Laramie, Wy – Laramie police have spent a lot of time talking about how they will enforce Laramie's new smoking ordinance. It goes into effect on Wednesday and smoking will no longer be allowed in Public buildings inside city limits. Jeff Bury of the Laramie Police Department says most of the enforcement will come from health inspectors and others who will ask business owners to remove ashtrays and that type of thing. But otherwise, Bury says they will enforce it like they do most things.
Gillette, WY – Some changes to an economic development agency in northeastern Wyoming could help business recruitment in the area's smaller counties. Six counties are part of the Northeast Wyoming Economic Development Coalition. They include bigger counties like Campbell, Converse, and Natrona, as well as the smaller Crook, Weston, and Niobrara Counties. The organization's work is currently handled by the Campbell County Economic Development Corporation.
Baggs, WY – Housing for teachers is becoming a problem in the town of Baggs. Natural gas drilling has put housing in short supply in the Carbon County town. School Superintendent Peggy Sanders says a science teacher was recently offered a contract in Baggs, but turned the job down because of housing. In response, Sanders says two or three modular homes could be placed in Baggs by this fall to provide housing for teachers.
Riverton, WY – The gym at Lincoln Elementary School in Riverton has been closed due to termite damage. The gym is used for physical education and as a lunchroom, but a structural engineer says it's unsafe, and has recommended evacuating the entire building if eight or more inches of snow accumulates on the roof. Students will now have to eat in their classrooms.
Laramie, Wy – The city of Laramie is only days away from the date set to start enforcing the smoking ban in restaurants, bars and public businesses. But, many questions are still unknown. A judge could rule that the city can't enforce the ban until after a trial contesting the referendum on the ban. And Laramie officials still have to finish rules for how the law will work. City attorney Peggy Trent, says if the ban goes into effect Wednesday as it is set for, despite a lack of official rules, police officers could enforce the law.
Laramie, Wy – The executive director of a leading Wyoming nonprofit group is retiring. Tom Throop has headed the Equality State Policy Center since 1998. He says he's stepping down to spend more time with his elderly parents and to travel with his wife. The center's chairwoman, Sarah Gorin, says Throop's organizational skills brought the group into a high-profile position as Wyoming's "good government watchdog."
Cheyenne, Wy – Wyoming Bishop David Ricken remembers Pope John Paul the second as compassionate and someone who tried to encourage reconciliation. Ricken says he had a special bond with the Pope after working in the Vatican for four years. The Pope later ordained him a Bishop. I have a beautiful picture of him laying his hands on my head during my ordination. So I have always felt a very special kinship towards him. Especially for his courage and his strong stands on things that are sometimes controversial.
Cheyenne, WY – The state of Wyoming now has the nation's lowest unemployment rate. The Wyoming Department of Employment reports the jobless rate fell to 2.9% in February. Hawaii has the second lowest rate at 3.0%, followed by North Dakota and Virginia at 3.3%. Nationwide, unemployment was 5.4% in February. Some 5,900 jobs were created in Wyoming in February when compared to a year ago. The Department of Employment says high energy prices are producing the continued economic growth. Jobs in the Natural Resources & Mining sector grew by 2,600 from a year ago.