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Oct 10, 2013 - The Associated Press

Cheyenne mulls e-cigarette ban

CHEYENNE -- The Cheyenne City Council is considering an ordinance that would ban the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors.

Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, are metal or plastic battery-powered devices resembling traditional cigarettes that heat a liquid nicotine solution, creating vapor that users inhale. Users get nicotine without the chemicals, tar or odor of regular cigarettes.

The state already has laws banning the sale of e-cigarettes to people under the age of 18.

Councilwoman Georgia Broyles says she introduced the proposal to increase awareness of the dangers of e-cigarette use, especially in minors.

But other council members aren't sure it's needed because the state already bans the devices.

Education board stands firm

CHEYENNE -- The state Board of Education is sticking with new statewide K-12 education standards in English, language arts and math despite critics who say the standards erode local control.

"The state Board of Education's position of being in favor of the Common Core has been reaffirmed," board Chairman Ron Micheli said. "And it will stay that way until there is a change in the position of the board."

Wyoming is among about 45 states that have adopted the Common Core State Standards.

Members of the board heard a presentation Tuesday from Amy Edmonds with the Wyoming Liberty Group, which opposes the new standards.

"We cannot afford to continue down this path of adopting every new 'it' idea proposed as the silver bullet in education improvement," Edmonds said. "Wyoming's citizens, our communities and our mineral wealth all afford us with incredible opportunities to create a system that is world class. We simply need the courage and the vision to do it ourselves."

Edmonds asked the board to consider stopping the rollout or ending the use of the Common Core and returning to a system that better allows for local control.

The state should put a group of Wyoming experts and parents together to create a new set of standards, she said.

She also criticized the state board for how it adopted the standards. She said the public didn't know what was happening at the time.

Members of the board asked no questions of Edmonds.

Others expressed support for the new standards.

Family seeks parking exception

LARAMIE -- The father of a Wyoming National Guard member says there needs to be some leeway on Laramie's abandoned vehicle ordinance for members of the military serving overseas.

John Ysebaert says his son's 1967 Ford Fairlane was twice ordered removed from in front of their home while his son was serving overseas.

National Guard Senior Airman John Scott Ysebaert returned early Wednesday from his second tour abroad. He also served an active duty tour in Iraq for the U.S. Army.

His father has asked the Laramie City Council to consider allowing exceptions to the abandoned vehicle ordinance for extraordinary circumstances.

But Police Chief Dale Stalder said creating an exception would complicate and create conflicts within the ordinance.

The council has not acted on the request.

Opponents dominate coal meeting

VANCOUVER, Wash. -- Judging by the color of their T-shirts, foes of a coal export terminal proposed for Longview, Wash., far outnumbered supporters at a Wednesday night hearing in Vancouver.

The fourth of five statewide hearings drew an estimated 1,000 people, As before, two well-organized groups showed up -- opponents dressed in red and supporters wearing blue.

The $643 million Millennium Bulk Terminals facility would export coal to Asia from the former Reynolds Aluminum smelter site on the Columbia River. First, however, the coal would be shipped to Washington by train from Wyoming's Powder River Basin, the richest coal region in the Western Hemisphere.

Opponents are concerned about environmental risks. Supporters cite job and trade benefits.

Washougal City Councilor Paul Greenlee said increased coal train traffic would cut his town in half and the city is also concerned about coal dust and other pollution issues.

Millennium Bulk Terminals-Longview is owned by Ambre Energy and Arch Coal Inc. It seeks to export as much as 44 million metric tons of coal annually.

The Millennium facility would generate more than 1,000 construction jobs and 135 permanent jobs when complete, the company says.

"We need the jobs," said Washougal resident Dave Ritchey of Laborers Union Local 335. "It's about the jobs, the economy."

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