Laramie, Wy – The City Council in Cheyenne will consider a proposal to build a war memorial honoring Wyoming soldiers. The idea for the memorial comes from Donn Edmunds, whose son Jonn J. Edmunds died in a helicopter crash in Pakistan in 2001. Edmunds says he wants the memorial to honor not just Wyoming natives who have died or gone missing in American wars. He also wants to honor other American service members -- and to leave space for names to be added in future conflicts.
Cheyenne, Wy – The Wyoming House Friday continued to yo-yo on four-lane highway funding, changing the dollar amount for the fourth time in three days. In their final vote before returning the bill to the Senate, representatives slashed three-million dollars -- leaving seven-million to launch planning studies that would widen the state's most dangerous two-lane roads. The Senate had earlier adopted ten-million dollars, which would pay for about five miles of multi-lane highways. Senators will examine the House version next week.
Laramie, Wy – A report on the welfare of children and families in Wyoming shows the number of teens giving birth has dropped significantly in the state. But officials say the state still has room to improve the lives of many children and families. The Wyoming Children's Action Alliance put out its annual Kids Count publication this week.
Laramie, WY – Homeland security measures are creating a barrier to developing an improved vaccine to guard against brucellosis. Vaccines currently in use for elk and cattle are not very effective.Along with such things as anthrax, ricin, and plague; brucellosis is part of the federal Select Agent List. The government thinks that any of these agents could be used as a bio-terror weapon, and so there are restrictions on using them in research. Those restrictions include costly requirements to guarantee security and bio-safety.
Cheyenne, WY – Proposed teacher salary increases will likely be heard on the Senate floor. The Senate education committee approved a bill Friday that would increase education salaries by an average of $2,000. The bill passed on a 3-2 vote despite opposition from Education Committee Chairman Hank Coe, who thought lawmakers are providing enough of an increase for educators through other legislation. But supporters counter that the state is having a difficult time recruiting teachers since other states are paying entry level teachers at a much higher level.
Wyoming – Despite the use of brucellosis vaccines, elk in Western Wyoming still carry the bacterial disease and cattle can and have become infected. The problem is the vaccines currently in use aren't all that effective. Wyoming Public Radio's Aaron Alpern reports on difficulties in developing a vaccine that works
Cheyenne, WY – Torrington will be the site of the new medium security prison. Despite a last ditch attempt by Rawlins Senator Bill Vasey to move the facility to his city, the Senate supported the choice of Torrington with little opposition. Torrington Mayor Mike Varney says the last couple of days have been difficult, but he's excited to get the vote over with, so they can begin planning.
Laramie, Wy – Conservationists are taking the Bush administration to court over new rules for managing the national forests. The rules -- issued in December -- give managers of the 155 national forests more discretion to approve logging and other commercial projects without lengthy environmental reviews. San Francisco-based Earthjustice alleges in the suit that the rules water down protection of wildlife and the environment "to the point where they are virtually meaningless." The litigation was filed on behalf of a coalition of conservation groups.