The Associated Press


3:38 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

Air Force Mortuary Official Resigns Amid Scandal

The remains of a U.S. Army private arrive at Dover Air Force Base for a transfer ceremony last November. The mortuary at Dover Air Force Base has come under accusations that body parts of the nation's war dead were cremated and the ashes dumped in a Virginia landfill.
Brendan Hoffman Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 3:46 pm

One of three officials accused of mismanaging the mortuary at Dover Air Force Base, Del., and of retaliating against three whistle-blowers, has resigned.

The Office of Special Counsel, an independent federal investigative agency, said Friday that Quinton Keel had resigned and that it is in touch with Air Force officials about their final decisions on disciplinary action against the two other accused officials.

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5:55 pm
Mon February 27, 2012

Americans Elect gains spot on Wyoming ballot

A group trying to mount a novel third-party presidential campaign has gained a spot on the Wyoming general election ballot.

Secretary of State Max Maxfield announced Monday that the Americans Elect party gathered enough signatures of registered voters in the state to be added to the November ballot.

Americans Elect needed 3,740 signatures to gain ballot access as a provisional party. The organization submitted more than 7,000 signatures.

The Republican and Democratic parties will be listed on both the primary and general election ballots.

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5:36 am
Fri February 17, 2012

Court says no to reconsidering Roadless Rule

A federal appeals court has rejected Wyoming's request for it to reconsider a decision upholding the Roadless Rule. The 2001 rule bars development on millions of acres of roadless areas in national forests.

Last year, a three-judge panel of the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the 2001 rule passed under former President Bill Clinton. On Thursday, the court denied Wyoming's request for a rehearing. The Colorado Mining Association, which is part of the lawsuit, says they're considering taking the matter to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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7:23 pm
Sun February 12, 2012

Low natural gas prices could lead to more use of the product

As natural gas prices continue to drop, the
recent nationwide boom in drilling is slowing.
     Several companies have said in recent weeks they plan to cut
back production, but experts say the low prices are also opening up
new markets.
     Kathryn Klaber, president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, says
there will be fewer natural gas wells drilled in 2012.
     Yet Klaber says that even as drillers are pressured by low
prices, the cost creates opportunities for more people and
industries to use the product.

7:18 pm
Sun February 12, 2012

Wyoming coal may be shipped overseas

A recently signed deal and another in negotiation will allow some Powder River Basin coal to be shipped
to overseas customers through the Gulf Coast and possibly East Coast ports.
     The Casper Star-Tribune ( ) reports St.
Louis-based Arch Coal, which owns a number of Powder River Basin
coal mines, has signed a deal with Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP
to ship coal from the company's mines to customers in Europe and
elsewhere from the Gulf Coast. The announcement came in Arch's
annual report released Friday.

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5:25 pm
Wed February 8, 2012

Gillette May Allow Raising Chickens In City


The city of Gillette is reviewing its animal ordinance and may make changes to allow people to raise chickens inside the city limits.
Right now, people who live in Gillette may keep up to 12 pigeons as pets. But they're not allowed to have chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys or other domestic fowl.
The City Council might take up a revised ordinance this spring.
Proponents of allowing chickens include hardware store manager Forest Rothleutner. He says allowing chickens would allow people to raise their own protein instead of relying solely on stores.

7:46 am
Wed February 8, 2012

American Eagle will stop serving Cheyenne

American Eagle Airlines says it will discontinue flights between Cheyenne and Dallas/Fort Worth starting
April 3.

The rising price of fuel is one reason for the decision announced Tuesday. Airline regional network manager Gary Foss says fuel prices are more than 50 percent higher than what the airline
had projected when it entered the market.

7:26 am
Wed February 8, 2012

Land purchase wouldn't fully protect Laramie's water supply

The director of Wyoming's Water Development Commission says a proposed state purchase of 11,000
acres east of Laramie wouldn't fully protect the city's drinking water supply.
Director Mike Purcell also says normal residential development on the parcel probably wouldn't significantly pollute the city's groundwater.   Sen. Phil Nicholas, a Laramie Republican who chairs the Senate
Appropriations Committee, is pushing state acquisition of the land to prevent development and protect the aquifer. Former state Rep. Doug Samuelson, a friend and law client of Nicholas', owns the

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5:41 pm
Mon February 6, 2012

Carcinogen Found Near Old Teton County Landfill

Teton County officials say they've detected a carcinogenic chemical in groundwater near an old landfill.

County Engineer Sean O'Malley says methylene chloride has been turning up for the past two years in monitoring wells near the landfill in Horsethief Canyon. The dump operated from the 1950s until the late 1980s.

State standards allow up to 5 parts per billion of methylene chloride in water samples. A test in October showed water from a monitoring well had 28 parts per billion of the chemical.

5:38 pm
Mon February 6, 2012

Coal-To-Gas Plant In Discussions With National Lab


The head of a Texas company that plans to build a plant to convert coal to gasoline in Carbon County says discussions are still ongoing with Idaho National Laboratory about reviewing the project.

Robert Kelly is chairman of DKRW Advanced Fuels. He says Monday that he expects the laboratory review will take about 30 days once an agreement is reached.

DKRW last year asked Wyoming to purchase up to $300 million in industrial development bonds to help finance the $2 billion project. The state Legislature would have to authorize any investment above $100 million.

5:44 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Wyo. Issues Citations For Oil Blast That Killed 3

Scott Olson Getty Images

Wyoming has issued 19 citations for an explosion that killed three workers near an oil well last year.

Workplace safety officials say they mailed the citations Thursday but won't release additional details until the recipients confirm they received the documents.

The explosion and fire happened Aug. 29 about 40 miles northeast of Casper at an oil well site owned by Tulsa, Okla.-based Samson Resources. The blast killed James Turner, Llewellyn Dort and Gerardo Alatorre. The three workers were installing pipe.

5:42 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Pipeline Company Sues Operator Of Wyo. Coal Mine

A loader fills a haul truck full of coal and rock in one of the pits at the Chevron mine near Kemmerer in May. Northwest Pipeline is suing the Chevron Mining Company, claiming that the ground underneath their pipeline is moving due to the coal compaiy's c
TIM KUPSICK Star-Tribune file

 A dispute between a natural gas pipeline operator and a coal mine in southwestern Wyoming has landed in court.

Utah-based Northwest Pipeline GP claims that operations at Chevron's coal mine near Kemmerer shifted the earth near two interstate pipelines. Northwest has filed a lawsuit against Chevron Mining Inc. seeking at least $20 million to pay for the pipelines to be protected and moved.

6:08 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Report: Wyoming has business friendly taxes

A new report says Wyoming has the best tax policies in the nation for spurring job growth.

The Tax Foundation research group in Washington, D.C., released its annual rankings yesterday… placing Wyoming at the top of its overall business tax climate index.

The report authors say the state is especially attractive for prospective employers because it does not levy personal income and corporate taxes… and the state placed first among all states in the foundation's income and corporate tax categories.

5:57 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Legislative committee cuts health funding

A panel of Wyoming legislators has voted to deny Gov. Matt Mead's request to use state money to make up for expired federal stimulus funds that had gone to help support the Medicaid program.

A majority of members of the Joint Appropriations Committee voted against Mead's request to give the Health Department and extra $37 million for Medicaid today.

The committee also voted against Mead's request to put up nearly $7 million to cut waiting lists for people in the state waiting for services for developmental disabilities and acquired brain injuries.

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6:39 pm
Wed January 25, 2012

Nicholas backs state land purchase from law client

The chairman of the Wyoming Legislature's Senate Appropriations Committee is advocating a deal in which the state would buy 11,000 acres from a client of his law firm.
Republican Sen. Phil Nicholas of Laramie is meanwhile keeping alive a proposal under which the client, Doug Samuelson, would acquire a 50,000-acre ranch between Laramie and Cheyenne. The Colorado State University Research Foundation and University of Wyoming Foundation jointly own the Y Cross Ranch.

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9:51 am
Tue January 24, 2012

Governor Mead backs off on request for salary hikes

Gov. Matt Mead is proposing cuts to the state budget proposal he submitted to state legislators in
December.  Mead wrote to members of the Legislature's Joint Appropriations
Committee on Monday calling for cuts, including axing proposed pay
raises for state employees and for workers at the University of Wyoming.
     Mead proposed a $3.4-billion state budget in December. State
budget analysts this month said lower natural gas prices mean the
state will likely receive $100 million less than anticipated in the

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9:28 am
Mon January 23, 2012

Wyoming sees increase in chlamydia

A report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a jump in the number of reported
chlamydia cases in Wyoming since 2007.  Wyoming Department of Health STD program manager Canyon Hardesty tells the Wyoming Tribune Eagle that the increased rates were due to an improved screening process and low-cost testing vouchers that were made available in mid- 2010.
Hardesty also says the Midwest typically has higher case rates of
chlamydia than other parts of the U.S.  The CDC says about 1.3 million cases of chlamydia were reported

9:25 am
Mon January 23, 2012

UW will propose a tuition hike in March

University of Wyoming officials plan to ask trustees in March to approve tuition rates for a two-year period.Vice President of Administration Doug Vinzant told trustees adopting a two-year planned tuition program would provide certainty for students.
     Currently, annual full-time undergraduate tuition and fees are
$4,125 for residents and $12,855 for non-residents.
     Vinzant says increases will likely be based on what the
university receives in appropriations from the Legislature.
     Gov. Matt Mead has recommended providing the university with

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8:00 am
Fri January 20, 2012

Legislative committee approves redistricting

A panel of Wyoming lawmakers has endorsed a statewide plan for redrawing legislative districts that would leave one eastern Wyoming state senator out of a job.

The Joint Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions Interim Committee unanimously approved a redistricting plan Thursday in Cheyenne. The redistricting is in response to population changes reflected in the latest census.

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5:45 pm
Thu January 19, 2012

EPA seeks experts for fracking investigation panel

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is seeking nominees to take a close look at an EPA draft report that theorizes a link between hydraulic fracturing and groundwater pollution in a Pavillion gas field.

A federal notice this week says members of the peer review panel must have technical experience in areas including petroleum engineering, hydrology, geology and chemistry. The panelists must also not have any conflicts of interest.

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11:02 am
Thu January 19, 2012

The State Building Commission implements new rule

Public displays and demonstrations will no longer be permitted in an underground tunnel leading into the State
Capitol.  The State Building Commission voted 2-1 Wednesday to approve a new policy on public use of Capitol Complex buildings.
     Republican Rep. Amy Edmonds, of Cheyenne, says the policy change is an overreaction and infringes on free speech.  But commission member Secretary of State Max Maxfield says the
tunnel is intended for foot traffic only and groups can still use the Herschler Building next door to the Capitol.

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10:59 am
Thu January 19, 2012

Bonding for coal gasification plant moves forward

The Carbon County Commission has approved
resolutions supporting a Texas company's plan to issue $545 million
in bonds to help fund construction of a planned $2 billion
coal-to-gasoline plant.
     The commission unanimously endorsed issuing $300-million in industrial
development bonds and $245 million in tax exempt bonds.
     DKRW officials have asked the State of Wyoming to purchase the
$300-million bond issue. The $245-million bond issue would be sold
on the open market.

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8:02 am
Wed January 18, 2012

Judge holds hearing on Wyoming term limits case

A lawyer for Wyoming Secretary of State Max Maxfield says he expects to ask the state Supreme Court to decide the constitutionality of a state law setting term limits for statewide elected officials.

District Judge Thomas Campbell of Cheyenne heard arguments Tuesday from lawyers representing Maxfield and the Wyoming Attorney General's Office.

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6:06 am
Tue January 17, 2012

Panel has endorsed education reform plan

A panel of lawmakers has endorsed proposed
legislation that spells out how education reform will be carried
out in Wyoming's public schools.
     The Select Committee on Statewide Education Accountability on
Monday unanimously approved a 55-page proposal on making sure
Wyoming high school graduates are ready for college and careers.
     The proposal of part of a reform movement that began in the 2011
Legislature to hold students, teachers, schools and administrators
accountable for poor performance.

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9:32 am
Mon January 16, 2012

Cervical cancer prevention is being urged

 The Wyoming Department of Health is reminding women to take steps to reduce their risk of cervical
     Carol Peterson of the Wyoming Breast and Cervical Cancer Early
Detection Program says there has been significant progress in the
fight against cervical cancer in recent year.
     But a state Health Department report says Wyoming is ranked low
at 45th in the nation for women reporting they had at least one Pap
test in the past three years.
     Wyoming currently has a 78.3 percent Pap test screening rate,

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9:28 am
Mon January 16, 2012

Group wants to protect murals in Douglas

Preservationists hope to win state historic
recognition for the officers club at a former prisoner-of-war camp
in Douglas to help maintain 16 Western murals painted on its walls
by Italian POWs during World War II.
     The building is owned by the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and
isn't open to the public on a regular basis.
     The Douglas Historic Preservation Commission has worked with the
Odd Fellows since the 1990s to protect and maintain the building.
It's listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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6:16 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

Feds: Proposed insurance rate hikes 'unreasonable'

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says proposed increases in health insurance premiums for customers in in Wyoming and four other states have been deemed "unreasonable" by the agency.

Federal officials said in a statement Thursday they've determined that Trustmark Life Insurance Co. proposed unreasonable rate increases in Alabama, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wyoming.

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6:15 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

Fremont County agrees to pay $457k to settle suit

Fremont County and Lander Regional Hospital have reached a settlement in a yearlong lawsuit over unpaid bills for mental health examinations for residents who may need to be hospitalized.

The county will pay $457,000 for evaluations from 2009 to Dec. 15. Lander parent company LifePoint Hospitals had sought more than $800,000 in unpaid bills from the county. Both sides disputed how much the county owed for evaluations of patients who faced involuntary hospitalization for mental illness.

5:35 am
Thu January 12, 2012

Game and Fish pushes to allow baiting of big game

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is pushing to allow baiting of big game animals to allow hunters to lure deer herds away from towns.

The Legislature's Joint Travel, Recreation, Wildlife and Cultural Resources Committee is sponsoring a bill that would allow the state Game Commission authority to bait deer into places where they could be killed safely.

Sen. Bruce Burns of Sheridan is co-chairman of the legislative committee. He says towns in the region would take advantage of the new law to allow hunters to thin out the herds of whitetail deer.

5:39 pm
Wed January 11, 2012

Emissions Data Blames Power Plants For Pollution

The most detailed data yet on emissions of heat-trapping gases show that U.S. power plants are responsible for the bulk of the pollution blamed for global warming. The data released today reveals that power plants released 72 percent of the greenhouse gases reported to the Environmental Protection Agency for 2010. Wyoming is among a handful of states that are home to high-polluting power plants, according to the data.