Sheridan, Wy – Seven Wyoming conservation organizations are asking the U-S forest chief for help. They want a review of the Bighorn forest plan because they fear the plan opens up too many roadless areas and promotes unnecessary timber cutting. Liz Howell of the Wyoming Wilderness Association says they are trying to protect wilderness, and want the forest chief to take another look at the plan. The Bighorn forest management plan will guide the forest over the next 15 to 20 years.
Teton Village, WY – A teenager faces a charge of negligent homicide for colliding with a skier while snowboarding at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort a year ago. Prosecutors say Greg Doda, of Crownsville, Maryland, ran into Heather Donahue in the Laramie Bowl last February. Doda was 16 at the time. He allegedly was going more than 35 miles an hour when he ran into Donahue, a 29-year-old from Massachusetts. A Sheriff's investigator says the impact knocked Donahue 25 feet down the hill. She died of a head injury.
Green River, WY – Despite stiff competition from China, the Wyoming soda ash industry is posting solid numbers. More than 95 percent of the soda ash produced in the United States comes from Wyoming. Last year, the value of U-S soda ash increased more than ten percent. Production numbers are also on the rise. Meanwhile, demand for soda ash is expected to continue growing slightly over the next few years. Much of that demand is now being met by China, the world's soda ash leader since 2003.
Laramie, Wy – The state will not use a new economic tool with a funny-sounding name to calculate teacher salaries. Members of the Joint Education Committee worried that the hedonic index would stir up more school-finance litigation, or that it would provide less funding for their school districts. The hedonic index sought to quantify the things that make certain communities nice places to live, such as scenery and recreation opportunities. Salaries would be higher in desirable communities, and lower in communities that scored lower on the index.
Laramie, Wy – The Wyoming Department of Health has failed to develop and implement a comprehensive plan of how to control substance abuse despite receiving a 25-million dollar legislative appropriation for the task in 2002 and additional funding since then, according to a legislative report released Friday. The report, prepared by the Legislative Service Office, states substance abuse treatment efforts in the state continue to be fragmented. It says a comprehensive plan has not been identified and state agencies don't share data.
Laramie, Wy – The average cost of heating a home in Cheyenne will rise by a about 30 dollars a month under an agreement approved Thursday by the Wyoming Public Service Commission. The commission approved a request by Cheyenne Light, Fuel and Power to pass along to customers the increased cost of natural gas that the utility company has been paying this winter. The company says it has been paying about 10 dollars per thousand cubic feet of gas on the open market while its customers have only been paying about 8 dollars per thousand.
Laramie, Wy – Nationally the housing market has cooled off over the last few months. However, in Wyoming the market continues to be strong. The president of the Wyoming Association of Realtors, Kathy Lucht, says 2005 was a record year for sales in Casper, where she works, and in several other parts of the state. Into the future Lucht predicts steady growth in the housing market. Her only concern is overbuilding, which could cause costs to come down. Up in Teton County they hit a new milestone. Home sales there topped a billion dollars for the first time ever in 2005.