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Digest

May 20, 2014 - The Associated Press

Jobless rate down to 3.7

CHEYENNE -- Wyoming's unemployment rate fell to 3.7 percent in April, from 4 percent in March.

In a statement Tuesday, Wyoming Department of Workforce Services reported the rate was significantly lower than a year ago, when it was 4.7 percent, and well below the current national unemployment rate of 6.3 percent.

The Department of Workforce Services says rates fell in every county, suggesting improvement in economic conditions across the state.

Forestry worker died during test

NEWCASTLE -- The Wyoming State Forestry Division has identified an employee who died of an apparent heart attack while participating in an annual pack test in Newcastle over the weekend.

The agency says 63-year-old Ted Drake died on Saturday after he collapsed while participating with other employees in the annual firefighter work capacity test.

Wyoming State Forester Bill Crapser says efforts to revive Drake at the scene were unsuccessful. Crapser says the forestry division is deeply saddened by the tragic event.

Drake had worked for the Wyoming State Forestry Division as a crew supervisor since June 2006.

Nearly 12K sign up for insurance

Nearly 12,000 people from Wyoming have signed up for health insurance through the state's federal exchange.

Wyoming Insurance Commissioner Tom Hirsig told members of the Legislature's joint health committee on Monday that he's surprised enrollment is so high. During the meeting at Casper College, he said he expected 7,000 to 8,000 people to sign up.

It's not known how many of the people who signed up for coverage previously had insurance.

A study done two years ago found that about 83,000 state residents didn't have insurance.

Cynthia Nunley of Casper says most of the people she helped sign up didn't have insurance before. She credited women who have dragged skeptical husbands to enrollment seminars for helping to boost enrollment.

Lawmaker to try pot bill again

CHEYENNE -- A Wyoming state legislator whose bid to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana failed this session isn't giving up on the idea.

James Byrd said marijuana legislation, jobs and education would be among his priorities if he is re-elected in November. The Laramie County Democrat is running for his fourth term.
 

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