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First News Live with Leslie Stratmoen

Submitted by Newsroom on March 27, 2013 – 7:13 amNo Comment

First News Live — CLICK HERE

HEADLINES: County approves $900k jump in insurance costs … Crowd comes out for awareness walk … Local attorney weighs-in on Supreme Courts’ look at gay rights cases …..

Written, Produced, Broadcast by KVOW/KTAK News Director Leslie Stratmoen

County approves $900k jump in insurance costs

LANDER — Fremont County’s commission has approved a 15 percent increase in health insurance costs to the county’s self-insured plan. In total, the increase is a $900,000 jump in the total annual cost of $6 million. The report’s coming from our news partner

Keja Whiteman, left, Stephanie Kessler -- Leslie Stratmoen Photo

Commissioner Keja Whiteman made the motion to accept the proposed increase and decide how to divide the increase between the county and the employees at a later date. After some discussion, the motion was approved unanimously.

Commissioner Stephanie Kessler said further brainstorming on insurance must be done in the future to try to reduce costs. She pointed out that with the increase, the county would now be paying $18,000 for single coverage and $27,000 for families.

Whiteman agreed, saying serious discussions needed to be planned for July or August. Commission Chairman Doug Thompson added that it felt as if, under the current system, costs would continue to steadily rise 15 percent a year.

Crowd comes out for awareness walk

RIVERTON — One of the organizers of an awareness walk held Saturday in Riverton said it marked the start of change. In a report coming in from, 24-year-old Layha Spoonhunter called the walk a turning point in racial relations between the city of Riverton and the Northern Arapaho Tribe of the nearby Wind River Reservation. She said the group’s purpose was to impact change in the community and stand up against racism. The estimated 200 walkers processed two miles from City Park to the 789 Smoke Shop Casino where they held a rally, then shared a meal in the bingo hall.

The reporter for WyoFile said members and supporters of the tribe renewed their commitment to end racism and discrimination in the city of Riverton, a goal city officials share, even as they downplayed the role of race in a recent, controversial crime.

They were walking in support of their tribal member Darryn Davis, who was hospitalized two weeks ago after what tribal leaders called a racist attack outside a bar. According to the report, many tribal members were outraged by the March 9 attack and horrified at the injuries Davis suffered. He had to be flown to the medical center in Casper to undergo reconstruction surgery to his face. They were also angry that the police took eight days to arrest James “Skip” Crooks, the suspect in the case.

But two weeks after the incident, the walk itself seemed almost light-hearted. Riverton’s Police Chief Mike Broadhead said the atmosphere was family, friendly. People young and old, from toddlers to elders, wore awareness walk T-shirts emblazoned with the Arapaho flag on the front and a fight racisms slogan on back.

Local attorney weighs-in on Supreme Courts’ look at gay rights cases

RIVERTON — As people nationally are tuned in this week to the Supreme Court’s hearing of two cases involving gay rights, Attorney John Vincent of Riverton weighed in ….. CLICK HERE

To hear more of that conversation with the local attorney, go to our website, It’s listed there on the Is That Legal page of the Chit Chat show.


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