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Submitted by Newsroom on May 12, 2011 – 1:00 amNo Comment

Latest Wyoming news, business and entertainment: 
     
     ENDANGERED WOLVES
     Lawmaker wants to remove gray wolf protections
     TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP)
– A member of Congress is proposing
legislation to remove federal protections of gray wolves across the
lower 48 states.
Michigan Republican Candice Miller introduced the bill this
week. It would turn over management of gray wolves to state
wildlife agencies everywhere outside Alaska where they’re known to
exist, including the western Great Lakes, the northern Rockies, the
Pacific northwest and the southwest.
     The Obama administration announced plans last week to drop about
5,500 wolves in the Great Lakes and northern Rockies from the
endangered list, while reviewing the wolf’s status in other areas.
Congress has already voted to lift protections from 1,300 wolves in
the northern Rockies.
     Miller says congressional action is needed because
environmentalists’ lawsuits repeatedly have blocked regulators from
keeping wolf numbers under control.
     
     
     LUMMIS-DRILL BILLS
     Lummis supports fast-tracking offshore drilling
     CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP)
– Wyoming Rep. Cynthia Lummis has joined her
fellow House Republicans in passing a bill that fast-tracks
offshore oil and gas drilling.
     The bill passed the House on a 263-163 vote Wednesday. It gives
the government a maximum of 60 days to decide whether a company can
drill. Afterward, the permit is automatically approved.
     There is currently no deadline for the permits.
     Lummis says more U.S. energy production means more American
jobs, lower energy costs and less dependence on foreign countries.
     She says it would provide relief to families and small
businesses from high gas prices.
     The measure goes to the Senate, which is not expected to approve
it.
    

     WIND RESERVOIRS
     Idaho co. plans pump storage facilities in Wyoming
     CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP)
– An Idaho company is planning to build
      several water reservoirs in conjunction with wind farms around the
state.
     Boise-based Gridflex hopes to start work in the next few years
on reservoirs near Glenrock, Medicine Bow and northern Carbon
County as so-called “pumped-storage” facilities.
     The storage facilities could cost a combined $2.2 billion to
build.
     They are designed to provide hydroelectric power when the wind
turbines aren’t generating power.
     In a pumped-storage facility, two reservoirs are built at
different elevations. When the wind blows strongly, the excess
energy is used to pump water into the upper reservoir. When the
wind dies down, the water is let out into the lower reservoir
through turbines.
     The company’s plans were
outlined Tuesday at a Wyoming Infrastructure Authority meeting in
Cheyenne.
     
     
     WITNESS KILLING
     Man involved in 2 Gillette killings back in court
     GILLETTE, Wyo. (AP)
– A 20-year-old Gillette man who had a part
in killing two teens in 2005 may be headed back to prison.
     In 2007, Michael Frank Seiser was sentenced to serve 20 to 25
years in prison for second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit
second-degree murder. Seiser was 15 years old at the time of the
crime.
     In February, District Judge John R. Perry suspended the
remainder of Seiser’s sentence, placed him on 25 years of probation
and sent him to a halfway house in Cheyenne.
     Court documents show
Seiser was fined $225 for interference in March.
     This month, prosecutors filed a petition to revoke Seiser’s
probation. Seiser denied wrongdoing in court Monday at Gillette.
His next court appearance has yet to be scheduled.
    
     CHILD PORN
     Laramie man pleads guilty to having child porn
     LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP)
– A 32-year-old Laramie man accused of having
images of child pornography on his computer has pleaded guilty.
     Edward Banwart appeared in District Court on Monday and pleaded
guilty to two counts of sexual exploitation of children by
possession of sexually exploitive material. He remains in the
Albany County jail on a $10,000 cash bond.
     Prosecutors say a child porn video and a digital image were
found on Banwart’s personal computer in September.
     The Laramie Boomerang reports he faces up to 20 years in prison
and a $20,000 fine.
    
     BUFFALO ROAM
     Park County judge halts bison changes
     LIVINGSTON, Mont. (AP)
– A Park County judge has granted two
temporary restraining orders that will halt agencies from allowing
bison to roam into parts of Montana from Yellowstone National Park.
     District Judge Nels Swandal
issued the orders Wednesday at the request of Park County and the
Park County Stockgrowers Association.
     The judge says that until further legal proceedings occur,
government agencies are prohibited from implementing changes made
this spring to a federal-state bison management agreement.
     Those changes allowed bison to roam into parts of the Gardiner
Basin where they were previously prohibited because of worries over
the animal disease brucellosis. Many of the animals have since gone
back into the park or been captured.
     A May 25 hearing is scheduled in two lawsuits over the issue.
    
     MOUNTAIN PLOVERS
     Feds say mountain plover stays off endangered list
     DENVER (AP)
– Officials say a small, brown bird that breeds in
the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains does not warrant a spot on the
endangered species list.
     The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Wednesday that the
mountain plover will not receive protection under the Endangered
Species Act following a review of scientific information and public
comments.
     Last year, federal officials agreed to reconsider the bird’s
status after two environmental organizations filed a lawsuit
seeking their protection in 2006. Environmentalists said the
mountain plover’s numbers had been dropping across its range.
     Federal officials said they found threats against the bird and
their habitats aren’t as serious as initially believed.
     The mountain plover breeds in Rocky Mountain states from
southern Canada to northern Mexico. It winters in California,
Texas, Arizona and Mexico.
    
     NATIONAL GUARD-WYOMING
     Wyoming Air Nat. Guard units back from Afghanistan
     CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP)
– Nineteen members of the Wyoming Air
National Guard are back home after serving in Afghanistan.
     The members of the 30th Airlift Squadron and the 187th Airlift
Squadron returned to Cheyenne on Wednesday.
     They were deployed for between 60 and 130 days. While in
Afghanistan, they provided airlifts to people and cargo and as well
as support to other airlift operations.
    
     TRACKING FRESHMEN
     Focus on freshmen yields early results at Casper
     CASPER, Wyo. (AP)
– Kelly Walsh High School in Casper has
employed what it calls a “freshman facilitator” to track freshmen
and help them finish the year and stay on the path to graduation.
     Freshman facilitator Aaron Temple says it doesn’t make sense to
suspend a student for not going to class. However, students can
face lunch detentions or Saturday school.
     Ninth-graders who lose one or more credit are more likely to
drop out of school.
   The school began the program in
2010.
     In 2008-09, 23 percent of Kelly Walsh freshmen failed at least
one class during the first semester. In 2010-11, only 12 percent
failed at least one course.
     In addition to tracking attendance and grades, Temple meets with
teachers to plan strategies to help individual students.
     
    

 
    
     (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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