Laramie, Wy – The national weather service says a tornado touched down in Laramie this (Thursday) afternoon causing minor damage and leading to several traffic accidents along interstate 80. Commander Dale Stalder of the Laramie Police Department says the damage occurred in the far eastern part of town. we had houses and an apartment building severely damaged, trees, light poles and lost power for a lot of residents. But we are a lot better off then northern Colorado. Officials say one person was killed during a tornado in Windsor, Colorado.
Laramie, WY – Child advocates say a severe shortage of child care providers in Wyoming means many parents are leaving their kids with illegal providers.
Jan Lawrence directs a child care center in Laramie. She says some child care providers do not get licensed because they have a criminal record, and want to avoid a background check. Or, their license has been revoked.
Lawrence encourages people to report unlicensed providers in their communities.
Baggs, WY – Efforts to build up the banks of the Little Snake River have so far prevented flooding in the town of Baggs. Mayor Linda Corners says the Wyoming National Guard has helped fill 2-thousand sandbags, and state Homeland Security adn the Army Corps of Engineers are also helping out.
Officials say low-lying pasture land in southern Carbon County near Baggs has seen some flooding, but there were no reports of injuries or property damage.
Baggs, WY – Members of the Wyoming Army National Guard and local volunteers are working to shore up the banks of the Little Snake River near Baggs as high waters continue to threaten the southern Wyoming town.
Mayor Linda Corners says water had not breached any of the diversion dikes and there is no water in the town.
Today's peak river level never exceeded yesterday's peak.
Abundant snowpack in the Sierra Madre mountain range and warm temperatures have made for high levels of runoff in the river basin.
Cheyenne, WY – Williams natural gas company said today that it plans to double the processing capacity and production of natural gas liquid at its Echo Springs plant in southern Wyoming.
The Tulsa, Okla.-based company says it will spend up to 233 million dollars to expand the plant, which processes gas from the Washakie Basin. Williams plans to start construction next year and finish in late 2010, pending necessary permits.
Cody, WY – The superintendent of Yellowstone National Park says early signs point to a strong tourist season this summer.
Superintendent Suzanne Lewis says she's optimistic, despite the high gas prices, because reservations are at the same level or ahead of last year. She noted that 2007 was a record year for Yellowstone, with visitation up 10 percent.
Lewis spoke Monday during National Parks Day, a traditional summer tourism kickoff event in Cody.