Gillette, Wy – Campbell County plans to ask the state for 250-thousand dollars to design an addition to the overcrowded county jail. The jail was built for 128 inmates. But it has set several crowding records recently, including 170 people over the weekend. Sheriff Bill Pownall says he expects the jail population to increase by about 20 percent per year as the population of northeast Wyoming continues to grow. In the meantime, the jail has had to rely on temporary beds and by putting inmates in the infirmary.
Washington D-C – Senator Craig Thomas is criticizing the Bush administration for proposing cuts to coal research and technology programs. Thomas shared his concerns with Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman at a congressional hearing today (Thursday). Thomas said the economy can't afford to -- in his words -- "kick out fossil fuels overnight." President Bush emphasized the use of more renewable fuels in his State of the Union speech last week. But Thomas said he is concerned that the budget puts too much
Laramie, Wy – Governor Dave Freudenthal says the budget proposed by President Bush would mean Wyoming could have to spend more. Freudenthal says in particular the budget would impact programs in the Department of Health and Family Services. He says what the administration did with rural health care is absurd. Freudenthal says he is glad that Senator Craig Thomas is going to fight efforts to cut the rural health care program.
Laramie, Wy – Natural gas development is starting to move into Carbon County. That and the proximity of the other gas fields mean lots of job opportunities. The Recruiting Manager for the Department of Corrections, Brenda Reedy, says the prison in Rawlins has lost staff to higher paying jobs in the energy industry. This has left 70 positions open.
Laramie, Wy – Wal Mart is moving forward with opening a Supercenter in Rawlins. The senior manager for Wal Mart public affairs in Wyoming, Grey McGinnis, says they choose sites mostly based on consumer feedback. McGinnis says he's not sure when construction might begin as they are still in the approval process with the city of Rawlins. But, he says things are going forward.
Laramie, Wy – The federal government is trying out a new rating system for winter storms. In the Northeast part of the country they are ranking storms from one to five after they hit. The scoring involves the amount of snowfall, area affected and number of people impacted. Cheyenne National Weather Service meteorologist, John Griffith, says this does not aid people preparing for a storm because it is only used after the fact, so people would still have to rely on advisories from the National Weather Service to judge the potential impact of a storm.