Rock Springs, Wy – The Wyoming Department of Transportation says it will plow some highways less often this winter because it doesn't have enough snowplow drivers. The agency says it's having trouble filling many snowplow driver jobs because drivers can find better-paying jobs in the energy industry. Experienced truck drivers in the energy industry can earn up to twice the amount of money that the department pays. Statewide, 45 of the department's 391 permanent driver positions are vacant, a rate of about 12 percent.
Laramie, Wy – Families U-S-A found that annual premiums for family health care coverage offered through the workplace in Wyoming increased 119 percent on average during the period. At the same time, median earnings of Wyoming workers increased 18-point-seven percent. According to the organization's report, fast-rising health care costs are causing increasing numbers of people to go into debt and become uninsured or underinsured. The analysis found the high increases in insurance premiums came
Jackson, Wy – An avalanche killed a snowmobiler in Lincoln County over the weekend. The Bridger-Teton National Forest Avalanche Center says two snowmobilers were buried Saturday in the Salt River Range about 40 miles south of Jackson. Rescuers were able to dig up and resuscitate one victim who was buried six feet deep. The person who died was buried by eight to ten feet of snow. The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office has NOT yet released the identities of the victims.
Cheyenne, Wy – Department of Family Services Director Rodger McDaniel is leaving his new post to run Wyoming's Substance Abuse Division. McDaniel was active in developing the states substance abuse plan under Governor Jim Geringer and looks forward to this new assignment. McDaniel says he wants to work on how the state can set up contracts that will offer better treatment for drug users. McDaniel says he also wants to enhance efforts at the local level.
Jackson, Wy – A new Teton County affordable housing development has drawn more than double the applications expected for the limited number of units. The homes sell for 100 thousand and up. That is quite a bit more affordable than typical home prices in the area. Teton County Housing Authority executive director Christine Walker says the community needs much more cheaper housing just to keep the workforce from leaving.