Laramie, WY – While several small businesses in Wyoming say they fear new minimum wage increases, a state employment official says it probably won't have much impact initially. Tom Gallagher with the Wyoming Department of Employment says the increase of the federal minimum wage up to five dollars and 85 cents an hour probably will have little effect on business.
Gallagher notes that the state labor shortage means that most businesses have been paying higher then the minimum wage already.
Laramie, WY – Fire crews quickly contained a 140-acre fire near the Kemmerer Reservoir today. Richard Putnam of the B-L-M's Western Wyoming Fire Zone says lightening sparked a sage and grass fire yesterday afternoon. Putnam says the department has put out about 65 fires so far this summer. He says they have mostly been grass and single-tree juniper fires, which are much easier to put out.
Putnam says another fire started about 4 o'clock this afternoon south of Rock Springs near Sage Creek.
Laramie, WY – As Cheyenne celebrates its western heritage with Frontier Days this week, the Department of Health is hoping to downplay one aspect of cowboy culture spit tobacco. Spokeswoman Kim Deti says the department has deployed a mobile billboard through Cheyenne that is covered with an image of a young man consuming a toxic reptile. She says the billboard is designed to capture a large audience in a state where tobacco use ranks higher than the national average.
Laramie, WY – A man from Jackson will ride his bike 2,800 miles from Jackson to Burlington, Vermont to raise awareness of the lack of insurance coverage for mental health services.
Twenty-eight-year-old Fred Finn says most health insurance provides little coverage for mental health, while covering physical problems extensively. Finn says leads to huge problems for millions of people.
"It really truly does affect everyone in this country. I know everyone can think of at least somebody who is affected," he said.
Laramie, WY – US Senator Mike Enzi is co-sponsoring a bill that will help a group struggling to stay afloat in Wyoming and across the nation...the community pharmacist.
Part of Enzi's bill would ensure that pharmacists are reimbursed for their services every two weeks. The Wyoming Pharmacy Association's Kara Beech supports the plan. She says that right now some pharmacies don't receive compensation for up to 45 days after a transaction. That makes doing business difficult.
Laramie, WY – Wyoming Public Radio has won two major national awards. Public Radio News Directors Incorporated, PRINDI, named Wyoming Public Radio's program Open Spaces the top News and Public Affairs program in country for a station with a mid-sized staff. The award was announced over the weekend at the annual PRNDI awards ceremony. Judges called Open Spaces an excellent example of how statewide journalism should be done.
Laramie, WY – The leaders of the group Shut Out of Yellowstone say they're optimistic after meeting with top Park Service officials. The group was formed to keep the east entrance to Yellowstone Park open in the winter. The Park Service is considering closing it due to avalanche danger on Sylvan pass. The group's co-chair, Carol Armstrong, says the discussions at last week's meeting were frank, and she hopes the Park Service's decision will go her way.