Laramie, Wy – Wal Mart is moving forward with opening a Supercenter in Rawlins. The senior manager for Wal Mart public affairs in Wyoming, Grey McGinnis, says they choose sites mostly based on consumer feedback. McGinnis says he's not sure when construction might begin as they are still in the approval process with the city of Rawlins. But, he says things are going forward.
Laramie, Wy – The federal government is trying out a new rating system for winter storms. In the Northeast part of the country they are ranking storms from one to five after they hit. The scoring involves the amount of snowfall, area affected and number of people impacted. Cheyenne National Weather Service meteorologist, John Griffith, says this does not aid people preparing for a storm because it is only used after the fact, so people would still have to rely on advisories from the National Weather Service to judge the potential impact of a storm.
Sheridan, Wy – Seven Wyoming conservation organizations are asking the U-S forest chief for help. They want a review of the Bighorn forest plan because they fear the plan opens up too many roadless areas and promotes unnecessary timber cutting. Liz Howell of the Wyoming Wilderness Association says they are trying to protect wilderness, and want the forest chief to take another look at the plan. The Bighorn forest management plan will guide the forest over the next 15 to 20 years.
Teton Village, WY – A teenager faces a charge of negligent homicide for colliding with a skier while snowboarding at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort a year ago. Prosecutors say Greg Doda, of Crownsville, Maryland, ran into Heather Donahue in the Laramie Bowl last February. Doda was 16 at the time. He allegedly was going more than 35 miles an hour when he ran into Donahue, a 29-year-old from Massachusetts. A Sheriff's investigator says the impact knocked Donahue 25 feet down the hill. She died of a head injury.
Green River, WY – Despite stiff competition from China, the Wyoming soda ash industry is posting solid numbers. More than 95 percent of the soda ash produced in the United States comes from Wyoming. Last year, the value of U-S soda ash increased more than ten percent. Production numbers are also on the rise. Meanwhile, demand for soda ash is expected to continue growing slightly over the next few years. Much of that demand is now being met by China, the world's soda ash leader since 2003.
Laramie, Wy – The state will not use a new economic tool with a funny-sounding name to calculate teacher salaries. Members of the Joint Education Committee worried that the hedonic index would stir up more school-finance litigation, or that it would provide less funding for their school districts. The hedonic index sought to quantify the things that make certain communities nice places to live, such as scenery and recreation opportunities. Salaries would be higher in desirable communities, and lower in communities that scored lower on the index.