The Wyoming Workers’ Compensation Division is proposing changes that will affect the Division’s rules, regulations and fee schedule. These proposals include modifications to the Wyoming Workers’ Compensation Rules, Regulations and Fee Schedules.The Department proposes to update Chapter 13 (Presumption of Disability for Certain Diseases), due to a new statute change.
This chapter addresses the authority and hearing requirements for firefighters applying for workers’ compensation benefits. In 2017, the Wyoming Legislature passed a new statute that provides specifics regarding firefighters seeking disability or compensation for job-related injuries or diseases.
The Workers Comp rule states that hearings for firefighters applying for workers' compensation benefits will proceed under the Wyoming Administrative Procedure Act. The statute that passed last year was very specific and detailed in the sorts of diseases that firefighters in Wyoming are covered for, and the procedures with which they can seek compensation, therefore the Workforce rules are very brief.
Nonetheless, the Department is seeking the public's input on these changes. The public comment period will end at close of business on August 15, 2018.
Via traditional mail, send comments to:
Wyoming Workers’ Compensation Division
1510 East Pershing Boulevard
Cheyenne, WY 82002
Or via email to: email@example.com.
The proposed rules may be downloaded, free of charge, by clicking here.
Mike Wandler, president of L&H Industrial, has a lot he can say about his family business. The company has grown from a six-man welding shop in Gillette, Wyoming to a global manufacturer of heavy industrial equipment with over 500 employees worldwide. Changing the direction of L&H from servicing just oil fields to manufacturing machinery is what catapulted the company in to international notoriety.
When NASA realized it needed to bring its shuttle transport system out of the 1960s, it was Wandler, L&H, and a subcontractor called Vencore that they turned to.
"The task that NASA tasked Vencore and us with is to increase the carrying capacity of that machine by six million pounds," Wandler told Forward Sheridan about the project last year.
The NASA Crawler Transporter is the biggest land vehicle on Earth, capable of hauling 20 million pounds of rocket to the launchpad. L&H's design increases carrying capacity by 30 percent, relying on the strength of the undercarriages they can build almost entirely in-house.
In his upcoming presentation brought to you by the Rockpile Museum and the Campbell County Public Library, Wandler will discuss L&H’s current work in the fields of mining, oil and gas, and railroads, and what the future might hold for these industries in Wyoming. This program is held in conjunction with the traveling Smithsonian exhibit, The Way We Worked, which is currently open at the Rockpile Museum.
"Past, Present, and Future" will take place July 12th at 7 p.m. at the Campbell County Public Library. You can see the full series event list here.
During yesterday's EPA Listening Session at the Gillette College Tech Center, many local and state officials spoke about the repeal of the Clean Power Plan. Representative Scott Clem, Senators John Barrasso and Mike Enzi, and Governor Matt Mead were all in attendance, along with Gillette Mayor Louise Carter-King.
Below is the full transcript of her statement.
"Thank you for allowing me to speak to you today on such an important topic.
Clean, affordable energy is important to everyone. Coal helps to provide that to millions of people throughout the world. Those that say that coal cannot be burned cleanly continue to ignore the history of coal-fired electricity. Whenever an issue with emissions from coal-fired power plants has been identified, science and engineering have solved the problem. Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide were identified as sources of pollution. Today they are no longer an issue.
Now carbon has been identified as an issue. But this time instead of looking at it as a problem, it is being looked at as an opportunity. Research will be done right here in Campbell County to find economically viable uses for the carbon that can be removed from the slipstream of coal-fired power plants. In a few short months, some of the top minds in the world will begin developing real-world solutions to the carbon issue at the Integrated Test Center. Scientific innovations, time and time again, have solved the issue of the day. The issue of carbon emissions is no different.
The Clean Power Plan in its current form would stifle that innovation. Instead of allowing research and innovation, it would create an unnecessary barrier by imposing overreaching and harmful governmental regulations. A major part of the success of the Integrated Test Center will be the potential economic gain from the technologies that they develop. As more regulations are heaped on the coal industry, the return on investments in clean coal technology decreases."
Tyler Miller with Earth Work Solutions was notified last week that the U.S. Small Business Administration has selected him as the Wyoming Small Business Person of the Year for 2018. In a letter to Tyler, Linda McMahon, Administrator of the Small Business Administration, states:
“Your hard work, innovative ideas, and dedication to your employees and community have helped you build an outstanding business that has strengthened your state's economy. The SBA is pleased to celebrate your achievements and recognize your personal role in driving our nation's economic growth.”
He's been invited to attend the annual Small Business Week ceremony in Washington D.C. in April.
MSN's lifestyle section went around the country and found the most "outrageous" pizza in each state. Not surprising to anyone from Campbell County, Pizza Carrello earned the top spot for Wyoming. According to MSN, they're best loved for their "fruity pizzas," but we all know the love extends beyond that. (Because they've got wings now!)
Cruises, Inc. was recently certified by Special Needs at Sea to provide specialized travel planning for vacationers that need a little extra to get them on board.
“Through Special Needs’ courses, I not only learned how to assist individuals with special needs to enjoy travel, but I found some very valuable new ways to serve the needs of all of my clients,” said owner John Urquidez.
And Campbell County Memorial Hospital was recently given an award for overall performance excellence, along with Great Plains Health in North Platte. The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, named after former Secretary of Commerce Malcolm Baldrige, was founded in 1987. The Rocky Mountain Performance Excellence program administers the award for our region.
“We are the first organization of any industry in Wyoming to obtain any level of the Baldrige award,” said CEO Andy Fitzgerald. “I am extremely pleased and proud of the work done by many people to achieve this award, and to have CCMH claim this first milestone in the Baldrige journey.”
Thousands of organizations worldwide use the Baldrige Performance Excellence criteria to continually improve themselves, and better serve their communities. Only nine groups in the Rocky Mountain area have ever received the national level award for peak excellence. Campbell County Health aspires to be the tenth.
“There are four levels before the national award and we have obtained the second level of award,” Fitzgerald says. “Undoubtedly there are numerous opportunities for us to improve on before we start the application process for the next level of our journey.”
According to the City's end of year report released January 19, requests for commercial construction permits were up 40% from 2016, though the valuation of those projects was down nearly $20 million from the year before. Construction was completed on Thunder Basin High School's Track and Field stadium, as well as new office buildings, gas stations and convenience stores, and an apartment complex that are all to be completed soon or were completed before the end of the fourth quarter in 2017.
The Thunder Basin High School Track & Field stadium was one of many projects completed in 2017 funded by the 1% Optional Sales Tax. Water and Sewer systems, sidewalks and street pavement, and additions like the Boxelder Extension and Gurley Overpass rehab were all major improvements to the City, funded by Penny Power. (You can view all the 1% projects here.)
Also in the City's development summary, unemployment in Wyoming -- and also Campbell County -- is down significantly from the year before, at 4.3%, though still above the national average of 3.9%. Apartment vacancies also continue to decrease, though the population for Campbell County is down to 47,190 from 48,803 in the previous year.
For a list of apartment complexes that are Chamber members, click here.
Photo: A "bee hotel" at the Campbell County Extension Office. This year, the Master Gardeners will begin an "urban orchard" at Camplex Park, in conjunction with the Campbell County Parks & Recreation department. The trees planted in the orchards will have these "bee hotels," which are designed to encourage bees to hibernate in Campbell County for the winter. The hope is that maintaining the pollinator population will encourage the fruit to grow.
"Our goal for  is to hold workshops out there for pruning fruit trees, harvesting fruit trees, and doing anything to educate the community," said horticulturalist Hannah Johnson with the Extension Office.
Press release from the City of Gillette:
Gillette, WY, January 26, 2018 – Bee City USA® has renewed Gillette’s certification for 2017 following a rigorous renewal application process. This completed the efforts of the Campbell County Master Gardeners’ Pollinator Committee to accomplish this re-certification, the facilitating committee for Gillette’s efforts to engage the community in promoting pollinator-friendliness.
In 2016, the United Nations reported that forty percent of the world’s 350,000 pollinator species were at risk of extinction. Bee City USA is a national nonprofit organization that galvanizes communities to sustain pollinators by providing them with healthy habitat, rich in a variety of native plants and free to nearly free of pesticides. Imperiled pollinators like honey bees, bumble bees, butterflies, moths, bats, hummingbirds, and others are responsible for the reproduction of ninety percent of the world's wild plant species and one in every three bites of food we consume.
Mayor Louise Carter King said, “Our City Council understood the importance of sustaining pollinators when we voted to become a Bee City USA affiliate in 2016. We commend the Campbell County Master Gardeners’ Pollinator Committee for the impressive gains we made last year.”
According to Megan McManamen, chair of the Pollinator Committee for the Campbell County Master Gardeners, “With the invaluable support of the Mayor, City Council, and the City Parks Division, we were able to create pollinator habitat and increase awareness of pollinator-friendly gardening practices in our community. From planting a Pollinator Rain Garden to hosting our first Annual Gillette Pollinator Day Celebration, we had an extremely successful first year as Wyoming’s first Bee City USA affiliate. We would also like to thank our community for being so supportive of our efforts.”
A new year brings new opportunities for raising awareness of the vital role pollinators play in supporting our food systems and the planet generally. The Master Gardeners’ Pollinator Committee meetings are held throughout the year with dates and times advertised on the Campbell County Master Gardener webpage at www.ccgov.net/282/Master-Gardener and invites all residents of Gillette to offer their ideas for pollinator-friendly initiatives. The more people and organizations involved, the sooner pollinator declines will be reversed.
To see Gillette’s annual report as well as other Bee City USA affiliates’ annual reports visit http://reports.beecityusa.org/.
For more information about the Bee City USA organization visit www.beecityusa.org or email Director Phyllis Stiles at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the Gillette Bee City USA program, contact Hannah Johnson at email@example.com or Megan McManamen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last year ended on a bad note for Wright residents when it was announced in mid-December that Don’s Supermarket, the town’s only grocery store, would close.
But 2018 is off to a great start with an announcement that the store re-opened Thursday under new ownership.
Troy and Cathy McKeown, who have owned Don’s market in Gillette since 2008, bought the Wright Don’s on Dec. 23.
Troy said the decision to buy the store wasn’t an easy one to make, but it was something he felt compelled to do.
“(Wright) needed a grocery store, and it was available,” he said.
Now Wright residents won’t have to make the 80-mile round trip to Gillette to do their grocery shopping.
McKeown said that although the store is under new ownership, everything else should stay the same, adding that he’s most excited to help out the community and the employees who had faced unemployment.
Wright Mayor Ralph Kingan said he was surprised that the McKeowns were able to reopen the store so quickly. He stopped by the Wright Don’s on Thursday to thank them, especially for rehiring the 14 workers who had lost their jobs when the store closed.
“He hired all the employees back. That made me really happy,” he said. “That’s a big help in the town.”
-- Written by Jonathan Gallardo, originally published 1/5/18 in the Gillette News Record
Desert Run Apartments is putting together "goodie bags" for new residents, and are looking for Chamber businesses interested in participating. Whether you have promotional merchandise, a sales flyer, coupons or any other business information (like a take-out menu!), Desert Run is open to any kind of information to include to give to new residents.
There is no cost or minimum requirement to provide items for these welcome bags.
Bring your promotional items to Desert Run's main office at 1001 Desert Hills Circle, or call them at (307) 682-0177 for more information.
Gillette Main Street vendors reached a compromise with the City on July 18th, to change a parking fine increase ordinance from a fee of $15, to $7. Previously the City wanted to increase the $2 fine for overstaying a 2 hour parking limit to $15, something most business owners on Gillette Avenue objected to.
John Daly, owner of Daly & Sorenson, a law office on Gillette Avenue, spoke to the Council on August 1 about how construction around the courthouse has already affected both where he and his clients can park, and their access to the courthouse.
"I own five lots either on Main Street or near Main Street," he told City Council last Tuesday. "The impact of increased parking in this parking deal is that those people move in to our off-street lots. So there's a parking problem for us. While this may satisfy some merchants on Main Street, it doesn't satisfy those of us who have businesses where people take more than two hours."
Daly cited the other law offices, the multiple banks on Main Street, and even Dunlap Photography as businesses where clients will spend more than the two hour limit. He then contrasted with how anyone can park for free for weeks at a time at Wal-Mart and other stores in the Powder Basin Shopping Center. He preferred the City either throw out the ordinance amendment, or make all parking in the City free.
"We cannot afford to go around with our two officers for $2 a ticket. It does not pay. Seven doesn't either, really, but that is the compromise," Mayor Louise Carter-King told Daly.
The City Council voted unanimously to change the parking fee to $7. A charge of $5.00 for "extended overtime" parking for each successive 30 minute period thereafter stays the same, as well as a $10 fine for not paying a parking ticket within 24 hours.