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SCHOOL BUS CAMERAS

Wyoming districts equipping school buses with cameras

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Nearly 60 percent of the school buses in Wyoming now have cameras to help catch motorists who illegally pass a stopped bus.

In 2014, the state Legislature approved $5 million to help school districts equip their buses with outside cameras to identify vehicles illegally passing a bus that is picking up or discharging students.

The effort to equip school buses with cameras was prompted by the 2011 death of an 11-year-old girl struck and killed in Fremont County after getting off a school bus.

Officials say it's too soon to say whether the bus cameras are making it safer for students.

However, an annual one-day count of motorists illegally passing stopped school buses in Wyoming recorded its lowest count since the practice was started in 1999-2000 school year.

CATHOLICS-ENVIRONMENT

Some Wyoming Catholics differ with pope on environment

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - Prominent Roman Catholics in Wyoming agree with Pope Francis' calls to better care for the Earth in his recent letter on the environment.

But some take issue with other parts of the pontiff's message on the climate.

The Holy Father's encyclical discussed the culture of consumerism, poverty and global warming.

Wyoming is the nation's No. 1 producer of coal in the United States and is fifth in natural gas and eighth in oil.

Wyoming Catholic College President Kevin Roberts says in a statement he agreed with parts of the encyclical but found troubling the pope's blaming of free markets on environmental decline.

Wyoming Secretary of State Ed Murray tells the Casper Star-Tribune that he's concerned parts of the pope's letter could be misused by "global alarmists" and others.

UW-FUTURE ENGINEERS

UW professors show students highlights of engineering

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) - The University of Wyoming hosted 36 high school juniors and seniors from around the country this past week.

UW College of Engineering and Applied Science Dean Michael Pishko says the effort seeks to try to increase the number of students that enter into engineering as a career.

In addition, it's a way for UW to attract new students.

Selected students participated in daily classes to learn about the many aspects related to engineering, taught by professors in related fields.

Program director Jeff Anderson tells the Laramie Boomerang that during the weeklong program, students stayed in the dorms and ate at the cafeteria like college freshmen to give them the full UW experience.

UW officials are looking at expanding the program to middle and elementary students.

NIOBRARA FLOODING

Donors raise $71K so far for Niobrara County flood victims

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - The Niobrara Recovery Committee has raised over $71,500 and distributed about $38,800 of that to businesses and homeowners directly affected by the June 4 flood.

Wyoming Homeland Security says the flood destroyed 14 homes, caused major damage to another 38 and some damage to an additional 42 homes. Ten businesses had major damage; another 39 sustained minor damage.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports that at least 31 businesses and 36 individuals had received money as of June 22.

Flood victims must fill out an application, and then someone is sent to assess the damage and see how much the committee can offer.

Once the money is all given away, the recovery committee will shutter and the bank account will be closed.

UW GIFT

$1.8M estate gift benefits UW education students

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) - The University of Wyoming is receiving an estate gift of $1.8 million from former educator Raymond D. Kennedy, of Laramie.

The gift will support scholarships for generations of students enrolled in the UW's College of Education through the Raymond D. Kennedy College of Education Scholarship endowment.

The endowment is one of the largest the UW College of Education has available for its students. It benefits education students with financial need and covers tuition and fees.

In the past, Kennedy has also supported the UW Art Museum and UW Alumni Association scholarships.

He died earlier this year.

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