Cheyenne, Wy – An Associated Press investigation has found that the Wyoming Department of Family Services has funneled tens of thousands of dollars to a grant program administered by a private religious corporation that has funded churches, ministries and religiously oriented anti-abortion centers. Family Services Director Rodger McDaniel says the state payments to the company, Faith Initiatives of Wyoming, are entirely proper.
Billings, Montana – Governor Freudenthal says environmental compliance and worker safety need to move to the forefront as the oil and gas industry continues to grow in the West. The governor spoke today (Monday) at a meeting of the Interstate Oil and Gas Conservation Commission in Billings, Montana. Freudenthal is the commission's current chairman. He says the historical role of the group should be expanded to recognize the importance of environmental compliance. Freudenthal encouraged energy companies to make the public aware
Laramie, Wy – As the Memorial Day Holiday weekend approaches, Triple A reports that Wyoming gas prices are averaging 2-dollars 75-cents a gallon, among the lowest prices in the nation. The group reports the national average for more than a dime below the national average of 2-dollars, 88-cents a gallon. Triple-A says despite the slight increase in travelers, gas prices are having more of an impact this year than in years because of the cumulative effect of high gas prices year after year.
Washington D-C – Senator Craig Thomas likes some of the President's plan concerning immigration but he thinks some ideas go too far. Thomas does favor using National Guard troops to help secure the border on a temporary basis. But Thomas does not favor building a large fence favored by many. He thinks it is too costly. Thomas says he believes technology can be used in lieu of manpower to help in securing the border. Thomas also wants U-S employers to be forced to identify foreign workers and their status.
Sheridan, Wy – Affordable housing advocates in Sheridan are taking their cause to city hall. Sheridan housing action committee representative Marie Lowe says certain city ordinances and zoning laws can discourage developers from building affordable housing because complying with those laws is too expensive. Since, Sheridan's housing vacancy rate hardly exists Lowe and her colleagues have proposed a new city ordinance to encourage affordable housing development. It involves taking away much of the red tape developers face, which keeps them from building affordable housing.
Laramie, Wy – This week a Laramie hiker had an encounter with a mountain Lion in the snowy range mountains. Such stories can strike fear in the minds of those who enjoy the outdoors but Game and Fish spokeswoman Michelle Zitek says it should only make people more aware. Zitek says people should not fear mountain lions, because they are rarely seen. But if people are fearful they should carry pepper spray. Zitek says if someone does get attacked they should fight back and report the incident to the game and fish department.
Cheyenne, Wy – A settlement has been reached on Martin's Cove. Located along the Morman trail in central Wyoming the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints sees it as a religious site while others view the area as a historic and recreation site. An agreement was reached that allowed the church to lease some of the property. But that lease was disputed by the American Civil Liberties Union. But this week a settlement has been reached by all parties.
Washington D-C – A bill to make coal mining safer won the endorsement of a key Senate committee today (Wednesday). Senators on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee unanimously backed the bill. The legislation was put together by Senator Mike Enzi of Wyoming and Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts. Both lawmakers say they were moved to act after a pair of accidents in January killed 14 West Virginia coal miners. West Virginia Senators Robert C- Byrd and Jay Rockefeller say