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Wind River Highway Safety Summit May 4-5 in Riverton

Highway safety advocates will join the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Transportation Department next week, May 4-5, for the Wind River Highway Safety Summit at the Wind River Hotel and Casino. The summit is hosted by the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Transportation Department, the Wyoming Department of Transportation’s Highway Safety Office, and WYDOT District 5. Registration for the safety summit begins at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, May 4, with summit opening ceremonies beginning at 10 a.m. Reservation and county safety advocates have been invited, and reservation residents are encouraged to participate and attend. “At this summit, we will forge new partnerships, strengthen existing relationships, and expand our understanding of various highway safety topics,” said Shoshone and Arapaho Tribes Transportation Director Big John Smith. “We will hear statistics, strategies, and safety messages that will provide background information to guide … Read entire article »

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Judge detains Colorado man on attempted child sex charges

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A federal magistrate has ordered a Colorado man to stay in jail while a grand jury considers charges that he tried to hire a Cheyenne teenager for sex. Magistrate Kelly Rankin of Cheyenne denied a request Friday from Leif Jourgensen of Ft. Collins, Colorado, to be released from custody. He’s charged with attempted enticement of a minor and travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct. A criminal complaint charges Jourgensen posted a Craigslist advertisement in Wyoming this month seeking to hire a girl to perform a sex act. Law enforcement investigators responded and pretended to be a 14-year-old girl. The complaint states Jourgensen agreed to meet the girl in Cheyenne but fled … Read entire article »

Wyoming Downs struggles with new horse race machines

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — One of two companies licensed to operate historic horse racing machines in Wyoming has closed half of its locations and reduced hours at the others in recent months. Wyoming Downs is licensed to operate eight historic racing machine venues across the state. Wyoming Downs and Wyoming Horse Racing were both forced to shut down operations last October after their instant racing machines were found in violation of state gambling law. The two operators installed new machines that meet state law. But Wyoming Downs chief operating officer Rick Cook said its new machines haven’t proved successful, forcing it to close sites in Gillette, Evansville, Cheyenne and Laramie. Cook said Wyoming Downs is looking to install different games. … Read entire article »

Final work scheduled on Wyoming 789 project south of Riverton

(RIVERTON, Wyo.) Erosion repair, seeding, reclamation, final Little Wind River bridge work, and other punch-list items are scheduled to begin next week on the Riverton South highway improvement project on Wyoming 789. Traffic control will be in place near the work south of Riverton, weather permitting, and delays will be minimal. … Read entire article »

Assault at Riverton hotel sends one to jail, other to hospital

(RIVERTON, Wyo.) An altercation at the Riverton Holiday Inn early this morning sent Fremont County Sheriff’s Deputies to investigate. Undersheriff Ryan Lee said the reported altercation was between suspect Frank Lopez and two victims. Lopez is alleged to have been chasing one victim down the hallway of the motel while brandishing a whiskey bottle. The second victim attempted to intervene at which time Lopez is alleged to have violently attacked the man striking him multiple times in the head and once under the chin with the heavy glass whiskey bottle. Lopez is also alleged to have struck the first victim at least one time under the chin with the whiskey bottle as well. Lee said it’s unclear what caused … Read entire article »

Syphilis cases on rise in southeast Wyoming

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The Wyoming Department of Health reports an alarming increase in reported syphilis cases in southeast Wyoming. Courtney Smith is the communicable disease surveillance program manager with the state Health Department. Smith says the agency has received six reported cases of “early” syphilis reported in Laramie County since Jan. 1. She says that is a significant increase from last year. Syphilis is primarily transmitted through unprotected sexual activity. If left untreated, syphilis can lead to serious health complications and death. … Read entire article »

More layoffs announced at Wyoming coal mines

GILLETTE, Wyo. (AP) — Alpha Natural Resources is laying off 37 workers at its Belle Ayr and Eagle Butte mines in northeast Wyoming. The layoffs announced on Thursday represent about 6.5 percent of Alpha’s 563 workers at the two mines. Low prices and weak market conditions have led Powder River Basin mines to lay off more than 500 workers since January in Wyoming. The Mine Safety and Health Administration reports that at the end of the first quarter of 2016, Belle Ayr employed 271 workers, while Eagle Butte had 292. It wasn’t made clear how many of the overall 37 layoffs came from each mine. Bristol, Virginia-based Alpha Natural Resources filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in August. … Read entire article »

State education board wants to keep coordinator job

WORLAND, Wyo. (AP) — The Wyoming State Board of Education has voted to keep funding its state coordinator position. The state Legislature this past winter approved a two-year budget that funded the job for only one year and directed the state education board to submit a report about the necessity of its coordinator. But the board voted unanimously during a meeting in Worland on Thursday to use unspent money from elsewhere in its budget to keep the coordinator position. Paige Fenton Hughes is the current Wyoming State Board of Education coordinator. She is leaving the job this year. … Read entire article »

Another spring storm to bring more snow to Wyoming

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — More snow is on tap for Wyoming, especially the southeast part of the state. The National Weather Service has posted a winter storm warning for the mountains of southeast Wyoming as well as the Cheyenne and Pine Bluffs area. Up to 11 inches of snow is possible in Cheyenne. A winter storm watch has been issued for Wheatland, Glendo and Torrington. The Laramie area is under a winter weather advisory. The Weather Service says snow is expected to begin Thursday night and continue off and on into the weekend. Snow and rain is likely throughout much of western and central Wyoming as well. … Read entire article »

Sinclair Refinery hires hundreds of workers during overhaul

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — The Sinclair Refinery in Casper has hired of hundreds of workers as it undergoes a major overhaul to help reduce its environmental impact and improve operations at the facility. The refinery has been shut down while the company upgrades and renovates nearly all of its major equipment, including oil storage tanks and steam boilers. The refinery will remain closed through May. Refinery manager Jim Ruble says the improvements will lay the groundwork to support another century of production. A cost estimate on the project has not been released. Ruble says the refinery has hired about 2,000 people to work on the various overhaul projects. Once the work is complete, he says employment will drop back … Read entire article »