Gillette, WY – An agreement for a Wal-Mart Supercenter was approved last night the Gillette Planning Commission. Wal-Mart first approached the city in June and Senior Planner Michael Surface says the retail giant has been very cooperative. According to Surface, the city wanted to make sure the most workable site was used. He says Wal-Mart didn't have to build where their existing store is, but he's pleased they agreed to because that means there won't be 89,000 square feet of space to fill. Surface says Wal-Mart agreed to many requests made by the city.
Washington, DC – Wyoming ranks as the 11th safest state in terms of violent crime. The FBI's annual crime report says Wyoming had about 1,300 violent crimes last year, or 262 per 100,000 residents. The national rate was 475 per 100,000 people. States with lower crime rates than Wyoming include: North and South Dakota, Idaho, and Utah. New Mexico is among the states with the highest rates.
Cheyenne, Wy – The governor's Council on Impaired Driving is recommending tougher penalties for people who have children with them when they drink and drive. Twenty-seven states have tougher penalties for people who drive under the influence with children. In eight other states, tougher penalties are suppported by case law. The 40-member council was established more than a year ago. The law it is seeking could bump up penalties if any driver 18 or older drives with anyone under 16 as a passenger.
Saratoga, Wyoming – A small town Wyoming doctor says the medical malpractice insurance issue has driven up her rates for no particular reason. Doctor Diane Noton of Saratoga says when she first took over the Platte Valley Medical Clinic in 1999 her rates were seven thousand dollars. But she now pays 24-thousand dollars a year. Noton says it is somewhat surprising because she is a family practice doctor with very little risk.
Wyoming – As Wyoming works to diversify its economy and get away from its reliance on energy, one focus is helping people to start businesses. Wyoming Public Radio's Renny Mackay reports on the state of entrepreneurship.
Cheyenne, WY – Wyoming's Homeland Security Director isn't worried about any changes to how the federal government doles out Homeland Security funding. Joe Moore believes no matter what the set up, Wyoming will have enough money to continue improvings the capabilities of first responders. The state's $38.00 per capita level of funding has rankled many in larger states. But Moore doubts efforts to change the funding formula will result in Wyoming getting shortchanged. He notes there is additional funding available to big cities.