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Submitted by Newsroom on September 26, 2011 – 11:07 amNo Comment

AP-WY–Right Now/1121
Latest Wyoming news, sports, business and entertainment

OLD MURDER

Lawyers seek to move Willoughby’s new trial

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — Attorneys for the 48-year-old Montana man charged with killing a woman in Wyoming say he cannot get fair trial in Sublette County.

The public defenders for Troy Willoughby have filed a motion recently asking District Judge Timothy Day to move Willoughby’s second trial out of Sublette County.

Willoughby was convicted last year and sentenced to life in prison for the 1984 death of Elizabeth Miles Ehlers, of Jackson.

However, his attorneys sought a new trial after the new Sublette County attorney announced in June that a police report had been withheld from Willoughby’s first trial. The report included information regarding Willoughby’s whereabouts in the hours before Ehlers was killed.

Day then granted a new trial.

WYOMING WILDFIRES

Warm weather causes some growth in Wyo. wildfires

Three wildfires that are still burning in Wyoming have grown in the recent warm weather.

Fire managers say the Gray Hills Fire in the Gros Ventre Wilderness grew to about 720 acres over the weekend. It’s burning in an area that had been considered for a prescribed burn and is being used to help encourage the growth of new vegetation.

The Norton Point Fire, about 25 miles north of Dubois, is also being allowed to burn to consume dead trees. It grew by about 400 acres on Friday and Saturday to about 20,500 acres.

The Hole in the Wall fire near Clark was contained Sept. 15 but authorities say it will continue to burn — and produce smoke — until snow starts falling. All roads near that fire have reopened.

MINING RULES

W.Va. hosts congressional mining rule hearing

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Congressional critics of a proposed mining regulation are finding plenty of support in West Virginia.

A U.S. House subcommittee is reviewing President Barack Obama’s handling of stream buffer zone regulations. Its chairman and a fellow Republican member held a Monday hearing in Charleston on the topic.

Acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin were among the witnesses. Both West Virginia Democrats fault the Obama administration for what they consider an ill-advised, unrealistic and aggressive approach to environmental oversight. They say this approach threatens jobs and West Virginia’s financial health.

State mining regulators from West Virginia, Virginia and Wyoming were also critical Monday. Other scheduled witnesses include coal industry officials and environmental advocates.

The proposal aims to keep rock, dirt and other mining debris away from mountain streams.

WYOMING-FRACKING FORUM

University of Wyoming hosting fracking forum

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — The University of Wyoming is sponsoring a forum on hydraulic fracturing that organizers hope will present all sides of the debate over the practice.

It begins Monday in Laramie and runs through Tuesday.

The director of the university’s School of Energy Resources, Mark Northam, said the speakers were selected by a panel with members from the energy industry, environmental groups and state regulators. He said they tried to pick speakers with different opinions and good credentials who would focus on the facts.

In the practice known as fracking, water, sand and chemicals are pumped underground to release oil and gas. It’s used in nearly all oil and gas development in Wyoming.

Some environmentalists say it can taint groundwater. The Environmental Protection Agency is studying the issue.

WOOD POWER

Company considering power plant using dead trees

CARBONDALE, Colo. (AP) — A Utah company is considering building an electric power plant using Colorado’s dead pine trees for fuel.

Evergreen Clean Energy spokesman Dean Rostrom of Provo, Utah, will hold a town hall on the plans on Wednesday in Carbondale.

Colorado and Wyoming have about 4.2 million acres of lodgepole pine trees that have been killed by the mountain pine beetle.

Converting dead lodgepole pine into biomass fuels provides an opportunity to create energy without adding greenhouse gases.

UW–AMBASSADOR VISIT

US ambassador to Tunisia to speak at UW

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) — The United States ambassador who witnessed the tumultuous revolution that brought sweeping changes to Tunisia will speak on Tuesday at the University of Wyoming.

Gordon Gray will appear at 10 a.m. in the UW Classroom Building.

When the first pro-democracy protests started in Tunisia last December, Ambassador Gray observed firsthand the beginnings of the “Arab Spring” that swept across North Africa into the Middle East.

The revolution in Tunisia paved the way to freedom and a new era of individual rights for the Tunisian people.

Gray’s appearance is sponsored by UW International Programs. He will take questions, discuss his experiences and share his thoughts on the future of U.S.-Tunisia cooperation.

SAGE GROUSE TEAM

Feds honor Wyoming sage grouse team

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The federal government is honoring a Wyoming team that has worked to devise a plan for the conservation of sage grouse.

U.S. Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar recently announced that the Wyoming Governor’s Sage-Grouse Implementation Team received one of 17 Partners in Conservation awards handed out nationwide.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service nominated the Wyoming team for its work on developing a long term plan for sage grouse conservation.

Former Gov. Dave Freudenthal convened the sage grouse team in 2007 and Gov. Matt Mead adopted the same approach when he took office this year.

The 26 sage grouse team members represent federal, state and county governments as well as representatives from the energy industry, private landowners and others.

T25-NEBRASKA DEFENSE

Good news, bad news for No. 8 Nebraska’s defense

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) — No. 8 Nebraska took one step forward and one step back in trying to gets its best defensive players on the field before opening its first Big Ten Conference season at No. 7 Wisconsin next weekend.

In a 38-14 win over Wyoming on Saturday night in Laramie, defensive back Alfonzo Dennard played in his first game this season after missing the first three games because of a pulled right leg muscle. But defensive tackle Jared Crick didn’t suit up after suffering an unspecified injury against Washington on Sept. 17.

Nebraska coach Bo Pelini was noncommittal on Crick’s prospects of returning to the lineup against No. 7 Wisconsin (4-0).

Pelini said the Huskers (4-0) are getting better, but acknowledged that his team has room for improvement.

 

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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