Laramie, Wy – Authorities say there is no evidence of foul play in the death of a Lander woman last week. The body of Ann Wagner was found late Friday in her locked vehicle. Police say she was in the back seat slumped over with no visible injuries and among numerous prescription drug bottles. The exact cause of her death will be determined during an autopsy, but toxicology reports will not be available for several weeks.
Gillette, WY – Wyoming's Democratic Governor says the state's Democrats should distance themselves from liberal national party leaders. Dave Freudenthal addressed about 75 state Democrats Saturday night in a meeting that was attended by a Democratic National Committee vice chairman. Freudenthal says Wyoming Democrats should focus on local issues that relate to Wyoming residents. DNC Vice Chairman Mike Honda of California acknowledged that the national organization had lost touch at the federal level. But Honda was careful to outline a role for the party in future elections.
Ft. Worth, TX – The US Military response to Hurricane Rita includes a helicopter search and rescue unit from FE Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne. Crews deployed Saturday morning and Wyoming Public Radio's Kristin Espeland is embedded with the 37th Helo Unit. She reports the unit has had some difficulty joining the mobilization. A broken down truck and changing orders from Air Force Command has delayed their arrival in the Houston area. Their mission will be to fly search and rescue flights, if needed.
Cheyenne, WY – Wyoming's population is growing with plenty of jobs available, but the number of school-age children continues to slide. Between 2000 and 2004, the state's population grew 2.5%, but the number of youths aged 19 and under fell from 145,000 in 2000 to 133,000 in 2004. Economists say the disconnect comes from the types of jobs in the state and on the state's demographics in general. Most of the new jobs are in oil and gas production. Those jobs typically attract young, single male workers or married workers with children who are not moving their families to the state.
Wyoming – The new Hathaway Scholarship Program will give out millions of dollars each year to help Wyoming high school graduates pay for college. But, it's unknown right now if this will encourage more students to seek higher education or be a gift to those who would attend the University of Wyoming or a state community college anyway.
Warren Air Force Base called upon to response to Hurricane Rita
Fort Worth, Texas – Three helicopter crews from F.E. Warren Air Force Base were called upon as part of the U.S. military response to Hurricane Rita. Wyoming Public Radio's Kristin Espeland is embedded with the 37th Helo Unit and she speaks with Aaron Alpern from outside of Fort Worth, Texas
Wyoming – Wyoming is getting older. U.S. census data shows that today people over the age of 65 make up about 12% of the state's population. By the year 2020 they'll account for nearly 20%. Now couple this with another trend Wyoming faces one of the nation's worst nurse shortages and we're particularly short of long term care nurses. Wyoming Public Radio's Kristin Espeland reports on the coming crisis
Cheyenne, Wy – One issue the Governor hopes legislators give a little more support to is providing more impact money to communities affected by mineral development. In the past couple of years, lawmakers have either ignored or have given limited funds to address the number of ways communities in energy rich areas have been impacted. Governor Dave Freudenthal calls it a critical problem that must be addressed. Freudenthal says the state used to help communities with millions of dollars of coal impact money.