Rock Springs, WY – Three Wyoming communities are looking to Michigan as they try to address major workforce shortages. Economic development agencies from Rock Springs, Casper, and Gillette will hold job fairs in Michigan at the end of the month. Pat Robbins is the Director of the Sweetwater Economic Development Association. She says the Detroit area is experiencing widespread layoffs in the automotive industry. General Motors recently announced it will lay off about six-thousand employees. Robbins says the plan is to visit Flint, Jackson, and Lansing.
Lararmie, Wy\\ – Last year the state Legislature put money into a trust fund to benefit animals around the state. Now the board overseeing the trust is ready to accept applications to use interest from that fund. The Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust Executive Director is Bob Budd. He says the board will rank applications based on a number of criteria: wildlife and natural resource attributes, longevity of the project and partnerships involved.
Lararmie, Wy – The U-S Supreme Court refused to hear the case of a Wyoming woman charged with the 1977 shooting death of her husband. The decision came down today. It means Rita Ann Humphrey's murder trial will proceed. It's scheduled to begin in March in Casper. Humphrey had contended that her constitutional right to a speedy trial would be violated if she was put on trial for the killing.
Laramie, Wy – The Wyoming Department of Family Services wants to pay foster parents more. Rodger McDaniel, department director, told members of the legislature that his department needs a 4-point-9 million dollar increase in state and federal money for foster care expenses for the coming two years. McDaniel said he believes it's been 25 years since the state increased the 400-dollar monthly fee per child it pays foster parents. His budget request is based on having 762 foster children in DFS custody.
Laramie, Wy – One of Wyoming's busiest airports will have a new terminal in the next five years. Cody's Yellowstone Regional Airport saw a 34-percent increase in passenger numbers from 2003 to 2004 with additional gains over the last year as well. Airport Manager Mike Becker says their terminal cannot accommodate current traffic, much less a continued growth in travelers. Becker says a new terminal is an important step for the future of the airport.
Riverton, WY – Some residents of Riverton, Shoshoni and other Fremont County communities are talking about forming their own county. The move is in response to the fact the towns feel disenfranchised by the county government. The idea of Wind River County was pitched to the Riverton City Council. The crux of the matter is how just over half of Fremont County's residents live in towns, but the county doesn't evenly share its income with the towns. Funding for the Riverton Regional Airport was apparently the last straw.
Laramie, WY – A state lawmaker will introduce legislation to outlaw hazing or bullying on college campuses. Laramie Representative Jane Warren wrote the bill at the request of some fraternity members at the University of Wyoming. Warren says no particular incident prompted the bill. But she says it's possible that hazing has been taking place in Wyoming and the victims haven't been willing to talk about it.
Gillette, WY – Governor Freudenthal believes Wyoming's tight labor market should help efforts to build a vocational-technical institute in Gillette. Supporters of the proposal are seeking funding from the Legislature. The Governor's proposed budget includes 15 (M) million dollars toward a 30-(M)-million-dollar vocational school at the Gillette Campus of Sheridan College. The project comes amid booming energy development that has caused severe shortages of trained workers. Freudenthal says the center could help solve that problem.
Lander, WY – A retired military weapons engineer from Lander will seek the Democratic nomination for U-S Senate. 61-year-old Dale Groutage is scheduled to formally announce his plans on Wednesday in Casper. Groutage is the first person to challenge for the seat now held by Republican Craig Thomas. Groutage is a Rock Springs native who holds three degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Wyoming. He spent 34 years designing missile systems and submarines for the U-S Navy.