Dubois, WY – There's been another death in Iraq with ties to Wyoming. Marine Private First Class Chance R. Phelps died after he was shot in the head Friday while battling insurgents west of Baghdad. Phelps lived in Dubois as a youngster, than moved to Colorado with his mother while he was in grade school. His father, John, still lives in Dubois. Local residents are expressing shock at the death.
Casper, Wy – America needs affordable health care and strong economic and energy policies. That's according to a Casper attorney who is expected to become the latest Democrat to join the U-S House race. John Henley has scheduled news conferences tomorrow (Tuesday) in Casper and Cheyenne regarding his candidacy. Henley was born and raised in Evanston and obtained a degree in accounting from American University in Washington, D-C, in 1978. He graduated from the University of Wyoming Law School in 1981.
Gillette, WY – Governor Freudenthal says the coal-bed methane industry needs to address water quality if it expects the boom in northeast Wyoming to continue. Freudenthal recently toured the Powder River Basin and says if something isn't done soon to improve water quality; there will be more stock ponds than cattle. Methane drilling is moving away from Gillette, where the water discharged from wells is relatively pure, and into an area where the water contains more salt.
Laramie, Wy – A former U-S Senator and member of the National Security Commission says that commission warned of terrorist attacks on American soil two years before 9-11. Gary Hart told this to an audience on the campus of the University of Wyoming. He also says he's shocked no one was fired after the attacks. The National Security Commission Hart sat on started work in October of 1998 and reported to Presidents Bush and Clinton about imminent attacks that could mean thousands of civilian casualties.
Laramie, Wy – Yellowstone National Park is drawing criticism from conservation groups regarding the height of cell phone towers there. Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility say a tower near Old Faithful is twice as high as originally planned. Park spokesperson Cheryl Mathews says they are in the process of creating an antenna management plan; it will look at any existing or proposed cell phone towers.
Casper, Wy – Democratic U-S House candidate Ron Akin is suspending his campaign because of financial troubles. Akin says he has not raised enough money to continue, and that he has found it increasingly difficult to mount a viable campaign. Republican incumbent Barbara Cubin defeated Akin two years ago by a 61 percent to 36 percent margin, but he carried her hometown of Casper and lost in Natrona County by one vote.
Cody, WY – The tourism industry is closely watching the nation's rising gas prices. Predictions of $2 per gallon and higher are being made for Wyoming, which gets most of its tourists from the so-called drive market. Thom Huge is the Communications Director at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center. The BBHC's visitation numbers have been on an upswing in recent years, but Huge says there is some concern that gas prices could cut into this season. He says prices at the pump are always an issue, but its impacts are hard to predict.
Casper, WY – The Casper-Natrona County Public Health Department is celebrating its 50th anniversary next week. During its history, staff has prevented an outbreak of diphtheria, vaccinated people for many other infectious diseases and done work on chronic health problems. Director Bob Harrington says one major health crisis they dealt with happened last summer when there was an outbreak of Hepatitis B and C among methamphetamine users. It was so serious the Centers for Disease Control sent investigators.