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  • Wyo. woman convicted for child abuse, assault

    From the US Attorneys Office District of Wyo.|Jun 20, 2024

    Kandace Sitting Eagle, 33, of Arapahoe, Wyoming, was convicted by a federal jury on Jun. 13, for aggravated child abuse, assault resulting in serious bodily injury, and assault with a dangerous weapon. The four-day trial was held before U.S. District Court Judge Alan B. Johnson, in Cheyenne. According to trial evidence, on Dec. 12, 2023, an Arapahoe school resource officer conducted a welfare check on a 13-year-old student that had not been to school in over a month. He eventually found the child in a crawl space under the trailer where the par...

  • Gordon unveils 'Decarbonizing the West' report, seeks climate flexibility

    Dustin Bleizeffer, WyoFile.com|Jun 20, 2024

    Federal agencies and the Biden administration must be more flexible and encourage technological innovations like carbon capture that can enable low-carbon energy while keeping coal and other fossil fuels in the nation's energy mix, a new report by the Western Governors' Association concludes. The association released its Decarbonizing the West report Tuesday, an initiative spearheaded by Gov. Mark Gordon, who is wrapping up his 2023-34 tenure as the organization's chairman. Among the report's...

  • Teton Pass closed indefinitely; Gordon declares emergency

    Jasmine Hall, Jackson Hole News and Guide Via Wyoming News Exchange|Jun 13, 2024

    JACKSON - There's no timeline yet for how long Teton Pass will remain closed after a weekend landslide left a gaping hole in the highway linking the communities and economies of Idaho and Wyoming. But Wyoming Department of Transportation crews have pinpointed the area where the ground had been shifting under the highway, and that "acceleration of movement" has stopped, WYDOT spokesperson Stephanie Harsha said Sunday. The landslide isn't the only threat to the corridor, which shuttles goods and p...

  • Five grizzly bear cubs make the largest litter in Yellowstone-area history

    Mike Koshmrl, WyoFile.com|Jun 13, 2024

    Within hours of the sighting on Wednesday, Frank van Manen caught word that there was a grizzly sow with five cubs in tow spotted in Yellowstone National Park. Five cubs following mom is so unlikely that van Manen, who leads the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team, pondered an explanation. Maybe, he said, there was an adoption event: Sometimes two female siblings produce cubs in the same year, and one ends up with the other's youngsters. "We've seen that before, with adoptions taking place," van...

  • Haze of controversy: EPA must force stricter air quality controls in Wyoming, conservation groups say

    Dustin Bleizeffer, WyoFile.com|Jun 6, 2024

    After sparring in court over the first 10-year phase of the Regional Haze Program, state and federal regulators - along with environmental groups and industrial polluters - are preparing for battle in the next phase of the effort that is intended to gradually restore "natural visibility" at some 156 national parks and wilderness areas. Wyoming's second-round "state implementation plan" awaits approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which is expected to begin accepting public...

  • Wyoming officials side with Trump

    David Velazquez, Casper Star-Tribune Via Wyoming News Exchange|Jun 6, 2024

    Wyoming’s elected officials are standing with former President Donald Trump after he was found guilty of 34 counts of falsifying business records in a New York case. Trump, who is seeking to win the presidency in November, is facing up to 4 years in prison for trying to illegally influence the 2016 election by falsifying business records to hide a hush money payment to a porn actor who claimed they had sex in 2006. Wyoming senators John Barrasso and Cynthia Lummis both released statements on social media platforms on Thursday stating that D...

  • Could Wyoming water get piped to Colorado? A decades-old plan resurfaces

    Mike Koshmrl, WyoFile.com|Jun 6, 2024

    A gas exploration company with Florida ties is pursuing plans to pull groundwater out of existing coalbed methane wells in southern Wyoming, then pipe it into the lower reaches of the water-stressed Colorado River Basin. The project was formally initiated in December, when the State Engineer’s Office received 21 groundwater test well applications from Mark Dolar of Dolar Energy, LLC. The test wells are all located on Bureau of Land Management property south of Rawlins in the Atlantic Rim gas field. Two test well applications have since been r...

  • PacifiCorp sues Wyoming regulators who rejected major electric rate hike

    Angus M. Thuermer Jr., WyoFile.com|May 30, 2024

    Wyoming's largest energy supplier sued state regulators Thursday claiming they wrongly reduced a rate hike by disregarding federal requirements. Filed in U.S. District Court by PacifiCorp, the parent company of Rocky Mountain Power, the suit asks the court to overturn the commission's January decision to approve only part of an electricity rate hike sought by the Oregon company, which is the largest utility operating in Wyoming. The complaint names Wyoming Public Service Commissioners Mary...

  • Wyoming, tribal impasse over hunting rights persists despite judicial order

    Mike Koshmrl, WyoFile.com|May 30, 2024

    It’s been nearly five years since the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark decision recognizing tribes’ treaty-based hunting rights, and two months since a lower federal court issued an order related to tribal elk hunting in the Bighorns. Still, many of the fundamental legal and policy questions about where, when and if certain Native Americans are bound by state hunting regulations remain far from resolution. Meanwhile, the landscape of case law in which observers expected the lingering leg...

  • Wyo. residents receive sentences

    From the US Attorneys Office District of Wyo|May 2, 2024

    Several Wyoming residents were recently sentenced in the U.S. Attorney's Office for a variety of offenses. Child Pornography Ricky Lee Smith, 55, of Laramie, was sentenced to 120 months in federal prison for possession of child pornography. According to court documents, On Jun. 25, 2023, law enforcement received a CyberTip from a provider of cloud-based services regarding the user of a Verizon phone with a Wyoming number that traced back to Smith, who is a registered sex offender. Investigators...

  • Wyoming stakeholders nudge feds in opposing directions on sage grouse conservation plan

    Dustin Bleizeffer, WyoFile.com|May 2, 2024

    As home to about 38% of the planet's remaining greater sage grouse - far more than any other state or province - and the architect of key conservation measures, Wyoming has a lot to gain or lose from upcoming changes to the complex, multi-agency matrix of rules and regulations governing management of the imperiled bird and its habitat. Those stakes were top of mind Wednesday evening for Natrona County rancher Doug Cooper and others who attended a BLM information session on the agency's recently...

  • The giant mental-health loophole in Wyoming's gun regulations

    Madelyn Beck, WyoFile.com|May 2, 2024

    In Wyoming, someone can be deemed a danger to themselves or others, be committed to the state hospital for severe mental illness, be released, go directly to a store and buy a firearm. Such gun purchases violate federal law, and potentially state law. But because Wyoming is one of only three states that don't regularly report people who have undergone mental health adjudication to the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, pre-purchase enforcement is all but...

  • Wyoming tourism social media goes dark amid wolf furor

    Katie Klingsporn, WyoFile.com|Apr 25, 2024

    Wyoming's state tourism agency has suspended social media posts and paid ads relating to wildlife amid the worldwide furor over the wolf abuse and killing in Daniel. The Wyoming Office of Tourism, also known as Travel Wyoming, alerted unknown recipients to the social media suspension in a letter obtained by WyoFile. "I know you are all well aware of the public criticism over the wolf abuse by a resident," read the email, which came from the office's Senior Communication Manager Piper Singer...

  • State slaps down utility's effort to relitigate controversial rate hike

    Dustin Bleizeffer, WyoFile.com|Apr 18, 2024

    State utility regulators on Thursday denied a request by Rocky Mountain Power to relitigate its recently resolved request for a rate hike, commenting they were “offended” by one of the utility’s allegedly misleading arguments. The company had hoped to add two charges to its Wyoming customers’ bills, despite those increases having been tossed in December following months of intense debate. Rocky Mountain Power, Wyoming’s largest electric utility, filed an application for “rehearing” portions of two 2023 rate cases, which began with a reques...

  • Wyoming's elections will look different this year. Here's what voters need to know.

    Maggie Mullen, WyoFile.com|Apr 18, 2024

    How and when Wyoming residents can vote will look different this year. Two election laws related to political party affiliation and absentee voting were added to the books in 2023, making the August primaries the first major election affected by the new regulations. Under the new rules, May 15 is the last day registered voters can change their political party affiliation. The affiliation associated with a voter’s registration determines which primaries — either Republican or Democratic — they are entitled to vote in. Previously voters could...

  • Hunting bighorn sheep ewes to save the herd

    Christine Peterson, WyoFile|Apr 11, 2024

    Few hunting experiences are as rugged, challenging and elusive as stalking a bighorn sheep. Interested Wyoming residents typically wait decades, if not even a lifetime, before drawing a ram license in their home state. Sheep herds are relatively small, scattered and found in remote, challenging terrain compared to pronghorn, deer or even elk. And the opportunity is once in a lifetime. Draw a Wyoming bighorn sheep ram tag, and whether or not you fill it, you'll never get another. But ewes are a...

  • Northwest College wrestler honored for extraordinary heroism

    Mark Davis, Powell Tribune Via Wyoming News Exchange|Apr 4, 2024

    POWELL - Kendell Cummings isn't sure what he'll do when he returns home after graduating from Northwest College, but he'll be taking a rare medal with him when he goes. The Trapper wrestler who grabbed a grizzly bear by the ear to save his friend has now been honored for his heroism. He was recently announced as one of the latest group of heroes who will receive the Carnegie Medal for Heroism, North America's highest honor for civilian heroism. The medal is given to U.S. and Canadian citizens...

  • 'Chloe's Law' becomes law July 1, gender-affirming care for minors banned

    Joseph Beaudet, The Sheridan Press Via Wyoming News Exchange|Apr 4, 2024

    SHERIDAN — Starting July 1, gender-affirming care for minors will be banned in Wyoming. While signing the bill, Gov. Mark Gordon was critical because the bill may contradict other bills passed by the Legislature to enhance parental rights in education. “I signed SF99 because I support the protections this bill includes for children, however it is my belief that the government is straying into the personal affairs of families,” Gordon said in a statement. “Our legislature needs to sort out its intentions with regard to parental rights. While i...

  • Hageman: Republicans set up for success in 2025

    CJ Baker, Powell Tribune Via Wyoming News Exchange|Apr 4, 2024

    POWELL — Speaking to a crowd of Powell area residents on Thursday, U.S. Rep. Harriet Hageman (R-Wyo.) tamped down hopes for many legislative victories this year. With Democrats controlling the Senate and White House, Hageman indicated that she and the GOP face an uphill battle on everything from boosting American energy production to ousting Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to delisting the Yellowstone region’s grizzly bears. However, if Republicans make gains in the upcoming election, “what we have done is we have set ourse...

  • NEWS BRIEFS from Wyoming News Exchange newspapers

    Apr 4, 2024

    Wyoming ranked near the bottom in tax burden by state information AFTON (WNE) — With the national deadline for filing taxes, April 15, just two weeks away, WalletHub.com has released an examination of the tax burden by state. Wyoming ranks as one of the states with the lowest tax burden, coming in at #48 on the list with a percentage rate of 5.70%. Only New Hampshire (5.63) and Alaska (4.93) had a better ranking. The states topping the list are likely unsurprising to many readers, with New York leading the way at 12.02% and Hawaii second at 1...

  • Pierce Brosnan fined for foot travel in thermal area

    Lori Hogan, US Attorneys Office District of Wyo.|Mar 28, 2024

    Pierce Brosnan, 70, of Malibu, California, was fined $500, and required to pay a $1,000 community service payment to the Yellowstone Forever Geological Fund, a $30 court processing fee, and a $10 special assessment. U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephanie A. Hambrick imposed the sentence on Mar. 14, in Mammoth, Wyoming. Mr. Brosnan pleaded guilty to foot travel in a thermal area. According to court documents, on or about Nov. 1, 2023, Brosnan uploaded pictures to his Instagram page of himself standing...

  • Gordon signs off on state budget for next two years

    Hannah Shields, Wyoming Tribune Eagle Via Wyoming News Exchange|Mar 28, 2024

    CHEYENNE — A budget to fund Wyoming state government for the next two years was signed into law Saturday morning by Gov. Mark Gordon, hours before the midnight deadline. The governor had the final say on which amendments would be vetoed in the 2025-26 biennium spending plan, since the Wyoming Legislature submitted the budget on the last day of the session, March 8. In a typical budget session, the final week is used to submit a budget to the governor, and he usually has three days in which to sign it or use his line-item veto authority. On t...

  • Governor vetoes bill to repeal gun-free zones in Wyoming, bill lacks transparency and flexibility

    Brian Martin, Wyoming Tribune Eagle Via Wyoming News Exchange|Mar 28, 2024

    CHEYENNE — Late Friday evening, Gov. Mark Gordon’s office announced that he had vetoed a bill that would have repealed Wyoming’s gun-free zones. House Bill 125 received widespread support in both chambers of the Wyoming Legislature, but although he signed four bills related to firearms freedom this session and nine others in support of the Second Amendment, he said he couldn’t support this one. “House Bill 125/Enrolled Act No. 49 erodes historic local control norms by giving sole authority to the Legislature to micromanage a constitut...

  • BLM offers updated sage grouse plan

    Mark Davis, Powell Tribune Via Wyoming News Exchange|Mar 21, 2024

    POWELL - The Bureau of Land Management released a draft Thursday of an updated sage grouse management plan that places species protections back on track after several years of disruptions to the historic 2015 sage grouse plan. That was then credited for halting plans for costly protections for the species under the Endangered Species Act. Following 2019 court orders overturning Trump administration changes to the historic collaborative plans, the BLM has been managing sage grouse habitat...

  • As disease threatens feedground elk, Wyoming mired in planning and consensus-seeking

    Mike Koshmrl, WyoFile.com|Mar 21, 2024

    For the first time in its history, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department has a formal plan in place for managing the state's 21 winter elk feedgrounds. The 96-page document allows for changes to feedgrounds that could avert the worst consequences of an ugly disease that's ramping up - a sickness that scientists expect will devastate Northwest Wyoming's six fed elk herds in the long term if feeding continues. Notably, the plan does not compel reform or call for closing feedgrounds, but it does...

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