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Dec 2, 2012 - The Associated Press

State liquor warehouse well-used

CHEYENNE -- Almost every bottle of wine, whiskey, vodka or other form of liquor sold in Wyoming comes through one place, a non-descript building on the east side of Cheyenne.

Although outside it looks like any other government building, inside is a whole different story. The building includes a 145,000-square-foot warehouse that is filled with rows of boxes and pallets of liquor stacked more than 15 feet high.

"That's what $18 million worth of booze looks like," said Kelly Hunt, a senior agent with the Wyoming Department of Revenue's Liquor Division, as he looked over the massive facility.

State officials formally dedicated the new Liquor Division warehouse this past week. The nearly $13 million facility was finished in February. Workers and the massive inventory were moved into the new building earlier this year.

Edmund Schmidt, director of the Wyoming Department of Revenue, said Wyoming is a control state for alcohol. That means the state is the exclusive wholesale distributor and seller of liquor, excluding malt beverages. It also means that all liquor sold in a retail store must first be sent to and processed in the Cheyenne warehouse.

Hunt said the problem a few years ago was the old facility could no longer meet the growing demand for the products.

In fiscal year 2006, the 100,000-square-foot warehouse processed about 680,000 standard 9-liter cases. That has grown by 24 percent to 844,434 in the past fiscal year.

Wyoming's rig count down two

HOUSTON -- The number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. fell this week by six, to 1,811.

Texas-based oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. reported Friday that 1,386 rigs were exploring for oil and 424 were searching for gas. One was listed as miscellaneous. A year ago, Baker Hughes counted 1,993 rigs.

Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas gained two rigs. New Mexico, North Dakota and Wyoming each lost two rigs while Colorado, Louisiana and West Virginia each lost one. Alaska, Arkansas, California, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania were unchanged. The rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981 and bottomed at 488 in 1999.

Hospital reacts to flu outbreak

GILLETTE -- Visiting restrictions are in place at Campbell County Memorial Hospital because of a recent spike in flu cases in the area.

Visitors at the hospital's maternal units must wash their hands and wear a mask while visiting a patient's room. The hospital is prohibiting children under 12 from visiting. Only the mother's spouse or significant other and two other people can visit at any one time. The hospital will evaluate the restrictions on a weekly basis.

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