Cheyenne, Wy – The Wyoming Department of Employment says it paid out more than $161 million in unemployment benefits last year, the highest amount since 1982. The department says more than 37,300 people lost their jobs in Wyoming in 2009 and collected unemployment insurance during the year. By the end of the year, more than 12,000 people had exhausted their regular unemployment benefits. The largest increase in unemployment benefits resulted from lost jobs in the mining industry, up more than 340 percent compared to 2008.
Sheridan, Wy – A search committee has received 35 applications for the Northern Wyoming Community College District presidency and is narrowing the list down to three candidates for campus visits. Search Committee Chair Kati Sherwood told district board trustees on Thursday that the group hopes to have three finalists named by May 10. Jon Connolly, the Northwest College District's vice president of student affairs, has served as interim president since former President Kevin Drumm left in December.
Jackson Hole, Wy – Jackson Hole Mountain Resort says skier visits were off five and a half percent this year. But the resort is exceeding the 400-thousand visitor mark for the fourth year in a row. Resort spokesman Zahan Billimoria says that's a success given the lack of snow. "It was a very dry start to the winter season there's no getting around that um the first 55 days of the season were arguably the lowest in the last 30 years."
Arapaho, Wy – Federal authorities have charged two men in connection with death of a 13-year-old girl whose body was found on the Wind River Indian Reservation earlier this month. U.S. Attorney Christopher A. Crofts said in a news release Friday that 19-year-old Kyeren Tillman, of Arapahoe, has been charged with sexual abuse of a minor. He says 21-year-old Robert Spoonhunter, also of Arapahoe, has been charged with assault resulting in serious bodily injury. Crofts says the investigation into the girl's death continues.
Laramie, WY – The Wyoming Highway Patrol says they have arrested a suspected kidnapper after a high speed chase south of Casper this afternoon. And Interstate 25 on the north edge of Casper was closed because of a two vehicle crash that brought the chase to a close.
Yesterday (Thursday), law enforcement from Colorado sent out a bulletin to watch for a kidnap suspect. A man had allegedly forcibly kidnapped a woman and her two children.