Associated Press

University of Wyoming

Laramie resident Mark Jenkins has reached the summit of Mount Everest.

Jenkins reached the summit of the world's highest mountain on
Thursday. He called his wife by satellite phone from a lower camp a
few hours later.

The University of Wyoming announced Jenkins' achievement. He
first attempted to climb the mountain in 1986 when he was a
graduate student at the university. He's a writer-in-residence for
the UW master's degree program in creative writing.

Federal land managers have rejected an application by a Colorado company to use bacteria to produce
methane from northeast Wyoming coal beds.  

The Gillette News-Record reported Thursday the Bureau of Land Management threatened to prosecute Luca Technologies Inc. for trespassing if it continued the work. The company says it will comply but disagrees with the decision and may sue.

The BLM acted after Luca refused to pay an additional $40,000 for the cost of processing the application, on top of $40,000 it paid previously.

The Casper Democrat running against Wyoming U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis is a political newcomer who says
he wants to represent the interests of working families.

Chris Henrichsen is a 35-year-old political science instructor
at Casper College. He filed paperwork on Thursday declaring his
candidacy to run against Lummis.

Lummis announced on Monday that she's seeking a third term as
Wyoming's lone member of the U.S. House of Representatives. A
Republican, she served earlier as Wyoming treasurer and in the
state Legislature.

The Wyoming Supreme Court has upheld a
life sentence for a Casper man convicted of kidnapping and
aggravated burglary in an attack on his girlfriend.
     The court on Tuesday rejected an appeal from Christopher Counts,
who was sentenced to life in prison last year as a habitual
criminal.
     Authorities say Counts broke into his girlfriend's house with a
knife in July 2010 and wouldn't let her leave.
     The Wyoming Supreme Court ruling states that Counts wrote to the
woman while his case was pending and tried to get her to testify

Wyoming continues to have one of the worst rates of death on the job.
 New figures from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics show
that Wyoming had the second-highest rate of deadly workplace
accidents of any state in 2010.
     Only West Virginia had a higher rate. Contributing to West
Virginia's rate in 2010 was a coal mine accident that killed 29
workers and was the nation's deadliest mine accident in 40 years.
     Wyoming's high workplace death rate reflects an energy industry

Wyoming's top oil and gas regulator says the
companies involved in a natural gas well blowout in eastern Wyoming
last month won't face any fines.
     Tom Doll, the state's oil and gas supervisor, tells the Casper
Star-Tribune that well owner Chesapeake Energy Corp. and drill rig owner Trinidad Drilling Ltd. won't be
cited for the blowout. The mishap vented up to 2 million cubic feet
of explosive gas and 31,500 gallons of drilling fluid into the air
and around the drill site near Douglas.

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     Four out of five scientists who reviewed Wyoming's proposed wolf management plan say they believe it's likely to maintain a stable population in the state.

     The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Friday released its second scientific peer review of Wyoming's wolf plan. The agency released an earlier review this winter but called for another after the state modified its plan.

Three workers at the Sinclair refinery near
Rawlins have been flown to a burn center in Colorado following a
flash fire.
     Sinclair Oil Corp. says the incident happened inside a gas
recovery unit at its refinery, about five miles east of Rawlins,
about 10:20 a.m. Tuesday.
     Sinclair Police Chief Jeff Sanders says it was a flash fire and
four workers were originally taken to Memorial Hospital of Carbon
County.
     A Memorial Hospital spokeswoman says three of the workers were

Western state officials took turns bashing the
federal government at a congressional field hearing on proposed
nationwide drilling rules on hydraulic fracturing.
     But Democrats on the panel Wednesday, along with some Colorado
environmental activists, insisted that health concerns around the
drilling procedure known as fracking mean there is a need for
common health and safety standards.
     Officials from Colorado, Wyoming and Utah testified before the
Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources Wednesday at the

The Northern Arapaho Tribe is pressing its
legal claim that tribal members shouldn't be subject to taxation by
the state of Wyoming or Fremont County on lands around Riverton.
     The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver is set to hear an
appeal from the Northern Arapaho next week. The tribe is appealing
a 2009 ruling by Judge Clarence Brimmer of Cheyenne that dismissed
its legal challenge.
     Brimmer ruled the Northern Arapaho Tribe's lawsuit couldn't
proceed without the involvement of the Eastern Shoshone Tribe and

The Wyoming Supreme Court has agreed to
decide Secretary of State Max Maxfield's lawsuit challenging term
limits for statewide elected officials.
     Chief Justice Marilyn S. Kite on Tuesday signed a notice that
the court will decide whether the state law setting term limits for
statewide elected officials is constitutional and enforceable.
District Judge Thomas C. Campbell of Cheyenne earlier asked the
high court to resolve the question.
     Maxfield is now in his second four-year term as secretary of

A federal judge has tossed out a lawsuit
that Encana Oil and Gas filed against a tribal judge on the Wind
River Indian Reservation.
     Judge Alan B. Johnson of Cheyenne last week dismissed Encana's
lawsuit against John St. Clair, the chief judge of the Shoshone and
Arapaho Tribal Court.
     Encana sued St. Clair in February claiming the tribal court had
no jurisdiction over the company. The lawsuit followed St. Clair's
ruling that Encana must answer a wrongful death lawsuit filed by

The state Education Department has granted
20 school districts waivers from meeting a state law requiring a
16-to-1 student-teacher ratio in kindergarten through third grades.
     The waivers are good for the 2012-13 school year.
     State schools superintendent Cindy Hill says the 16-to-1 ratio
is challenging for some districts but she's confident all will
eventually reach the mandate that was set by the 2011 Legislature
as part its education reform initiative.
     State law allows districts to seek a waiver from the Education

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Federal regulators have granted a rehearing for
further consideration of a Colorado businessman's proposal to build
a pipeline to deliver water from southwestern Wyoming to southeast
Wyoming and Colorado's Front Range.
     Aaron Million of Fort Collins had sought a permit from the
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for his project because a
system of turbines and reservoirs that he plans to build along the
pipeline would generate electricity. However a FERC official said
in February that Million's application was premature and lacked

The number of students receiving free and
reduced-price meals at Wyoming public schools increased this year
even though the state's economy has been steadily improving.
     Statistics from the Wyoming Department of Education show that 37
percent of students in Wyoming receive breakfasts and lunches
subsidized by the federal government.
     The 33,052 students qualifying for free and reduced-price meals
represent a 2 percent increase over the 2010-11 school year.
     Nutrition program supervisor Tamra Jackson of the state

An environmental group says it has reached
an agreement with the U.S. Forest Service to remove some corrals it
says could impede pronghorn migration in western Wyoming.
     The group Western Watersheds sued last year over the corrals in
the Bridger-Teton National Forest east of Kelly in Jackson Hole.
     The Jackson Hole News & Guide reports
ranchers use the corral while they graze cattle on public land in
the Gros Ventre River drainage. The group says the corrals weren't
built in accord with federal rules and could impede antelope

The price of natural gas has fallen below $2 per 1,000 cubic feet for the first time in more than a decade.
 The U.S. supply of natural gas is growing so fast that analysts worry the country's underground storage facilities could be full by fall and lead to further price declines.
     On Wednesday, the futures price of natural gas fell to $1.984
per 1,000 cubic feet, its lowest level since January 28, 2002, when
it hit $1.91.
     There is so much natural gas being produced - and still in the

Federal prosecutors say three people
bilked $3.7 million from investors by claiming to develop wind
farms in Wyoming and South Dakota. The projects never were built.
     A federal indictment filed in Cheyenne says phone solicitors
made cold calls to investors nationwide, telling them the wind
farms were being built by a private firm and the U.S. government.
     Utah residents Robert Reed and Lauren Scott and California
resident Christopher Ponish have pleaded not guilty to felony fraud

A group of citizens has filed a lawsuit
challenging Wyoming's newly adopted legislative redistricting plan.
     The lawsuit charges that state lawmakers bent over backward to
make sure incumbent state senators didn't have to run against each
other and accuses the plan of failing to give less-populous
counties fair representation.
     The lawsuit filed Thursday in Laramie County District Court
seeks to block Gov. Matt Mead and the other four statewide elected
officials from implementing the redistricting plan.

 The State of Wyoming has settled a federal
lawsuit filed by an anti-abortion group.
     Under the settlement, the state admitted that state officials
violated the constitutional rights of WyWatch Family Action by
removing a display of materials it posted in a tunnel leading to
the state Capitol last year.
     U.S. District Judge Nancy Freudenthal approved the settlement
and dismissed the lawsuit on Thursday.
     Under the settlement, the state admits that it
unconstitutionally prevented WyWatch from engaging in protected

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 Wyoming continues to monitor slumping natural gas prices that officials say threaten to cost the state
millions in lost tax revenues.

The Wyoming Tribune Eagle reports that natural gas prices averaged $2.10 per thousand cubic feet at the
Opal Hub in western Wyoming through the first few weeks of March. That's down from $2.52 in February. This time last year, gas prices averaged nearly $3.80 per thousand cubic feet.

 

The Wyoming tribe that earlier this month received the nation's first permit allowing members to kill bald eagles for religious purposes has renewed its legal challenge against the federal government over permit language that prohibits killing the birds on the tribe's reservation.

The Northern Arapaho Tribe has filed an amended federal complaint Friday against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

U.S. Sens. Mike Enzi and John Barrasso have joined a bipartisan coalition of senators in expressing concerns over proposed cuts in the U.S. nuclear forces.

The two Wyoming Republicans joined other senators in sending a letter with their concerns to the chairman and ranking member of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee.

The letter states support for the U.S. intercontinental ballistic missile force.

The United States currently has 450 Minuteman III missiles with 150 missiles each at three air bases, including F.E. Warren Air Force Base at Cheyenne.

The state of Wyoming is asking a federal appeals court to reconsider its recent decision that the state
can't sue the federal government over how many snowmobiles are
allowed in Yellowstone National Park.
Wyoming had argued that limiting snowmobiles to 318 a day was
arbitrary and would hurt tourism and tax revenue. A panel of the
10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last month rejected the state's
arguments, saying it failed to show the rule would harm the state
economically.
 Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead on Wednesday noted that Yellowstone is

A bear expert says a study has found that people using bear spray during grizzly bear encounters are injured
far less often than people using firearms.
     University of Calgary's Steve Herrero says that 98 percent of those who used bear spray
walked away unharmed, and no people or bears died.
     He says 56 percent of those who used firearms were injured, and
61 percent of the bears died.
     The firearms study involved 269 incidents with 444 hunters. The
bear spray study had 72 incidents with 175 people, though some of

Major League Baseball expanded its playoff format to 10 teams Friday, adding a second wild-card in each league.

The decision establishes a new one-game, wild-card round in each league between the teams with the best records who are not division winners, meaning a third-place team could win the World Series.

This is the only change in baseball's playoff structure since the 1995 season, when wild-card teams were first added.

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