Laramie, WY – The chairman of the University of Wyoming's criminal justice department has been named as the new leader Missouri's social services agency. Missouri Governor Matt Blunt Monday named Gary Sherman as head of the Missouri Department of Social Services. The agency oversees the Medicaid health care program, child support, food stamps and other social programs.
Laramie, Wy – Wyoming is in the process of buying new voting machines. Election law requires the states to provide machines that are accessible for people with disabilities. The two leading companies that make the computer based systems have ties to the Republican Party. Secretary of State, Joe Meyer, says he is aware of this and is working hard to make sure there is nothing wrong with machines that come from these companies. He says a test was done in California that proved the machines from E.S. and S. as well as Diebolt do not pad elections for Republicans.
Laramie, Wy – University of Wyoming officials are interested in buying some property bordering campus for a future expansion. At Saturday's trustee meeting, the university trustees gave the school permission to get an appraisal on the properties. The two houses and an apartment building are next to the site where U-W is building a new anthropology building. Elizabeth Hardin is U-W's vice president of administration. She says the university wants to buy the houses, but the owners have to be willing to sell.
Laramie, Wy – A Senator from Rock Springs admits that the legislature did do a lot of good this session, but she wonders how much they did for the average person. Rae Lynn Job says they did a lot of positive things in developing the wildlife trust, an education endowment, and more funding for local governments. But Job doubts they did much for the average person in Wyoming. She says wage issues in Wyoming remain a problem and families have to overcome the fact that parents may need to work more then one job.
Laramie, Wy – The University of Wyoming board of trustees has recommended an increase in tuition. The amount of the increase varies depending on whether or not a student is from in state or if they are an undergraduate. Overall the hike is about five percent. The U-W student president, David Willms, says he feels even with the increase tuition is very low.
Cheyenne, Wy – The wildlife trust fund bill has passed the legislature. Despite some hard feelings by senators over the unwillingness of the House to compromise on their version of the bill, Senators adopted the bill which will fund enhancements to wildlife in the state. Two main points of contention were that the bill puts 15 million dollars into the wildlife trust .versus the 30 million dollar amount the senate wanted. It also limits the amount of money that can be spent in a year on projects.
Cheyenne, Wy – By all accounts education was the big winner during this year's legislative session. Funding addressing teacher salaries, health care, incentives and endowments were approved by lawmakers. Following the lawsuit over education funding in the 90's such a session would be unthinkable, but House Education Chairman Jeff Wasserburger says the budget surplus has cured most ills. State Superintendent Trent Blankenship called a press conference to praise legislators, calling this the most significant legislative session for improving schools.
Laramie, Wy – Wyoming's ties to the hate group associated with two murders in Chicago are severed. The husband and mother of a judge in Illinois were found dead this week. That judge made a ruling against the World Church of the Creator and its leader Matt Hale. Following the decision in 2002 it was announced the headquarters of the group were moving to the home of Thomas Kroenke in Riverton. But, the director of fact finding for the Anti-Defamation League, Mark Pitcavage says that never really happened and was only a move to try and deceive authorities.