Wyoming governor orders steep cuts amid revenue crisis
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon says state agencies must immediately cut spending and prepare for even deeper cuts because of an unprecedented hit to revenue. Wyoming faces a revenue drop of up to $1.5 billion over the next two years because of coronavirus-related issues. They include less business activity, an ever-weaker outlook for coal amid less electricity use, and low oil prices because of reduced demand and countries fighting over prices. Gordon already has told state agencies to freeze hiring and not proceed with large contracts. Gordon says they should prepare for a 20% cut amid a sharp decline in revenue.
Wyoming unemployment filings decline, still way up from 2019
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Applications for temporary unemployment assistance in Wyoming declined during the week ending May 30 as the U.S. economy continues to struggle with measures to contain the coronavirus. The U.S. Employment and Training Administration said Thursday the number of applications submitted in Wyoming fell to 1,926, down 31% from the previous week but still up 338% compared to the same week last year. Wyoming has processed 43,444 claims for unemployment since March 14. That represents 16% of Wyoming’s total workforce eligible for the unemployment insurance program. Wyoming’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in April was 9.2%, up from 3.5% a year earlier. The nationwide rate was 14.7%.
Armed groups gather in downtown Casper after Floyd protests
CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Several groups of people openly carried guns around downtown Casper after a day of protests against the death of George Floyd. Some sat in front of businesses. Others lingered at a place where the protests began hours earlier Wednesday. They told a Casper Star-Tribune reporter they didn’t seek to disrupt additional protests but wanted to protect downtown should things escalate after dark. Earlier, hundreds marched to protest Floyd’s death under the knee of a police officer in Minneapolis on May 25. The protests were peaceful. Other protests in cities nationwide have been both peaceful and accompanied by rioting and looting.
Police: Man fatally shoots another man in Gillette apartment
GILLETTE, Wyo. (AP) — Police in northeastern Wyoming say a man fatally shot another man in the head. Gillette police Lt. Brent Wasson says 21-year-old Joshua Campbell called police Tuesday night to report he’d shot 21-year-old Tanner Miller. Officers found Miller at Campbell’s apartment and Miller later died at a hospital. The Gillette News Record reports Campbell was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter. Campbell remained jailed Thursday and didn’t have an attorney on record to comment on his behalf. The two men had been hanging out elsewhere that evening and Campbell allegedly shot Miller soon after he arrived at his apartment. Police say they’re still investigating.
Report highlights voting inequities in tribal communities
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Native American voting rights advocates are cautioning against states moving to mail-in ballots without opportunities for tribal members to vote safely in person. The Native American Rights Fund released a wide-ranging report on voting rights Thursday. In it, the group outlined the challenges that could arise as states move to rely more heavily on mail-in ballots. The report says online voter registration could be hampered by spotty or no internet service on reservations, ballots will be delivered to Post Office boxes that rarely are checked and turnout may be low because of a general reluctance to vote by mail.
UNIVERSITY REOPENING PLAN
University of Wyoming drafts reopening plan for 2020-21 year
LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) — University of Wyoming officials have drafted a plan to resume classes on campus with a modified schedule next school year. Under the proposal, classes would begin Aug. 24 and end Dec. 4, but students wouldn’t return to campus after Thanksgiving. Courses would shift entirely online after Nov. 23. Final exams would be given remotely. The Laramie Boomerang reports the spring semester would start Jan. 25, a week later than planned, and spring break would be eliminated. School officials say they want to discourage students from leaving school for periods when they could contract the coronavirus and bring it back to campus.