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WGFD Finds Invasive Species in Lake Cameahwait

(LANDER, Wyo.)   The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has found a new population of the invasive New Zealand mudsnail in Lake Cameahwait, also known as Bass Lake near Riverton. Greg Mayton, Game and Fish AIS regional supervisor, found the snails when he looked in the water and saw hundreds of mudsnails on the boat ramp. With further investigation he found them everywhere in the lake. A single New Zealand mudsnail can clone itself and quickly colonize a new location. It out-competes native snails and insects and can occur in such high densities (300,000 per square meter) it can alter water chemistry. Fish, such as trout, rely on native snails and insects for food, and the mudsnail is a poor substitute with little nutritional value for fish. Once the mudsnail is established in a … Read entire article »

Filed under: Local News

No sneak peek for company, EPA, at Wyoming reports

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming officials no longer plan to allow an energy company to preview two draft reports on possible causes of groundwater pollution in the Pavillion area before allowing the public to see those documents. Responding to a public records request filed by The Associated Press, the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission says it has decided to release the reports simultaneously to the public, Encana and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The state then will take comments on the reports for 30 days. Wyoming officials initially planned to let Encana and the EPA suggest changes before finalizing the reports and releasing them publicly. Now, officials plan to release a draft report on local gas wells in mid-August. There is no current timetable for releasing a draft report on petroleum industry waste pits. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Wyoming News

Wyoming Lottery running ads for Aug. 24 opening

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — The Wyoming Lottery has launched an advertising campaign a month before it starts selling tickets. The Casper Star-Tribune reported Monday the campaign includes print, television, radio and digital ads. Ticket sales begin Aug. 24. The first drawing is Aug. 26. Wyoming will sell Powerball and Mega Millions tickets at about 400 retailers statewide. Each game has two draws weekly. Wyoming Lottery Corp. CEO Jon Clontz says the enterprise is expected to earn $13 million to $17 million in its first year. The 2013 law creating the lottery requires that the first $6 million revenue after payouts and expenses goes to state and local governments. Clontz says revenues aren’t expected to reach $6 million, but if they do, anything over that is required by law to go to education. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Wyoming News

2 charged with child abuse, felonious restraint

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) — An Albany County man and woman have been charged with one count each of child abuse and three counts each of felonious restraint. Authorities say the two kept a 7-year-old child in an outdoor cage. The woman is the child’s mother. The Laramie Boomerang reports that the child was taken into protective custody Thursday. The man and woman are being held on $100,000 cash bonds at the Albany County Detention Center. According to court documents, the child was kept in a cage about 6 feet square and 5 feet tall and made of cattle paneling and wooden snow fence. Police say the mother told them the child was kept in the cage for being bad, while the man told deputies the child seemed to like the cage. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Wyoming News

League of Women Voters hosting candidate debates

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Candidates running for Wyoming secretary of state and state superintendent of public instruction are set to debate Monday evening in Cheyenne. Both events are being hosted by the League of Women Voters. Four people are seeking the Republican nomination in the secretary of state’s race in the Aug. 19 primary — Ed Murray, Ed Buchanan, Pete Illoway and Clark Stith. In the superintendent’s race, Bill Winney, Sheryl Lain and Jillian Balow are hoping to replace Cindy Hill, who is running for governor after a rocky three years as state schools chief. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Wyoming News

Wyoming’s ex-director of education back in Arizona

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The man who headed the Wyoming Education Department during the exile of Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill has returned to Arizona. The Wyoming Tribune Eagle reported Monday Rich Crandall is involved in a number of projects in Arizona including working on political races and serving as chairman of CN Resource, an educational nutrition company he started. Crandall is a former Arizona state senator. He was appointed director of the Education Department in August 2013 after the Legislature passed a law stripping Superintendent Cindy Hill of her powers. Hill was elected to the job but lawmakers were unhappy with her performance. The Wyoming Supreme Court ruled in January the law was unconstitutional. After Hill reclaimed her responsibilities, Crandall served as a consultant in the governor’s office until May 2. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Wyoming News

Coal leasing dip could hurt Wyoming school funding

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Projections show that a decline in coal leasing could tighten up funding for school construction in Wyoming in a few years. Fees paid by coal companies to lease federal coal in the Powder River Basin have financed more than $1 billion in school construction in Wyoming over the past decade. Leasing has dwindled, however, as demand for coal has declined. The Casper Star-Tribune reports ( ) back-to-back unsuccessful bids on coal-rich lands resulted in no new coal leases in Wyoming last year. Economists now project that Wyoming’s share of federal coal-leasing fees known as coal lease bonuses could hit zero in 2018. State Sen. Bill Landen of Casper says if significant new leasing doesn’t happen soon, Wyoming will need to change how it pays for new schools and school renovations. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Wyoming News

Ur-Energy: 8.8M pounds of uranium at Wyoming site

RAWLINS, Wyo. (AP) — A Colorado mining company says it has identified more than 8.8 million pounds of uranium at a site it recently acquired in Wyoming’s Shirley Basin. The Rawlins Daily Times reported Monday Ur (yu-AR’)-Energy says the uranium is at an average depth of 312 feet. Ur-Energy Vice President of Geology Jim Bonner says the uranium is high-grade. The company got control of several mines including the Shirley Basin site when it acquired Pathfinder Mines Corp. in December. Shirley Basin had been an open-pit mine until operations were suspended in the 1990s becaue of low uranium prices. Ur-Energy plans to use a technique that dissolves the ore in place and pumps it to the surface to be refined. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Wyoming News

Wyoming well setback shorter than other states’

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming oil and gas regulators are looking at widening the minimum allowable distance between homes and oil and gas wells. Wyoming’s current well setback distance of 350 feet allows oil and gas wells to be drilled closer to homes, schools, hospitals and other types of buildings than is allowed in other states. In North Dakota and Colorado, the minimum setback distance is 500 feet. In Texas, cities are left to decide setback distances, which range from 600 feet in Fort Worth to 1,500 feet in Dallas. The Casper Star-Tribune reports ( the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission plans to propose a new setback distance for Wyoming in the months ahead. The minimum distance comes into play for only a tiny fraction of Wyoming’s oil and gas wells. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Wyoming News

No fatalities in 21 months on Highway 287

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) — A stretch of U.S. 287 from Laramie to the Colorado state line has had a deadly history. In the time period between January 1995 and April 2014, the roadway saw 30 fatal crashes. Among those was the Sept. 16, 2001, wreck that was called one of Wyoming’s worst transportation tragedies in decades. In that crash, eight University of Wyoming cross-country runners were killed by a drunken driver in a head-on collision. The Wyoming Highway Patrol increased patrolling of the highway because of the high number of fatal crashes. The result is 21 straight months without a fatal crash. The Laramie Boomerang reports that the Wyoming Department of Transportation has been widening and dividing portions of the roadway recently. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Wyoming News