Washington D-C – A Wyoming labor expert traveled to Washington to help Congress determine how best to prepare for the next big natural disaster, in the wake of the federal response to Hurricane Katrina. Wyoming Senator Michael Enzi, chairman of the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensons Committee, outlined the challenges ahead in meeting the needs of evacuees by saying they want to be able to help victims support their families. Enzi summoned more than 20 experts in the fields of health, education, and labor for a roundtable, to gather facts and ideas.
Rawlins, Wy – The state Department of Correction has released information detailing inmate-on-inmate assaults at the Wyoming State Penitentiary in Rawlins. The reports show 128 incidents of inmate assaults investigated at the prison from October 2003 to June 2005. But only six were determined to be assaults planned beforehand and two involved home-made weapons. Many of the incidents involved accidental injury during recreation between inmates and others were spontaneous fights.
Laramie, Wy – All federal money coming to the Wyoming Department of Education will soon be audited. The director of the Department of Audit, Mike Geesey, says they are setting up a system to track grants coming to the state. He says previously it was hard to tell where federal money was being spent. Geesey says this is just the beginning and they'll eventually audit all federal grants coming to state government. He says this makes the system more efficient and produces a nice audit trail.
Lararmie, Wy – Governor Dave Freudenthal was briefed Wednesday by Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff. Freudenthal says he and other governors were told the states should stand down their effort to bring in evacuees. He says this is because most people have been evacuated or are staying in the region. And the Governor says Wyoming is not well suited for hosting evacuees because of the housing shortage that exists here, no major airport, and a climate the many people from the south might not desire.
Laramie, WY – A scientific journal this week published the last article written by the late University of Wyoming professor Beth Williams. Williams was known for her work on chronic wasting disease, and this article was a comprehensive review of what is known about the disease. Williams died in a December car accident, along with her husband Tom Thorne, who was also a noted wildlife veterinarian. The last article written exclusively by Williams is in the September issue of the journal Veterinary Pathology.
Yellowstone National Park – Federal Fish and Wildlife officials note that the numbers of wolves in the Yellowstone area is increasing, however the population is down by nearly 40 in Wyoming. Federal Wolf Recovery Co-ordinator Ed Bangs says some conflicts and disease has led to the decrease, but he's convinced that there is nothing to worry about. Instead, he calls it a leveling off of wolf numbers. Bangs says this should show that concerns that wolf numbers will explode are overblown. While Idaho saw an increase in wolves, Bangs predicts that those numbers will also stabilize.
Washington D-C – Republican Wyoming Senator Mike Enzi is meeting with relief organizations working to help victims of Hurricane Katrina. Enzi is chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. He says all of these areas will be influenced by the recent disaster.