Laramie, Wy – The state's bucking horse and rider logo is safe for now. A charity from Texas was challenging Wyoming's ownership of the logo, but Thursday the group and the state announced they have reached a compromise. Secretary of State Joe Meyer says defending the trademark was expensive, costing the state over $100,000. Meyer says he does not think it is likely that any other group will ever challenge the state's ownership of the logo. Especially because they often let charities use the image.
Cheyenne, WY – The federal government is reminding states they need to spend or earmark education money by September 30th or lose it. In Wyoming, officials are sawying they anticipate spending all of the state's share. Department of Education Finance Director Fred Hansen says in the past, there have been a few times when they didn't spend all the funds the federal government earmarked for Wyoming. But he says most school districts are familiar with federal programs and certainly have planned to apply for the federal money.
Laramie, WY – Wyoming State Forester Bill Crapser says recent wet weather doesn't mean predictions about a severe fire season ahead are wrong. Crapser says the recent moisture has been good for farmers, ranchers and homeowners, but it can also be a curse. He says rain can help firefighters get control of blazes. But Crapser says it also promotes the growth of fine fuels and when those fuels dry out, the fire danger increases. He says the rains have done nothing to replenish the moisture in trees following years of drought.
Cheyenne, WY – Slow-moving thunderstorms drenched parts of central and southeastern Wyoming Wednesday. The National Weather Service issued flash flood warnings for several counties including southern parts of Cheyenne, which picked up two inches of rain. Officially, Cheyenne recorded six-tenths of an inch. Rawlins picked up more than a half inch of rain, a record for that date in the city. Riverton received from a quarter to a half inch of rain. Flash Flood Warnings were issued for Fremont, Albany, Laramie and Platte counties through Wednesday evening.
Laramie, WY – The authors of a new report on sage grouse and sagebrush habitat are not optimistic about the bird's future. The U-S Fish and Wildlife Service commissioned the Western Association of Fish and Game Agencies to conduct the study. Idaho Fish and Game Biologist Jack Connelly says both human and natural forces have combined to fragment habitat. He says sage grouse are used to wide open spaces and such things as subdivision development, energy development, grazing and the invasion of cheat grass have impacted the landscape.
Cheyenne, WY – As Wyoming lawmakers search for solutions for what many call a health care crisis, one plan still on the table is subsidizing doctors. The Legislature's appropriations committee is still considering plans to help doctors pay the cost of medical malpractice insurance. Laramie Senator Mike Mass sponsors one of the proposals he says it needed because it is an emergency. Massie's plan would give all doctors in Wyoming up to 35 thousand dollars to cover premiums. Another plan would only help specific doctors.
Laramie, WY – Some doctors and Wyoming lawmakers are discussing a new plan that would solve the health care crisis in the state. Cody Doctor Bo Johnson likes the idea of doctors forming a group called a Risk Retention Pool. He says he and other doctors could then pay for their own insurance and by-pass the high rates private insurers are charging. Johnson says to get the venture going, the doctors group interested in the proposal would need a 25 million dollar loan from the state.