The Associated Press


4:06 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

Natural gas plant explosion injures four

Four people have been hurt in a flash fire at a ConocoPhillips natural gas processing plant in Fremont County.

ConocoPhillips spokesman Jim Lowry says the flash fire occurred at the Lost Cabin plant about 8:30 a.m. today/Wednesday while contract workers were doing maintenance on part of the plant.

Lowry says the brief fire went out on its own.

Fremont County Sheriff's Capt. Dave Good says two of the people who were hurt received what he described as "pretty severe" injuries. They were transported to hospitals in the region, including a burn center in Greeley, Colo.

3:54 pm
Tue August 21, 2012

OSHA proposes flame-resistant clothing requirement near rigs

The Wyoming Occupational Safety and Health Administration is proposing a rule that would require workers to wear flame-resistant clothing within 75 feet of an oil and gas well bore.
The agency is taking public comments on the proposal and will hold a public hearing on Oct. 5 in Casper.

John Robitaille, of the Petroleum Association of Wyoming, says industry would welcome the rule since many already follow it now.
But Robitaille says some companies would rather use the special clothing on an as-needed basis.

5:55 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

Wyoming facing worst hay crop in decades

New U.S. Agriculture Department estimates indicate Wyoming is facing one its worst hay harvests in terms of acreage in nearly 80 years.
Hay is Wyoming's biggest cash crop, and it also is the one suffering the most from a lack of rains earlier in the season.
USDA crop yield estimates released late last week project Wyoming's overall hay harvest this year to yield about 925,000 acres of hay.
If realized, that would make 2012 the single worst year for Wyoming hay acreage since the Dust Bowl days of 1934.

7:26 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Firefighters slow spread of wildfire near Rawlins

Firefighters are slowing the spread of a wildfire burning in south-central Wyoming's Carbon County.

The Ferris Fire, about 30 miles northeast of Rawlins, has burned nearly 9-thousand acres and is 63 percent contained.

Fire managers say crews have been able to hold the fire on the north, east and south sides. However, steep, rugged terrain on the west side of the fire has made it harder to stop the blaze there.

The cause of the wildfire, which was first reported July 27, remains under investigation. 

5:51 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Senators push to restore mine land funding

A group of U.S. senators has introduced legislation seeking to restore hundreds of millions of dollars to Wyoming and other states that receive federal payments to restore abandoned mine lands.

The bill would repeal a provision in the recently passed federal transportation funding law that put a cap on how much abandoned mine land payments states can get.

The bill caps Wyoming at $15 million a year, down from about $150 million a year currently. Other states currently receive less than Wyoming, the nation's largest coal-producing state.

4:15 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

$3B power line project review delayed for 6 months

A detailed review of a proposed $3 billion power line that would run through Wyoming, Utah, Colorado and Nevada will be delayed about six months.

Under the TransWest Express Transmission Line project's initial timeline, the B-L-M was to have issued a draft plan for the project about now. However, spokeswoman Beverly Gorny says that plan is now expected sometime in the spring of next year.

Gorny says the delay is necessary to review newly proposed alternative routes that have come up during the process of trying to identify where the line should go.

4:24 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

Wyomingites asked to report dead sage grouse

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is asking all Wyoming residents to report dead sage grouse they find so the birds can be tested for West Nile virus.

Sage grouse have low resistance to the disease and it usually kills infected birds.

Tom Christiansen with Game and Fish says there is no sign yet of an outbreak in the state this year.A recent limited survey in the Powder River Basin detected only low numbers of a particular type of mosquito known to carry the disease.

6:02 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Feds instruct Wyoming to continue PAWS test

The U.S. Department of Education has informed the Wyoming Department of Education that it should continue administering the state Proficiency Assessments for Wyoming Students -- or PAWS -- test for high school juniors next year.

The Wyoming Legislature earlier this year directed the state Education Department to discontinue the PAWS test for juniors and to use results from the ACT instead.

5:55 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Roberts drops bid for U.S. Senate

A University of Wyoming history professor is dropping his bid to run as an independent for U.S. Senate.

Phil Roberts says there is no room in this year's Senate race for him because in order to be successful he would need support from a number of Republicans. But as his petition drive to gather signatures progressed, it became clear that most of his support was coming from Democrats and independents.

Roberts was a Democratic candidate for governor in 1998 and lost the primary to John Vinich, who then lost the general election.

8:04 am
Mon July 2, 2012

Squirrel Creek Fire Expands, Spurs Evacuations

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) - Evacuations have been ordered near a fast-growing wildfire in southern Albany County that's burning through dry and dead timber.

The Albany County Sheriff's office Sunday night urged residents in the Fox Creek Road area and the vicinity of Lake Hattie to evacuate. It's not clear yet how many had to flee.

The area is about 30 miles southwest of Laramie in the Medicine Bow National Forest area.

The department told residents in a message that "the Squirrel Creek Fire is advancing quickly. Please advise your neighbor if you have time."

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5:08 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

More fires blaze across Wyoming

Wildfire in the Shoshone National Forest
U.S. Forest Service

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - New wildfires have started in northern Wyoming.

A new fire is burning in the Shoshone National Forest near the Montana border. The fire has forced the closure of a 15 mile section of U.S. 212 in northern Park County.

Another fire is burning about 12 miles south of Ten Sleep in Washakie County.

And firefighters are tending to a grass fire that burned about 15,000 acres Tuesday in Johnson and Sheridan counties. About 30 ranch homes had to be evacuated. However, lighter winds kept fire activity down Wednesday.

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5:13 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Wildfires blaze on in Bridger-Teton and Medicine Bow Forests

Russell's Camp fire
Associated Press


Winds gusting up to 45 miles-per-hour are making things difficult for firefighters battling two wildfires in Wyoming.

The first major wildfire of the season in western Wyoming tripled in size on Tuesday because of the strong winds.

The Fontenelle Fire burning in the Bridger-Teton National Forest is located about 30 miles northwest of LaBarge. It was discovered late Sunday afternoon.

Forest spokeswoman Mary Cernicek says a new team of more experienced firefighters is being called in to take over the fight.

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5:30 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Lummis seeks re-election

U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis has announced her bid for a third term as Wyoming's lone member of the U.S. House.

Lummis was first elected to the House in 2008. She easily won re-election in 2010, defeating Democrat David Wendt with more than 70 percent of the vote.

So far, two candidates have announced plans to challenge Lummis this year. Casper College political science instructor Chris Henrichsen is running as a Democrat, and former Roman Catholic priest Charlie Hardy announced he will run as an independent.

6:16 am
Tue May 8, 2012

Yellowstone bison to be pushed back into park

Government officials plan haze a large herd of migrating bison back into Yellowstone National Park this week - an annual event that is again drawing opposition from wildlife advocates and American Indian groups.

Montana state veterinarian Marty Zaluski says an estimated 400 bison are outside the park in the West Yellowstone area. Government workers could start driving the animals back into Yellowstone using a helicopter as early as Wednesday.

Hundreds of bison leave the park annually during winter to graze at lower elevations.

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5:33 am
Fri May 4, 2012

Enviro groups sue over federal coal leases

Environmentalists have filed a lawsuit seeking to derail efforts by the federal government to lease an estimated 2 billion tons of coal near two major Wyoming mines.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. targets four recent and proposed coal lease sales in the Powder River Basin.

The Sierra Club and Wild Earth Guardians say mining and burning coal from the federal leases would release huge amounts of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, exacerbating climate change.

5:31 am
Wed May 2, 2012

Mine blast picked up on seismographs

An explosion at a coal mine northeast Wyoming was big enough to register on seismographs on the scale of
a small earthquake.

Some people in Gillette reported feeling the ground shake from 16 miles away.

The U.S. Geological Survey recorded the blast at 11:11 a.m. Tuesday. The blast happened in the area of Cloud Peak Energy's Cordero Rojo Mine southeast of Gillette and registered as large as a magnitude 4.5 earthquake.

5:21 am
Tue May 1, 2012

Wyoming gets $1.1 million for schools

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan says Wyoming will receive $1.1 million to turn around its persistently lowest-achieving schools.

The money comes from the Education Department's School Improvement Grants program. The funds are part of $535 million provided through the fiscal 2011 budget and made available to states through the program.

5:16 am
Tue May 1, 2012

Pipeline proposer has homes in foreclosure

The man behind the proposed Flaming Gorge pipeline  has two homes in foreclosure.

Aaron Million is behind Wyco Power and Water, which has proposed building a pipeline to deliver water from the Flaming Gorge Reservoir to southeast Wyoming and Colorado's Front Range.

He has two homes in Fort Collins, Colo., listed in foreclosure. One is listed as the business address for Wyco.  Million says that home is owned by a partnership with his parents, who have fallen on hard times. The other is a home he owns with his former wife. Almost $1.8 million is owed on the two properties.

5:31 am
Mon April 30, 2012

UW Geological Museum to close for renovations

Willow Belden

The University of Wyoming Geological Museum will close on May 7 for its first significant renovation in decades.

The museum closed briefly in the summer of 2009 due to state budget cuts, drawing attention from fans of the museum from around the world. When the museum reopened in August 2009, it was with the help of private funds from the UW Foundation.

It now has an endowment fund of more than $1 million.

5:11 am
Mon April 30, 2012

Bridge repaired at site of fatal washout

Crews have replaced a culvert on a Wyoming highway were four members of a Colorado Springs family drowned when the road washed out last summer.

The Wyoming Department of Transportation says the temporary bridge on Wyo. 130 has been replaced by a permanent box culvert. The roadway, about 20 miles southeast of Saratoga, is now open to two-way traffic.

The family from Colorado Springs family drove into the washed-out section of mountain highway last July. They were washed away as they fled torrential rains at a national forest campground at night.

5:54 am
Mon April 23, 2012

Game and Fish to set wolf hunting seasons

The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission will meet this week in Casper to consider setting a hunting season for wolves for the coming fall.

The commission is scheduled to meet Wednesday and Thursday in Casper. It has been holding public meetings around the state on the proposed gray wolf management hunting rules.

Seasons and license quotas for all big game species, including wild bison, will be established. In addition, the commission will set seasons for upland and early migratory birds and small game as well as turkey seasons for the fall 2012 and spring 2013 hunts.

5:44 am
Mon April 23, 2012

State files response to redistricting lawsuit

Wyoming's attorney general wants a district judge in Cheyenne to dismiss a lawsuit fighting the state's redistricting plan.

Greg Phillips filed the state's response last week, arguing the proper procedures weren't followed to qualify the seven plaintiffs to be eligible for a class-action suit.

The residents sued earlier this month in Laramie County District Court to try to overturn the Legislature's recently adopted redistricting work. They argue the plan doesn't adequately represent some of the state's more sparsely populated counties.

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5:51 pm
Fri April 20, 2012

Lawsuit over Grizzly mauling case will go to trial

A lawsuit over a fatal bear mauling near
Yellowstone National Park is set to go to trial at the end of the
     The Powell Tribune  reported Friday that
federal Judge Nancy Freudenthal has scheduled the
trial to start Dec. 3 in Cheyenne.
     Erwin Evert of Park Ridge, Ill., was killed by a grizzly bear
that had been tranquilized by researchers in Shoshone National
     Evert's widow, Yolanda Evert, is suing the federal government
for $5 million. She claims that researchers let the bear go too

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5:28 am
Fri April 13, 2012

Wyoming child care benefits disappeared

A survey of businesses in Wyoming finds
that more than 19,000 workers lost their company child-care
benefits during the Great Recession.
     Advocates for child-care services say that is a severe blow to a
state that has worked hard over recent years to improve child-care
access as a way to help attract new jobs and workers.
     Marc Homer of the Wyoming Children's Action Alliance says it's
shortsighted for businesses to cut back on child-care benefits for
     The survey was conducted by the Wyoming Department of Workforce

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6:40 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

Wyoming Represents At Denver Weekend-Long Powwow

Northern Arapaho tribal member Mikala Summer SunRhodes has been selected as this years, Denver March Powwow Princess.

The 38th annual Denver March Powwow is featuring drummers and dancers representing nearly 100 tribes from around the country this weekend.

Over one-thousand dancers are expected to attend, and more than 50,000 people are estimated to be at the event.

The Powwow runs today through Sunday at the Denver Coliseum.

6:39 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

UW Trustees Approve Tuition And Fee Increase

The University of Wyoming Board of Trustees has approved raising tuition and fees over the next two years.

Under the plan, tuition paid by resident students will increase 2% in each of the next two years while nonresident students will pay 4.5% more in 2013 and 2014.

For a resident undergraduate student: tuition that costs $104 dollars per credit hour this year would increase to $108 dollars per credit hour by 2014. Nonresident per credit hour tuition will go from $576 dollars to $629. Mandatory student fees will increase from just over $1,000 a year.

5:21 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

Money added to Data Center recruitment

The State Loan and Investment Board has
approved a $5 million grant to help bring a proposed $112 million
data center to Cheyenne.
     Cheyenne is one of two finalists in the Rocky Mountain region
for the data center. State officials have declined to identify the
company behind the project, but they say it is a Fortune 100 firm.
     The state board approved the $5 million grant on Monday.
     Gov. Matt Mead says he's willing to provide another $5 million
in state money to help land the center, bringing the state's total

5:29 am
Wed March 7, 2012

Romney wins four Wyoming delegates

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney picked up four delegates in the first round of Wyoming's Republican
presidential caucuses. A fifth delegate from Wyoming went to Ron Paul.

Romney edged former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum by two votes to pick up his first Wyoming delegate in Laramie County, the state's most populous.

Big Horn, Natrona and Washakie counties also went for Romney. Republicans in Weston County near the Black Hills in the state's northeastern corner chose the delegate for Paul.

5:16 am
Tue March 6, 2012

Legislature approves budget

The Wyoming Legislature has approved a $3.2-billion budget bill which now goes to Gov. Matt Mead for his consideration.

The budget bill approved by both Houses on Monday keeps state spending essentially flat over the coming two-year budget cycle.

State lawmakers are keeping a close eye on falling natural gas prices and had directed state agencies to prepare for possible 4-percent budget cuts next year if necessary.

4:09 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

GM Puts Volt Into 'Neutral' To Let Sales Catch Up

Workers assemble a Chevrolet Volt at GM's Detroit Hamtramck Assembly Plant in October. The auto maker says it will idle the plant for five weeks, to allow demand to catch up with inventory.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

General Motors will suspend production of its Chevrolet Volt electric car for five weeks amid disappointing sales.

A GM spokesman said Friday that the company will shut down production of the Volt from March 19 until April 23, idling 1,300 workers at the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant.

"We're taking a temporary shutdown," said GM spokesman Chris Lee. "We're doing it to maintain our proper inventory levels as we align production with demand."

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