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CONGRESS-CHENEY

Rep. Liz Cheney to stay in House, decline Wyoming Senate run

WASHINGTON (AP) — Rep. Liz Cheney has decided to stay in the House rather than run for the Senate in her home state of Wyoming. The Republican congresswoman is a junior but rising leader in the House. The decision by the second-term lawmaker keeps her on the House's Republican leadership track. Cheney was a senior State Department official during the administration of President George W. Bush. She's the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, who once occupied the statewide House seat that his daughter now holds. Liz Cheney is No. 3 in the current GOP hierarchy and seems likely to rise higher in time.

SUICIDE CALL CENTER-FUNDING

Wyoming governor requests funding for suicide call center

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon has recommended providing $400,000 to fund an in-state call center for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Gordon changed course on the issue after initially rejecting the request. The Wyoming Tribune Eagle reports that Wyoming is the only state that lacks a local call center for the national suicide hotline. Officials say residents can reach the hotline without the call center, but the state lacks its own operators, leading to longer wait times for callers and conversations with people who are unfamiliar with resources and providers in Wyoming. State lawmakers are scheduled to decide whether to approve the funding during the upcoming budget session in February.

BANKERS SURVEY

Survey of Plains, Western bankers says rural economy growing

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A new survey of bankers suggests the economy is growing in rural parts of 10 Plains and Western states. The survey released Thursday showed that the overall index for rural parts of the region improved to 55.9 in January from December's 50.2. Any score above 50 suggests a growing economy. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says hiring remains strong across the region. Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming were surveyed.

DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME

Wyoming lawmakers to consider switch to daylight saving time

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming state lawmakers in the new legislative session will have another opportunity to permanently shift the state to daylight saving time. The Casper Star Tribune reported that a change to Mountain Daylight Time would essentially add an extra hour of daylight between November and March. Republican Rep. Dan Laursen is sponsoring House Bill 44, which says the biannual time change disrupts commerce and the daily schedules of residents. The shift would not take effect immediately if approved by state lawmakers, who are scheduled to meet in Cheyenne beginning Feb. 10. The federal government would also need to ratify the change.

WYOMING BUSINESS COUNCIL-CEO

Trihydro executive to lead Wyoming Business Council

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — The Wyoming Business Council has announced a new CEO. Josh Dorrell will replace Shawn Reese, who announced in 2019 he was stepping aside after leading the state business-development agency for five years. Dorrell is an executive with Laramie-based engineering and environmental consulting firm Trihydro Corp. The council's mission in recent years has faced scrutiny. Republican Gov. Mark Gordon has called for the organization to focus less on attracting big businesses and more on helping small businesses. University of Wyoming College of Business Dean Steve Farkas also was a finalist for the job.

WYOMING INFLUENZA

Flu spreads rapidly in Wyoming but other states faring worse

GILLETTE, Wyo. (AP) — Influenza is spreading rapidly in Wyoming. Wyoming Department of Health officials don't typically release numbers of flu cases in the middle of flu season but say cases have been increasing since early December. Department spokeswoman Kim Deti says the dominant, B-strain virus is unusual for this time of year. Flu deaths and hospitalizations nationwide are low because the strain affects children and younger adults more than the elderly. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control rates Wyoming flu activity as moderate. The agency currently rates most of the U.S. at the highest severity level for flu.

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The Associated Press

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