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The Latest: 50 campers and other evacuated in Grand Teton

(LANDER, Wyo.) Officials say about 50 people have been evacuated from campgrounds and lodging because of a wildfire in Grand Teton National Park in northwest Wyoming. The fire made a 5-mile run Monday, forcing the closure of a 10-mile stretch of road that leads into Yellowstone’s South Entrance. More than 4,000 vehicles a day normally pass through the south entrance this time of year. The road remained closed today (Wednesday). Several campgrounds and a lodge that rents cabins in the area were evacuated. In neighboring Yellowstone, a fire burning near the West Entrance Road grew bigger Monday and a new team of fire managers was being brought in to help, although the fire was not being actively suppressed yet. All roads and major tourist areas in Yellowstone remain open. Meanwhile, on Monday night, a new fire … Read entire article »

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Wilderness hiker deploys spot activation device

(LANDER, Wyo.) Fremont County Search and Rescue responded to an emergency beacon from a spot activation device near Alpine Lake deep in the wilderness yesterday. When teams arrived in the area, they couldn’t locate the devices owner, however, according to Undersheriff Ryan Lee, the search and rescue team came across another group hiking in the area and they told them that the hiker had activated the device because he had become separated from his hiking party. They said the man was not lost, nor in any distress. The search and Rescue team cleared the area since there was no apparent reason for them to be there. … Read entire article »

Former Wyo. officer is latest suspect in 1985 slaying

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A former police officer facing murder and arson charges in a 1985 slaying is the latest in a series of suspects investigators have focused on in the search to find the killer. Laramie police last week arrested 67-year-old Fredrick J. Lamb in connection with the murder of 22-year-old Shelli R. Wiley. She was a University of Wyoming student. Lamb had worked as a police officer in Laramie and as a local sheriff’s deputy before Wiley’s death. His lawyer and a county prosecutor declined comment Tuesday. Authorities filed murder charges against a teenager after Wiley’s death but dropped them after determining he had made a false confession. Investigators later performed DNA tests on a convicted … Read entire article »

Jackson Hole airport sees record-breaking passenger numbers

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — Officials say there has been record-breaking ridership on commercial jets touching down at Wyoming’s Jackson Hole Airport this summer. Officials say July was the second-busiest month in the airport’s history. August 2014 barely surpassed this July, with 52,254 passengers boarding airplanes compared to last month’s 52,065. Visitation to Yellowstone National Park was up about 50 percent in July compared to five years ago. An estimated 996,000 people visited the park last month, setting an all-time monthly record. Grand Teton National Park doesn’t yet know how many people visited in July because the employee who processes the data has been on a long-term wildfire detail. … Read entire article »

Cheyenne man shot by troopers after chase identified

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Authorities have identified a man who was shot by troopers following a high-speed chase that ended near Casper. The Wyoming Highway Patrol says 38-year-old Jimmie Files was taken to a hospital after being shot Sunday. He has since been jailed, but authorities did not release his medical condition. The incident began when troopers acting on a reckless driving report started pursuing a pickup truck on Interstate 25. The chase spanned two counties. The Wyoming Highway Patrol says the truck went over a spike strip, drove into oncoming traffic and started driving in the median before being rammed by a trooper’s vehicle. The patrol says officers shot the suspect as he drove toward them. Two troopers involved … Read entire article »

Wyoming school board to allow superintendent to vote

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming’s Board of Education will now allow the state schools chief to retain a vote, ending a debate that began during the tenure of former Superintendent Cindy Hill. The vote, which was not listed on Thursday’s agenda, grants voting rights to all ex-officio board members, or in this case Hill’s successor Jillian Balow, and Wyoming Community College Commission Director Jim Rose. Two years ago the board voted to remove the superintendent’s voting rights. At the same time the Wyoming Legislature stripped Hill of many of her responsibilities. Hill has dismissed the Legislature’s rebuke over misconduct as a “smear campaign.” … Read entire article »

Source of contamination identified at former missile site

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The Army Corps of Engineers says it has pinpointed the major source of a cancer-causing chemical at a former nuclear missile site near Cheyenne. The 1960s-era site is one of several local former F.E. Warren AFB launch sites where investigators have found trichloroethylene, or TCE, which was used to clean missile launchers. Officials consider recent test results showing the single biggest concentration of TCE ever discovered at the site a breakthrough. The Restoration Advisory Board, which has been working with the Corps to treat the site’s contaminated groundwater, met Thursday to discuss the preliminary test results from wells dug this summer. Project geologist Jean Chytil says the discovery will help facilitate the cleanup of … Read entire article »

Plea deal possible in Utah kidnapping case tied to slaying

FARMINGTON, Utah (AP) — A plea deal is possible in the Utah case against a man accused along with his father of tying up five people in a basement and then killing a train worker in Wyoming they fled from police. Dereck James “DJ” Harrison appeared in court Monday for the first time since his father and co-defendant killed himself in jail. His lawyer Michael Edwards says prosecutors haven’t offered a deal yet, but Harrison wants to wait to review a possible bargain before the case continues. The 23-year-old Harrison is facing Utah drug and kidnapping charges after police say the father and son tied up a woman and her four daughters in basement. Harrison is charged with murder … Read entire article »

Wyoming boy scout found after going missing in mountains

POWELL, Wyo. (AP) — Searchers have found a 12-year-old Wyoming boy who went missing in the Big Horn Mountains while camping with his Boy Scout unit. Greater Wyoming Council of the Boy Scouts of America president Robert Quintana said Benjamin Kellett of Powell wandered away from his scout group on Saturday morning. The scouts were hiking and camping near Black Mountain Lookout. Quintana says the boy was found by members of the Wyoming National Guard searching from a Blackhawk helicopter on Sunday night. The council president says Kellett was taken to a hospital in Sheridan but appears to be unharmed. … Read entire article »

Police: Former Laramie officer told police he killed girl

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) — A former Laramie law enforcement officer accused of killing a University of Wyoming student in 1985 initially denied homicide allegations in a police interview but later said he killed the girl, according to court documents. Fredrick Lamb of Laramie was arrested Wednesday on charges of first-degree murder and arson based on DNA evidence more than three decades after the woman’s body was found. Lamb defense attorney Charles Pelkey declined comment, saying the defense needs to see evidence first. Lamb had an initial appearance on Saturday in Albany County Circuit Court, facing felony charges of first-degree murder and first-degree arson in connection with the 1985 death of 22-year-old Shelli Wiley, whose apartment was also set … Read entire article »