WPR News
7:46 am
Fri December 14, 2007

Wyoming Petroleum Association says they're doing good for sage grouse

Laramie, WY – With the announcement of a coordination team to focus on ways to keep the Sage Grouse from being listed as an endangered species, the Wyoming Petroleum association says they are hoping to improve on some positive things already occurring.

Association Vice President Cheryl Sorenson knows there are skeptics, but she says the industry has made positive changes in business practices to protect all wildlife. She says this latest effort will include a website that will share best practices.

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WPR News
11:03 am
Thu December 13, 2007

Move To Make State Workers Pay For Retirement

Cheyenne, Wy – State workers may be forced to start
paying a portion of the cost of their retirement benefits if some
legislators have their way.
Members of the Joint Appropriations Committee on Wednesday
agreed to ask the Management Council for authorization to push
legislation on the issue in the coming budget session.
Legislation could call for state workers to pay 3 percent or
more of their salaries into the state retirement program to cover
cost of living increases to the state's roughly 18,000 retirees.

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WPR News
11:01 am
Thu December 13, 2007

College Tuition Increases

Cheyenne, Wy – The Wyoming Community College Commission
has approved a nearly 5 percent tuition increase at the state's
seven community colleges.
Currently tuition is $62 per credit hour. Starting next school
year, that will increase to $65 per credit hour, matching a $3
increase enacted last year.
Jim Rose is the commission's executive director. He says the
commission is opting for small, regular increases rather than
sporadic, steep ones.
Commission staff could have enacted the increase without the

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WPR News
11:00 am
Thu December 13, 2007

Industry Tries To Keep Birds From Being Listed

Casper, Wy – The Petroleum Association of Wyoming has
formed a team to try to keep sage grouse from being listed under
the federal Endangered Species Act.
A federal judge in Idaho recently ordered the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service to begin a new review of whether the grouse
deserves federal protection.
Government and industry officials in Wyoming say that giving the
bird federal protection could cut into energy production and harm
revenues in the state.
Paul Ulrich of EnCana is serving as chairman of the Petroleum

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WPR News
8:08 am
Thu December 13, 2007

Sen. Enzi doesn't like the Senate's US Energy Bill

Washington, DC – Sen. Mike Enzi calls it an "anti-energy" bill.

Enzi said that while he likes some parts of an energy bill passed by the Senate on Thursday, he points out that the bill wouldn't provide incentives for coal-to-liquid technology - the process of turning coal into diesel fuel.

Enzi also said he wanted incentives for cleaner power from coal and increasing refinery capacity. But Enzi said the energy bill wouldn't do those things, either.

The bill heads to the House after passing the Senate 86-8.

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WPR News
8:07 am
Thu December 13, 2007

Wyoming doesn't give cash to welfare families

Laramie, WY – About half of US states do not pass along any child support payments to families who are on welfare in order to recoup their welfare costs. Wyoming is one of those states.

An analysis by the New York Times says that this policy in many states is hurting the ability of families on welfare to get out of poverty.

The Wyoming child support enforcement director, Brenda Lyttle, says she can't change the policy, but she's planning to show the legislature that they can change it during the 2009 session.

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WPR News
7:57 am
Thu December 13, 2007

Visine "student prank" injures junior high teacher

Cheyenne, WY – Police in Cheyenne say a junior high school teacher was hospitalized Monday after a student put Visine eyedrops into her drink as a prank.

Police identified the victim as 58-year-old Jo L. Miyamoto, a teacher at Johnson Junior High. She went to the emergency room for treatment, spent the night in the hospital and was released late Tuesday.

A school receptionist said Miyamoto was back in the classroom on Thursday.

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WPR News
7:55 am
Thu December 13, 2007

Senate removes timber provision from energy bill

Washington, DC – The Senate today removed a provision from the energy bill that would have extended for four years payments to rural counties that once depended on federal timber money to pay for schools and libraries.

A House bill approved last week would set aside more than $1.5 billion dollars to compensate 700 rural counties in 39 states - mostly in the West and South - that were hurt by federal logging cutbacks in the 1990s.

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WPR News
7:51 am
Thu December 13, 2007

National group wants universal insurance

Laramie, WY – A lobbying group for small business is promoting universal healthcare in the United States.

The National Federation of Independent Businesses wants to have its voice heard before the 2008 presidential election.

The group's Wyoming lobbyist Tom Jones says small-business owners need help combating rising healthcare costs, and universal insurance is one way to do that. He says he also believes that universal insurance should be private to the maximum extent possible.

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WPR News
11:56 am
Wed December 12, 2007

Green River Residents Want To Challenge The Smoking Ban

Green River, Wy – A petition is being circulated to force
Green River's new smoking ban to the ballot box.
City Attorney Ford Bussart informed the Green River City Council
that the petition must be signed by 10 percent of the electors in
the city in order to be successful. This would require about 450 to
500 signatures of registered voters.
The ordinance would ban smoking in all Green River public
buildings, including bars and clubs. It has not yet taken effect.

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