Jackson, WY – The fate of an effort to start flights between Casper and Minneapolis will be decided Wednesday. The Wyoming Business Council will decide whether to award a $1.8 Million grant that's needed to start the Northwest Airlines service. Casper Area Economic Development Alliance President Chris Manegold says having Northwest in Casper would benefit travelers throughout central Wyoming. He says another airline will bring competition and hoepfully lower airfares. One of the most attractive parts of this proposal is that Northwest would fly jets.
Washington, D.C. – A review of federal records shows nearly three-fourths of the public land leased for oil and gas development in the continential U-S isn't producing any oil or gas. That, even as the Bush administration pushes to open more environmentally sensistive public lands for oil and gas development. Eighty percent of federal lands leased for oil and gas production in Wyoming are producing no oil or gas. Neither are 83 percent of the leased acres in Montana or 77 percent in Utah.
Cheyenne, WY – The Wyoming Department of Agriculture is concerned about the spate of dog poisonings in Teton county. Pesticide Compliance Officer Slade Franklin says the person distributing the poison is using the pesticide Temik, which is used in the sugar beet and potato crop industries. Franklin says the misuse of this pesticide could prompt state or federal officials to restrict its' sale. He says it's also possible the company that manufactures the poison could restrict sales of its product. Franklin says that could be problematic for the agriculture industry.
Jackson, WY – A black bear that became used to raiding garbage cans and bird feeders has been killed near Teton Village. Friday night, the bear got into a garage through a pet door, got into some garbage, and did considerable damage before leaving. The Game and Fish Department decided to euthanize the bear because it would have continued to seek out food in residential areas and remain a safety hazard. Bear management officer Eric Shorma says it was a frustrating incident because the homeowner had already been warned about having bird feeders too close to the ground.
Jackson, WY – Jackson's Mayor says he'll try once again to get a plan to control growth in the town's downtown area enacted. Twice the town council came up with a plan and twice Jackson residents turned down the measures through a referendum. Mayor Mark Barron supported the second proposal, which would change zoning for downtown Jackson. He believes it's too easy for citizens to hold referendums. Barron admits referendums are a fact of life and he's learned the town council must be viligilant about communicating its' intentions and plans to the public.
Laramie, Wy – The lone bid for a plaza in Casper that would display a Ten Commandments monument alongside monuments to five other historical documents has come in 106-thousand dollars over budget. And the bid from Andreen Hunt Construction did NOT include a brook-like water feature the city had wanted for the plaza. That would bring the bid price up to 816-thousand dollars. The city is now left with the decision of either adding to the 600-thousand-dollar budget for the plaza or delaying the project indefinitely.
Laramie, Wy – Devil's Tower National Monument is among 12 national parks and monuments that will operate this summer under some combination of reduced budgets, employees or visitor services. That's according to a recent report by the Coalition of Concerned National Park Service Retirees. Bill Wade is spokesman for the coalition. He says the cuts contrast with a promise by National Park Service Director Fran Mainella in March that visitors will find "outstanding visitor services" at parks.
Laramie, Wy – More students in Wyoming will be going to kindergarten all day in the future. The Department of Education's Kenya Haynes says there are currently 78 schools already offering longer sessions of kindergarten and the legislature set aside money for more districts to try making the change. And Haynes says kids can adapt to the longer day because with most parents working two jobs most children are in day-care for about the same hours as all day kindergarten.