Laramie, Wy – The previous head of education in Wyoming may have spent federal grant money to travel to President Bush's inauguration in 2005. An audit of the Department of Ed found that Trent Blankenship was reimbursed one thousand four hundred dollars from a grant for student assessment. He wrote that he attended a meeting on that subject, but there is no substantiation of that meeting. Also, the invoice from the hotel says Trent Blankenship Inaugural Committee.
Laramie, Wy – The man accused of robbing a bank in Cheyenne last Friday and then leading police on a high-speed chase to Laramie had been scheduled to close on a house purchase that day, the F-B-I says. Edward Lee Vanek told his girlfriend before the robbery that he was heading to his bank to straighten out a delayed money transfer, according to the F-B-I. Vanek, age 45, was shot twice by police last Friday in a house in Laramie about an hour after the robbery of a First Interstate Bank in Cheyenne.
Laramie, Wy – Wyoming's natural gas production passed the two trillion cubic feet mark last year for the first time ever. That vaulted the state into third in the nation in production of gas sent to market. State Oil and Gas Supervisor Don Likwartz says while final numbers are not in yet, the data he has received show Wyoming produced three-point-five percent more gas over 2004. Wyoming accounts for about eight-and-a-half percent of the nation's natural gas production.
Laramie, Wy – Opening statements in the trial of a Wyoming prison inmate accused of killing a nurse at the state honor farm started Thursday in Jackson. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against inmate Floyd DeWayne Grady, age 30. Grady faces two first-degree murder charges. One alleges he killed nurse Tammy Sue Watts, age 39, during an attempted rape, and the other claims he killed her with premeditated malice. Grady was an inmate at the Wyoming Honor Farm in Riverton when Watts was killed there in April 2004.
Laramie, Wy – Recent warm weather is melting snowpack across Wyoming faster than normal, state and federal officials say. The U-S Natural Resources Conservation Service reports that snowpack statewide dropped from 95 percent of average to 83 percent of average between April 10 and April 17. There have been a number of reports in the last ten years or so showing that peak runoff is occurring earlier in the springtime as a result of global warming.
Laramie, Wy – A district judge on Tuesday denied Rita Ann Humphrey's requests for an acquittal or a new trial following her conviction last month of second-degree murder in the 1977 shooting death of her husband. Judge W. Thomas Sullins denied the motions from Humphrey's lawyer, Michael Krampner. Krampner argued that the jury had inadequate evidence to convict Humphrey of murder in the death of Jack Humphrey.
Laramie, Wy – Interstate 90 closed east of Gillette this morning as a major snowstorm continues to hammer the Black Hills. Meanwhile, about a foot of snow has piled up along U-S Highway 85 near the South Dakota line, and another foot of snow is predicted in that area today. Along with I-90, U-S 85 is closed north of Lusk and U-S highways 16 and 14 are closed north and south of Moorcroft. Snow is also piling up in Sundance --about 13 inches so far.
Laramie, Wy – The state and the Eastern Shoshone tribe signed a deal today (Wednesday) opening the door for the tribe to open a casino with games like black jack and roulette. Wyoming's other tribe; the Northern Arapahoe already have a similar agreement in place.
Laramie, Wy – A legislative committee is taking a close look at whether to tighten Wyoming's Eminent Domain laws. Eminent domain allows government to take private property for the public good. Following a recent U-S Supreme court ruling that allowed land takings for economic development purposes some Wyoming landowners fear unwanted development on Ag lands. But the Powder River Basin Resource Council's John Vanvig argues that some of these battles are already being fought in the Powder River region, thanks to Coalbed Methane development.
Laramie, Wy – Aids in Wyoming continues to be a concern and those who try and bring awareness about HIV/AIDS issues say it is still misunderstood. Bob Hooker heads up an education effort in Albany County. He says new statistics show a new picture of those with Aids in Wyoming. "For the first time since the state starting keeping records, 75 percent of new infections in the state are occuring in hetrosexuals. That is very concerning for us. Most of those cases are occuring because of injection drug use or from partners of injection drug use".