WPR News
7:22 am
Wed January 16, 2008

Winter woes wound WYDOT

Laramie, Wyo. – Winter snow storms have pushed the state Department of Transportation about a million dollars over budget.

WYDOT spokesman Bruce Burrows says the cost of cleaning up after so many winter storms means the department will have to defer maintenance planned for later on.

"It's like anybody else," he says. "If you end up spending on one need, you have to cut back somewhere else. And that's unfortunate, because we have quite a few needs on our roadway system."

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WPR News
7:14 am
Wed January 16, 2008

Landowners donate record amount for preservation

Laramie, Wyo – Landowners donated conservation easements in record numbers last year to protect their land from future development.

The Nature Conservancy in Wyoming received more than 11-thousand acres of land in 2007. Associate State Director Paula Hunker says much of it was adjacent to public land, or already-donated private lands. She says that means large areas are now protected from subdivisions and other threats.

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WPR News
7:12 am
Wed January 16, 2008

Proposed tax relief plans stack up

Cheyenne, Wyo – A number of property tax relief bills are being prepared for the coming legislative session.

They will join Governor Freudenthal's proposed constitutional amendment to give senior citizens a break on their property taxes.

I think everyone knows we need to do something," Gov. Freudenthal said in a press conference. "The background noise in the legislature is, we ought to amend the constitution, but we probably shouldn't support that because that's what the governor wants to do.

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WPR News
10:08 am
Tue January 15, 2008

Environmentalists putting coal plants on trial

Billings, MT – In federal and state courtrooms across the country, environmental groups are putting coal-fueled power plants on trial. They hope to slow the industry's biggest construction boom in decades.

An Associated Press tally shows at least four dozen coal plants are being contested in 29 states, including two in Wyoming.

The targeted utilities include giants like Peabody Energy and American Electric Power, as well as small rural co-ops.

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WPR News
9:32 am
Tue January 15, 2008

Man lying in street in Gillette run over

Gillette, WY – Police said a man lying in a street in Gillette was struck by a pickup truck and later pronounced dead at a hospital.

The 17-year-old girl driving the pickup was not expected to be charged.

Police said the girl thought the man was a tarp. After hearing a thump, she stopped to check for damage and then drove back to see what she had hit.

Police Cpl. Eric Dearcorn said the 33-year-old man, whose identity was not released, was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead soon after.

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WPR News
9:05 am
Tue January 15, 2008

Avalanche Victims Had No Time To React

Afton, Wy – An avalanche expert says the slide that killed three men in Lincoln County on Saturday was a thirty- to fifty-year event. Bob Comey is an Avalanche forecaster for Bridger-Teton National Forest. "There were a lot of trees in the debris, of various size. There were a lot of small trees, some medium size, and some larger trees and when you get up into these elevations, trees take a long time to grow." The three men who died were experienced snowmobilers who knew the area well.

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WPR News
9:03 am
Tue January 15, 2008

Supreme Court Hears Case Of Gillette Man

Cheyene, Wy – The Wyoming Supreme Court today (Tuesday) heard arguments on the first of three pending appeals from a Campbell County man convicted in tangled series of crimes that left two young people dead in 2005.
Kent Alan Proffit Senior is appealing his conviction on murder and conspiracy charges in the death of 19-yer-old Jeremy Forquer. Proffit is serving a sentence of life without parole in the killing.

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WPR News
9:03 am
Tue January 15, 2008

Congressmen say wolves still endangered

Billings, MT – Five congressmen from the House Natural Resources Committee want to delay a plan to remove gray wolves in the Northern Rockies from the federal endangered species list.

In a letter to Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne, the congressmen wrote that states ``hostile to wolf conservation'' could reduce today's 1,500 wolves to ``as few as 300'' if the predators lose protected status.

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WPR News
8:58 am
Tue January 15, 2008

Sinclair Settles With Feds

Cheyenne, Wy – Sinclair refinery will pay almost two and a half million dollars in penalties following an agreement with federal officials over clean air violations.

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WPR News
6:54 am
Tue January 15, 2008

Beetle epidemic changes watershed

Laramie, WYO – Wyoming's climatologist Stephen Gray is cross-country skiing in the Medicine Bow National Forest when he comes to a stand of beetle infested lodge-pole pine trees.

"If you kill off a large number of trees in an area like this, you may see some extra water coming out of the high country because the plants aren't using it," Gray says.

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