Latest Wyoming news, sports, business and entertainment
Wyoming jobless rate rises slightly to 3.8 percent
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Wyoming's unemployment rate rose slightly to 3.8 percent in May. The rate was 3.7 percent in April.
The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services says the state's unemployment rate remained much lower than its May 2013 level of 4.6 percent and was significantly lower than the current U.S. unemployment rate of 6.3 percent.
The agency says most county unemployment rates increased marginally from April to May because young people leave school and join the labor force. Across the state, Teton County reported the highest jobless rate in May at 5.7 percent, followed by Lincoln County at 5 percent and Fremont and Johnson counties at 4.8 percent.Converse County reported the lowest unemployment rate in May at 2.8 percent, followed by Sublette and Campbell counties at 2.9 percent.
Search to replace Sen. Schiffer begins
SHERIDAN, Wyo. (AP) - The process of finding a replacement for the late Republican Sen. John Schiffer has begun. Schiffer, of Kaycee, died last Thursday with two years left on his District 22 seat term. Republican Party officials in Sheridan and Johnson counties have called a meeting of the precinct committeemen and committeewomen in District 22 for next Tuesday in Story.
District 22 includes all of Johnson County and the eastern portion of Sheridan County. They will then nominate three people. The three candidates will be sent the Board of County Commissioners for Sheridan and Johnson counties. The two county boards will work together to appoint one of the three candidates to fill the vacancy.
Gov. Mead opens highway right of way for fiber
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - A Sheridan company plans to install a new fiber optic line from Casper to the Colorado border using the existing highway right of way. Gov. Matt Mead announced Tuesday that Advanced Communications Technology plans to start installing the new line in July and have it done by early next year.
Mead says expanding broadband computer service will help people and businesses in the state. He says the new line will give communities along the way more points to access broadband service. Aaron Sopko, the general manager for ACT, said in a prepared statement released by Mead's office that the expansion will allow the company's network to span the entire state. He says other service providers will also benefit from the fiber installation.
BLM director to tout sage grouse effort in Wyoming
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - The director of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management will be in Cheyenne on Thursday to promote the federal agency's work to conserve habitat for the greater sage grouse.
Populations of the ground-dwelling birds have declined 90 percent in the West over the past century. Next year, the federal government will decide whether to protect the greater sage grouse as a threatened or endangered species.
BLM Director Neil Kornze and Gov. Matt Mead will meet as the BLM implements rules restricting development in some of the birds' prime habitat. The new rules will prohibit wide-scale disruption to sagebrush habitat in much of Fremont County in central Wyoming. The rules incorporated into a local BLM resource management plan mirror a Wyoming sage grouse habitat strategy now being adopted in other states.
Report: UW generates jobs, revenue
LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) - A new report says the University of Wyoming does more than just provide a college education to thousands of students a year. The report from the university's Office of Research and Economic Development says UW brings in some $130 million in revenue, spurs about $129 million in economic activity and sustains more than 2,200 jobs annually.
The report studied the revenue that would not have come to Wyoming without the university. Bill Gern is UW's vice president for research and economic development. Gern said that between research funding, business services, out-of-state tuition and other student expenditures, the university's economic effect is powerful.