THE CASPER STAR-TRIBUNE NEWSROOM OVERWHELMINGLY VOTED IN FAVOR OF FORMING A UNION TUESDAY, THE FIRST TIME WYOMING’S STATEWIDE PAPER HAS UNIONIZED IN ITS 127-YEAR HISTORY.

HEATHER RICHARDS IS THE ENERGY REPORTER AT THE CASPER-STAR TRIBUNE AND WAS AMONG THOSE IN THE CASPER NEWS GUILD WHO VOTED IN FAVOR OF THE UNION, THE FIRST IN THE PAPER'S 127-YEAR HISTORY

THE STAR-TRIBUNE ALSO IS THE FIRST PROPERTY TO UNIONIZE WHILE OWNED BY ITS PARENT COMPANY LEE ENTERPRISES.

RICHARDS, WHO SAID SHE WAS SPEAKING ONLY FOR HERSELF, SAID THE UNION WILL BE GOOD FOR THE NEWSROOM EMPLOYEES WHO WILL HAVE PROTECTIONS FOR THEIR WAGES AND BENEFITS, AND GOOD FOR THE CITY AND STATE.
A COLLECTIVE AGREEMENT WILL ALLOW THE STAFF TO HAVE A VOICE IN THE EVENT OF FUTURE LAYOFFS OR COST-CUTTING MEASURES, AND IT WILL ENABLE THE STAFF TO SPEAK DIRECTLY TO READERS SO BUSINESS DECISIONS BY LEE ENTERPRISES THAT HURT WYOMING WILL NOT GO UNNOTICED.

DURING THE TIME LEADING TO THE VOTE, THE CASPER NEWS GUILD SAID COMMUNICATION BETWEEN MANAGEMENT AND EMPLOYEES WAS OPEN AND RESPECTFUL.

THE UNION WILL BE THE NINTH UNIT OF THE DENVER NEWSPAPER GUILD, COMMUNICATION WORKERS OF AMERICA LOCAL 37074.
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A PROPOSAL TO COLLECT A FEE AT YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK TO FUND WILDLIFE CONSERVATION EFFORTS IN THE STATES SURROUNDING THE PARK HAS PASSED THE WYOMING HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.

THE MEASURE, WHICH ALSO APPLIES TO NEIGHBORING GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK, WAS APPROVED TUESDAY AND NOW HEADS TO THE STATE SENATE FOR MORE DEBATE.

PROPONENTS SAY THE IDEA IS TO GENERATE MONEY FOR WYOMING, MONTANA AND IDAHO TO DEAL WITH ISSUES LIKE WILDLIFE COLLISIONS, DISEASE AND MIGRATION ROUTES.

THE WYOMING RESOLUTION DOES NOT SPECIFY HOW THE FEE WOULD BE ASSESSED OR WHAT THE AMOUNT WOULD BE.

SINCE ONLY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CAN IMPOSE FEES IN NATIONAL PARKS, THE RESOLUTION SEEKS TO START A CONVERSATION ABOUT THE IDEA BETWEEN THE THREE STATES AND THE U.S. INTERIOR DEPARTMENT AND THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE.
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THE WYOMING SENATE ON WEDNESDAY IS SLATED TO TAKE UP ON THIRD AND FINAL READING A BILL THAT TRIES TO DEFINE WHAT AMOUNTS OF EDIBLE AND DRINKABLE MARIJUANA PRODUCTS ARE NEEDED TO CHARGE SOMEONE WITH A FELONY. ALBANY COUNTY DEMOCRATIC SENATOR CHRIS ROTHFUSS ON TUESDAY SAID THE BILL DOESN'T WORK AS IT IS CURRENTLY WRITTEN..

LAWMAKERS HAVE WRESTLED WITH THE ISSUE FOR YEARS, AND FELONY POSSESSION CHARGES FOR EDIBLE AND DRINKABLE POT PRDUCTS HAVE BEEN THROWN OUT OF COURT IN WYOMING BECUASE JUDGES SAY THE CURRENT LAW ON THE MATTER IS UNCLEAR.
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A JUDGE HAS FOUND A WYOMING OUTFITTER NOT GUILTY OF ANIMAL CRUELTY IN HIS TREATMENT OF A HORSE.
TETON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE JAMES RADDA FILED THE VERDICT ON TUESDAY, ABOUT TWO WEEKS AFTER A BENCH TRIAL WAS HELD IN JACKSON.

FOREST STEARNS WAS CITED WITH CRUELTY TO ANIMALS BY THE TETON COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE LAST AUGUST AFTER A VIDEO TAKEN BY A NEIGHBOR SHOWED ONE OF STEARNS' HORSES TIED TO A FENCEPOST AND LYING ON ITS SIDE.

MOST ARGUMENTS DURING TRIAL CENTERED ON HOW LONG THE HORSE WAS TIED DOWN AND WHETHER THAT ACT WAS CRUEL AND CAUSED THE HORSE'S DEATH.

RADDA SAID IN HIS RULING THAT TESTIMONY DIDN'T CONVINCE HIM THAT THE HORSE WAS TORTURED.