Washington D-C – THE WHITE HOUSE HAS SPOKEN TO REPUBLICAN WYOMING SENATOR CRAIG THOMAS ABOUT BECOMING THE ADMINISTRATION'S NEXT INTERIOR SECRETARY. CURRENT INTERIOR BOSS GALE NORTON STEPS ASIDE IN A FEW WEEKS. THOMAS CHAIRS THE SENATE SUBCOMMITTEE ON PARKS...AND HE'S A MEMBER OF THE INDIAN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE. THE INTERIOR DEPARTMENT HAS JURISIDICTION OVER BOTH AREAS. A THOMAS SPOKESMAN SAYS THE SENATOR'S TALKED TO THE WHITE HOUSE ABOUT THE OPENING. AND THOMAS SAYS HE'S NOT CAMPAIGNING FOR THE JOB.
Washington D-C – A bill that a Wyoming U-S Senator calls landmark was given approval by a Senate committee. It allows Small business people the chance to work together to offer insurance. Senator Mike Enzi says it is an effort that took a long time to get accomplished. While the bill is being praised by many small business organizations, other health organizations worry that it will allow companies to opt out of offering coverage mandated by some states. Enzi would like all mandates to be offered but he also says the main objective is to get more people on insurance.
Pinedale, Wy – The Bureau of land management is raving about its decision to approve the 30 thousand acre Jonah Infill drilling project. The project will occur near Pinedale and they say the project provides incentives for minimal impacts and sets up monitoring. But Conservation groups say the decision lacks requirements that will make sure that impacts are minimal from the start. Linda Baker of the Upper Green River Valley Coalition fears that too much development will be allowed up front which could lead to serious wildlife impacts.
Laramie, Wy – The Wyoming army national guard has already met its end-of-year recruiting goals. Bringing nearly 1700 new soldiers on board. That's in contrast to nationwide figures which show the army guard behind in recruiting. Major fred fichtner says that Wyoming has managed to reach its goal despite the fact that most new recruits will likely be deployed to Iraq or other overseas conflicts. Fichtner says about sixty percent of recruits have no prior military service.