Feb 21, 2013 The Associated Press

Teen substance abuse down

CHEYENNE -- A study indicates fewer Wyoming junior high and high school students are using alcohol and tobacco.

The Wyoming Department of Health says 17 of the 19 participating counties saw substantial reductions in alcohol use and 15 of 19 showed substantial reductions in tobacco use.

The student survey provides detailed state- and county-level data on substance abuse issues, risk factors and protective factors affecting Wyoming youth.

Keith Hotle of the state Health Department says at the state level alcohol remains the most commonly reported used substance in all grade levels.

The 2012 survey was administered for the state Health Department by the University of Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center.

The agency uses the study to monitor changes in youth substance use trends.

New A&S dean at university

LARAMIE -- The University of Wyoming has a new dean of its College of Arts and Sciences.

Paula Lutz is a scholar in cell biology and neuroscience who has served as a dean at two universities.

Most recently, Lutz was dean of Montana State University's College of Letters & Science for five years.

She will succeed the retiring B. Oliver Walter, who has been dean of the UW College of Arts and Sciences since 1989.

Lutz will begin her new job at UW in July.

The College of Arts and Sciences has the largest enrollment of UW's academic units, with bachelor's degree programs in 43 disciplines, 42 master's programs and 11 doctoral programs

Mayor vows to let citizens speak

RAWLINS -- The mayor of Saratoga is promising to give members of the public a chance to speak during town council meetings.

Mayor John Zeiger addressed the issue at Tuesday night's meeting. The public comment portion of the council's agenda was canceled at the previous meeting prompting complaints.

Zeiger suggested moving the comment period to the end of the meeting so people would be able to comment on things that happened during the meeting.

Rosemary Erickson is one person who has been disappointed with the communication and discussion at council meetings. She's still skeptical about the council being transparent but is glad that the public will have a chance to ask questions.

Vaccination bill passes Senate

CHEYENNE -- Wyoming senators say pharmacists who don't want to vaccinate children shouldn't be discriminated against.

They passed a bill Wednesday that would allow licensed pharmacists to administer immunizations after adding some protections for pharmacists. The bill now says that pharmacists would not be required to give shots to children under 13 and employers couldn't discriminate against any pharmacists who didn't want to do so.

Republican Sen. Charles Scott of Casper said some older pharmacists didn't get training in school on vaccinations.

The bill now goes back to the House, where lawmakers will have to decide if they agree with those changes.

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