Laramie, WY – Crews were still working this morning to control a natural gas well that blew out over the weekend in Fremont County. The gas has not ignited, and there were no injuries reported. However, the federal Bureau of Land Management says it might be some time before they can assess the damage and work with developer Noble Energy on a reclamation plan. The well blew out sometime either late Saturday night or early Sunday morning north of Moneta. It was emitting both gas and water, and the water was freezing over the rig.
Cheyenne, WY – An effort to improve child care quality in the state continues to get a mixed reaction in the legislature. A house committee is taking up the bill that will rate and regulate child care facilities among other things. Representative Elaine Harvey says that will help make facilities more professional and should increase wages. Harvey says the bill also provides funding to both enhance and build more child care facilities. She says they are desperately needed across the state because of the large number of working families.
Cheyenne, WY – Wyoming employers whose workers receive tips may have to start paying them the federal minimum wage. That requirement is in a bill that has passed a house committee. The bill is opposed by some in the restaurant and hospitality industry because they say it could raise wages of other employees. Mike Moser with the lodging and restaurant association says it might end up hurting some employees. But others counter that it raises wages to a more reasonable level, and could help attract employees. The bill heads to the house floor.
Cheyenne, WY – It may not be long before drivers in the state are receiving speeding tickets in the mail. The state House of Representatives approved a proposal allowing law enforcement agencies to use photo radar. Speaker of the House Roy Cohee sponsored this bill. He says he sees police using these devices in targeted areas. Cohee says under this bill, if the owner of a vehicle is not the driver, law enforcement can ask who was driving when the speeding violation took place.
Cheyenne, WY – A bill banning protests during funerals has passed the state House of Representatives. This proposal does still allow groups to protest, but they must do it an hour before and an hour after a funeral. Also, they would have to be three hundred feet away from the ceremony. Representative Monte Olsen says it applies to everyone. Olsen says he would have liked it if the law was around when there were protests of Mathew Sheppard's funeral. He was a gay student beaten to death in Laramie.
Laramie, WY – Sheridan County election officials are helping three local Democrats review the paper records from last November's razor-thin US House election. It's not an official recount, and the outcome will not affect the results. In November, incumbent Republican Barbara Cubin won a seventh term by a little more than one half of one percentage point. The Democrats who initiated the review say they hope it will give people an idea whether the state's new election machines are trustworthy. They want to make sure the paper records from the machines match the electronic tabulation.