WPR News
7:22 am
Tue January 27, 2009

Wyoming posts nation's lowest unemployment rate

Cheyenne, Wyo. – Wyoming posted the country's lowest unemployment rate in December at 3.4 percent - less than half the nationwide average of 7.2 percent.

The U.S. Department of Labor reported Tuesday that Wyoming was followed closely by North Dakota at 3.5 percent and South Dakota at 3.9 percent.

December jobless rates were highest in Michigan at 10.6 percent and Rhode Island at 10 percent.

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WPR News
5:34 am
Tue January 27, 2009

Report: stimulus package would bolster Wyoming

Laramie, Wyo. – New analysis shows President Obama's economic stimulus package could create thousands of jobs in this state.

Earlier this month, Governor Dave Freudenthal requested a billion dollars of stimulus funding for Wyoming. Then, the Wyoming Contractors Association had economists look at the impact that much federal money could have here. This analysis showed it would mean 20,000 new jobs.

Executive Vice President for the Contractors, Jonathan Downing, says that would have wide effect.

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WPR News
10:47 am
Mon January 26, 2009

Western governors want energy funds

Cheyenne, WY – Some Western governors say the plan for $825 billion in economic stimulus spending should spur development of energy infrastructure in their states.

The Western Governors Association recently sent a letter to then President-elect Obama asking him to focus on renewable energy sources and infrastructure in his energy policy.

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WPR News
10:45 am
Mon January 26, 2009

Health insurance bills before Senate

Peter O'Dowd – The state Senate will continue debate on bills this week that would give patients more legal protections against their insurance company.

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WPR News
8:41 am
Mon January 26, 2009

Senate considers new account for school construction

Cheyenne, Wyo. – Because of the economy and the expectation that Wyoming will get less money from energy development, the legislature is trying to be proactive.

The Senate is working on a bill that will shift money from a permanent savings account into another account to ensure Wyoming can keep building schools.

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WPR News
8:13 am
Mon January 26, 2009

Park Service ponders next 100 years

Laramie, Wyo. – The National Park Service is hosting a two-day meeting in Mammoth Hot Springs this week that will outline new ideas for the country's park system.

A national commission will hold the third of five meetings in Yellowstone through Wednesday. Spokesman Mike Bento says the goal is to form a vision for the Park System's second century of operation. He says many things have changed since Yellowstone became the nation's first national park more than 100 years ago.

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WPR News
7:58 am
Mon January 26, 2009

Gay marriage bill introduced in House

Cheyenne, Wyo. – A bill that would let Wyoming voters decide whether to amend the state constitution to deny state recognition of same-sex marriages performed elsewhere has been introduced in the House.

A similar bill has stalled in the Senate Education Committee.

Rep. Owen Petersen, R-Lyman, is the main sponsor of the House bill. He declined comment on it, saying he won't discuss it until it hits the floor.

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WPR News
7:56 am
Mon January 26, 2009

House defeats tougher sex-offense penalty

Cheyenne, Wyo. – The House has rejected a bill that would have imposed a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison for anyone convicted of first degree sexual assault against a minor.

The House voted 39-20 to defeat House Bill 98.

Proponents of the bill say the state needs to establish that it's tough on those who prey on children.

Opponents say that mandatory minimum sentences take discretion out of judges' hands and possibly punish teenagers who have consensual sex.

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WPR News
7:45 am
Mon January 26, 2009

Committee votes to approve illuminated scopes

Cheyenne, Wyo. – A House committee says Wyoming should allow the use of rifle scopes with illuminated crosshairs that supporters say can make it easier to make accurate shots on game animals.

The House Travel, Recreation, and Wildlife Committee voted unanimously today to approve House Bill 133.

It would allow illuminating scopes as long as they don't project any visible light such as laser beams.

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2:33 am
Mon January 26, 2009

Family friend remembers the legacy of Dr. Close

Wyoming – Susie Lehr worked with Dr. Close for years. She remembers his legacy with Peter O'Dowd.

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