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2nd Judicial District Court Judge Tori Kricken resigns

The state Judicial Nominating Commission is accepting expressions of interest to fill an upcoming seat in Wyoming’s 2nd Judicial District, which covers Albany County.

Judge Tori Kricken is stepping down from her position on the bench effective August 15.

Kricken, a former District Court Judge for Albany County, was appointed to the 2nd Circuit Bench by former Gov. Matt Mead in October 2016 and began her duties on January 2, 2017.

The Judicial Nominating Commission accepts applications from qualified individuals (a qualified voter in the state and authorized to practice law here), which are available on the Wyoming Supreme Court website at Completed forms must be received no later than 5pm on May 13th.

The Commission asks that no letters of recommendation be submitted, as only the opinions specifically requested for the expression of interest will be considered.

Governor Mark Gordon will appoint a new Justice of the 2nd Circuit Court from a list of three names submitted to him by the nominating committee.

Salary for the position is $160,000 per year with state benefits, retirement and a generous court pension under Wyoming law.

Login to Wyo. offers free health insurance assistance

Many people are unaware that they currently qualify for comprehensive and affordable health insurance and could enroll today. For more benefits and lower costs, contact Enroll Wyoming, a nonprofit organization that offers free assistance in exploring health options.

People may qualify for the health insurance market based on income or recent life-changing experiences such as marriage, bringing a new child into the home, or losing health insurance. This gives Americans access to the Marketplace, where cost savings like tax credits make four out of five health plans as cheap as $50 a month.

Individuals also qualify if their household income is between 100% and 150% of the federal poverty line. For example, a family of four qualifies if their annual income is between $26,500 and $39,750. Find out if you qualify by speaking to an Enroll Wyoming Navigator or by visiting

Register Wyoming is a grant-funded non-profit organization and has no sales incentives or quotas. Navigators are providing detailed information so families and individuals can make the decisions that best benefit their situation, according to a press release.

Connecting with an Enroll Wyoming is as simple as calling 211 and asking for a health insurance navigator.

Wyoming deaths back above normal

Official records filed with Vital Statistics Services, part of the Wyoming Department of Health, show another sharp increase in deaths over the past year from what would have been expected prior to the COVID-19 pandemic; There were also more births, more marriages, and fewer divorces among residents.

Among Wyoming residents, 6,572 deaths were recorded in 2021, 5,986 deaths in 2020, and 5,122 deaths in 2019 according to official death records. Death certificates are filled out by attending physicians and coroners and then submitted to the VSS.

“Prior to the pandemic, our data showed a steady, small increase in deaths for several years, largely due to our state’s aging population. This is something that we would reasonably have expected to continue,” said Guy Beaudoin, Deputy State Registrar of the VSS at WDH, in a press release. “However, the dramatic increase in deaths over the past two years is unprecedented in Wyoming. It is clear that COVID-19 has been a driving factor.”

Beaudoin found that the top five causes of death in Wyoming in 2021 were cancer (1,151), heart disease (1,113), COVID-19 (1,025), various types of accidents and adverse events (379), and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and related diseases (355 ).

“Unfortunately, Wyoming continues to have a high suicide rate,” Beaudoin said. “In each of the last two years there has been a small increase in the number of completed suicides, but there have been other times in the last decade with significantly larger year-on-year jumps, as well as a few years with declines.”

In 2021, 189 (+7 from 2020) suicides were recorded among Wyoming residents, compared to 182 in 2020 (+13 from 2019). Previously there were 169 in 2019 (+22 vs. 2018), 147 in 2018 (-8 vs. 2017), 155 in 2017 (+12 vs. 2016), 143 in 2016 (-12 vs. 2015), 155 in the year 2015 (+36 compared to 2014), 119 in 2014 (-9 compared to 213), 128 in 2013 (-44 compared to 2012) and 172 in 2012.

Wyoming data shows that about 72% of suicide deaths in 2021 were from guns, 22% from hanging, and 4% from poisoning.

“Overdose deaths are another area of ​​interest where we’ve seen increases over time between a few years and decreases between others,” Beaudoin said. “It is noteworthy that we continue to see the percentage of overdose deaths caused by illicit drugs rather than prescription drugs increasing in our state.”

In 2021, there were 95 (+5 from 2020) overdose deaths among Wyoming residents, compared to 90 in 2020 (+9 from 2019). Previously there were 81 in 2019 (+16 vs. 2018), 65 in 2018 (+5 vs. 2017), 60 in 2017 (-34 vs. 2016), 94 in 2016 (-1 vs. 2015), 95 in the year 2015 (-12 from 2014), 107 in 2014 (+11 from 2013), 96 in 2013 (-3 from 2012) and 99 in 2012.

“Last year was the first in quite some time to see an increase in the number of newborns in Wyoming,” Beaudoin said. “Previously, we had seen a sustained significant downward trend over several years.”

In 2021 there were 6,232 births to Wyoming resident mothers, compared to 6,132 in 2020. The peak of the past decade was in 2015 with 7,678 births to Wyoming residents.

VSS also maintains marriage and divorce records. Last year, 4,274 marriages were registered in Wyoming, compared to 3,986 in 2020 and 4,062 in 2019 before the pandemic. In terms of divorces, 2,158 were finalized in 2021, compared to 2,227 divorces in 2020 and 2,253 in 2019 before the pandemic.

Gordon supports lawsuit against border politics

Gov. Mark Gordon has announced that Wyoming is among states joining a lawsuit by Arizona, Louisiana and Missouri challenging the Biden administration’s revocation of Title 42 border control measures.

This Trump-era border policy helped reduce the flow of illegal immigration at the United States-Mexico border, according to a news release Thursday from Gordon’s office.

Last fall, Gordon visited the southern border and, along with 25 other governors, released 10 policy solutions that the Biden administration could implement immediately to address the southern border crisis. Those solutions included a continuation of Title 42 regulations, a powerful tool to limit border crossings and support public health, Gordon’s office said.

“The Biden administration’s continued failure to fulfill its constitutional duty to secure our border affects all Americans,” Gordon said in the release. “If the federal government fails to meet its responsibilities, states will be forced to take legal action to protect their residents from the effects of this border crisis. Wyoming will stand by our fellow states to protect our borders.”

The lawsuit “calls into question an impending man-made, self-inflicted catastrophe: the abrupt removal of the sole safety valve preventing this administration’s disastrous border policy from escalating into all-out chaos and disaster.” A copy of the complaint is available at https:// available.

#1 Child Support Program for Year 9

Wyoming’s Child Support Program ranked number one nationally for the ninth consecutive year based on performance and federal standards. The CSP is administered by the Department of Family Services.

Maximus, a company specializing in health and human service programs, compiles the data for each state and territory. Then the North Dakota Child Support Director calculates and determines the ranking.

“We believe this recognition as the nation’s leading program demonstrates that Wyoming families are receiving the services they need and families are receiving their court-ordered child support,” said Kristie Arneson, senior economic security administrator at DFS, in a press release . “Those are always our goals.”

CSP goals include finding birth parents; determination of paternity; establishment of child support and medical support orders; Enforcing child support and medical support orders and modifying existing orders. The CSP also serves as a “go-through” agency, accepting and disbursing child support payments to custodial parents.

The state child support metrics are: the number of cases with alimony; determination of paternity; collection of ongoing support; Collection of arrears (child support payments) and cost-efficiency.


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