Casper, Wy – The cost of living in Wyoming is going up faster than the national average. State Economist Justin Ballard says the average Wyoming consumer spent six percent more on their purchases in the fourth quarter of 2007 compared to the year before. Ballard blames the spike on the growing cost of food and transportation nationwide. But he says Wyoming is exceeding national trends because the energy boom also comes with rising housing prices. "People move into these areas and housing is one of the first categories to react to that.
Laramie, Wy – In an effort to improve patient safety, the Wyoming health care commission is going to ask the legislature to form a group that will gather more data on medical errors. The idea is to use the data to reduce medical errors in the future. Doctor Jack Glode says despite laws that require the reporting of medical errors, Wyoming medical providers have under reported such incidents for fear of lawsuits. Glode says they are proposing a group that would help gather more data.
Laramie, WY – Governor Dave Freudenthal and First Lady Nancy Freudenthal will travel to China next week. The Governor says during his 10 days in China, he'll visit a General Electric research center in Shanghai, which is focused on sub-bituminous coals, including Powder River Basin coals.
The University of Wyoming and GE announced earlier this year that they plan to develop a coal gasification research plant in Wyoming.
Pinedale, Wy – Wyoming hunters and ranchers killed at least three gray wolves within the first three days of the animals' removal from the federal endangered species list. Wyoming, Montana and Idaho took over management of wolves within their borders on Friday. That's when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ended protection of the animals under the Endangered Species Act. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department says a male and female wolf were killed Friday near an elk feedground in the Pinedale area in Sublette County.
Cheyenne, Wy – Wyoming has seen a significant decrease in the number housing permits issued in the past 12 months. State Economist Jim Robinson says the past year has seen a 92 percent drop in permits compared to the year before. But he says some aspects of the state's housing industry are still strong compared to national trends. "Other aspects are still in pretty good shape in terms of foreclosures where that's been a problem in different parts of the country, and also the decline of housing prices. We're not seeing that in Wyoming so that's the good news. "
Washington D-C – The powerful American Medical Association is meeting in Washington. Today the group heard from Wyoming's John Barrasso, one of just a pair of physicians in the Senate. UN TIME: 45 seconds Barrasso is an orthopedic surgeon, and like many in his field he bristles at the high cost of malpractice insurance. He told a receptive AMA audience that for him, tort reform is a key part of health reform.
Democrats have resisted efforts to limit awards for injured patients. Another issue affecting Wyoming is the dwindling number of doctors willing to practice there.
Jackson , Wy – A National Transportation Safety Board spokesman says two United Airlines A320 planes that skidded off runways in recent months had crossed wiring in their main landing gear. The most recent incident occurred February 25 when a United flight with 125 people aboard slid off the runway after landing in Jackson Hole. The plane ended up in three feet of snow. No one was seriously hurt, although one passenger sprained a wrist while trying to open an emergency exit.
Casper, Wy – Wyoming Speaker of the House Roy Cohee is making a historic decision. Traditionally those who have served as speaker of the house have either retired from the legislature or run for another office. But Speaker of the House Roy Cohee has decided that he will try and get re-elected to his house seat. Cohee says he would like to add to the legislatures institutional memory. If elected, it would be Cohee's sixth term representing Casper.
Laramie, Wy – A national effort has kicked off that is attempting to once and for all help longtime smokers quit. Wyoming has joined the Become an EX Campaign that uses web based resources and phone numbers to give smokers the ability to stop smoking. Campaign Spokeswoman Julie Cartright says that in a place like Wyoming help is needed.
Laramie, WY – A state epidemiologist says a recent study of mining communities in West Virginia should not worry people in Wyoming. The study found that West Virginians living near coal mines have higher-than-normal rates of chronic heart, lung, and kidney diseases.