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Developments at the Wyoming Legislature

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Developments at the Wyoming Legislature on Feb. 10, the third day of the 2016 budget session: INTIMATE IMAGES: The House voted to introduce a bill that would make it a crime to disseminate intimate images of another person without their permission. Bills must receive approval of two-thirds of lawmakers for introduction. SHED ANTLERS: The House voted to introduce a bill that makes it illegal to collect shed antlers on private property without the owner’s permission. CONCEALED CARRY: The House voted to introduce a bill that would remove the prohibition on carrying concealed weapons at meetings of the Legislature and other government bodies. WOLVES AND BEARS: The House voted to introduce a resolution that would call on Congress to enact legislation to remove the gray wolf and grizzly bear populations from … Read entire article »

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Wyoming proposal would toughen ballot initiative process

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming lawmakers are considering a bill that would create another requirement for the state’s already rigorous ballot initiative process. A state Senate committee on Thursday advanced a proposal that would require ballot initiatives to be written in the form of a legislative bill. Sen. Eli Bebout, a Riverton Republican, says the proposal isn’t meant to create another roadblock to passing a petition. He says the intent is to ensure the initiative would fit into existing state statute if adopted by the voters. Bebout sits on the committee that wrote the bill. Wyoming already has some of the toughest ballot initiative laws in the country. … Read entire article »

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Green River man indicted in 2-year-old boy’s 2009 death

ROCK SPRINGS, Wyo. (AP) — A grand jury has indicted a Green River man on a first-degree murder charge in the 2009 death of a 2-year-old boy in his care. 34-year-old Jacob Anglesey called emergency crews March 9, 2009, and told them the boy, Konnor Allen, was unresponsive following a fall. The boy had suffered head trauma and died the following day. An investigation did not lead to charges at the time, but the case remained open with the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation. In 2015, DCI agents presented evidence to the Sweetwater County Attorney’s Office they say shows Anglesey was inconsistent when describing how the boy was injured. Medical reports stating the injuries were caused by non-accidental trauma also were included. An attempt by The Associated Press to find a phone number … Read entire article »

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Bills tinkering with K-12 funding fail introduction

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Three bills that would make changes to how K-12 schools are funded in Wyoming have failed introduction in the state House of Representatives. Republican Rep. Mike Madden sponsored House Bills 90, 91 and 92, which all failed on Wednesday. Madden says the bills would have cut transportation costs, changed the way school districts counted their average attendance each year and updated salaries for teachers and school staff. Wyoming faces a projected $477 million revenue decrease over the next two years, and schools are bracing for expected cuts. … Read entire article »

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Wyoming, Arch Coal reach bankruptcy bonding deal

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming has struck a deal to accept up to $75 million in place of Arch Coal’s $486 million in bonding obligations in the state while the company goes through bankruptcy. Arch’s mines in Wyoming include Black Thunder, one of the world’s largest coal complexes. Bonding helps ensure those mines could be filled in and restored to a natural state should they close. In Arch’s case, an agreement called self-bonding has allowed Arch to show it can cover all potential reclamation costs in Wyoming in exchange for not having to post any bond. An agreement filed Tuesday in Missouri bankruptcy court would make Wyoming a priority creditor to collect at least some of Arch’s bonding costs if necessary. Environmentalists say such agreements risk leaving taxpayers responsible for mine cleanup costs. … Read entire article »

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Bill to bar Wyoming wardens from wolf, grizzly cases fails

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A Wyoming legislative committee has defeated a bill to bar state game managers from investigating or prosecuting people for killing wolves and grizzly bears as long as the animals remain federally protected. Sponsor Sen. Larry Hicks, a Baggs Republican, Wednesday told a House committee that Wyoming isn’t obligated to enforce provisions of the federal Endangered Species Act. Grizzly bears and wolves are both federally protected species. Opponents of the bill said it could interfere with efforts to delist Wyoming wolves and grizzlies. Brian Nesvik is chief warden of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. Nesvik told lawmakers the department quit handling law enforcement investigations related to wolves after a federal judge reinstated federal protections for them in Wyoming in 2014. The state cooperates with federal officials on grizzly cases. … Read entire article »

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Senate committee endorses student privacy bill

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A state Senate committee has endorsed a proposed bill that would prohibit teachers and school officials from prying into students’ private personal social media accounts. The unanimous action Wednesday by the Senate Education Committee sends Senate File 14 to the full Senate for further consideration. Social media accounts created in association with school business would be precluded from the privacy protections. Officials would still be allowed to access a student’s public account, and the bill would not inhibit law enforcement investigations related to information on students’ online accounts. Proponents of the legislation say nothing in Wyoming caused lawmakers to propose the measure, but issues have come up in other states about student social media privacy. The bill also addresses protecting data that has identifying information about individual students. … Read entire article »

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Grand Teton plans to demolition, restore old park buildings

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — A plan to renovate or demolish a number of historic Grand Teton National Park buildings is drawing pushback from residents. The proposed Historic Properties Management Plan targets three decades-old building clusters for removal and would restore four other dilapidated properties. Park spokesman Andrew White says the plan includes reusing some of the properties, such as those in the Mormon Row Historic District, to house seasonal park employees. Jackson resident Franz Camenzind opposes plans to restore the 4 Lazy F Dude Ranch for housing. He says it would negatively impact native wildlife and could lead to more encounters between humans and grizzly bears. The Alliance for Historic Wyoming has started a petition against the park’s planned demolition of the Moose-Wilson Road’s Sky Ranch. … Read entire article »

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European tariff on US soda ash needs to be eliminated in transatlantic trade deal

Washington, D.C. – To help bolster American soda ash exports, Representative Cynthia Lummis and U.S. Senators Mike Enzi and John Barrasso sent a letter with other Senate and House members emphasizing the importance of eliminating a European Union (EU) tariff on soda ash under a transatlantic trade agreement currently under negotiation.   In advance of the 12th round of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) negotiations, the letter made clear to U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman that failure to secure immediate elimination of the EU’s 5.5 percent duty on soda ash would not be an acceptable outcome. “This tariff barrier reduces the competitiveness of U.S. soda ash and also harms European industrial consumers, especially Europe’s sizable glass industry, which stands to benefit from better access to competitively-priced, high quality U.S. soda ash,” … Read entire article »

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Cheyenne baby’s death undetermined after coroner’s inquest

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A jury called by the Laramie County coroner has found that the cause of a 6-month-old baby’s death in Cheyenne is undetermined. The coroner had called Tuesday’s inquest after being unable to independently determine exactly how the infant died. Tyler Child is set to stand trial for manslaughter in connection with the June 2015 death of Clayton Lemmons, who was the son of Child’s then-girlfriend. Court documents say Child had been taking care of his girlfriend’s children on June 30 when he called 911 to report that the infant didn’t appear to be breathing. Investigators say the baby’s 3-year-old sister told them Child placed his hand over the infant’s mouth. Child pleaded not guilty to manslaughter in August. … Read entire article »

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