Cheyenne, Wy – Trent Blankenship has resigned as Wyoming's superintendent of public instruction. Blankenship sent a letter to Governor Dave Freudenthal , officially resigning from the state's top education job. In it, Blankenship says it's been an honor serving the people of Wyoming. After months of speculation about his future, Blankenship announced on June 17th that he was taking a job as district superintendent for North Slope Borough in Alaska. That job started July first, but Blankenship said his resignation would be effective August first.
Laramie, Wy – This year 74 schools in Wyoming failed to meet targets for student achievement. That's the most since the federal No Child Left Behind Act went into effect and the state has been required to test students. What it means is that some students in either grade four, eight or 11 at these schools did NOT score well enough on the Wyoming assessment test. Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction, Annette Bohling says the high number of schools was expected because this year was the first time they raised the bar for schools.
Laramie, Wy – The executive director of the Wyoming AIDS Project says there is disaster waiting to happen in this state. Pamela Reamer Williams says the potential for an outbreak of H-I-V is high because of growing popularity of the drug meth. Reamer Williams says there has already been an increase in the number of H-I-V infections. Though she is not 100 percent sure that is due to meth use, she says it is likely because some people take meth through needles and share them. They also do not make intelligent decisions about who they have sex with when they are high.
Rawlins, WY – The future of the Carbon County Economic Development Corporation will be decided at a meeting Monday evening. A dispute has arisen among Corporation board members over funding from the Carbon County Commission. Commissioners agreed to put $50,000 dollars forward, but that's half of what the organization had requested. Corporation President Harry Lovato says a group of board members believe, at this point, it would be best to disband. He believes it's only a minority of the board that wants to disband.
Greybull, WY – One of the first grants awarded under a multi-million dollar state economic development grant has been given back to the Wyoming Business Council. The $1.5 Million grant was awarded to Big Horn County, which had plans to build an airport hangar and lease it to Hawkins and Powers Aviation. Shawn Reese manages the Business Council's Business Ready Community Program and says the project never got off the ground due to some difficulties at Hawkins and Powers, which is now reorganizing.
Casper, WY – Vandals struck Casper's new golf course twice last week. Police estimate the vandals caused about $40,000 worth of damage at Three Crowns Golf Club. They drove seven carts onto the course Thursday night, rolling at least one, and damaging all of them. Flag sticks, yardage markers, sprinklers and tree supports were also damaged. Vandals had also struck on Wednesday night, damaging irrigation equipment.
Wyoming – Congress Friday finished work on a massive energy bill. Wyoming's congressional delegation believes that legislation could boost the fortunes of the state's energy industry. But completing the bill wasn't easy. From capitol hill, Chad Pergram explains.
Laramie, Wy – The National Park Service has extended the public comment period on a proposal to build bike and pedestrian pathways in Grand Teton National Park. The comment period was previously scheduled from May 27th to August first. The new comment deadline will be August 25th. The Park Service has proposed three alternatives to build new bicycling and walking paths in Grand Teton.