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.
Laramie, Wy – The State Treasurer is adamant that an executive training center and graduate business school in Jackson will do a lot for Wyoming's economy. Cynthia Lummis says when the committee setting up the programs meets in Laramie next week, they should start by focusing on setting up the Executive Training Center. She says they need to look at Wyoming's strengths and see what niches the center can focus on. If they do this right, Lummis believes it will be of tremendous benefit to the state since it could attract people from around the world.
Cheyenne, Wy – A new study indicates Cheyenne could better help local business with a bigger railroad hub, which would allow businesses to use rail for more freight traffic. The study also indicates Cheyenne could develop passenger rail service to Denver, but suggests that should probably wait until passenger rail service is operating in Northern Colorado's Front Range. Transportation Planner Mark Matsen says they are working with Colorado officials to become the northern stopping point on the line and some point in the next ten years.
Laramie, Wy – The case of Terri Schiavo in Florida has raised awareness of living wills and in Wyoming the state law covering these documents is about to change. On July first residents of the state can fill out one form that covers living wills, durable power of attorneys and anatomical gifts. Jim Elliot, a member of the Wyoming A-A-R-P's executive board helped write the new law. He says even with this new document there still will be issues to contend with because of medical advances.
Laramie, Wy – A judge in Laramie is considering whether or not he should delay implementing enforcement of the city's smoking ban. That came after attorneys made arguments today over putting off the ban until after the trial set for mid May. The ban is set to go into effect April sixth right now. Janet Tyler represents voters contesting the referendum on the smoking ban.
Topic: The State Treasurer Cynthia Lummis is adamant that an executive training center and graduate business school in Jackson will do a lot for Wyoming's economy.
Topic: The case of Terri Schiavo in Florida has raised awareness of living wills and in Wyoming the state law covering these documents is about to change; Guest: Jim Elliot, a member of the Wyoming A-A-R-P's executive board.
Topic: Bob Beck speaks with Ben Mitchell from the Nicolaysen Art Museum about an upcoming exhibit.
Powell, WY – A new book tells of the life of Marine Second Lieutenant Shane Childers, one of the first US servicemen to die in the war in Iraq. Childers' parents live in Powell, and his mother Judy Childers is not happy with the book. She says it was supposed to be a tribute, but instead portrays Shane's family - and the Marines - in a negative light. Connecticut newspaper reporter Rinker Buck is the author of "Shane Comes Home." Buck says the book gives a brutally honest accounting of Shane Childers' life, and that many Marines and many of Childers' family members have praised the book.
Lander, Wy – Lander officials have learned that the Fremont County community was chosen as a site for a new four year Roman Catholic college. Community Resource Coordinator was alerted of the selection by David Ricken of the Diocese of Cheyenne. Lander won out over Cody and Wheatland, which were the other two finalists. The college will be built on private land donated by ranchers southeast of Lander and is expected to begin offering classes in the fall of 2006 or spring of 2007.
Laramie, Wy – The director of the Wyoming Taxpayers association is pleased that lawmakers looked at savings during the past legislative session. Randy Bolles admits he was worried that lawmakers would spend too much during the 40 day session. But he thinks the concept of putting a lot of money into the permanent mineral trust fund was long term thinking that will benefit taxpayers, since it could keep lawmakers from having to raise taxes, to pay for government spending in the future.
Laramie, Wy – The Department of Defense is going to provide health insurance for some reservists and National Guard members longer now. The change is for soldiers activated since September 11th, 2001. Colonel Roberta Standish from the Wyoming National Guard Army Medical Command says this was needed to make sure soldiers are physically ready when they are called upon to serve. She says so far no member of the Wyoming National Guard has been unable to serve, but last year some people had dental problems when preparing to deploy.