Wyoming news briefs for December 22


Unemployment rate falls to 3.7% in November

CHEYENNE — The Research & Planning Section of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services reported Monday that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell from 4.1 percent in October to 3.7 percent in November. 

Wyoming’s unemployment rate has decreased in each of the past five months and is lower than the current U.S. rate of 4.2 percent and much lower than its November 2020 level of 5.3 percent. 

From October to November, unemployment rates fell in 16 counties, rose in four counties, and remained unchanged in three counties. Teton County’s unemployment rate increased from 1.9 percent in October to 2.9 percent in November. Unemployment often rises in Teton County in November as tourist activity slows between the summer and winter seasons. 

Unemployment rates fell in every county from November 2020 to November 2021. Jobless rates were elevated in November 2020 because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and decreases in 2021 represent a return to more normal levels. The largest decreases occurred in Natrona (down from 6.7 to 3.1 percent), Teton (down from 6.2 to 2.9 percent) and Converse (down from 5.7 to 2.4 percent) counties.

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One dies in accident near Etna

AFTON — Driver fatigue is being investigated as the possible cause of a fatal accident that occurred on Highway 89 near the Wolf Den south of Etna Monday morning.

The responding officer with the Wyoming Highway Patrol told the Star Valley Independent that the accident occurred at about 6:30 a.m. when a male driver was traveling southbound in a Subaru. The driver veered into the oncoming lane of traffic and collided head-on with a minivan. The driver of the Subaru was not wearing a seatbelt and succumbed to his injuries.

The only occupant of the minivan was a female driver who was wearing a seatbelt. She was transported to Star Valley Health and then life-flighted to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center. Her current status is unknown at this time.

As of press time, the identity of the driver of the Subaru has not been released, pending notification of next of kin.

The responding officer stated that evidence at the scene does not suggest weather or slick road conditions contributed to the accident. Driver fatigue or a medical condition is being investigated as likely causes. The investigation is ongoing.

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No action after man hugs, kisses teen

GILLETTE — No action was taken after an older man walked into Thunder Basin Homes and hugged and kissed a young woman who he didn’t know.

An 18-year-old woman who works at the business said an unknown man entered the business Thursday afternoon and asked if she was 18 and if she owned the business.

The man, 59, returned an hour later, asked her the same questions, then proceeded to hug her and kiss her on the forehead, said Police Lt. Kelly Alger. It made her uncomfortable, and she reported it to law enforcement.

The business did not wish to trespass the man, but warned him that his behavior was unwanted, Alger said. Police spoke with the man, who said he did not do anything wrong and that he was just kissing people.

The man has had numerous contacts with police for strange behavior in the recent past, Alger said.

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