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Today’s First News Live with Leslie Stratmoen

Submitted by Newsroom on February 8, 2011 – 7:37 amNo Comment

Today’s First News Live – Basketball battles cancer ….. Applications still accepted for heat bills ….. Senators seek $100 billion in deficit reduction ….. Interior asks Mont. judge to allow bison slaughter ….. BLM denies request to change coal leasing process ….. CLICK HERE

CANCER FUND-RAISER

Basketball battles cancer

By News Director Leslie Drollinger Stratmoen

RIVERTON, Wyo. — Local firefighters are battling cancer with basketball. A challenge match between the Riverton and Lander fire departments has been set for March 12, with the proceeds going to a local organization that raises money for cancer patients and their families. The money is used to pay for expenses not covered by insurance.

The game starts at 6:30 that night and will be played at the Riverton High School. A family of four can get in for $15. Individual tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children. They’ll be available at the door or in advance at the Riverton fire hall on Broadway.

Dave Woolery

Organizer Dave Woolery said businesses can support the cause with a donation of as little as $50 or an item that can be auctioned off the night of the game.

HEATING ASSISTANCE

Applications still being accepted for heat bills

     CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) – If you’re needing help staying warm, the state Department of Family services says it’s not too late for low income residents to apply for help with paying energy bills this winter.

Applications for help through the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program will be accepted up until midnight of Feb. 28.

Applications are available at local senior centers, local Department of Family Services field offices, and via the state web site.

FEDERAL BUDGET

Senators seek $100 billion in deficit reduction

By News Director Leslie Drollinger Stratmoen

WASHINGTON, D.C. – United States Senator Mike Enzi of Wyoming says he’s working hard to make sure extension funding includes $100 billion in spending reductions to help bring down the deficit.

He’s moving fast, he said, because the sobering reality as Congress continues to spend blindly is that funding for the federal government will run out on March 4.

In an effort to rein in excessive federal spending and eliminate the national debt, Enzi and 10 other senators have offered a funding resolution containing $100 billion in reductions to House Speaker John Boehner. Enzi went even further, with the support of fellow Wyoming Republican, Sen. John Barrasso, to support a cut of at least five percent in the Senate budget.

Since the Democrats control the Senate, Enzi said: “We need the House-passed continuing resolution to be as bold as possible in order to strengthen the hand of Senate conservatives in increasing or maintaining spending reductions.

   YELLOWSTONE BISON SLAUGHTER

     Interior asks Mont. judge to allow bison slaughter

     BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) – The Department of Interior is asking a federal judge in Montana not to intervene in the impending slaughter of potentially hundreds of wild bison that were captured after migrating out of Yellowstone National Park.

     In court documents filed Monday, attorneys for the agency said stopping the slaughter would allow bison to enter parts of Montana, where they could spread the disease brucellosis to livestock. The agency also says the “massive wild animals” could cause property damage, compete with livestock for grazing and destroy crops.

     Almost 400 bison are being held in corrals along the park’s northern border. Animals testing positive for exposure to brucellosis face shipment to slaughter. Last week, wildlife advocates asked U.S. District Judge Charles Lovell to block those shipments, saying bison could be safely managed outside the park.

     WYOMING COAL LEASING

     BLM denies request to change coal leasing process

     The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has denied a petition by environmental groups to change how it sells access to the nation’s most productive coal deposits.

     Since 1990, the government has allowed the coal industry to nominate deposits to mine in the Powder River Basin in Wyoming and Montana.

     In 2009, the groups WildEarth Guardians and the Sierra Club, asked the BLM to change the policy so the BLM alone would decide which coal reserves to sell.

     The groups say that would help create more competition for the leases while improving oversight of coal’s contribution to climate change.

     BLM Director Bob Abbey says the existing process provides an “optimum” public return. He also says limiting coal mining in one area would not affect worldwide coal use or climate change.

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