The Associated Press


5:38 pm
Wed January 11, 2012

Gov. Mead wraps up Texas trip

Governor Matt Mead is wrapping up a trip to Texas where he's been meeting with officials of some of the nation's largest energy companies to try to drum up support for the University of Wyoming's School of Energy Resources.

Renny MacKay is spokesman for Mead in Cheyenne. MacKay says Mead and UW officials have been in Houston and Dallas since Tuesday.

MacKay says they've been meeting with representatives from such energy firms as Exxon, Mobil and Marathon Oil Corp. He says Mead is due back in Wyoming on Wednesday afternoon.

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5:37 pm
Wed January 11, 2012

Mountain lion killed in Gillette

A mountain lion spotted in a Gillette neighborhood has been killed.

Wyoming Game and Fish officials say the 2-year-old female cat was shot Tuesday to protect the public.

Some people reported seeing the cat on Monday but officers weren't able to find where it was living until the following day.

Game warden Irah Leonetti said the cat was living under a trailer in an area just east of an industrial park and had been feeding on some deer.

The last time he can remember a mountain lion being shot in the city was in 2008.

7:48 am
Wed January 11, 2012

Experts predict below average runoff in Wyoming

Early predictions by federal hydrologists foresee below average mountain runoff in Wyoming this year because of a dearth of snow so far this winter.

Based on current snowfall in the mountains, hydrologists estimate that Wyoming's runoff this year will be about 81 percent of average.

The U.S. Agriculture Department's Natural Resources Conservation Service in Casper released its first spring runoff estimate on Tuesday. The agency will issue additional estimates into June.

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7:32 am
Wed January 11, 2012

USDA to close two Wyo. offices

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it plans to shutter four offices in Montana and Wyoming as part of a $150 million cost cutting measure that includes 259 closures nationwide.

The Food Nutrition Service office in Cheyenne, and the USDA Rural Development office in Park County will close, though FSN employees will continue to work from home.

The Food Nutrition Service office was the only one in the state. Food Nutrition Service is the source of the federal SNAP program, formerly known as food stamps.

6:53 am
Mon January 9, 2012

Y Cross ranch donor is upset

A Denver woman who donated her family's
vast ranch to promote hands-on agriculture education at the
University of Wyoming and Colorado State University says she's
disappointed the schools haven't made better use of her gift as a
teaching tool.
     Now the universities are preparing to sell the Y Cross Ranch.
Amy Davis says if she could do it all over again, she wouldn't have
donated the property between Cheyenne and Laramie in southeast
     Both schools acknowledge they haven't put the Y Cross Ranch to

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7:04 am
Fri January 6, 2012

Wolf researcher for federal gov't takes issue with wolf plan

One of five scientists retained by the federal government says he sees shortcomings in Wyoming's proposed wolf management plan.

While four of the scientists generally approved of the plan, wolf researcher John A. Vucetich of Michigan says it's vague on how to reconcile conflicts between wolves and elk and may overestimate the mortality wolf populations can sustain.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service retained the five scientists to evaluate Wyoming's wolf plan.

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6:56 am
Thu January 5, 2012

Yellowstone says new Montana hunt rules protect wolves

Yellowstone National Park officials say an agreement with neighboring Montana that limits wolf hunting along the park's northern border is protecting the park's wolves from excessive hunting.

Yellowstone wolf biologist Doug Smith said Wednesday that Montana's 2011-12 wolf season so far has had less impact than the inaugural hunt in 2009. That year hunters killed four wolves from Yellowstone's Cottonwood pack, which had been studied for years by scientists and was popular among wolf watchers from across the country.

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6:05 am
Thu January 5, 2012

CDC scientist says tests are needed on gas drilling impact

One of the government's top scientists says much more research is needed to determine the possible impacts of shale gas drilling on human health and the environment.

Dr. Christopher Portier of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says studies should include all the ways people can be exposed, such as through air, water, soil, plants and animals.

Portier says there isn't currently enough information to say with certainty whether shale gas drilling poses a threat to public health.

7:56 am
Wed January 4, 2012

Report: Lack of workplace safety culture in Wyo.

An epidemiologist who spent a year studying the high rate of workplace deaths in Wyoming says his research points to lack of a "culture of safety" in Wyoming.

Dr. Timothy Ryan says in a report to Gov. Matt Mead that more than 85 percent of reports on deadly workplace accidents in Wyoming show safety procedures not being followed.

Wyoming consistently has one of the nation's highest rates of workplace fatalities, more than 12 per 100,000 workers in 2010. That's more than three-and-a-half times the national average.

Many deaths occur in the oil and gas industry.

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4:22 pm
Tue January 3, 2012

"Frackwater" linked to earthquakes in Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A series of small earthquakes being studied for their potential links to disposal of gas drilling wastewater in Ohio is shaking up environmentalists and politicians.

It's long been known that disposal of so-called "frackwater" can cause earthquakes if injected near a fault. The jury is still out on whether Ohio's are caused by a wastewater well near Youngstown.

 In the battle of public perception, though, earthquakes grab attention. That's especially true in Ohio, where the geology and politics are positioned to accept wastewater from elsewhere.

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7:54 am
Tue January 3, 2012

Still hope for Niobrara oil plan despite EPA report

A federal report possibly linking groundwater pollution to hydraulic fracturing in central Wyoming is not discouraging hopes for the Niobrara oil play in the southeast part of the state.

Many are questioning the scientific conclusions of the Environmental Protection Agency findings on the technique to extract oil and gas.

But both EPA and industry representatives say the specific concerns raised in the report are not applicable to southeast Wyoming. That is because the Niobrara formation is geologically much different than the Pavillion area.

5:14 pm
Mon January 2, 2012

With wolves' return, study says trees rebound

Scientists say in a new study that the return of gray wolves has dramatically altered the landscape in portions of Yellowstone National Park, by curbing foraging elk herds that prevented new aspen, willow and cottonwood trees from taking root.

Study author William Ripple from Oregon State University said tree stands are expanding in areas where for decades dense elk populations prevented new growth.

Wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone in 1995 and 1996 after being killed off early last century. About 100 now roam the park and elk numbers have dropped sharply.

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4:42 pm
Mon January 2, 2012

Skier, snowmobiler killed in avalanches identified

Park County authorities have identified a snowmobiler and a skier who died in separate avalanches near the Montana-Wyoming line.

Forty-four-year-old David Lee Gaillard was skiing with his wife Saturday southeast of Cooke City when an avalanche occurred around 2 p.m.

Park County Coroner Al Jenkins says Gaillard's wife tried to find her husband but was unsuccessful. She traveled to Cooke City to report the accident and emergency responders recovered the body.

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4:29 pm
Mon January 2, 2012

Defense bill includes millions for Wyoming

A defense bill signed by President Barack Obama includes more than $21 million for military construction in Cheyenne.

F.E. Warren Air Force Base would get $12.6 million to replace an aging centralized heating plant. The Wyoming Army National Guard would get $8.9 million for a readiness center.

Warren officials estimate the heating project would pay for itself in 7 1/2 years through energy savings once the conversion is completed. The changeover is expected to take two years.

The existing system would be replaced by individual systems for each building.

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7:07 am
Mon January 2, 2012

Avalanches kill two people

Authorities say avalanches have killed a snowmobiler in Montana and a cross-country skier in Wyoming.

Doug Chabot with the Gallatin National Forest says the snowmobiler triggered the slide about noon on Saturday north of Cooke City in southwestern Montana.

He says two hours later a skier in the North Absaroka Wilderness in Wyoming traveling on flat ground was engulfed by an avalanche that swept down a nearby slope.

7:01 am
Mon January 2, 2012

Police: Few problems now with Wyoming DUI testing law

After a bit of a rocky start, law enforcement officials and prosecutors around the state say they're now running into few problems with Wyoming's new mandatory DUI testing law.

Since July 1, police officers have been able to get a judicial warrant requiring motorists pulled over for suspected alcohol or drug use to take a breath, blood or urine test. Prosecutors say the change has helped them win cases against drunk drivers, especially repeat offenders who know how to beat the system.

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6:53 am
Mon January 2, 2012

Funeral planned for Chuck Townsend in Newcastle

Funeral services are planned Monday in Newcastle for former state Sen. Charles "Chuck" Townsend. He died last week after a lengthy struggle with cancer. He was 68.

Townsend, of Osage, represented Senate District No. 1 in eastern Wyoming from 2004 to 2010.

Townsend served on several legislative committees including the Appropriations Committee. Citing health reasons, he did not seek office in 2010.

5:51 pm
Tue December 27, 2011

Gov. Mead continues to push for wind tax reduction

Gov. Matt Mead says he's continuing to push to try to change how Wyoming taxes wind energy projects despite a chilly reception to his proposals from some state legislators so far.

Wyoming's sales and use tax exemption on equipment used on wind energy projects expires in January 2012. The state will also begin imposing a $1 per megawatt hour tax on wind energy production starting then.

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5:28 pm
Tue December 27, 2011

Colo. company to buy Chevron's Kemmerer coal mine

A Colorado company has announced a $193 million deal to buy a coal mine in western Wyoming from Chevron
Mining Inc.

Chevron has been getting out of the coal industry and the Kemmerer mine is among its last coal assets. The  mine produces 4.7 million tons of coal a year.

The buyer is Englewood, Colo.-based Westmoreland Coal Co. The deal announced Tuesday includes a purchase price of $179 million plus $14 million in working capital.

7:54 am
Mon December 26, 2011

Wyoming authorities urge drivers to watch for wildlife

     Wyoming authorities are stepping up warnings about moose-vehicle collisions along Highway 390 in Teton
County after some game wardens had to shoot and kill a suffering mother in front of her calf.  

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department says wardens had to shoot the cow moose Dec. 16 because her right leg had been shattered by a car. Afterward, her calf moose pawed at the corpse and ran around
in circles in distress.

7:46 am
Mon December 26, 2011

Lawmaker will push to spend more money for people with disabilities

A Wyoming program that helps the disabled has a long waiting list, but a state bill to be introduced next
year could help. 

Jackson representative Keith Gingery is the sponsor of the bill to be introduced during the
upcoming legislative session would provide $28 million in state and federal funding for Wyoming's Home and Community Based Waiver Program.

10:31 am
Thu December 22, 2011

EPA ready to declare Pinedale area non-attainment for ozone

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
is moving ahead with a proposed regulatory designation that could
increase pressure on the gas industry to limit emissions that have
led to severe wintertime ozone pollution in western Wyoming.
     The EPA is doing so while it settles a nationwide lawsuit over
ozone filed by an environmental group, WildEarth Guardians.
     In 2009, Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal recommended that the EPA
enact what's known as "nonattainment status" for ozone in the

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10:28 am
Thu December 22, 2011

Bacteria plan is awaiting approval

A Colorado company expects to get
regulatory approval soon so it can begin to exploit bacteria to
revive hundreds of old natural gas wells in northeast Wyoming.
     The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality is considering a
draft permit for Luca Technologies Inc. to put substances
underground to encourage the growth of bacteria. The bacteria are
naturally present underground and live in water-saturated coal
     The bacteria eat the coal and produce methane gas as a

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9:08 am
Mon December 19, 2011

State Representative Miller will become an executive of a coal company

 An Australian coal company that wants to mine Powder River Basin coal has hired a Wyoming state lawmaker as
an executive.
     The Gillette News Record ( ) reported that
Republican Rep. David Miller of Riverton sold his Campbell County
mineral rights to Sydney-based County Coal Limited for $200,000 in
March. Miller, a geologist, now holds one million shares in the
company and will get 3 percent royalty payments on coal mined in
the basin, one of the richest coal sources in the United States.

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9:04 am
Mon December 19, 2011

Wyoming football coach will sign a five year extension

University of Wyoming coach Dave Christensen says he has agreed in principle to a new, five-year
contract.  Christensen and athletic director Tom Burman confirmed the agreement Saturday, the day the Cowboys were beaten by Temple 37-15 in the New Mexico Bowl in Albuquerque, N.M.

 Burman said that Christensen would get a substantial raise. No other details of
the pending contract were announced. Burman says he expects the contract to be finalized this week.

7:48 am
Wed December 14, 2011

Western Wyoming continues to oppose water pipeline

The latest application for a federal permit to construct a pipeline to haul water from the Green River
in southwestern Wyoming to Colorado's sprawling Front Range is
sparking opposition from environmental groups and others in the
"Cowboy State."

 The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is accepting public
comments until Dec. 19 on a pipeline permit application from Ft.
Collins, Colo., businessman Aaron Million. Many in western Wyoming
say they're concerned pumping the river water across the state
would draw down Flaming Gorge Reservoir.

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8:26 am
Tue December 13, 2011

New state fishing regulations are unveiled

New Wyoming fishing regulations take effect
beginning in January.
    Wyoming anglers generally will be allowed to keep six trout of
any size in lakes and rivers around the state but will only be
allowed to keep three trout from a river or stream, with only one
of the three trout being over 16 inches. There will be exceptions
to the general limit in certain waters around the state.
     The new regulation will allow anglers to keep up to 16 brook
trout of any size. The old regulation specified only six brook
trout could be over 8 inches.

5:53 pm
Mon December 12, 2011

Gillette gets more flights to Denver

Airline passengers in northeast Wyoming will have more flight options between Denver and Gillette-Campbell County Airport.

SkyWest Airlines says it will add one evening flight from Gillette to Denver and an afternoon flight back, starting March 12.

The announcement is good news for the airport, which took a blow when Great Lakes Airlines dropped half of its flights between Gillette in Denver earlier this fall. Even with the extra daily SkyWest flights, the airport will still have 180 seats fewer weekly than it had before the Great Lakes cuts.

6:05 am
Mon December 12, 2011

DOC helps ex-cons work back into society

The Wyoming Department of Corrections is
fostering multi-agency think tanks to ensure former inmates can
access social services, treatment and other resources on the
     Agency re-entry program manager Christy Hahn says the department
is trying to find out what resources aren't being used or are being
     In early November, a statewide re-entry task force including
members of 14 state, county and city agencies met for their first
quarterly meetings in Cheyenne.

5:59 am
Mon December 12, 2011

Wyoming defends sex trafficking laws

Federal and state prosecutors in Wyoming
say the laws already on the books are sufficient to deal with
offenders who might engage in sex trafficking of children despite a
recent national report giving the state a failing grade on the
     Nonetheless, some Wyoming officials say the state should
consider adopting a new law specifically outlawing child sex
trafficking if only to send the public message that the state is
serious about the issue.
     Shared Hope International, an advocacy group, issued a stinging

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