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Case in UW student death advances to trial court

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) — The criminal case of a 20-year-old Casper man accused in the death of a University of Wyoming student has advanced to a trial court. Dalton Williams is charged with second-degree murder or manslaughter in the alternative. A Circuit Court judge found enough evidence to send the case to District Court for trial. UW student Joe McGowan died a day after police say he tried to break up a fight Halloween night. Police accuse Williams of punching McGowan, who then fell and hit his head. Murder in the second degree carries a penalty of 20 years-life imprisonment. Manslaughter carries a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment. Williams is free on a $100,000 cash bond. … Read entire article »

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Charges reduced against 2 men in fatal assault

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Prosecutors have reduced the charges against two Arizona men who were arrested after a New Mexico man died of injuries suffered in a drunken fight at a Casper motel. Prosecutors have charged 36-year-old Dwayne Bahe and 42-year-old David Watson Jr. with three counts of aggravated assault. Watson also faces a charge of accessory after the fact. Both men waived their preliminary hearings and their cases will move to District Court. The men were initially charged with second-degree murder for the Nov. 9 death of Gary Jefferson of New Mexico. Investigators said he had been kicked in the head with steel-toed boots. Bahe and Watson claimed self-defense. Investigators said it appeared Jefferson threw the first punch. Bail … Read entire article »

Fremont deputies involved in chase

(RIVERTON, Wyo.)  A Fremont County Sheriff’s deputy was involved in a high speed chase just outside of Riverton on Rendezvous Road. The deputy had been called to the area on the report of reckless driving.  As the deputy arrived in the area, he noticed a vehicle matching the description speeding and almost taking out other drivers on the highway.  The vehicle refused to pull over and sped into Riverton. Undersheriff Ryan Lee said the pursuit was stopped as the vehicle entered the City Limits of Riverton, due to the driver’s erratic behavior and the cause for public safety. The suspect then slowed to normal speeds.   Deputies followed the vehicle to an address in the 2300 block of … Read entire article »

No community college tuition hikes in 2015

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Students attending Wyoming’s seven community colleges will not see their tuition increased next year. The Wyoming Community College Commission voted 6-1 Thursday to keep the current tuition rates for 2015. Commissioner Sherri Lovercheck said it was important to students that community colleges be as affordable as possible. Commissioner Charlene Bodine voted against the measure. Bodine says it would be better to keep raising tuition slowly by small amounts than to have a large increase later. The University of Wyoming Board of Trustees last week voted to raise tuition by 5 percent next year. … Read entire article »

Cheyenne hospital still fixing billing problems

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The Cheyenne Regional Medical Center says it is still working on billing problems that have patients worried. Some patients have received letters saying they were getting money back from the medical center while they continue to get bills for the same services. Cheyenne Regional employees say more than 1,000 patients are eligible for refunds. In May hospital officials said a number of problems occurred after a switch to a new system. That system was set up when the hospital converted from paper medical records to a new electronic system. … Read entire article »

Report: Bird needs 3-mile buffer from drilling

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A government study with significant implications for the U.S. energy industry says the breeding grounds of a struggling bird species need a 3-mile or larger buffer from oil and gas drilling, wind farms and solar projects. Monday’s finding from the U.S. Geological Survey comes as the Obama administration weighs greater protections for greater sage grouse. The ground-dwelling bird ranges across 11 Western states. Its population dropped sharply in recent decades due to disease, pressure from the energy industry, wildfires and other factors. State and federal officials are scrambling to come up with conservation measures to protect the bird ahead of a court-ordered September 2015 decision on protections. A related bird, the Gunnison sage grouse of … Read entire article »

Hunting reveals good year for Wyoming sage grouse

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — State biologists in Wyoming say hunting is helping the greater sage grouse by providing critical data about the birds’ numbers. Sage grouse had an especially good breeding year in Wyoming. Each hen produced an average of 1.7 chicks, the best reproduction rate since 2005. Wyoming Game and Fish Department officials say they know this because of hunting. Game and Fish asks sage grouse hunters to donate the wings of the birds they kill. Biologists can determine the age and sex of birds killed by examining their wings. Whether sage grouse hunting will continue in Wyoming and eight other states remains to be seen. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service faces a court deadline of September, … Read entire article »

Confrontation with Casper mayor downplayed

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — A man involved in a confrontation with Casper Mayor Paul Meyer says a dispute over drag racing has been resolved. Lance Knigge says a disagreement arose after the mayor expressed concern about illegal drag racing. Meyer says he saw Knigge’s car ready to race and feared for the safety of children. Knigge says he was not racing and it was all a misunderstanding. Meyer says he was grabbed, and Knigge says Meyer poked a number of people in the chest. Knigge says both men made their point and the dispute is over and Meyer says he believes the drag racing will stop. … Read entire article »

Blast at Wyoming propane dealer forces evacuations

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — An explosion at a propane dealer in Jackson forced the evacuation of several nearby businesses and a small school. There were no immediate reports of anyone being hurt. Jackson police say multiple explosions occurred shortly before 1 p.m. Thursday at the AmeriGas facility about 2 miles from downtown Jackson. A small independent high school, a grocery store and other small businesses nearby were evacuated. Witnesses said a large propane delivery truck was involved with the explosion. Fire severely damaged at least one building but the full extent of the damage wasn’t immediately known. The cause of the explosion is under investigation. … Read entire article »

Anglers reminded to be careful on frozen lakes

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Anglers are being reminded to use caution this winter when venturing onto frozen lakes and reservoirs. Officials with the Wyoming Division of State Parks, Historic Sites and Trails say ice is always in a state of flux, so driving any kind of vehicle, and sometimes even walking, on a frozen surface is risky. Pressure ridges can cause thin patches in the ice that can’t support the weight. Anglers across Wyoming are being reminded that if their vehicle breaks through the ice in a state park, they are responsible for paying to remove it. … Read entire article »