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Agencies fight weeds to help sage grouse in Wyoming

LANDER, Wyo. (AP) — State and federal land management agencies are teaming up with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and others to keep invasive plants out of sage grouse habitat. The Wind River/Sweetwater River Sage Grouse Working Group this month awarded a $31,000 grant to Fremont County Weed and Pest. The money will go toward a large-scale, three-year noxious weed inventory and treatment effort that the county weed district began last year in partnership with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. The local working group is one of eight established throughout Wyoming to conserve sage grouse. The conservation effort comes in response to concerns the federal government could declare the birds an endangered species, a move that could hurt the state’s energy industry. … Read entire article »

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Medical marijuana supporters hopeful for 2016 ballot measure

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming’s medical marijuana supporters believe they’re only a few steps away from getting the issue on the November 2016 ballot. Organizers say The Peggy A. Kelly Wyoming Cannabis Act of 2016 needs only minor changes before receiving preliminary approval. Once that happens, supporters across the state must gather more than 25,000 signatures before Feb. 8 to get the measure on the ballot. The proposal would legalize marijuana for medical reasons and allow state residents to grow hemp. A University of Wyoming poll last year found that more than 70 percent of residents support medical marijuana, while 35 percent support recreational use. State lawmakers recently passed a bill that legalizes a hemp extract known as CBD oil … Read entire article »

Promoter seeks to block regulation of bare-knuckle bouts

RIVERTON, Wyo. (AP) — A Wyoming bare-knuckle fight promoter is suing the national Association of Boxing Commissions and its president claiming they’re encouraging the City of Riverton to outlaw unsanctioned fights. The Riverton City Council has set a final vote next month on an ordinance to make participation in unsanctioned fights a crime. Promoter Corey Lee Williams of Shoshoni this week filed a federal lawsuit in Wyoming against the national boxing association and its president, Timothy J. Lueckenhoff, of Missouri. The suit also names the City of Riverton, its police chief and city attorney. Congress empowered the association to regulate aspects of boxing in the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act of 1996. Lueckenhoff declined comment Thursday. Williams wants a … Read entire article »

2 plead guilty in Casper in counterfeiting case

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — A man and a woman have pleaded guilty to counterfeiting-related charges in federal court in Casper. The change-of-plea hearings for Wyatt T. McMahon of Sheridan and Amanda Buell of Buffalo were held Thursday before U.S. District Court Judge Scott Skavdahl. McMahon pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to counterfeiting and forging obligations or securities of the United States. McMahon told the court that in July 2013 he downloaded pictures of $100 bills and printed 15 of them. Buell pleaded guilty to passing some of those counterfeit bills at a liquor store in Buffalo. Skavdahl will sentence the two later. Wyatt remains in custody, while Buell is free on $10,000 bond. … Read entire article »

Lengthy, costly missile site cleanups frustrate residents

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Residents are getting impatient and voicing concerns about the costly proposed cleanup of two missile sites. The Restoration Advisory Board met Thursday and hosted officials from the Army Corps of Engineers who are cleaning up Atlas Missile Sites 3 and 4. Board co-chair George Halyak said locals are frustrated at how long the project is taking. Residents have said they don’t think enough is being done to keep the spread of a 13-mile plume of contaminated groundwater out of Cheyenne, located about 20 miles east of the site. Drew Reckmeyer is a section chief with the engineering corps’ Environmental Remediation Branch, and says he hopes a contract will be approved this summer to fund … Read entire article »

Montana company specializes in saving trouble nursing homes

SARATOGA, Wyo. (AP) — The president of a Montana company taking over a financially troubled nursing home in southern Wyoming says his company specializes in turning around troubled facilities. However, Health Management Services President Joe Rude says the Saratoga facility is the most troubled his company has taken on so far. Health Management Services reached an agreement to lease, with an option to purchase, the nursing home from Deseret Health Group. Health Management Services would take over daily operations June 1. Deseret is facing bankruptcy and stopped paying for food, medical supplies, wages and benefits at the nursing home and a sister facility in Rock Springs. A new management company was found for the Rock Springs facility. … Read entire article »

Wyoming Oil, Gas Fair moves from Jackson to Casper

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — After 18 years in the Teton Mountains near Jackson, the Wyoming Oil and Gas Fair is moving to Casper. The fair will be held Sept. 16 and 17 at the Casper Event Center. Fair general manager Dave Hutton says the move was prompted by the rising cost of staging the event in Jackson and Teton County’s anti-energy attitude. Casper in Wyoming’s oil and gas capital, with many energy firms drills nearby. The fair was launched in 1997 as a push to bring drilling and pipeline companies together. Over the past five years the fair has averaged about 685 people, including executives from Anadarko Petroleum, Marathon Oil and British Petroleum. … Read entire article »

Highway over the Snowy Range opens for the season

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Crews with the Wyoming Department of Transportation have cleared the highway over the Snowy Range. The department says WYO 130 between Laramie and Saratoga is open for the season. The WYDOT crews will now focus their work on clearing WYO 70, the highway over Battle Pass in the Sierra Madre range. That highway remains impassable and there’s no date yet for when it will be open. The department advises travelers that high country conditions are wet with cold nights. Motorcyclists and bikers should watch for patches of ice in the mornings. All travelers and hikers should be prepared for possible closures due to winter-like weather on both roadways even after they open. … Read entire article »

Vanguard Natural Resources to acquire Eagle Rock Energy

HOUSTON (AP) — Vanguard Natural Resources LLC will acquire Eagle Rock Energy Partners LP in a $474 million deal. The agreement was announced Thursday by the Houston-based companies. Vanguard Natural Resources will also assume $140 million of debt from Eagle Rock Energy Partners, which will become a wholly owned indirect subsidiary. The agreement requires approval of the boards of both companies. Vanguard Natural Resources deals in acquisition, production and development of oil and natural gas properties. The company has operations in Texas, Wyoming, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Montana, Colorado, Louisiana, Mississippi and North Dakota. Eagle Rock Energy Partners is also involved with oil and natural gas properties. … Read entire article »

Officers shoot, kill woman brandishing knife in Wyoming

GILLETTE, Wyo. (AP) — Officers in northeast Wyoming shot and killed a 39-year-old woman armed with a knife after other means to stop her, including a stun gun, failed. The shooting occurred on a rural road just east of Gillette after the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office received a call about 11:30 p.m. Wednesday of someone trespassing at a coal mine. Frosty Williams of the state Division of Criminal Investigation said the vehicle led responding deputies on a chase that ended when spike strips deflated its tires. Williams says a woman exited the vehicle and threatened officers with a knife. Campbell County Attorney Ron Wirthwein says she ignored verbal commands to drop the knife and wasn’t subdued by a stun … Read entire article »