Laramie, Wy – Prosecutors in Fremont County have filed court papers seeking the death penalty against a Riverton man charged with killing his 22-month-old daughter. The County Attorney was in court this week to seek the death penalty against Andrew J. Yellowbear. Court documents list four aggravating circumstances, including the victim's young age, her vulnerability because of physical disability and what prosecutors called the particularly cruel nature of the crime.
Laramie, Wy – The Game and Fish Department has formally proposed some changes to the grizzly bear management plan. The changes deal with establishing areas considered suitable for grizzly bears in Wyoming. The proposal comes after four months of public comments. The Game and Fish's John Emmerich says about 30 percent of those comments came from Wyomingites. The majority of those supported limiting where grizzly bears live, while the majority of the comments from out of state were in favor of allowing grizzly bears to expand their habitat.
Laramie, Wy – The Bush administration has asked the U-S Supreme Court to overturn a lower court ruling that favored the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone tribes. The case is about a dispute over management of money from mineral development. The lower court ruled the federal government mismanaged money held in trust for the tribes as a result of energy development on the Wind River Indian Reservation.
Laramie, Wy – The high price of gas is hitting the state in the pocket book. School districts from around Wyoming get reimbursed by the state for the cost of fueling up their buses. Last year that had a price tag of almost two-point-eight million dollars. That will certainly go up this year as prices continue to climb. The Department of Education's Leeds Pickering says even if districts want to use less fuel there is little they can do because all the buses in the state's fleet are modern and as efficient as possible.
Cheyenne, WY – The state Travel Director is pleased with the feedback they've gotten on Wyoming's latest tourism marketing campaign. Diane Shober says there had been about 15,000 inquiries through March. As usual, the state is focusing on the so-called drive market, areas that are close enough to visit Wyoming by car. Because of skyrocketing gas prices, Shober says they are beefing up their regional marketing by about $200,000 this year. Overall, the state is spending $3.7 Million on tourism advertising this year.
Cheyenne, Wy – Budget Cuts By President Bush could impact the Division of Criminal Investigations ability to fight drug crimes in Wyoming. Governor Dave Freudenthal says budget cuts would remove funding from a grant Wyoming uses to fight crimes associated with Methamphetamine. He says the state does not have the ability to replace that. The state gets almost 2 million in grant money. That could be cut by over a half next year, before it is zeroed out.
Yellowstone National Park – Federal Investigators say a fatal plane crash in Yellowstone National Park was caused by propeller problems. The crash occurred a year and a half ago near Old Faithful. It killed James Wright of Oregon.
Laramie, WY – Committee work has started on studying a possible executive training center and graduate business school in Teton County. The feasibility study was approved by the Wyoming Legislature this year. The training center and graduate school would be affiliated with the University of Wyoming. And planners are consistently expressing their hope that this effort will not come at the expense of the University. Brent Hathaway is UW's College of Business Dean.