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Today’s First News

Submitted by admin on April 29, 2010 – 8:17 am3 Comments

By News Director Leslie Stratmoen

RIVERTON, Wyo. – Both Superintendent Craig Beck of District 25 schools in Riverton and Fremont County Commissioner Dennis Heckart were on Chit Chat yesterday. Beck gave listeners an update on the PAWS situation and Heckart said the county is facing a 15-20 percent shortfall in its budget.

 The PAWS situation refers to the state’s proficiency test for students that was developed as part of the No Child Left Behind Act. The test which has been used for the past five years, and has seen its glitches was fraught with problems this spring when the Pearson Company took over its administration. And though the state’s superintendent Jim McBride has asked the Pearson company to fit the bill for damages, he plans to continue using PAWS, which stands for Proficiency Assessment for Wyoming Students. Beck thinks it should be scrapped.

VOICER – Beck 

As for the county’s budget shortfall, Heckart said the commission has asked all its county departments to pare back their budgets and said there will be no raises in salaries. The 15-20-percent shortfall means a drop of about $4 million dollars from last year’s budget which was $38 million.

The commissioner said the county should be able to function as usual and provide all services the citizens have come to expect because about $5 million was set aside last year in anticipation of the drop in revenues. He said he doesn’t expect to see any cuts in staff.

In other news coming in from around the state — we’re hearing that only a handful of demonstrators showed up on the University of Wyoming campus in Laramie to protest the speech of 1960s radical William Ayers, and a plan involving the slaughter of horses has become a hard sell.

WYOMING-AYERS

     Ayers draws crowd at UW appearance, few protesters   

     LARAMIE, Wyo.  - In Laramie at the university, about 10 protesters gathered outside a school gymnasium entrance Wednesday night, carrying American flags and denouncing Ayers for his anti-war activities in the Vietnam War era.

     Ayers noted that the First Amendment was alive and well as he opened the 50-minute address that went off without a hitch.

     Other than that remark, his talk focused on conventional ways to improve educational access for all groups of people, stressing that the urban poor were still too often short changed when it came to opportunities for education.

     The prospect of Ayers’ visit provoked a tide of angry reaction from some critics in Wyoming, a state which is known as conservative-leaning because it’s voted for every Republican presidential candidate since 1968. The university tried to refuse rental of space for the event by citing safety concerns, but a federal judge overruled that attempt. 

HORSE SLAUGHTER

     Plan seeks slaughter of horses that don’t sell     

     CHEYENNE, Wyo. – The horse slaughter plan making the news could include using a Cheyenne stockyard as a holding bin for unwanted animals. It’s a state representative who’s behind the move that would allow the Wyoming Livestock Board to slaughter unwanted horses.

Republican state Rep. Sue Wallis of Recluse is executive director of the United Organizations of the Horse, the nonprofit group pursuing the plan. She sponsored a bill in the February legislative session that makes the plan possible.

Wallis says United Organizations of the Horse is in talks with the Wyoming Livestock Board over the plan. Under the plan, horses would be screened and provided rehabilitation, training or slaughter, depending on their condition. The state representative says the meat would be primarily marketed for zoo feed and pets, but could also be sold for human consumption in the state.

With contributions from The Associated Press

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3 Comments

Comment by dickie
2010-04-29 10:09:13

Groups like PETA have confronted folks with horses with the dilemma of what to do with their horses once they’ve become old or broken. Making use of a resource (horse meat) is out of the politically correct question. But, as always, I’ve got the answer. Let’s put these old or crippled buggers to good use by trucking them up to the nearest wolf pack. Stimulus money could be appropriated for truckers. Truckers would be happy. The wolves would be fat and happy. Elk, deer, bison and other such nervous ungulates would be happy. Wolf introductionists would be happy. And, most importantly I would be happy since somebody finally listened to my sage advice.

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Comment by King Tut
2010-04-30 08:03:17

Mr Beck
I think your right … scrap that program
Cost without results (positive results) puts us back to square zero.

Commissioner Heckart
I assume the commission won’t every ‘banks’ dollar but, only where “absolutely” necessary?
Sure hope so.
If that were the commissions intended plans?
Then, good action was applied last year.

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Comment by King Tut
2010-04-30 08:05:58

Sorry about that
I assume the commission won’t every ‘banks’ dollar but, only where “absolutely” necessary?

should have read
I assume the commission won’t spend every ‘banked’ dollar but, only where “absolutely” necessary?

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