Science and Technology and said there's no reason the United States should accept the waste.

Freudenthal said the United States has enough trouble as it is finding storage space for its own nuclear waste.

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WPR News
3:56 am
Wed February 20, 2008

EPA Asks BLM To Revise Pinedale Plan

Laramie, WY – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is asking the Bureau of Land Management to revise its plan for oil and gas drilling on the Pinedale Anticline.

The EPA's Larry Svoboda says the current plan could contaminate ground water with the carcinogen Benzene and put an unhealthy level of ozone in the air, a pollutant that can cause respiratory problems.

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WPR News
8:25 am
Tue February 19, 2008

Lodging industry opposes worker bill

Cheyenne, Wyo – A bill that would put greater restrictions on who gets Wyoming benefits has passed a legislative committee.

The bill is sponsored by Colin Simpson of Cody who is trying to make sure those who get federal and state benefits are actually legal aliens.

But at least one person is concerned about the bill. During the committee hearing, Wyoming Lodging and Restaurant Association Director Lynn Birleffi said that she fears that the bill will put some unfair burdens on her industry.

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WPR News
8:11 am
Tue February 19, 2008

Obama calls violate law

Cheyenne, Wyo – Wyoming's elections administrator is among those who received an illegal automated campaign phone call on behalf of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Peggy Nighswonger is administrator of the elections division of the secretary of state's office. She says she received the call at her home.

State law prohibits automated telephone calls with recorded campaign messages.

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WPR News
6:02 am
Tue February 19, 2008

Nonprofits lobby in Cheyenne

Cheyenne, Wyo – Members of Wyoming's non-profit sector came to Cheyenne to tout its value to the state Legislature.

Representatives of the Wyoming Association of Nonprofit Organizations say they stimulate the economy through spending and bringing in money to the state.

Statistics show that nonprofit job growth is faster then average job growth in Wyoming, and nonprofits spent more than 800 million dollars in 2005.

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