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By The Associated Press
Wyoming in brief

Medicaid contract goes to Colorado firm

CHEYENNE – A state Department of Health contract to administer Medicaid in Wyoming has been awarded to a Colorado firm.

The Colorado Foundation for Medical Care will review doctors’ bills and claims submitted to the state to make sure services are medically necessary and the bills for them appropriate, said Teri Green, with the department’s Medicaid Utilization Office.

A Seattle firm used to hold the $500,000-per-year contract, but the Colorado Foundation won this year. No Wyoming firm provides Medicaid administrative services, according to Green.

The Colorado Foundation has more than 30 years experience and 120 employees and is one of the nation’s most respected medical quality improvement organizations, a press release from the foundation said.

The Wyoming contract began Jan. 1. It requires the foundation to oversee case management and certification for Medicaid patients seeking hospital time for several reasons, including acute psychiatric care and physical rehabilitation.

Cheyenne to repair 65 miles of streets

CHEYENNE – The city plans to spend excess funds from a fifth-penny sales tax to repair 51 miles of streets this summer at a cost of $1.5 million.

Next year, plans call for spending $1 million to fix 14 miles of streets.

Fifty-six miles of the 65 miles to be improved will involve spreading an asphalt layer over deteriorating pavement. The slurry seal can extend road life five to 10 years, depending on traffic, according to public works manager Jackie Smith.

Most of the repairs are slated for residential areas, but there will be some inconveniences in commercial areas, she said.

The city expects to begin this year’s work in the spring and wrap up the first phase by the first snowfall.

Ex-Geringer spokesman takes job with Bush

Gov. Jim Geringer’s former press spokesman is now director of Internet services for the White House.

Jimmy Orr represents President Bush on technology issues, working with traditional media outlets, dot-com news organizations and reporters covering White House technology policy.

“I also spend a smaller portion of my time working with the White House Web site,” he told the Casper Star-Tribune’s Washington D.C. bureau. “The majority of my time my job is to be a spokesman.”

Orr, 35, worked on the Bush-Cheney campaign and inaugural preparations before taking the position last month.

Before that, he served as Geringer’s first-term press secretary, then joined a Washington D.C.-based public policy consulting firm.

Orr said the Internet will become an increasingly powerful tool for citizens to access their government agencies, partly because of Bush’s proposals.

The White House budget plan includes $100 million to expand federal business online and the network of government Internet sites.

Moon to visit Cheyenne

CHEYENNE – The Rev. Sun Myung Moon, founder and leader of the Unification Church, is scheduled to be in Cheyenne with his “Standing Together” tour March 27.

The tour started last month in New York, where 3,500 clergy and followers joined the 81-year-old evangelist in calling for national interracial and interreligious harmony and cooperation.

The finale will be in Washington, D.C. on April 16. Moon plans to travel to 50 states in 51 days.

Not everyone is happy about his pending visit. Cheyenne resident Walter Naylor said the visit would be a “disgrace to Cheyenne.”

Naylor’s son nearly joined the church several years ago in Idaho. Naylor said he will try to stop the visit in order to prevent Moon from brainwashing young people.

“If I can keep him from indoctrinating and poisoning the mind of some (teen-ager), I’ll consider it a success,” he said.

The Rev. Phillip Shanker, media director for the tour, said complaints of mind control are 25 years old and come from a small group that had difficult or painful experiences.

A spokesman for Little America, where Moon is scheduled to speak, said the hotel cannot discriminate against Moon.

Copyright 2001, Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Updated: Mon Mar 12 17:58:01 CST 2001 Central Time
Copyright The Billings Gazette, a division of Lee Enterprises.

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