The Associated Press


8:06 am
Wed December 7, 2011

BLM extends public comment period on wind project

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is giving the public additional time to weigh in on a proposed wind power project near Rock Springs.

The BLM also is holding a public meeting on the Quaking Aspen wind project. That meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. Monday at the Holiday Inn in Rock Springs.

The BLM announced Tuesday that a public comment period originally set to end Wednesday is now being extended until Dec. 27.

Evergreen Wind Power Partners proposes to put up to 100 wind turbines in an area 11 miles southeast of Rock Springs.

8:03 am
Wed December 7, 2011

Casper councilors move forward with gun carry law

The Casper City Council has moved forward with an ordinance that would prohibit people from openly carrying guns into city meetings.

Councilmembers passed the measure 5-4 Tuesday in the second of three required readings. A final vote will be taken Dec. 20.

The ordinance, which would ban all dangerous weapons from city meetings, passed an initial vote 6-3 last month. On Tuesday, Councilman Bill Brauer changed his previous vote in support of the ordinance, saying "I think we have enough restrictions on people."

7:56 am
Wed December 7, 2011

Committee approves legislative redistricting plans

Lawmakers have approved plans to redraw Wyoming's legislative districts, allocating more lawmakers to central and western areas of the state that have gained population while drawing them away from some other places.

The plan approved by the Joint Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions Interim Committee on Tuesday would extend one state Senate district from Cheyenne north into the southern Goshen County community of LaGrange, home of Republican Sen. Curt Meier.

Meier says he plans to oppose that change when the committee meets in Cheyenne in January.

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4:24 pm
Tue December 6, 2011

Staff safe after explosion, fire at Jonah gas field

 PINEDALE, Wyo. (AP) - A fire and explosion has occurred at a compressor facility in the Jonah natural gas field in southwest Wyoming.

Stephen Smith of the Sublette County Sheriff's Office says the fire was first reported at 12:07 p.m. today, followed shortly after by reports of an explosion and flames 100 feet high.

Smith says all 35 workers in the area are accounted for and there were no fatalities. However, he says one person was taken to a local clinic. He had no information on the person's condition.

6:27 pm
Mon December 5, 2011

US appeals court asked to rehear roadless case

Brian Saunders

The state of Wyoming and the Colorado Mining Association want a federal court in Denver to reconsider a rule
prohibiting roads on nearly 50 million acres of land in national forests across the United States.

In a motion filed Monday, the plaintiffs say the U.S. Forest Service's roadless rule was a "sham process" designed to circumvent Congress.

6:10 pm
Mon December 5, 2011

Yellowstone undertakes update to fire management

The National Park Service is seeking public comment in how to manage wildfires in Yellowstone National Park.

The park has undertaken an effort to update its fire management plan to reflect recent changes in federal fire policy.

The Park Service is accepting public comments on identifying what issues should be considered in the environmental review of any proposed changes.

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8:32 am
Mon December 5, 2011

35 people indicted in drug ring

The Fremont County Attorney's Office says 35
people have been indicted in connection with an alleged drug
distribution ring in central Wyoming.
     The Casper Star-Tribune ( ) reported that 22
of the 35 suspects have been arrested as of Friday.
     The indictments came from a grand jury that met from Nov. 28
through the 30th. They involve the distribution of cocaine,
methamphetamine, marijuana and prescription medication.

8:16 am
Thu December 1, 2011

Legislators are closing in on a redistricting bill

Lawmakers charged with redrawing Wyoming's
legislative districts say they expect to hash out competing
proposals at a two-day meeting early next week.

     Republican Sen. Cale Case, of Lander, and Republican Rep. Pete
Illoway, of Cheyenne, are co-chairmen of the Joint Corporations,
Elections and Political Subdivisions Interim Committee that meets
Monday and Tuesday in Cheyenne. The Legislature will consider the
committee's final plan in the session starting in February.

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8:06 am
Wed November 30, 2011

More students opting out of vaccinations

Wyoming has seen an increase in the number of exemptions it grants for required vaccines in children aged 4, 5
and 6 over the last five years.  

In 2010, the state granted 168 exemptions, which represents about 2.2 percent of kindergartners that year.   In 2006, the state granted 54 exemptions at those ages, or about 0.8 percent of kindergartners.   In 2010, Wyoming added vaccinations for chickenpox and a booster shot against tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough to the list of required shots for students.

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5:57 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

Cloud seeding research needs more time, money

Officials say a cloud seeding research project in Wyoming needs two more years and another $2.4 million to be considered scientifically complete.

Cloud seeding is a form of intentional weather modification -- usually an attempt to change the amount of precipitation by dispersing substances into the air that alter processes within the cloud.

The state has invested about $11 million in the project since 2005. The project seeks to determine whether cloud seeding increases the amount of snowpack in several Wyoming mountain ranges.

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5:26 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

Ex-head of tribal agency gets probation

A former director of the Northern Arapaho tribe's Department of Social Services will serve three years of probation for embezzling tribal funds.

George Moss was sentenced in federal court in Cheyenne on Tuesday. Judge Alan B. Johnson ordered the 65-year-old to serve the first six months of his sentence under house arrest.

Federal prosecutors charged Moss with improperly approving requests by two former employees for over $100,000 in pay advances or loans from 2005 to 2006. Moss pleaded guilty this summer. The other two employees also have been convicted.

5:57 pm
Mon November 28, 2011

Power plants to use trash as fuel

 Plans are moving ahead for three power plants in Wyoming that would burn trash to produce electricity.

Guernsey-based American Renewable Energy Associates proposes to build power plants in Cheyenne and Guernsey.

The Guernsey plant would process 150 tons of garbage a day and produce 9 megawatts. The Cheyenne plant would process 200 tons per day and produce 13 megawatts.

Company spokeswoman Heather Foster says the plants are on schedule to open next year.

A third garbage-fueled power plant would be built in Riverton.

5:44 pm
Mon November 28, 2011

Ranchers, authorities work to combat cattle rustlers

Wyoming ranchers and law enforcement officials are trying to work together to crack down on modern-day cattle rustlers.

Some ranchers say they've seen an increase in the number of livestock stolen in recent years. An average of 55 rustling cases are reported every year, but many ranchers don't report the thefts, thinking there's nothing they can do.

9:07 am
Mon November 28, 2011

Yellowstone officials have some concerns

A report says Yellowstone National Park's air quality is worsening.
The Natural Resource Vital Signs report measures park health
based on the condition of 25 natural resources in 2010. It was
authored by Yellowstone National Park.

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8:54 am
Mon November 28, 2011

Wyoming GOP pays IRS fine

The Wyoming Republican Party paid the Internal Revenue Service $12,490 in penalties and interest for
lapses in paperwork. The Casper Star-Tribune reports ( ) the
amount paid is noted on a GOP account balance sheet dated Nov. 10.

GOP Chairwoman Tammy Hooper says missing paperwork from 2008
included W-2s and forms necessary to maintain the party's status as
a nonprofit political organization.   

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7:16 pm
Fri November 25, 2011

Garfield County, CO supports BLM plan on oil shale

Garfield County commissioners are supporting a proposed Bureau of Land Management plan for oil shale
development in three states.

The commissioners got an early look at the BLM's alternative draft management proposal and voted unanimously to support it this week.

Commissioner Tom Jankovsky says the proposal would cut 421 square miles from the proposed 3,125 square miles
allocated for possible oil shale development in Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah.

The biggest area removed would be the 182-square-mile Adobe Town area in Wyoming.

7:10 pm
Fri November 25, 2011

Barrasso spends Thanksgiving in Kosovo

U.S. Sen. John Barrasso spent Thanksgiving with Wyoming National Guard troops serving in Kosovo.

The Wyoming Republican visited with members of Detachment Three, B Company, 777th Aviation Support Battalion stationed at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo.

There are 23 Wyoming Army National Guard soldiers deployed in Kosovo.

Barrasso shared Thanksgiving dinner with the service members, toured the base and was briefed by military officials on operations in the Balkans.

5:53 pm
Tue November 22, 2011

State School Boards Association will monitor tougher UW standards

The Wyoming School Boards Association will monitor how school districts handle tougher University of Wyoming admission standards that take effect in 2013.  Association executive director Mark Higdon says the university is doing what it thinks best for the students but the devil will be
in the details.

The new admission standards were approved last Friday by the UW
Board of Trustees. They are aimed at improving the retention and
graduation rates of students who attend the state's only public
four-year university.

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8:25 am
Tue November 22, 2011

Goats banned in parts of Shoshone National Forest

Parts of the Shoshone National Forest in northwest Wyoming are now off-limits to domestic goats, which some people use to haul gear into the backcountry.

Forest officials announced the decision for pack goats Monday and say it will remain in effect through 2013.

The purpose is to protect wild bighorn sheep. Forest officials say there is increasing evidence that domestic sheep and goats can spread disease to bighorn sheep.

The Shoshone National Forest is home to one of the largest populations of bighorn sheep in the lower 48 states.

8:08 am
Tue November 22, 2011

Man killed in train crash

Natrona County authorities say a man was killed when a train hit his pickup truck northwest of Casper.

Lt. Mark Sellers says the man, whose name has not been released, was headed north on County Road 121 when a train struck the vehicle just after 5 a.m. Monday. The man was the only one in the truck, and no other injuries were reported.

Few other details were released, and the sheriff's office continues to investigate the accident.

8:04 am
Tue November 22, 2011

Wyoming wind farm builder wins lawsuit

The contractor hired to build three wind farms in Converse and Carbon counties has won a $1.4 million judgment against a dirt subcontractor for construction delays and costs.

A federal jury recently sided with Tetra Tech EC Inc. in its case against California-based Jerry Herling Construction Inc.

The jury determined that Jerry Herling Construction breached its contract by failing to pay its vendors. Some of those vendors are Wyoming businesses.

Tetra Tech is based in Pasadena, Calif.

7:05 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Wyo. lawmakers say brace for budget cuts

Top Wyoming lawmakers are directing state agencies to brace for possible budget cuts.

Republican Sen. Phil Nicholas, of Laramie, and Republican Rep. Rosie Berger, of Big Horn, are co-chairmen of the Joint Appropriations Committee. They wrote a letter telling state budget officials that agencies should be prepared for cuts ranging up to 8 percent in the coming two-year budget cycle.

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6:33 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Judge: Man must face charges in sons' deaths

Everett Conant III is accused of killing his three sons and brother last summer.

A judge on Monday ordered a Wheatland man to answer charges that he killed his three sons and his brother.

Circuit Judge Randal Arp ruled that the state's case against 36-year-old Everett Conant III is strong enough that he must face the four murder charges in district court.

Prosecutors accuse Conant of shooting and killing his sons - ages 11, 13 and 18 - and his 33-year-old brother in July. He's also charged with attempted murder in the wounding of his wife.

6:24 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Hunters find frozen body in snow near Jackson

A frozen body found near Jackson is believed to be that of a 59-year-old man from Dallas.

Hunters found the body partially buried in snow on Saturday morning above Cache Creek.

Teton County sheriff's deputies won't release the man's name until his identity is verified.

8:01 am
Mon November 21, 2011

Avalanche season arrives in the Bridger-Teton

A storm bringing more than 2 feet of snow to parts of Bridger-Teton National Forest last week is raising
alarms about the risk of avalanches just as skiers begin entering the backcountry.

Forecasters at Bridger-Teton National Forest Avalanche Center
elevated the slide danger to "considerable" at upper elevations.
Officials say that more than 16 inches fell at Grand Targhee Ski Resort Thursday, with
an additional 10 inches expected through the weekend.

8:43 am
Fri November 18, 2011

Farmers Union advocates yearly pay for power lines

An advocacy group for farmers and ranchers in Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico says landowners should receive annual payments for having power lines built across their property.

The Rocky Mountain Farmers Union also wants landowners to have a bigger say in placement of power lines.

But an official with Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association says such a concept would increase costs, which will ultimately be paid by the consumer.

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8:39 am
Fri November 18, 2011

Hearing airs tribes' issues with Internet gambling

Native Americans say they want the ability to compete for money and jobs generated by Internet gambling if Congress legalizes it. But they don't want to lose their sovereignty to get it.

The Senate Indian Affairs Committee held a hearing Thursday about tribes' concerns over Internet gambling, which has been banned in the U.S. since 2006. Many people have been playing at offshore sites anyway.

8:45 am
Thu November 17, 2011

Pit bulls blamed for killing sheep in Riverton

Pit bulls are blamed for killing sheep in Riverton.

Farm owner Bill Jennings says he has found over 50 sheep dead in the last few months. He says he's found dogs in with the sheep twice and has put down three dogs.

Capt. Ryan Lee of the Fremont County Sheriff's Office said a lot of people seem to be allowing their dogs to run free. However, he says owners can be criminally and civilly responsible for any damage they cause to livestock.

The Farm Bureau is offering a reward of over $2,000 for information on the sheep attacks.

6:07 am
Wed November 16, 2011

BLM seeks comments on proposed Chevron wells

The Bureau of Land Management is seeking public comments on a company's plans to drill up to 88 new wells in western Wyoming.

Chevron USA, Inc., is proposing to expand the Table Rock Field 40 miles east of Rock Springs with 33 shallow oil wells and 20 deep gas wells. As many as 35 water injection wells also would be drilled.

The BLM says just over 300 acres would be disturbed and the wells would have a lifespan of between 40 and 55 years.

9:05 am
Tue November 15, 2011

Man killed in car crash during high-speed chase

Authorities are investigating after a 35-year-old man was killed in a car crash in Converse County during a high-speed chase that involved a state trooper.

Brian A. Bonomo of Cheyenne was pulled over for speeding on Wyoming Highway 59 on Saturday evening. Wyoming Highway Patrol spokesman Sgt. Stephen Townsend says the trooper smelled marijuana on Bonomo
as he was handing him the ticket.