Associated Press

Wyoming U.S. Sen. John Barrasso is among the members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who have voted against the use of U.S. military force in Syria.
 
     The committee approved a use-of-force resolution Wednesday on a 10-7 vote. President Barack Obama seeks to use force to punish Syrian President Bashar Assad for a recent chemical attack the administration says killed more than 1,400 people.
 

Two teens have been sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to killing three members of a Wyoming family.
 
     Tanner Vanpelt and Stephen Hammer appeared in court in Cody Tuesday to change their pleas under a deal with prosecutors in the killings of 40-year-old Ildiko Freitas and her parents in the northwestern Wyoming town of Clark.
 
     The Powell Tribune  reports Park County Attorney Bryan Skoric agreed to seek life sentences instead of the death penalty with the support of law enforcement and Freitas' family.
 

A meeting between a Wyoming chapter of the NAACP and an organizer for the Ku Klux Klan is believed to be the first of its kind.
 
     Both the Southern Poverty Law Center and the United Klans of America said Tuesday the meeting is a first. The Casper Star-Tribune (http://bit.ly/17BcfVR ) reported that the meeting took place at a hotel in Casper under tight security between Jimmy Simmons, president of the Casper NAACP and John Abarr, a KKK organizer from Great Falls, Mont.
 

A district judge on Wednesday ordered that a man who had been serving a life sentence for his role in a 2009 home invasion killing in Sheridan will be eligible for parole after serving 25 years.

It is now up to the Wyoming Supreme Court to resolve a dispute between the Legislature and schools Superintendent Cindy Hill over statewide management of Wyoming's public school system.
 
     The court heard an hour of arguments Tuesday in Hill's lawsuit challenging a new law stripping the superintendent's office of many of its powers and duties.
 
     The change occurred in the middle of Hill's four-year term. The superintendent remains one of the five statewide elected officials but no longer oversees the Wyoming Department of Education.
 


  The city of Laramie is suing the Laramie Boomerang newspaper and a city councilor to get a judge's ruling on whether they're entitled to inspect city personnel records.
 
     Tuesday's district court lawsuit follows requests by Laramie Councilor Joe Vitale and the newspaper for information related to former Mayor Jodi Guerin's qualifications to serve as city recreation manager.
 

A federal judge has given lawyers until early next year to submit written arguments about whether Wyoming's lone death row inmate should be put to death.

wyoming.gov

The Wyoming Attorney General's Office is urging the state Supreme Court to rule against Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill's legal challenge to the recent state law that stripped her office of many of its powers.

The AG's Office this week filed a lengthy brief with the court laying out the history of the state's education system.

The AG argues that the state Legislature originally invested the superintendent's job with many of its powers. It says the Legislature had authority to remove those same powers when it passed the law early this year.

A federal appeals court has ordered Campbell County Memorial Hospital to pay a Nevada woman $2 million for damages she suffered when a doctor there failed to diagnose that her husband had broken his neck in a vehicle accident.
 

NEW ED DIRECTOR - Gov. Matt Mead has selected an Arizona state senator to run the Wyoming Education Department.

Mead late Wednesday afternoon announced his choice of Richard Crandall, who co-owns two nutritional service companies.

The Education Department has a budget of about $1 billion a year and employs about 150 people.

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Wyoming House Speaker Tom Lubnau is asking for a special committee to be empanelled to investigate state schools Superintendent Cindy Hill's administration of the state Education Department.

Lubnau wants the House Rules Committee to handle the probe. It could be a step toward possible impeachment proceedings against Hill, depending on its findings and recommendation.

Lubnau, a Gillette Republican, made the request Tuesday to Republican Senate President Tony Ross, of Cheyenne.

A man has filed a civil lawsuit against former University of Wyoming basketball player Luke Martinez over a fight outside a bar last year.
 
Attorney Steve C.M. Aron filed suit in March on behalf of Parfait Nayigihugu. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.
 

Martinez's attorney, Tom Fleener, filed an answer to the lawsuit that asks the court to find in Martinez's favor.  Martinez also has a criminal case pending in which he is charged with aggravated assault and battery. Martinez has pleaded not guilty in the criminal case.
 

Basin Electric Power Cooperative

Three workers were burned in the second fire in a week to break out at the same power plant near Wheatland.
 
Basin Electric Power Cooperative says the fire broke out early Sunday at the Laramie River Station.
 
The Bismarck, N.D.-based utility said in a release Monday the fire started in the plant's coal unloading area.
 
Three workers were taken to Platte County Memorial Hospital. One worker was flown to a burn center in Greeley, Colo., and remains there for treatment.
 

Construction has begun on a new $237 million power plant near Cheyenne.

Gov. Matt Mead says it appears likely that state agencies won't face more spending cuts in the two-year budget cycle that begins next year.
 
 Mead says he's informed state lawmakers that state agencies won't honor lawmakers' request to present proposed spending cuts of up to 6 percent at legislative committee hearings this summer.
 
Most state agencies saw budget cuts averaging 6.5 percent in the supplemental budget that state government approved early this year. Mead says state revenues are improving and that more cuts probably won't be necessary.
 
 

A judge has dismissed a lawsuit that contested how the University of Wyoming and Colorado State University managed and planned to sell a ranch jointly owned by the universities' foundations.
 
 The attorney for the Denver woman who donated the ranch to the two universities said Thursday that Amy Davis would appeal to the Wyoming Supreme Court.
 
 The Y Cross Ranch covers 50,000 acres between Cheyenne and Laramie.
 

The Wyoming Supreme Court is considering a challenge to a recent state law that allows judges to give permission over the phone to police officers to draw blood or perform other tests on people suspected of drunken driving.
 
Two drivers who submitted to testing after a Teton County judge authorized officers over the phone are contending the tests should be disallowed in their cases because the search warrants don't meet constitutional requirements for written affidavits.
 

The Wyoming Supreme Court has agreed to hear the lawsuit filed by state schools Superintendent Cindy Hill.
 
 Hill is suing the state and Gov. Matt Mead over a new law that took away many of her powers and duties.
 
Laramie County District Judge Thomas Campbell last month asked the Supreme Court to take up the lawsuit because it raises constitutional questions.
 

A judge in Casper has sided with the state of Wyoming and ruled against environmentalists who sought to make public the lists of ingredients that go into hydraulic fracturing fluids.
 
     Environmental groups had requested the ingredient lists from the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, arguing that the public needs to know what chemicals companies are putting underground.
 
     Natrona County District Judge Catherine Wilking has ruled that Wyoming's state oil and gas supervisor was correct to withhold the ingredient lists as protected trade secrets.

State Superintendent Cindy Hill will take her case to the Wyoming Supreme Court.

Wednesday District Court Judge Thomas Campbell refused to issue a preliminary injunction and restore her powers and duties immediately.  But he did send her case immediately to the Wyoming Supreme Court for further action.   

The Legislature and Gov. Matt Mead approved a law this winter taking away many of the superintendent's powers and duties. It included replacing the superintendent as administrative head of the state Education Department with a director appointed by the governor.

The National Rifle Association and Safari Club International are blaming wolves for bringing down the quality of big-game hunting in northwestern Wyoming.
 
     The hunting groups are pushing to intervene in lawsuits pending in federal courts in Washington D.C. and Wyoming. The groups want to oppose environmental groups' push to reinstate federal protections for wolves in Wyoming.
 

A district judge in Cheyenne says he will rule in a week whether to restore the powers and duties recently taken away from state schools Superintendent Cindy Hill.
 
  Judge Thomas Campbell heard more than two hours of testimony and arguments Thursday in Hill's lawsuit challenging a new law that removed her as head of the Wyoming Education Department.
 
  

    CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - In a first for Wyoming, a court has ordered a post-conviction test of DNA in a 23-year-old sexual assault case.      The Wyoming Tribune-Eagle reported Monday (http://tinyurl.com/ar47zcd ) that District Judge Thomas Campbell issued the order in the case of Andrew Johnson.       Johnson was convicted of sexual assault and aggravated burglary in Laramie County in 1989 and was sentenced to life in prison.      Johnson maintains his innocence. Seminal fluid collected in the case has not been tested for DNA.

Sen. Mike Enzi is supporting the idea of a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced U.S. budget.

He's co-sponsoring a bill that would make a balanced budget a constitutional requirement.

Enzi says it's the only solution to solving the nation's fiscal mess.

The Balanced Budget Amendment would restrict Congress from spending more than federal revenue in any fiscal year and would limit spending to 18 percent of the gross national product.

Wyoming lawmakers are facing bills this session that would restrict access to abortion services.

Meanwhile, a group is capitalizing on the legal victory it won against the state last year that allows it to display an anti-abortion poster in a tunnel leading to the state Capitol.

The anti-abortion bills aren't set for a hearing until late in January. Abortion rights groups say they're gearing up for a fight and similar bills have been defeated in recent legislative sessions.

Wyoming House Speaker-elect Tom Lubnau says crafting a supplemental state budget will be the "overriding concern" as lawmakers open the 2013 session tomorrow

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State financial analysts are warning that Wyoming needs to brace for flat revenues for years to come, given the slumping national demand for coal and increasing natural gas production in other states.

Gov. Matt Mead presented a budget proposal to lawmakers last month calling for cutting state agency budgets by an average of 6.5 percent.

Wolf hunting season ends

Dec 31, 2012

Wyoming's wolf hunting season ends today.

Hunters are allowed to kill a total of 52 wolves ... but as of Friday afternoon, they had taken only 43.

It's Wyoming's first wolf hunting season since the federal government reintroduced wolves to the Yellowstone ecosystem in the 1990s.

Besides those taken during hunting season, 25 wolves have been killed around Wyoming this year because they were considered predators.

Authorities still haven't determined what started the wildfire that burned 15,000 acres on Casper Mountain this summer.
 
 Natrona County Fire Inspector Dave Baker told the Casper Star-Tribune  that investigators believe it was human-caused. The leading theories are that the fire was accidentally started by ATV use or discarded smoking material or that it was intentionally set.
 
 The fire destroyed 37 homes and cabins. Authorities know of only one person who has rebuilt so far.
 

An undercover probe of a pig farm near Wheatland by the Humane Society of the United States has resulted in misdemeanor charges against nine former workers.
 
     The Platte County Attorney's Office filed the charges. Officials are still attempting to serve warrants on some defendants.
 
     The Humane Society last summer released what it said is an undercover video, shot in April, showing workers abusing pigs at Wyoming Premium Farms in Wheatland. The society also claimed animals at the farm were kept in what it called inhumane conditions.
 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Eastern Shoshone Tribe are urging a federal judge not to reconsider his recent ruling banning the Northern Arapaho Tribe from killing bald eagles on a central Wyoming reservation.
 
     The Northern Arapaho Tribe last month asked U.S. District Judge Alan B. Johnson of Cheyenne to change the ruling he entered earlier saying that the tribe couldn't kill the birds on the Wind River Indian Reservation because of objections from the Eastern Shoshone. The two tribes share the reservation.
 

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