Associated Press

A federal judge has overturned the death penalty for Dale Wayne Eaton, Wyoming's lone death row inmate.

U.S. District Judge Alan B. Johnson of Cheyenne on Thursday stated Wyoming has a choice of either granting a new sentencing proceeding for Eaton within 120 days in Natrona County or keeping him locked up for life without parole.

The 69-year-old Eaton was sentenced to death in 2004 in state court for the 1988 rape and murder of 18-year-old Lisa Marie Kimmell of Billings, Montana.

Gage Skidmore via Flickr Creative Commons

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Alvin Wiederspahn, a former Wyoming state legislator and the husband of U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis, has died at age 65.

Wiederspahn-Radomsky Chapel of the Chimes funeral director Amy Peterson confirmed Wiederspahn's death and says arrangements are being handled by the funeral home his parents started.

She says she does not know how Wiederspahn died.

A federal court hearing next week could enable same-sex couples to begin getting marriage licenses in Wyoming. Four same-sex couples and a gay-rights advocacy group filed suit Tuesday seeking the right to marry in Wyoming. U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl will consider their request to decide immediately on gay marriage in Wyoming at next Thursday's hearing in Casper.   

A federal judge has denied requests from the state of Wyoming, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and pro-hunting groups to change a decision last week that reinstates federal protections for wolves in the state.
 
U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday denied requests to change her ruling.

This post will be updated as results become available. Last updated: August 20 12:27 AM.   U.S. Senate 2014 Dem - Primary     482 of 482 precincts - 100 percent
     x-Charlie Hardy 7,193 - 48 percent
     Rex Wilde 3,010 - 20 percent
     Al Hamburg 2,989 - 20 percent
     William Bryk 1,670 - 11 percent

The special legislative committee investigating Wyoming schools Superintendent Cindy Hill has released a final report sharply criticizing her performance. 

The report released Wednesday concludes Hill failed to follow legislative budget directives and intentionally violated the law by requiring permanent Education Department employees to certify she could fire them at any time.

Associated Press

A special legislative committee investigating Wyoming schools Superintendent Cindy Hill released a scathing report Tuesday concluding she failed to follow legislative funding directives and demanded rank-and-file education department staff to demonstrate personal loyalty to her.

Hill has 15 days to respond before the committee will issue its final report, probably before the end of the month.

Aaron Schrank/WPR

A funnel cloud prompted a brief tornado warning in Cheyenne on Wednesday.The National Weather Service sounded the alarm at about 2 p.m., soon after the funnel dropped down from a small thunderstorm in the high country west of town. Minutes later, the funnel dissipated without touching down - though not before several people snapped photos of the twister and posted the images online. The storm caused nothing worse than some light rain in the capital city. Sheriff's officials say no damage was reported.

A bus crashed into other vehicles stopped for roadwork on a rural Wyoming highway, killing three and sending at least three others to the hospital.

The Wyoming Highway Patrol says the accident occurred about 7:30 a.m. Wednesday on Wyoming Highway 59 about 10 miles south of Gillette.

The highway was closed for about four hours while the accident was investigated and cleared.

The patrol says the three people killed were in two vehicles that were waiting for a pilot car to escort them through the construction zone.

Names were not immediately released.

More than 50 Wyoming lawyers are expressing support for a group's effort to change state law to allow same-sex couples to marry.
 
A group called Wyoming Equality is challenging the state prohibition against same-sex marriage in state court. Group Chairman Jeran Artery says he hopes the lawyers' support sparks a statewide debate.
 
Wyoming Equality and four same-sex Wyoming couples filed a lawsuit earlier this year challenging the state law that defines marriage as existing only between a man and a woman.
 

A small fire continues to burn at a western Wyoming natural gas processing plant idled by an explosion since last week.

The will of a wealthy Denver philanthropist who has died contains an incentive for the University of Wyoming and Colorado State University to use a ranch for agricultural education rather than sell the property.

Amy Davis died Wednesday. She was 86.
 
Davis' personal representative, Tyson Dines, said Thursday that Davis' will sets aside a considerable amount to support teaching at the Y Cross Ranch. He wouldn't specify the amount.
 
University officials said they were saddened by Davis' death but had no additional comment.

Cindy Hill Superintendent

Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill is rejecting an offer from the state attorney general to narrow the scope of a court case that has to be resolved before she can return to running the state education department.
 
Hill said Tuesday the state constitution is not negotiable.
 
Hill filed suit challenging a state law enacted last year that removed her as head of the state education department. The Wyoming Supreme Court ruled in January the law is unconstitutional.
 

An administrator in the Wyoming Department of Family Services says she is running for state superintendent of public instruction.

One of Wyoming's most outspoken environmental groups is disbanding.

The board of the Laramie-based Biodiversity Conservation Alliance voted Thursday to call it quits. Board President Ken Driese said Monday the group has been having fundraising difficulties and that four staff members are losing their jobs.

The Taliban has suspended talks over a possible exchange of Taliban and U.S. prisoners due to the "complexity" of the situation in Afghanistan, the militant group said on Sunday.

"Due to the political complexity of the current situation in the country, the leadership of the Islamic Emirate has decided to suspend the issue for some time," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in an email to media organizations, using the name the Taliban gave their 1996-2001 government.

A 55-year-old restaurant manager died and more than two dozen others were taken to hospitals Saturday after being overcome by carbon monoxide at a New York mall, police said.

Suffolk County police identified the man who died as Steven Nelson, a manager at the Legal Sea Foods restaurant at the Walt Whitman Shops in Huntington Station on Long Island.

Police said 28 others affected by carbon monoxide were taken to area hospitals.

The Wyoming State Loan and Investment Board has approved $13 million in grants to help a Colorado producer of ammunition magazines for guns move its manufacturing operations to Wyoming.

Erie, Colo.-based Magpul Industries is moving its production, distribution and shipping operations to Cheyenne and its headquarters to Texas. The company is making good on its vow to leave Colorado after that state enacted gun control laws last year.

Magpul will bring about 90 new jobs to Cheyenne.

A divided Wyoming Supreme Court has ruled that a new law stripping many powers and duties from the state superintendent of public instruction is unconstitutional.

The court's 3-2 ruling Tuesday came in a lawsuit by Republican state schools Superintendent Cindy Hill challenging the law enacted a year ago by the GOP-controlled Legislature and Republican Gov. Matt Mead.

The law took effect in the middle of Hill's four-year term. The superintendent remained one of the five statewide elected officials but no longer oversaw the Wyoming Department of Education.

A former hospital administrator who pleaded guilty to defrauding hospitals in Wyoming and Indiana has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Freudenthal on Monday also ordered Paul Cardwell to pay restitution of nearly $1.7 million.

Cardwell pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Prosecutors say Cardwell took nearly $850,000 from Powell Valley Healthcare in 2011 and earlier took about the same amount from White County Memorial Hospital in Monticello, Ind.

The Wyoming Business Council Board of Directors has unanimously approved $13 million in state grants and loans to help one of the country's largest producers of ammunition magazines for guns relocate to the state.
 
     Erie, Colo.-based Magpul Industries is planning to move its production, distribution and shipping operations to Cheyenne. The company vowed to leave Colorado after that state enacted gun control laws last year.
 

Wind River Reservation

The Northern Arapaho Tribe is asking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reject a request from the state of Wyoming to halt implementation of the agency's decision that over 1 million acres around Riverton remains legally Indian Country.
 
Lawyers for the tribe wrote to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy this week urging her to reject the request the state submitted earlier this month.
 

The stakes were high and the vote was close as Boeing production workers agreed to concede some benefits in order to secure assembly of the new 777X airplane for the Puget Sound region.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Boeing hailed Friday's vote, which proponents said solidifies the aerospace giant's presence in the Seattle area.

"Tonight, Washington state secured its future as the aerospace capital of the world," Inslee declared.

A fire burned for more than six hours at the Sinclair Oil refinery in south-central Wyoming.

Officials with Salt Lake City-based Sinclair say nobody was hurt.

The fire started around 3:30 a.m. Friday in the plant's alkylation unit. The refinery's fire department extinguished the flames around 10 a.m.

The company said in a release it had notified Wyoming workplace safety regulators and begun an investigation. The refinery continued to operate at normal rates.

In 2012, three fires injured seven workers at the refinery in the town of Sinclair.

Paul Walker, the star of the "Fast & Furious" movie series, died Saturday in a car crash that killed one other person north of Los Angeles, his publicist said. He was 40.

Walker died Saturday afternoon, Ame Van Iden told the Associated Press.

A statement on the actor's Facebook page said he was a passenger in a friend's car, and that Walker was in the area to attend a charity event for his organization Reach Out Worldwide.

"We ... are stunned and saddened beyond belief by this news," the statement said.

The Wyoming Supreme Court will hear arguments next month over whether the public has the right to obtain lists of chemicals used in the process of hydraulic fracturing.
 
     Environmental groups are suing to see the lists that companies have submitted to state regulators. The groups say they have a right to see the information under Wyoming's public records law.
 
     Attorneys for Wyoming and Halliburton Energy Services say the chemicals are shielded from public disclosure because they're protected trade secrets.
 

Americans Eugene Fama, Lars Peter Hansen and Robert Shiller won the Nobel prize for economics on Monday for developing new methods to study trends in asset markets.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said the three had laid the foundation of the current understanding of asset prices.

While it's hard to predict whether stock or bond prices will go up or down in the short term, it's possible to foresee movements over periods of three years or longer, the academy said.

Wyoming U.S. Sen. John Barrasso is among the members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who have voted against the use of U.S. military force in Syria.
 
     The committee approved a use-of-force resolution Wednesday on a 10-7 vote. President Barack Obama seeks to use force to punish Syrian President Bashar Assad for a recent chemical attack the administration says killed more than 1,400 people.
 

Two teens have been sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to killing three members of a Wyoming family.
 
     Tanner Vanpelt and Stephen Hammer appeared in court in Cody Tuesday to change their pleas under a deal with prosecutors in the killings of 40-year-old Ildiko Freitas and her parents in the northwestern Wyoming town of Clark.
 
     The Powell Tribune  reports Park County Attorney Bryan Skoric agreed to seek life sentences instead of the death penalty with the support of law enforcement and Freitas' family.
 

A meeting between a Wyoming chapter of the NAACP and an organizer for the Ku Klux Klan is believed to be the first of its kind.
 
     Both the Southern Poverty Law Center and the United Klans of America said Tuesday the meeting is a first. The Casper Star-Tribune (http://bit.ly/17BcfVR ) reported that the meeting took place at a hotel in Casper under tight security between Jimmy Simmons, president of the Casper NAACP and John Abarr, a KKK organizer from Great Falls, Mont.
 

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