WPR News
10:26 am
Tue April 29, 2008

Global Demand Drives Cost of Building Materials in Gillette

Gillette, WY – Officials say that demand for building materials in China and India is pushing costs higher in Gillette and Campbell County.

They say the increases mean that a new home or office is going to cost between 30 percent to 50 percent more to build this season than it did four years ago.

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WPR News
10:25 am
Tue April 29, 2008

Jackson Hole Real Estate Still Strong

Jackson, WY – The number and total value of homes sold in Jackson Hole in the first quarter of 2008 fell sharply compared to the same period last year.

But a real estate appraiser says Wyoming's priciest home market still remains strong.

David Viehman points out that the median price of a home in Teton County is up 7 percent over the past year and is holding steady at $1.1 million.

The most expensive asking price for a home in Jackson Hole so far this year has been just under $35 million.

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WPR News
10:23 am
Tue April 29, 2008

Wyoming Home Vacancy Rate Increases

Cheyenne, WY – The number of vacant homes for sale in Wyoming remains much lower than the regional and national averages.

Census figures out yesterday show that Wyoming tied with Hawaii and Oklahoma for the nation's ninth-lowest supply of vacant homes for sale over the first three months of the year.

State economist Wenlin Liu says many people who moved to Wyoming to work in the energy industry in recent years have bought homes, helping offset a surge in home construction.

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WPR News
9:13 am
Tue April 29, 2008

Sheridan Works On Finding Affordable Homes

Sheridan, Wy – A recent state survey finds the fewer homes are being built and there are fewer vacancies. Although one place listed as having a robust housing market is Sheridan. New homes are being built but an issue in Sheridan has been the availability of affordable homes. The Sheridan Housing Action Committee or shac has worked hard to get grants to try and get more affordable homes built. Shac's Marie Lowe says despite the solid housing market they still have a lot to do because affordable housing is a constant need.

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WPR News
9:11 am
Tue April 29, 2008

Long Term Care Costs rise In Wyoming

Cheyenne, Wy – An annual cost of care survey finds that Nursing home care has increased 14 percent since 2004 and other long term care costs continue to rise. The study was done by Genworth financial and an Ombudsman for Wyoming Seniors Inc. has no quarrel with the numbers. Charlie Simeno says costs should continue to rise and people need to be thinking about future savings. But he also suggests another step.

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WPR News
9:09 am
Tue April 29, 2008

Barrasso Rips Strategic Petroleum Concept

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Washington D-C – Add Senator John Barrasso's name to the list of those upset about rising gas prices. Barrasso has become a co-sponsor of a bill that asks the federal government to stop adding gas to the Strategic Petroleum reserve. Analysts say it can add as much as ten percent to the price of gas. Wyoming gas prices are listed among the lowest in the nation but Barrasso says the price increases still hit Wyomingites hard. Mostly because of all the long distance traveling those in Wyoming are forced to drive.

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WPR News
10:41 am
Mon April 28, 2008

Rising Food Prices Affect Those on Food Stamps

Laramie, WY – The Wyoming Department of Family Services says that with food prices rising, people on food stamps are struggling to eat well.

Department Spokeswoman Juliette Rule says certain restrictions on what you can buy with food stamps mean that people might be eating healthy food, but less of it. She says you can't buy prepared food with food stamps. As food prices go up, she says you can't buy what's often the cheapest food -- so it is harder to make food dollars stretch.

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WPR News
10:32 am
Mon April 28, 2008

Freudenthal Worried about Wyoming Economy

Laramie, WY – Governor Dave Freudenthal says talk of a national recession has him somewhat worried about decreased demand for Wyoming energy.

The governor says the state's energy economy typically buffers Wyoming in times of recession. But he also says if the slowdown is prolonged, the effects will likely limit the state's production and increase its unemployment rate.

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WPR News
10:24 am
Mon April 28, 2008

Teton County Property Taxes Go Way Up

Jackson, WY – Homeowners in Teton County are bracing for what could be an increase of 20 percent or more in their property taxes.

That's because the assessed value of their homes is going up -- in at least one case, by as much as 82 percent.

County commissioners plan to calculate tax rates this summer. In the meantime, Assessor Cathy Toolson says people are flooding her office with calls about their valuations.

She says she's scheduled meetings with homeowners every hour of every day for the next week.

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WPR News
10:18 am
Mon April 28, 2008

SourceGas Issues Continue

Casper, WY – Customers of SourceGas say they're still having problems with missing and inaccurate bills, and bills that
just plain don't make sense.

The problems began in September and have affected more than 12,000 gas customers in Wyoming.

The issues were supposed to be taken care of by March 31. But complaints have persisted.

SourceGas spokesman Len Mize said only about 1 percent of the company's Wyoming customers are still having billing issues. That works out to about 700 people.

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