Powell, WY – A new book tells of the life of Marine Second Lieutenant Shane Childers, one of the first US servicemen to die in the war in Iraq. Childers' parents live in Powell, and his mother Judy Childers is not happy with the book. She says it was supposed to be a tribute, but instead portrays Shane's family - and the Marines - in a negative light. Connecticut newspaper reporter Rinker Buck is the author of "Shane Comes Home." Buck says the book gives a brutally honest accounting of Shane Childers' life, and that many Marines and many of Childers' family members have praised the book.
Lander, Wy – Lander officials have learned that the Fremont County community was chosen as a site for a new four year Roman Catholic college. Community Resource Coordinator was alerted of the selection by David Ricken of the Diocese of Cheyenne. Lander won out over Cody and Wheatland, which were the other two finalists. The college will be built on private land donated by ranchers southeast of Lander and is expected to begin offering classes in the fall of 2006 or spring of 2007.
Laramie, Wy – The director of the Wyoming Taxpayers association is pleased that lawmakers looked at savings during the past legislative session. Randy Bolles admits he was worried that lawmakers would spend too much during the 40 day session. But he thinks the concept of putting a lot of money into the permanent mineral trust fund was long term thinking that will benefit taxpayers, since it could keep lawmakers from having to raise taxes, to pay for government spending in the future.
Laramie, Wy – The Department of Defense is going to provide health insurance for some reservists and National Guard members longer now. The change is for soldiers activated since September 11th, 2001. Colonel Roberta Standish from the Wyoming National Guard Army Medical Command says this was needed to make sure soldiers are physically ready when they are called upon to serve. She says so far no member of the Wyoming National Guard has been unable to serve, but last year some people had dental problems when preparing to deploy.
Laramie, WY – The University of Wyoming's Vice President for Academic Affairs will soon be the school's acting President. UW Trustees made the decision to promote Tom Buchanan Wednesday morning. Buchanan will take over in June when current President Phil Dubois leaves for take the Chancellor's position at North Carolina-Charlotte. Trustee Peggy Rounds says Buchanan was the natural pick for the position. She thinks it will make the transition when Dubois leaves as seamless as possible. Not only was Buchanan the choice of trustees, but he was also recommended by President Dubois.
Billings, MT – The Bureau of Land Management is working on a new environmental study of coal bed methane production in southern Montana. And a federal magistrate is now considering whether the agency should halt new drilling in the meantime. Last month, US Magistrate Richard Anderson said a BLM study of the potential environmental effects failed to analyze a phased-development alternative. He held a hearing Tuesday in Billings to determine what, if any, relief should be granted in lawsuits brought by the Northern Plains Resource Council and Northern Cheyenne Indian tribe.
Cheyenne, WY – The director of the Wyoming Agriculture Department wants to give younger voices more power on the state Board of Agriculture. The board currently has a Youth Leadership Advisory Committee, made up of four people under age 30 who are in an ag-related field. Currently, though, they only serve in an advisory role. Agriculture Department Director John Etchepare wants them to be full voting members on the board. Etchepare says it's an effort to give the future of the state's agriculture industry a real voice. The Legislature would have to approve the change.
Laramie, Wy – A report by the federal government on climate change in the Rocky Mountain area does not paint a pleasant picture for the ski industry. It shows a shorter season is possible and cites some scientists who say the snowpack could disappear from the entire area, including Wyoming by the year 2070.
Laramie, Wy – The Wyoming Department of education says a new website can be helpful, but they say it should not be the gospel when it comes to how well students are doing in the state. The website called school matters-dot-com is a product of Standard and Poor's. It is intended to help citizens see how education locally and statewide compares. Citizens may also make a similar comparison across the country. But that makes state school officials concerned because of the way some of the numbers are compiled.