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Laramie adopts ordinance requiring use of its water

LARAMIE — Despite the urgings of the University of Wyoming, the Laramie City Council on Wednesday passed an ordinance on its third and final reading in an attempt to regulate the use of non-municipal water within city limits.

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Reservation schools move classes online, cancel sports

CASPER — Four Wind River Reservation-based school districts have announced they’ll keep their students at home and learn virtually for the first weeks of this school year, as Fremont County remains the Wyoming county hit hardest by the pandemic and tribal governments continue to institute a limited shelter-in-place order.

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Foresters try to keep up with Bridger-Teton camping demand

JACKSON — It was mid-morning when Lesley Williams Gomez’s Bridger-Teton National Forest pickup truck inched up onto the sagebrush to make room along the seldom-traveled, graveled northern stretch of Antelope Flats Road.

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Supreme Court won't rehear UW gun case

LARAMIE — The Wyoming Supreme Court denied a writ of review on behalf of Uinta County resident Lyle Williams, who challenged the University of Wyoming’s ability to regulate firearms on its campus.

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Active coronavirus cases drop by 34 with 70 recoveries Tuesday

The state’s number of active coronavirus cases fell by 34 on Tuesday as the Wyoming Department of Health reported recoveries among 70 people who have been infected with the disease since mid-March.

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Department of Health urges wastewater testing to detect COVID

SHERIDAN — The Wyoming Department of Corrections recently completed COVID-19 testing on staff and inmates at the Wyoming Honor Farm and state penitentiary. The honor farm returned no positive cases but 15 inmates, two staff members and seven contract health care workers at the penitentiary tested positive.

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Sixteen hurt in hot air balloon crash

JACKSON — Three hot air balloons carrying dozens of people lost control Monday morning and came to a crashing halt in a field near Teton Village.

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County attorney seeks to officers to enforce health orders

LARAMIE — Albany County Attorney Peggy Trent is aiming to add three part-time positions to her office — public health advocates that would aid in communicating and enforcing statewide or local health orders.

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State health experts stress importance of getting a flu vaccine

CASPER — State and county health officials along with medical facilities in Wyoming are preparing for flu season as COVID-19 continues to spread. This year, they must prepare to balance typical planning and preparation for flu season with the added challenges of the coronavirus.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Monday, Aug. 3, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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Domestic sheep grazing prompts emergency bighorn hunt

Gov. Mark Gordon has approved an emergency early season allowing hunters to kill up to 34 wild bighorn sheep in Hot Springs County’s Owl Creek drainage beginning Saturday.

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Minerals committee moves to support big business

SHERIDAN — A bill to create a relief program for businesses with 100 employees or more passed through the Wyoming Legislature Joint Minerals, Business and Economic Development Committee Tuesday.

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Three weeks after Wyo made its bid, ‘radio silence’ from Occidental

Nearly three weeks after submitting a bid to Occidental Petroleum for 1 million acres of land and 4 million acres of mineral rights, the state of Wyoming has had no word from the oil and gas giant, state officials said this week.

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As case numbers spike, cause of coronavirus spread harder to pin down

CASPER — As the novel coronavirus continues to spike through the summer, health officials from across Wyoming say the spread can’t be attributed to large clusters but rather to small gatherings and younger people.

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Rules, timing complicate state's temporary eviction relief program

CHEYENNE – After the Wyoming Legislature’s special session wrapped up in mid-May, lawmakers and Gov. Mark Gordon praised legislation creating a program to help residents avoid eviction amid the economic turmoil of COVID-19.

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Blooms at reservoirs, lakes caused by nitrogen and phosphorus

RAWLINS – It might look like grass clippings, blue-green scum or spilled paint on the water surface. It might be suspended in the water or attached to rocks, sediments and plants. It might be a harmful cyanobacterial bloom.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Thursday, July 30, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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Seasonal workers fuel Teton County coronavirus spread

JACKSON — Young seasonal workers are driving up COVID-19 infections through a lack of social distancing and mask wearing, health officials say.

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Dog helps detect invasive mussels

EVANSTON — Last week was a busy one at the watercraft inspection station at the Evanston Port of Entry, as more than 2,000 boats, kayaks, canoes and assorted watercraft were inspected by technicians with the Wyoming Game and Fish Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) prevention team. For the first time at any Wyoming AIS inspection station, those human technicians were joined for several days by a mussel-sniffing dog.

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Cheney, Barrasso reject suggestion of election delay

CHEYENNE — After President Donald Trump tweeted the idea of delaying the November election, several Republicans in Congress quickly rejected the idea Thursday, and two of Wyoming's federal delegates were among them.

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Simplot to pay $775,000 for alleged hazardous waste violations

The giant Boise-based agribusiness J.R. Simplot Company has agreed to pay $775,000 to resolve allegations it violated federal waste and community-protection laws at its phosphoric acid and fertilizer plant outside Rock Springs.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Thursday, July 30, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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Wyoming leaves door open to file for education waiver in 2021

CASPER — State officials did not file a federal waiver that would allow them to cut education funding while receiving federal stimulus money after regulatory changes nationally. But Wyoming “has a very compelling argument” to file for such a waiver next year.

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Gordon says budget situation still “dire” despite small improvement

CHEYENNE — As state officials grapple with an unprecedented budget crisis, Wyoming's revenues were slightly ahead of abysmal projections released in May, but Gov. Mark Gordon and lawmakers maintained Wednesday that the state's budget crisis is not going anywhere.

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Teton County forms animal attack response team

JACKSON — First responders have been running up the Snow King boot pack as their first round of qualifications to be part of a new animal attack response team.

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Public health orders extended as Wyoming cases jump by 64

CHEYENNE — As Wyoming reported its single-day record for increase in lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases Tuesday, Gov. Mark Gordon announced the state's current public health orders have been extended through Aug. 15.

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House speaker suggests using federal money to cover tuition

LARAMIE — The Speaker of the Wyoming House of Representatives has sponsored draft legislation that would provide $116 million to cover most of the costs of college tuition in the state. Existing federal stimulus funds would pay for the program.

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Arch chief says mine outlook grim without joint venture

GILLETTE — Once a money-generating juggernaut for one of the world’s largest coal producers, Powder River Basin mines have become a financial albatross for Arch Resources Inc.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Wednesday, July 29, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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NEWS BRIEFS for Tuesday, July 28, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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Cody RV parks boom as summer hits stride

CODY — As the hotel industry has suffered early this season, business is booming in the local campgrounds as people try to escape from the pandemic and enjoy the summer.

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Lawsuit tackles polling site ‘buffer zones’

CASPER — Attorneys for the state’s leading libertarian think tank are suing Secretary of State Ed Buchanan and several top Laramie County officials for a conservative advocacy organization’s right to promote conservative candidates and causes inside of a “restricted speech zone” near polling places in Cheyenne.

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Investigation concludes Riverton officer who killed man in shootout was justified

RIVERTON — The law enforcement officer who returned fire on a gunman three months ago in residential Riverton acted within the law to defend himself and others, according to an official analysis of the investigation.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Monday, July 27, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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Cheyenne police body camera footage aids in acquittal of Abrams

CHEYENNE -- Laramie County District Judge Steven Sharpe acquitted Michael Abrams of two felony counts of attempting to injure a police officer Thursday afternoon.

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Draft Barrasso bill eyes new BLM wilderness areas, motor park

U.S. Sen. John Barrasso is circulating a draft bill that’s drawing opposing reactions over its provisions to create five new Bureau of Land Management non-motorized wilderness areas in Wyoming.

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Carbon County river restoration addresses 100-year history of use

RAWLINS – For the first time in 92 years, there is a 75-mile continuous stretch of unobstructed waterway on the Upper North Platte and the Encampment River.

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Judge: State must pay $600,000 in fees for trespassing lawsuit

A court loss over controversial trespassing statutes passed by the Wyoming Legislature will cost the state around $600,000 in fees and expenses to be paid to the plaintiffs’ attorneys, according to a July 16 ruling.

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Oil well cleanup program may spur jobs

CASPER — The COVID-19 pandemic and corresponding collapse in energy markets have wreaked havoc in the oil and gas sector. An estimated 76,000 direct oil and gas jobs were slashed across the U.S. from February to June, a low not witnessed since around 2006.

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Gun rights group draws ire of top lawmaker

CASPER — A growing group of Wyoming lawmakers — including the vice president of the Senate — are coming after one of the state’s most aggressive gun rights groups after it lodged efforts to discredit incumbent Republican lawmakers in a number of vulnerable districts ahead of next month’s Republican primary.

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Feds: Laramie research nonprofit lied to get $500k in grants

LARAMIE — The federal government is investigating the Western Research Institute, a Laramie-based nonprofit, for making false claims to win more than $500,000 in research funding between 2015 and 2018, according to a document obtained by the Boomerang.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Friday, July 24, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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Model: Mask wearing could cut U.S. daily deaths by two-thirds

JACKSON — A new model says if universal mask wearing went into effect today, the daily COVID-19 deaths in the United States could be cut by two-thirds by Nov. 1.

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Federal agreement to boost Wyoming’s uranium industry

CASPER — In a move cheered by Wyoming’s uranium industry, Gov. Mark Gordon endorsed an agreement between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Thursday to clarify federal and state regulation of in situ uranium production and cleanup.

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Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate discuss climate change, health care during forum

CHEYENNE - Candidates seeking the Democratic nomination in Wyoming's U.S. Senate race this year discussed their stances on a wide range of issues Thursday night, including health care reform, climate change and economic diversification.

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Nonprofits and Elk Refuge partner to save house in Jackson

JACKSON — A crowd at the corner of Cache and Simpson gasped Sunday morning as a house wobbled back and forth on a semi trailer as the truck turned off the property’s curb and onto the street.

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Flying on World War II bombers 'worth the money'

GILLETTE — Charles Schuler had never seen a World War II plane up close.

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Palisades Reservoir seeing increased crowds this summer

AFTON — The water is high and lake enthusiasts are enjoying every drop of it -- that is the story of the summer and Palisades Reservoir.

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Garth Brooks to play Cheyenne Frontier Days in 2021

CHEYENNE — Cheyenne Frontier Days Foundation launched a new campaign Wednesday to ensure the 125th anniversary of the “Daddy of ’em All” is better than ever, and in doing so, announced one of the headliners for next year’s Frontier Nights.

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Murder suspect not competent to stand trial, psychologist says

POWELL— A man accused of murdering a former girlfriend in Cheyenne and then leaving her body in the foothills south of Cody is not competent to stand trial, according to a forensic psychologist retained by the man’s attorneys.

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Grizzly attacks in 2020 run at record high

JACKSON – A male grizzly spooked out of a daybed by a 41-year-old Cody resident out hunting for antlers resulted in a helicopter ride to the hospital.

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Environmental act overhaul could be significant for state

CASPER — Wyoming produces more minerals from public land than almost any other state in the country and also maintains some of the most coveted wildlife habitats in the world.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Thursday, July 23, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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NEWS BRIEFS for Wednesday, July 22, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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Jackson mask enforcement more ‘educational’

JACKSON — No matter how effective you feel cloth face coverings are, if you refuse to wear one in public businesses in Teton County, you could be hit with a fine.

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Experts: State laws apply in Riverton despite Oklahoma decision

The U.S. Supreme Court’s July 9 decision negating state law enforcement authority on an Oklahoma Indian reservation should not affect law enforcement on the Wind River Indian Reservation, including police activity in Riverton, experts say.

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Anatomy of a protest: How a Laramie march became a movement

By June, Billy Harris had grown sick of his girlfriend’s stepdad watching Fox News coverage of the George Floyd protests and “spewing constant [expletive deleted] hate.”

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Unemployment falls below 8%

CASPER — Wyoming’s unemployment rate fell to less than 8 percent in June, the state Department of Workforce Services announced Tuesday.

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Rest area closure causes litter problem for community residents

DOUGLAS — No, it’s not a pretty sight – far from it, in fact.

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Cowboy Polo tradition continues at Big Horn Polo Club

SHERIDAN — Turning toward the polo goal in the first chukker of play, Steerhead Ranch player Paul Scherf suddenly tumbled to the ground. His ranch horse tossed his head then dutifully stood over Scherf, as if confused as to why his rider was suddenly on the polo field.

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Judge says he’s ‘sad’ about council meeting, but has no regrets

GILLETTE — For the first time in more than four decades, Doug Dumbrill isn’t part of the local legal or judicial system.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Thursday, July 16, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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Supreme Court upholds conviction of former Buffalo chamber leader

BUFFALO — The state’s highest court has affirmed the conviction of former Buffalo Chamber of Commerce CEO Angela Fox.

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Cody restauranteurs sidelined by COVID

CODY — With her husband hospitalized in Billings because of the COVID-19 virus and their Cody Steakhouse restaurant temporarily closed, co-owner Julie Cocchia has changed her mind about the novel coronavirus.

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Lummis raises more than U.S. Senate rivals

CASPER — U.S. Senate candidate Cynthia Lummis remains significantly ahead of her rivals in fundraising heading into the final weeks of Republican primary campaign season, according to numbers filed with the Federal Elections Commission this week.

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Cheyenne boy goes viral after protecting sister from dog attack

CHEYENNE — The first time 6-year-old Bridger Walker held his baby sister, he wouldn’t let anyone take her out of his lap. His parents saw how special their bond was from the moment they met, but that love was proven in actions July 9.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Wednesday, July 15, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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Prosecutors decide not to charge retired bishop

CASPER — Natrona County prosecutors have again decided not to pursue sexual abuse charges against retired bishop Joseph Hart, who has been accused of abusing boys dating back to the early 1960s.

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Wyoming races to meet demand for COVID-19 testing

Wyoming native DeAnn Cougler lives in Munich, Germany and frequently returns to her home state to visit friends and family and conduct field research for her doctorate studies in philosophy. She’s studying cultural factors that impede economic diversification in coal and energy communities in transition.

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In budget talks, Gov highlights cuts to programs for vulnerable

Programs to help Wyoming’s elderly, poor, incarcerated, addicted and mentally ill will all see budget reductions, Gov. Mark Gordon told lawmakers on Monday morning as he prepared the state for 10% cuts to most government agencies.

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Comet NEOWISE

The comet NEOWISE whizzes through the night sky above Heart Mountain, around 3:30 a.m. July 12 north of Cody. The comet’s once-in-a-lifetime close passage by the sun "is cooking the comet’s outermost layers, causing gas and dust to erupt off the icy surface and creating a large tail of debris," NASA explained in a recent write-up. The comet is visible with the naked eye just after sunset, but binoculars offer better views as the object hurtles back toward the outer reaches of the solar system. (Photo by Greg Wise, Powell Tribune)

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Carnival, musical act cancel on state fair, replacements found

DOUGLAS — The new Wyoming State Fair leadership had drafted some changes they wanted, then COVID-19 happened so they adjusted plans to meet the latest rules or obstacle . . . but one they didn’t really count on was the long-time carnival vendor pulling out at the last minute nearly two weeks ago. That was on top of the grandstand show also cancelling for 2020.

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Gillette College wants more communication in college district operations

GILLETTE — The Gillette College Advisory Board would like to be more involved in conversations about any future cuts of the Northern Wyoming Community College District’s budget.

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Case of man accused of murdering mother heads to district court

CHEYENNE — After more than a year of competency reviews and mental health treatment, the murder case of James Wallace was bound over to Laramie County District Court on July 2, following his preliminary hearing.

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‘Green House Model’ selected for Buffalo skilled nursing facility

SHERIDAN — Officials say that the Green House model, in which residents are housed in individual rooms with common living areas, could be more resilient to a pandemic than the traditional nursing home setting.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Tuesday, July 14, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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Gordon approves $250 million in cuts

CASPER — Gov. Mark Gordon has signed off on more than $250 million in state budget cuts that includes furloughs and layoffs for state employees, a significant hit to senior services and a $90 million reduction to the Department of Health amid a worsening pandemic.

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Despite judge’s ruling, tribe won’t drop dispute with law firm

RIVERTON — Days after being sanctioned by a Wyoming District Court Judge for violating the state’s civil conduct rules, the Northern Arapaho Tribe’s leaders vowed Thursday to continue the fight against their former law firm, Baldwin Crocker and Rudd.

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Campbell County looks into forming own college district

GILLETTE — If Gillette is going to have its own community college district, it will ultimately be the voters who have the final say.

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Eaton ‘extremely paranoid,’ lawyer says

CASPER — Dale Wayne Eaton — the man whom Natrona County prosecutors are trying to put back on death row — has a mental state so precarious that he may not be able to participate in a hearing to evaluate him, said a defense lawyer.

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Growing tensions with China could affect land deal

CASPER — If Wyoming plans to double down on minerals to save its future, then trona – one of the Equality State’s most critical natural resources – is probably its safest bet.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Monday, July 13, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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Immigration rights activists respond to Supreme Court decision

CHEYENNE — In the early hours of Feb. 3, 2012, Erica Delgado lit her trailer at 3008 Terry Road, space 17, on fire while she and her 11-year-old daughter were inside.

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Cody Stampede crowds down, competitors up

POWELL — Amid the current pandemic, attendance at both the Cody Stampede rodeo and parade sank significantly from typical years. However, “it seemed like, all in all, it went well,” Stampede Board member and Park County Commissioner Lee Livingston said Tuesday.

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After lifetime in bowling, alley owner wins national award

GILLETTE — It’s not hyperbole to say that Mike Divis has spent his life at Camelanes.

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Friends find bison jump in Carbon County

RAWLINS – It all started in 1991.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Friday, July 10, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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Sublette County rejects Bondurant resort proposal

PINEDALE — An upscale resort that would have nearly doubled the population of Bondurant was denied Tuesday by Sublette County commissioners who said the high-end guest ranch didn’t square with their comprehensive plan.

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Experts: Local participation, planning key to surviving coal’s downturn

EVANSTON — For communities long dependent on the revenues and jobs created through coal production and coal-fired power plants, the rapid decline in coal’s share of energy production over the past decade is terrifying.

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Health Department pulls back proposed addition to vaccine list

CASPER — Citing challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, the state Department of Health has withdrawn a proposal to add a new vaccine to the required list for school children.

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Wyoming collects $1 billion in PPP benefits

CHEYENNE — As the coronavirus pandemic caused a nationwide shutdown, unemployment rates skyrocketed to unprecedented levels, with businesses closing their doors to help prevent the virus' spread. By the end of March, initial unemployment claims in Laramie County had increased more than 1,000%.

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DCI raids hemp farm, nabs crop (or terrible weed), presses charges

Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation agents in November raided an Albin hemp farm, operated by two people instrumental in legalizing the crop in Wyoming, court filings show.

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Coronavirus hospitalizations tick upward

CASPER — The number of coronavirus-related hospitalizations in Wyoming has steadily risen in recent days, as a recent spike in confirmed cases in the Equality State has continued into mid-July.

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Gordon says Occidental bid above board

GILLETTE — Gov. Mark Gordon is defending a decision by the State Loan and Investment Board to go ahead with a state bid for a package of assets owned by Occidental Petroleum.

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Judge nixes tribal lawsuit against past attorneys

RIVERTON — After the majority faction of the Northern Arapaho Business Council waged a nearly one-year lawsuit against its former law firm for withheld funds, a judge ruled this week that the contested $1 million had been returned to the tribal entity before their complaint was filed.

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Appeals court rules grizzlies must remain listed

POWELL — A panel of federal judges ruled today that grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem must remain under Endangered Species Act protections.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Thursday, July 9, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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Cheney next to vote on Great American Outdoors Act, park funds

U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney is the next member of the Wyoming delegation to face a bill to permanently fund a program that brought $23 million to Wyoming schools in 2016, a bill her Senate colleagues opposed.

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Municipal judge resigns, sparks shouting at Gillette council meeting

GILLETTE — Gillette Municipal Court Judge Doug Dumbrill abruptly resigned during Tuesday’s Gillette City Council meeting, then got into a shouting match with the audience, most of whom were there to protest Mayor Louise Carter-King and the rest of the council.

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Regulators approve first new coal mine in decades

CASPER — Wyoming environmental regulators have approved a coal firm’s application to construct the state’s first new coal mine in nearly half a century.

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Report confirms culture of bigoted bullying at junior high

CHEYENNE - McCormick Junior High School had an established culture of racist, homophobic and ableist bullying that some staff either took part in or didn't feel comfortable reporting to administration.

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Wyoming man develops new stormwater filter system

LARAMIE — Four years ago, Brian Deurloo woke up during the early hours of the morning. A vision had come to him, one that involved an innovative solution for dealing with stormwater.

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Orphaned, rehabilitated bear returned to wild

JACKSON — When Taz McBride first laid eyes on “Hissy” he was up close with the tiny black bear in his Melody Ranch backyard.

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State, Campbell County pursue rare earth opportunities

GILLETTE — As flagging coal and oil revenues continue to implode the Wyoming budget by hundreds of millions of dollars, momentum is growing for a more down-to-earth solution.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Thursday, July 2, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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Sheriff dismissed fears about deputy saying citizen needs ‘professional help’

In February, Albany County Sheriff David O’Malley dismissed concerns raised by a Laramie resident about a controversial deputy by telling a county human resources official that the complainant needed “professional help” and was “difficult to listen to.”

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Questions surface regarding Occidental purchase

CASPER — Gov. Mark Gordon’s office says it could submit its first formal bid for 5 million acres of Occidental Petroleum-owned land in southern Wyoming next week in what would be the first official step in closing one of the largest public land purchases in American history.

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Laramie council approves resolution for police oversight board

LARAMIE — The Laramie City Council passed a resolution Tuesday directing city staff to identify options for creating a civilian oversight board and other measures aimed at increasing community involvement in policing.

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State releases initial guidance for fall reopening of K-12 schools

CHEYENNE — Lunch in classrooms, widespread hand sanitizer stations and face coverings are just a few of the features Wyoming students can expect to see if the state’s schools return to in-person instruction this fall.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Tuesday, June 30, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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West enters partnership with Gap, adding jobs in Cody

CODY — With what Kanye West describes as a “business enterprise” developed between his Yeezy brand and Gap Inc., the Cody-based company is expanding and planning to add more jobs to the local economy.

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Legislators study education ‘block grant’

SHERIDAN — Legislators recently discussed issues of transparency and fidelity within school funding models around the state, with testimony from a county superintendent setting the stage for how legislative decisions impact individual school districts.

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Commissioners eye making Gillette College independent

GILLETTE — The Campbell County Commission has instructed county employees to begin investigating what it would take to withdraw Gillette College from the Northern Wyoming Community College District.

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Coronavirus health orders remain unchanged

CASPER — The three broad public health orders that were set to expire this week have been extended, with no changes, through mid-July, Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon announced Monday, as the state continues to grapple with a spike in coronavirus cases.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Monday, June 29, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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Opposing sides speak up in battle over resignation

GILLETTE — As one group of passionate, outspoken people continue to blast Gillette elected officials in the wake of the resignation of former councilman Shay Lundvall, another is sticking up for the City Council and Mayor Louise Carter-King.

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Republican Party official says fight at convention left him hospitalized

CASPER — Two county party chairmen were involved in a physical altercation at this weekend’s Wyoming Republican Convention in Gillette, according to one of the officials, who said the incident left him unconscious and in need of hospitalization.

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Jackson business owners enforce piecemeal mask restrictions

JACKSON — Every day, at some point, Brianna Moteberg has to tell someone to wear a mask.

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Changing the Narrative forum held to listen to minority voices

CHEYENNE — In 2016, when he was looking for a house to buy, Enrico D. Meadows-Fernandez was called in as a suspicious person as he was walking around a neighborhood.

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Protesters arrested in confrontation with Laramie police

LARAMIE — Arrests were made and citations were written Thursday as protesters against police violence and racism clashed with Laramie law enforcement.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Friday, June 26, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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Transition in Coal Country: Health care crises mount at rural hospitals

The only hospital serving a vast swath of Wyoming’s coal country was in financial trouble even before the coronavirus pandemic hit.

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Governor preps bid for Occidental land, leaving Legislature out

Gov. Mark Gordon’s administration is preparing a bid to Occidental Petroleum for 1 million acres of surface land and 4 million acres of mineral rights, and is using a process that won’t require legislative approval, according to executive branch officials.

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Gillette teen who brought handguns to school sentenced to prison

CASPER — A judge on Thursday sentenced a teenager to serve 11 to 20 years behind bars for bringing two handguns and ammunition to a Gillette middle school in 2018, the boy’s father said.

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Supreme Court rules on proper way to serve court documents

CHEYENNE — The Wyoming Supreme Court voided, reversed and remanded a default decree with instructions to vacate in its Tuesday opinion.

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Wyoming oil company owner flies patients to medical care facilities

The private plane glided over Casper through a cloudless cerulean sky Wednesday morning. Volunteer pilot Tom Van Kleef landed the Cessna 414 aircraft, which carried a 15-year-old patient and his mother, safely onto the runway at 10:06 a.m.

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Man and dog fight health issues together

POWELL — For the better part of the past decade, it wasn’t unusual to see Rick Slater walking through downtown Powell with his Banjo.

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Gillette man starts urban farm in response to pandemic

GILLETTE — It was a slightly windy Wednesday afternoon as Matt Walker walked through a field next to Westwood High School, making his way through rows of vegetables.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Thursday, June 25, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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Judge: No evidence of ‘certain and great harm’ to grizzlies

A judge shared his reasoning Friday on why he refused to halt the killing of grizzly bears, killings that protect a historic Wyoming cattle drive and ranching operation on the Bridger-Teton National Forest.

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Health officer urges personal responsibility as state sees 1,000th coronavirus case

CASPER — The Wyoming Department of Health announced the state’s 1,000th confirmed case of the coronavirus on Wednesday. It comes as the state’s growth in cases continued its recent uptick.

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Laramie council, public begin discussing police reform

LARAMIE — Members of the Laramie public showed an impassioned interest in a number of measures to reform policing, especially in a citizen oversight board, during a City Council work session Tuesday, but some of the hopes to see an overall reduced police presence in the community will be a hard sell for government officials.

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Wyoming activists seek holiday for Juneteenth

CHEYENNE — Two local anti-racist community activists started a petition Monday to make Juneteenth a state holiday in Wyoming.

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NEWS BRIEFS for Wednesday, June 24, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

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Wolves are moving Gros Ventre elk, but not so much killing them

JACKSON — Biologists have had a microscope on the Gros Ventre River drainage for a couple winters now, monitoring how the region’s apex canine carnivores are interacting with their most locally abundant ungulate prey — elk.

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Advocates: State should build on Supreme Court LGBTQ ruling

A decision by the U.S. Supreme Court last week protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination in the workplace calls the state of Wyoming to account for resisting passing such statutes, gay rights advocates say.

103     0

Transition in coal country: rural communities on the brink

Coal country in America is in the midst of a historic transition.

95     0

Gordon pushes lawsuit over coal terminal

CASPER — Wyoming continues to forge ahead in its lawsuit against Washington, alleging the state unconstitutionally blocked a proposed coal export terminal.

79     0

Health officials brace for COVID-19 uptick in Laramie County after weekend gatherings downtown

CHEYENNE - Local health officials worry that crowded gatherings in downtown Cheyenne this past weekend will lead to an increase in COVID-19 cases in Laramie County.

81     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Tuesday, June 23, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

82     0

Senate, House hopefuls discuss energy

GILLETTE — The COVID-19 pandemic, health care and the future of the energy industry were among the topics addressed at the first Campbell County League of Women Voters candidate forum of the local primary election season.

97     0

Trespassers cited at Kanye West’s ranch

POWELL — In unrelated incidents, a pair of young men were caught trespassing on Kanye West’s Cody area ranch in recent weeks.

93     0

Pro-hunting groups join Elk Refuge fight

JACKSON — Three hunting advocacy groups have asked a federal court to join the legal dispute over what becomes of the National Elk Refuge’s feeding program.

105     0

Game and Fish Commission OKs $548,000 for sage grouse

CASPER — The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission gave preliminary approval to extend $548,000 for sage grouse conservation projects. The state’s eight sage grouse local working groups can submit proposals to the commission and any approved projects could launch as early as July 1.

90     0

Lawmakers hear grim fiscal news from CREG chair

RIVERTON — The state will enter a "cash negative situation" by the end of 2020 unless huge budget cuts are made, revenue experts told the Joint Appropriations Committee.

83     0

State agencies prepare for program cuts

CHEYENNE — The Wyoming Department of Family Services has a presence in every county in the state.

80     0

UW awaits funding commitment from Gordon

LARAMIE — The University of Wyoming has not yet received a final commitment from the governor that it will receive more than $26 million in coronavirus relief funding that it says is needed to reopen on time for the fall semester.

87     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Monday, June 22, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

99     0

Hart case may not be closed

CASPER — The criminal investigation into retired bishop Joseph Hart has not been officially closed, Cheyenne police said Friday, after authorities realized that a prosecutor had misunderstood police files describing the allegations against the cleric.

90     0

Documents show UW investigations not limited to Nichols

In September 2019, the University of Wyoming investigated a top administrator who resigned weeks later, using a secretive process that mirrored the inquiry that led to the ouster of former president Laurie Nichols and brought scrutiny to how the institution is governed.

82     0

Cheyenne murder trial heads for district court

CHEYENNE — The first-degree murder case of a 33-year-old Cheyenne woman fatally shooting her fiancé was found to have probable cause and was bound over from Laramie County Circuit Court to Laramie County District Court.

105     0

Dirty campground lures bear, leading to its death

JACKSON — Food, garbage and vomit were scattered around a dispersed Darby Canyon campsite early June 14 when state wildlife officials arrived to respond to a report of a pre-dawn mountain lion attack.

82     0

Court: Tribal members must obey state hunting rules

SHERIDAN — Native American tribal members must abide by Wyoming Game and Fish Department regulations when hunting off an established reservation, according to an order handed down by Sheridan County Circuit Court Judge Shelley Cundiff June 11.

98     0

Legislator defends councilman who resigned

GILLETTE — Former Gillette City Councilman Shay Lundvall isn’t the only elected official to express support for a group of social media posts that prompted Mayor Louise Carter-King and the rest of the council to ask for his resignation last week.

87     0

Natrona School District sues e-cigarette company

CASPER — The Natrona County School District officially filed a lawsuit against e-cigarette giant Juul this week, alleging the company had targeted young people and had misrepresented the true potency of the devices.

102     0

Forensic nurse examiners see fewer patients

CHEYENNE — During the COVID-19 pandemic, forensic nurse examiners have been up and running at Cheyenne Regional Medical Center. But even though they’re still there, they’ve been seeing fewer victims of domestic violence, citing less people coming in over fears of the virus.

96     0

Weston Co. ranchers/dino hunters featured on Discovery

NEWCASTLE — From dinosaurs to cowboys, the Discovery Channel’s newest show “Dino Hunters” will feature Weston County ranchers Mike and Jake Harris as they hunt for dinosaurs while tending their cattle.

121     0

Facing similar issues, Hispanic activists stand with Black Lives Matter

CHEYENNE – She was in the grocery store, her youthful curiosity leading her to question everything around her, when she pointed her tiny toddler finger at a bottle of Spic and Span and said something like “I know what a Spic is, that’s us, but Span, are those the people from New Mexico?”

101     0

Funeral homes work to bring people together despite coronavirus

POWELL — Like many businesses operating during the pandemic, funeral homes provided services while keeping customers safe. Being in the business of bringing people together to grieve, the need to also maintain social distancing presented some unique challenges.

83     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Thursday, June 18, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

93     0

Supreme Court overturns assault sentence

CHEYENNE – An aggravated assault case’s sentencing has been remanded back to Laramie County District Court because the court’s oral sentencing differed from its written sentencing, according to a Wyoming Supreme Court opinion issued Monday.

94     0

Uinta coronavirus spike blamed on social distance failure at bar

CASPER — The recent spike in coronavirus cases in Uinta County is in large part attributable to patrons of at least one bar there not practicing social distancing, a health official said Wednesday.

90     0

Legislators face difficult mental health service choices

SHERIDAN — Some legislators have cautioned against detracting from mental health services as the state looks for places to tighten the budget, but the Wyoming Legislature Joint Subcommittee on Mental Health and Substance Use has asked state-funded entities connected to mental health to begin identifying their priority populations and any opportunities for budget reduction as they approach the next biennium.

85     0

Barrasso says nation better prepared for next coronavirus wave

GREYBULL — U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., spoke in optimistic terms about the nation’s preparedness for potential second and third waves of the coronavirus but acknowledged the damage that the virus has already done to the state’s economy and psyche of its residents during a weekend visit to Greybull.

89     0

Full slate of activities scheduled for State Fair

DOUGLAS — Get ready for the midway, carnival games, rides, vendors, corn dogs and cotton candy as the Wyoming State Fair is set to be one of the best ever.

93     0

Injunction to block killing of grizzlies on Upper Green rejected

JACKSON — Thousands of domestic cows paired up with their calves are on the go along the historic Green River Drift cattle drive, headed to expansive Bridger-Teton National Forest grazing allotments where they’ll spend the summer.

89     0

State agencies prepare for July 1 budget cuts

Gov. Mark Gordon will be enacting more substantive cuts to state agencies beginning July 1, his budget director told the Legislature’s Joint Appropriations Committee last week.

93     0

COVID refugees bring mini-boom to some Wyo real estate markets

As Wyoming’s economy gets back in gear following a COVID-19 stay-at-home lull, one corner of the business world is seeing at least a mini boom — the rural refuge real estate market.

92     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Wednesday, June 17, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

92     0

Protesters seek ouster of Gillette mayor after councilman’s resignation

GILLETTE — After about 90 minutes of protesting outside Gillette City Hall on Tuesday evening, dozens of city residents packed the City Council chambers to overflowing demanding former councilman Shay Lundvall be installed back on the council and for the mayor and council to step down.

94     0

Nonprofits stemmed COVID impacts, then the state snubbed them

Before the pandemic, staff at the Council of Community Services in Gillette were looking forward to renovating the facility where they house the homeless, feed the hungry and help the needy get back on their feet.

102     0

Judge clears way for appeal of murder conviction

CASPER — A Natrona County judge on Tuesday approved a man’s request to appeal his conviction for his mother’s murder, despite his attorney’s failure to meet the deadline set out by court rule.

78     0

Wyoming sees statewide spike in COVID-19 cases

CHEYENNE — Despite public health orders slowing the spread of COVID-19, Wyoming is now seeing a spike in cases.

79     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Tuesday, June 16, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

87     0

Health Department eyes statewide sewage testing

CODY — After a second round of sewage testing, the City of Cody was still COVID-19 free as of May 21, with negative results returning last Tuesday morning. Another sample taken the next day will come back in a few weeks.

85     0

Wind energy company warns against new Albany County regulations

LARAMIE — Albany County government could be moving toward stopping all wind energy development in the county if it adopts regulations being proposed by a Laramie law firm, a wind energy company representative said this week.

93     0

Councilman asked to resign because of Facebook ‘likes’

GILLETTE — Responding to what it calls inaccuracies on local social media in response to the resignation of former Gillette city councilman Shay Lundvall, the council released a statement after meeting in executive session for more than 90 minutes Monday evening.

115     0

UW braces for $35 million in cuts

CASPER — The University of Wyoming is preparing to absorb $35 million in cuts in the coming years, reductions that are expected to hit every public agency here as state revenues continue to plummet.

85     0

Grand Teton workers find home on Mormon Row

JACKSON — One of the first places where people settled in Jackson Hole now has new residents.

102     0

Tensions grow at Laramie protests

LARAMIE — Protests against racism and police brutality have escalated this week in Laramie as supporters and apparent counter-protesters in trucks, motorcycles and Jeeps have confronted people blocking intersections along Grand Avenue.

135     0

Wyoming targeted by unemployment fraud ring

EVANSTON — Evanston man James McDaniel was perplexed when, while sifting through his mail one day at lunch, he came across not one, but three, letters from the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services (DWS) Unemployment Insurance Office. He wasn’t unemployed and was in fact home from work on a lunch break.

106     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Friday, June 12, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

93     0

State asks court to cut grizzly depredation award by $215,286

An arbitration panel exceeded its legal authority in awarding Hot Springs County rancher Josh Longwell $349,730 for stock lost to grizzly bears and other predators, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department has told a district judge.

92     0

Supreme Court: Wyomingites can change sex on birth certificate

CHEYENNE — Wyomingites now have the right to change their sex on their birth certificate, according to the Wyoming Supreme Court in an opinion it issued Wednesday.

99     0

Ranchers see boon in direct sales

DOUGLAS — The meat cases at Douglas Grocery and Safeway are a little less bare in the days following the more stringent pandemic restrictions, but early on meat was in short supply.

105     0

Jenny Lake shuttle boats persevere in face of restrictions

JACKSON — A tad past 3:30 p.m., senior Jenny Lake Boating pilot Kyle Goldstein hollered out to 10 clients who lingered on the dock in waiting.

105     0

Revised rules allow for larger gatherings

CASPER — As many as 250 people can gather in certain indoor settings beginning next week, according to revised public health orders released Wednesday that continue the state’s rolling wave of relaxed coronavirus-related restrictions.

96     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Thursday, June 11, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

95     0

Powell Valley company plants hemp crop

POWELL — The first commercial hemp crop in the Powell Valley was planted this week. Dale Tenhulzen, CEO and president of MHF (Mother’s Hemp Farms), said he is transplanting 35 acres of hemp just west of Powell. The company will sow another 102 acres of hemp in the Deaver area with the drilling method.

93     0

Food trucks, restaurants battle over business in Jackson

JACKSON — Blaine Gallivan and Franny Weikert reached their Kickstarter goal of $40,000 to convert a 1990s horse trailer into a state-of-the-art, mobile kitchen to make pizza and bread just days after a Teton County public health order closed dine-in service at restaurants in March.

83     0

Lawmakers vote to include nonprofits in second round of grant programs

CHEYENNE — After nonprofits were deemed ineligible for the first of a series of grant programs set up by the Wyoming Legislature last month, a group of lawmakers advanced a motion Wednesday to make them eligible for the remaining programs.

86     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Wednesday, June 10, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

98     0

Japanese carbon capture technology to be tested at ITC

GILLETTE — A Japanese company has signed on to use the Integrated Test Center near Gillette to test a technology designed to capture carbon dioxide from flue gas produced by power plants.

102     0

Judge stalls Wyo’s repayment of $47 million in oil lease revenue

A federal judge has stalled his own order that Wyoming pay back $47.5 million it received from two 2018 oil-and-gas lease sales he nullified for legal flaws.

102     0

Protests reignite an old police brutality fight in Laramie

As hundreds march in Laramie to protest police brutality, the international movement is reinvigorating local activism around a police killing some feel has been overlooked.

107     0

Legislators wary of making hazing a felony

LARAMIE — Creating a standardized definition of hazing across all Wyoming schools would be the most important thing for the Wyoming Legislature to do in an anti-hazing bill, representatives from the University of Wyoming’s administration and student body told the Legislature’s Joint Education Committee on Friday.

86     0

Accuser: Hart will not be prosecuted

CASPER — Retired Catholic bishop Joseph Hart will not face criminal prosecution over an allegation that he sexually abused at least one boy in the 1970s, the alleged victim in the case told the Star-Tribune on Tuesday.

99     0

Judge declines to further redact school flier report

CHEYENNE — Laramie County District Judge Peter Froelicher has denied the Cheyenne school district’s request to further redact a report that investigated bigoted bullying at McCormick Junior High.

94     0

Tree trimming in recommended wilderness raises questions

JACKSON — Jeff Ruch was paging through the results of a Freedom of Information Act request about a categorical upgrade to Yellowstone’s WiFi infrastructure earlier this year when he came across an exchange that suggested 100 trees had been felled within a recommended wilderness area.

88     0

Pivot keeps business afloat

CASPER — In mid-March, Backwards Distilling Company was preparing a batch of its 307 Vodka. But before the Mills distiller could complete the process, the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

108     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Tuesday, June 9, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

105     0

Wyoming jumps aboard for Trump water rule

PINEDALE — In a move to support the Navigable Waters Protection Rule and allow Wyoming to be its own “prime caretaker” of water, the State Attorney General’s Office joined 22 other states to intervene as amicus curiae or friends of the court of last week.

100     0

Uinta County cases more than double over weekend

EVANSTON — Uinta County’s confirmed COVID-19 case numbers have more than doubled since the afternoon of Thursday, June 4, with five new cases confirmed that afternoon, another five new cases confirmed over the weekend and additional cases confirmed Monday morning.

99     0

Protesters take part in rallies in Pinedale, Cody

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets in Pinedale and Cody recently as those two cities became the latest to see demonstrations held in protest of the death of a Minnesota man at the hands of police.

96     0

Judge opens door for coal shovel foreclosure

GILLETTE — Eagle Specialty Materials finds its legal pit a little deeper after a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge cleared the way for Komatsu Mining Corp. to foreclose on a pair of large coal shovels at ESM’s Powder River Basin mines.

109     0

In the wake of protests, LCSD1 declares "Black Lives Matter”

CHEYENNE — As protests and vigils over the police killing of black Minneapolis resident George Floyd continue across Wyoming and the country, the state’s largest school district is reaffirming its commitment to inclusive learning.

87     0

‘Stand your ground’ law not a ‘get out of jail free card’

CHEYENNE — The “stand your ground” bill passed by the Wyoming Legislature in 2018 has caused case dismissals and citizen confusion surrounding the law that now has officials worried it will be viewed as a “get out of jail free card.”

111     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Friday, June 5, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

125     0

Floyd protests continue in Laramie, Gillette

Protesters took to the streets of Laramie and Gillette again on Thursday as nationwide demonstrations continued to protest the death of a Minnesota man in police custody.

182     0

Budget cuts will cost state jobs, Gordon says

CASPER — Upcoming cuts to state spending will “likely lead to some employees losing their jobs” as Wyoming continues to grapple with the economic fallout of COVID-19, collapsed oil prices and continuing declines in natural gas and coal, Gov. Mark Gordon said Thursday.

124     0

Private endeavor to raise sage grouse in captivity hits snag

POWELL — On the final day of a month-long hunt for greater sage grouse eggs, Karl Bear approached his team with a noticeable limp. Yet, as he neared their trucks on a dusty, double-track road, Bear had a broad smile on his sweat-soaked face.

102     0

Gillette man wants his automotive museum to become a tourist stop

GILLETTE — The COVID-19 pandemic has not discouraged Frontier Relics and Auto Museum owner Jeff Wandler from adding to his impressive collection of neon signs, gas pumps, classic cars and nods to Western history.

126     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Thursday, June 4, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

143     0

Clash of wolves, cattle continues near Jackson

JACKSON — Russ Lucas first noticed in mid-April that an unwelcome neighbor — wolves — were back on his family’s Spring Gulch cattle ranch.

106     0

Senator says state’s revenue woes may linger

SUNDANCE — The age of mineral wealth may be at an end for the State of Wyoming. The latest CREG report shows a severe drop in revenue over the next couple of years thanks to a huge decline in income from coal, oil and natural gas, and Senator Ogden Driskill warns that it may not be temporary.

111     0

Campbell commissioners back plan to hold rodeo championship in Gillette

GILLETTE — Campbell County Commissioners and Campbell County Public Health support a plan for Cam-plex to possibly host the National High School Finals Rodeo in July.

100     0

Hundreds march through Casper to protest Floyd death

CASPER — Hundreds of demonstrators gathered to silently march and then make speeches in downtown Casper on Wednesday in protest of police brutality and the videotaped killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.

112     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Wednesday, June 3, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

112     0

Yellowstone allows more time for Wi-Fi review

JACKSON — A telecommunications business rebuffed the National Park Service last winter after park officials asked for a smaller, pilot version of the company’s plan to add hundreds of antennas transmitting Wi-Fi signals throughout developed areas in Yellowstone National Park.

177     0

‘All of our plans got dissolved:’ COVID-19 and the class of 2020

For Trayshon Spoonhunter, a successful high-school basketball career and countless hours of devotion to the game all led up to one capstone moment in the second week of March. He and his Lander Valley High School team were on the road to the state championship.

111     0

Laramie, Gillette, Rock Springs see protests over Floyd death

Protesters across Wyoming continued to express their dismay this week over the death of Minnesota man George Floyd at the hands of police.

207     0

Ranchers: Grizzly suit imperils rights, wildlife migrations

CORA — Sublette County ranchers say a suit challenging their Forest Service grazing permit — a 10-year arrangement that authorizes the killing of 72 grizzly bears — could violate their rights, run them out of business, and lead to a host of negative environmental impacts.

99     0

Legislators eye mineral tax cuts

CASPER — Wyoming lawmakers mulled ways to prop up the ailing oil and gas industry Monday, including possible cuts to state mineral taxes.

95     0

Release of report on racist activity at Cheyenne school delayed

CHEYENNE — Inquisitive minds will have to keep waiting to read a currently sealed report of an investigation into racist and homophobic student activity at Cheyenne’s McCormick Junior High School.

99     0

Costs to resume classes at UW set at just under $79 million

LARAMIE — University of Wyoming leaders determined to see on-campus activities resume in the fall announced Tuesday those plans would move forward with the caveat that state government provides the necessary funding.

107     0

HollyFrontier announces plan to lay off roughly 200 employees at Cheyenne refinery

CHEYENNE— HollyFrontier Corporation announced Monday that it will be laying off about 200 employees at its Cheyenne refinery over the next 18 months.

94     0

Cody Nite Rodeo approved to begin June 15

CODY — Cody Nite Rodeo received approval Monday to hold the event with 600 spectators beginning June 15.

113     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Tuesday, June 2, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

115     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Monday, June 1, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

113     0

Committee rejects property tax increase

RIVERTON — State Sen. Cale Case, R-Lander, lambasted his colleagues on the Joint Revenue Committee this week after the majority opposed drafting a bill to raise property taxes by 2%.

112     0

Clusters of coronavirus turning up in more facilities

CASPER — In fewer than 14 days, Wyoming officials have addressed potential and realized coronavirus clusters within at least three long-term care facilities and three childcare centers.

118     0

Demand for food, childcare assistance growing in Wyoming

CASPER — Vital social services like childcare assistance and the supplemental nutrition assistance program, or SNAP, are experiencing growing pressures in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Department of Family Services Director Korin Schmidt told lawmakers recently, likely requiring additional state dollars to match rising demand statewide.

124     0

Lawsuit against Albany Sheriff’s Office allowed to proceed

LARAMIE — A federal judge approved a civil rights lawsuit to move forward this month against the Albany County Sheriff’s Office.

101     0

Officials say worst of unemployment may have passed

SHERIDAN — As far as unemployment claims in the state, the worst may have passed, according to Wyoming Department of Workforce Services Director Robin Cooley.

109     0

Vigil, rally mark death of man at hands of police

Hundreds turned out for a vigil in Cheyenne and a rally in Jackson over the weekend to memorialize the death of a Minnesota man killed by police. In Cheyenne, a candlelight vigil was held to memorialize George Floyd, who died May 25 after being restrained by four Minneapolis police officers. In Jackson, a crowd gathered in the town square Sunday for a peaceful protest of the incident.

112     0

Cody Stampede organizers say they’re planning for rodeo

CODY — In a reversal to a statement made by Gov. Mark Gordon on Wednesday and continued Friday morning regarding the state's six biggest rodeos being cancelled, the Cody Stampede Board announced in a press release Friday that it is still trying to hold the 101st Cody Stampede Rodeo and Xtreme Bulls events if the board can get state approval.

131     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Friday, May 29, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

125     0

Renewables top coal for energy consumption for first time in 135 years

GILLETTE — For the first time since before 1885, the annual United States energy consumption from renewable sources outpaced coal, according to a new report released Thursday by the federal U.S. Energy Information Administration.

117     0

Wind River inmates contract COVID-19

CASPER — A health official said Thursday that at least two inmates at the Wind River Reservation’s jail had tested positive for the coronavirus, making it the first known outbreak of the illness among multiple inmates at a correctional facility in Wyoming.

119     0

UW students first in state to be prosecuted for violating quarantine order

LARAMIE — Four Laramie women face criminal prosecution after they allegedly ignored orders to quarantine after being suspected of having COVID-19.

106     0

Injured Powell student Asher graduates from high school

POWELL — When EMTs rushed to load Ethan Asher into an ambulance on the second day of his senior year, they weren’t sure he would make it to the hospital. Doctors in Billings didn’t expect him to survive the night. Then specialists worried he might never be able to speak again or retain memories.

116     0

Barrasso believes coronavirus shutdowns are over

BUFFALO — Though Wyoming saw its third largest spike in positive coronavirus cases on Saturday, U.S. Sen. John Barrasso does not believe the nation or Wyoming will need to close down again.

125     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Wednesday, May 27, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

0     0

Back Country Horsemen fight conditions to add convenience to Sunlight campgrounds

POWELL — Just after lunch, dark clouds moved in overhead and a cold rain began to fall. The storm was expected, but the crew couldn’t see it approaching at Dead Indian Campground — far below the surrounding peaks.

86     0

Togwotee tussle: Grizzly fandom on the pass enters new era

JACKSON — Near mile marker 11 on Togwotee Pass, Tiffany Huynh wanted to know what all the commotion was about.

113     0

Change in mineral tax payments faces early challenges

CASPER — Legislation signed into law this year requires energy firms in Wyoming to fork over mineral tax payments to county governments on a more frequent, monthly basis. But the road to implementing the new tax rules could be bumpy for public officials and industry alike.

122     0

Lawmakers unlikely to consider Medicaid expansion in any special session

CHEYENNE – As Wyoming lawmakers prepare for the likelihood of more special sessions in coming months, Medicaid expansion likely won’t be a topic up for immediate consideration in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

110     0

Jackson airport told to create disaster fund for heli-tours

JACKSON — Town of Jackson officials are playing with Jackson Hole Airport purse strings to create a precautionary pot of money for potential wildfire and search-and-rescue costs in the event that a scenic helicopter flight crashes and burns.

109     0

GCSD planning for fall

TORRINGTON – An unsourced viral post on social media about the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines for reopening schools during the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a minor panic online. But the real measures released by the CDC last week aren’t nearly as strict or cut and dry.

104     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Wednesday, May 27, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

130     0

Supreme Court affirms Laramie County custody decision

CHEYENNE – The Wyoming Supreme Court ruled recently that the Laramie County District Court didn’t abuse its discretion when it said a mother wasn’t allowed to consume alcohol during visits with her child.

113     0

Wyoming braces for $1.5 billion revenue hit

CASPER — Collapsing energy prices and the COVID-19 pandemic are expected to cost Wyoming up to $1.5 billion in revenues through June 2022, preliminary estimates released Tuesday show, setting the stage for steep budget cuts, new taxes or a mix of both.

124     0

Jackson false imprisonment trial delayed

JACKSON — The civil rights lawsuit filed by a Jackson teen against a Colorado cop is delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

111     0

Riverton man charged with first-degree murder

RIVERTON — Authorities ruled Tuesday that the manner of Trevor Bartlett’s death was homicide.

102     0

Warden credits ‘hard work’ as DOC continues to report no cases

Wyoming’s Department of Corrections has yet to report a confirmed COVID-19 case among its inmates, according to the department, even as state and federal prisons nationwide have proven hotbeds of infection.

101     0

Pollution drops amid pandemic

CASPER — A University of Utah scientist has published preliminary research revealing a significant decline in air pollutants during the age of COVID-19.

119     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Tuesday, May 26, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

118     0

Treasure hunter banned from Yellowstone

POWELL – An Indiana treasure seeker who had to be rescued by park rangers after illegally rappelling into the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone last winter has received multiple penalties for his actions. David Christensen must serve a week in jail, reimburse the Park Service more than $4,000 for the expense of getting him out of the canyon and stay out of Yellowstone National Park for the next five years.

124     0

NE Wyoming tourism season marked by uncertainty

GILLETTE — When the coronavirus pandemic began to impact the economy more than two months ago, there was a lot of uncertainty on how it would play out. Today, as states and communities start to reopen, it’s difficult to predict what the recovery will look like.

122     0

Long-term future of skills games not a sure thing

GILLETTE — The city of Gillette’s decision to kill an ordinance to regulate “skills” games does not end a larger debate about whether businesses and organizations across Wyoming should be allowed the have the games.

120     0

Gunwerks reaches settlement in Wells Fargo lawsuit

CODY — A settlement was agreed to in a $2.8 million lawsuit between Wells Fargo Bank and Cody-based firearm manufacturer Gunwerks, that was filed in Wyoming Federal District Court on Wednesday, according to Michael LaBazzo, a spokesman for Gunwerks.

108     0

U.S. Attorney asked to watch out for government overreach

RIVERTON — The United States Attorney for the District of Wyoming has been asked by United States Attorney General William Barr to be vigilant against state or county public health orders that strain people’s rights “unduly.”

123     0

NTEC furloughs 93 hourly workers, 8 salaried from Antelope mine

GILLETTE — More than 100 Antelope coal mine workers lost their jobs Thursday morning when Navajo Transitional Energy Co. furloughed 93 hourly employees and laid off eight salaried staff.

136     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Friday, May 22, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

144     0

Judiciary Committee hears testimony on public records

SHERIDAN — Several witnesses asked the Wyoming Legislature Joint Judiciary Committee during its virtual meeting Wednesday to prepare better guidance regarding interpretation of public records exemptions going forward.

146     0

COVID-19 found at Casper nursing home; 265 to be tested, quarantined

CASPER — Roughly 265 staff members and residents at a Casper long-term care facility will be tested and quarantined after a case of the coronavirus was confirmed there, health officials said Thursday.

118     0

WYDOT director backs usage charge as solution to funding state roads

CHEYENNE – With the state facing more than $100 million in annual unmet road needs, the head of the Wyoming Department of Transportation offered his support Thursday for a funding option that’s gained momentum in other Western states.

117     0

Staff handling locker clean-out process at Gillette high schools

GILLETTE — Cleaning out lockers is one of those things that signifies the end of the school year and the start of summer break. But instead of students doing that this year, teachers and custodians have been doing the chore.

135     0

How COVID-19 expanded this yearbook's meaning

CHEYENNE — The award-winning yearbook staff at Cheyenne’s East High had a plan for documenting this school year – and a global pandemic wasn’t a part of it.

131     0

Transients, others quarantine in Riverton COVID camp

RIVERTON — As of Friday afternoon, 16 people were quarantined in a man camp abutting Arapahoe School on the Wind River Indian Reservation.

126     0

Governor urges residents to adhere to safeguards as cases climb by 13

In the wake of Wyoming’s 11th death related to the coronavirus, Gov. Mark Gordon on Wednesday urged Wyoming residents to abide by the safety guidelines that have been handed down by state health officials to stop the spread of the illness.

134     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Thursday, May 21, 2020 From Wyoming News Exchange newspapers

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

119     0

32 tested for COVID-19 after case at Casper day care

CASPER — A child at a Casper day care center tested positive for the coronavirus, prompting the center’s closure and the testing of 32 staff members and children, the Casper-Natrona County Health Department said Wednesday.

122     0

Paper, new or DIY: Bagging groceries in the COVID era

JACKSON — Grocery shoppers in Jackson can still use their own bags. They just have to bag their own groceries if they do.

124     0

State announces targeted COVID-19 testing plan for nursing homes, assisted-living facilities

CHEYENNE – In an effort to monitor potential outbreaks of the coronavirus, Wyoming health officials have announced a plan to test a portion of staff members and residents in every nursing home and assisted-living facility across the state.

162     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Tuesday, May 19, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

140     0

Cody merchants prepare for tourists

CODY — With Yellowstone National Park’s recent opening limited to its Wyoming entrances in Cody and Jackson, it could be an opportunity for local businesses to benefit from a monopoly of sorts when it comes to tourist traffic.

136     0

Glimmer of hope for oil and gas industry

CASPER — The price for a barrel of oil inched just over $30 Monday morning, a welcomed reprieve for oil and gas operators stuck in the midst of an energy crisis fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic.

135     0

Cheyenne woman charged with first-degree murder in Saturday shooting death

CHEYENNE – A 33-year-old Cheyenne teacher has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the shooting death of her fiancé early Saturday morning.

191     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Monday, May 18, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

121     0

Guernsey braces for layoffs as coal’s decline quiets the rails

GUERNSEY — The railroad is this town’s backbone.

126     0

Ultra files for bankruptcy: gas producer was state’s largest tax contributor last year

CASPER — One of Wyoming’s most prolific natural gas producers, Ultra Petroleum Corp., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Thursday evening in Texas following months of financial instability.

111     0

Freedom rally: Citizens gather outside Smith Alley in Sheridan

SHERIDAN — A group of about 75 gathered outside Smith Alley Brewing Company Friday — some to show solidarity for the business itself, others to advocate for personal liberties.

130     0

Tribes continue shelter order; aggressive approach continues as other places loosen rules

CASPER — As the state and Wyoming counties begin to loosen restrictions on business amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Wind River Reservation tribes are continuing their aggressive approach to mitigate the spread of the virus.

108     0

Renewed effort to protect businesses from COVID-19 lawsuits succeeds in special session

CHEYENNE – After a bill to grant immunity to business owners from COVID-19 lawsuits faltered during the first day of the Wyoming Legislature’s special session, a renewed effort to provide those protections was successful in the second and final day of the session Saturday.

119     0

Historic special session opens as bars, restaurants open

Restaurants and bars across Wyoming that have been closed since mid-March opened their doors on Friday as Wyoming’s legislators met in an historic special session to deal with the impacts of the coronavirus.

137     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Friday, May 15, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

151     0

Sheridan business owner speaks out on COVID-19 orders

SHERIDAN — Businesses reopening has caused some tension and confusion along Sheridan’s Main Street, especially regarding law enforcement’s role in enforcing public health mandates.

155     0

Cheyenne Landlord Association questions details of eviction program in special session bill

CHEYENNE – The Cheyenne Landlord Association has been hesitant to support a program aiming to stave off evictions that will be considered during the Wyoming Legislature’s special session today and Saturday.

143     0

UW seeks $46M for fall reopening

CASPER – The University of Wyoming is considering reopening closed buildings and testing all of its students and staff every two weeks as part of a preliminary plan to begin in-person education in the fall, a plan that will cost $46 million in that first semester alone.

118     0

Groups aim to record pandemic for posterity

CASPER — Few firsthand stories remain of how Wyoming weathered the 1918 flu pandemic and how the virus impacted peoples’ lives in the state just over a century ago.

148     0

An American Dream: Owner turns drive-in into an oasis for groups during pandemic

POWELL – On Friday — the weekend before the official opening of the American Dream Drive-in — business was hopping.

133     0

Self-quarantine has spurred new hobbies, rekindled old passions

GILLETTE — Beckie Avery bought a circular saw for a small project.

176     0

Academy closure could cause police shortage

JACKSON — With the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy shuttered because of the COVID-19 pandemic, some new police officers are ready, but not able, to take to the streets.

149     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Thursday, May 14, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

148     0

Yellowstone to reopen access Monday in limited capacity

POWELL — Starting at noon on Monday, Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks will begin reopening through a gradual, three-phase plan.

158     0

Gov. urges caution as businesses open more

CHEYENNE – With some statewide public health orders being eased at the end of the week, Gov. Mark Gordon asked the public Wednesday to be careful as the state’s economy begins to reopen.

134     0

Natrona County dismantling coronavirus response operations

CASPER – Various structures put in place in Natrona County to respond to the novel coronavirus are being dismantled and put on standby as the disease appears to have slowed here and the state continues to loosen restrictions on everyday life.

138     0

Wyoming receives promising medication

CASPER – The state of Wyoming has received a limited shipment of Remdesivir, the experimental drug that’s shown promise in fighting the novel coronavirus, according to a memo that’s been sent to health care providers across the state.

135     0

FROM WYOFILE: Judges question Wyoming’s case for grizzly numbers

A federal appeals panel May 4 questioned Wyoming’s contention that Yellowstone area wildlife managers should keep the population goal for ecosystem grizzly bears unaltered if they change the method of counting them. Grizzly advocates say inflating the population estimate by swapping models but not adjusting the population goal could lead to the death of some 500 bears.

135     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Wednesday, May 13, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

141     0

Wyoming coronavirus cases up by three

The daily increase in confirmed coronavirus cases in Wyoming on Tuesday was at the lowest level seen since mid-April, according to Department of Health figures.

191     0

Jackson hoteliers worry about summer tourism

JACKSON — Three nights a week over the past 13 years Bob Brown has lived in various Jackson Hole hotels.

136     0

Fremont County coronavirus numbers high due to testing, official says

The high number of coronavirus cases on Fremont County reflects the amount of testing done in the county, according to a health official.

164     0

Fremont County Attorney says he won't enforce some public health orders

RIVERTON — The top prosecutor of Fremont County will not enforce certain elements of public health orders put in place by Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon to mitigate coronavirus spread.

142     0

NEWS BRIEFS for Tuesday, May 12, 2020

News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

153     0

Legislature to allow some media into Capitol for special session

The Wyoming Legislature will allow some media into the Capitol for this week’s two-day special session under special guidelines the Legislative Services Office issued on Monday.

151     0

Prosecutor: Platte County officer justified in shooting

CASPER — A Platte County sheriff ’s captain was justified when he shot and killed a man carrying an ax last month near Wheatland, that county’s top prosecutor announced Monday.

141     0

Committee advances bill establishing grant, loan programs ahead of special session

CHEYENNE – With the end of the financial turbulence caused by the COVID-19 pandemic nowhere in sight, Wyoming business owners and their employees could soon gain a boost.

154     0

Sheridan students repair school devices as part of class

SHERIDAN — Two computer science classes offer Sheridan High School students the chance to receive practical skills and aid the school district they attend.

217     0

Additional Articles

  • NEWS BRIEFS for Friday, Aug. 7, 2020 From Wyoming News Exchange newspapers

    News in Brief from across the Cowboy State

  • Rockpile Museum joins Digital Public Library of America

    The Campbell County Rockpile Museum is happy to announce that a portion of its historic collections are now part of the Digital Public Library of America.

  • Legislators consider more tax relief for oil, gas

    CASPER — Wyoming lawmakers once again deliberated introducing more tax relief for oil and gas operators on Tuesday, with the aim of spurring additional mineral production and capital investment in the state as it struggles to recover from the economic collapse in energy markets.

  • U.S. Justice Department ‘actively monitoring’ Wyo. health orders

    The U.S. attorney for the District of Wyoming has told health-order critics he is monitoring state- and county-imposed restrictions to stop the COVID-19 pandemic but stopped short of saying he found any violations of the U.S. Constitution.

  • Legislators decide against June special session

    CASPER — The Wyoming Legislature will not be meeting in a special session later this month as anticipated, legislative leadership wrote in a letter to members Thursday, potentially delaying several bills intended to offset the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic until later this summer or the fall.

  • Protesters march for justice

    SHERIDAN — A man with work-tanned skin, cowboy hat and Carhartt pants leaned against the concrete wall at the Sheridan County Courthouse. He stood out among the large group surrounding him, holding a simple cardboard sign with a quotation from the Bible on one side.

  • Judge cancels BLM lease sales, potentially costing state up to $44 million

    POWELL— A federal judge in Montana has vacated an instructional memorandum issued by the Bureau of Land Management related to sage grouse, forcing the agency to cancel 440 oil and gas leases that had brought in more than $125 million in 2018 sales.

  • Snowpack water content slips to 92% of median

    The water content of Wyoming’s snowpacks dropped from 100% of median to 92% in the last two weeks, the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service reports.

  • Jackson-area parks avoid shutdown-related problems

    After the federal government partially shut down in December, Audra Warburton and other Double H Bar employees packed up brochures for the National Elk Refuge sleigh rides they offer, along with a couple of cash registers, and moved into a corner of the Home Ranch Welcome Center to register tours there.

  • UW official urges harsher penalties for booze sales to minors  

    Laramie should significantly increase the penalties leveled to businesses that sell alcohol to minors, University of Wyoming Vice President for Student Affairs Sean Blackburn suggested Monday.