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Submitted by Newsroom on December 16, 2011 – 7:07 amNo Comment

AP-WY–Right Now/1523
Latest Wyoming news, sports, business and entertainment


Environmental groups oppose Wyo./Colo. pipeline

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A coalition of environmental groups is seeking to intervene in a federal agency’s review of a proposed pipeline that would carry water from southwestern Wyoming to Colorado’s Front Range.

Fort Collins businessman Aaron Million has proposed to build the 500-mile pipeline. He proposes to draw up to 250,000 acre feet a year of water from Flaming Gorge Reservoir.

The 10 groups, including the Sierra Club, Earthjustice and Utah Rivers Council, announced Thursday that they’re seeking to intervene in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s review of the project. The groups oppose the plan, saying it would hurt endangered fish and deplete water resources.

Million has said the pipeline would help Colorado and Wyoming use some of their water in the Colorado River system that otherwise would flow to other states.


Corps searching for ways to avert flooding repeat

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it is trying to find more room in its reservoirs to avoid a repeat of this summer’s flooding that caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage to states along the Missouri River.

Corps Brig. Gen. John McMahon said Thursday that his agency has so far tallied $630 million worth of flood damage to the levees, dams and channels built to control the river.

He told governors or representatives of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri and Kansas that the agency is looking for more storage room for floodwater for 2012.

Some of the governors have been asking for more aggressive flood control.

McMahon says a report due next week is also likely to have specific recommendations.


Court reviews Sheridan teen’s life sentence

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A lawyer for a Sheridan teenager convicted of murder in a home invasion killing urged the Wyoming Supreme Court on Thursday to determine that the teen’s life sentence was unconstitutional.

Lawyer Kirk Morgan represents 18-year-old Wyatt Bear Cloud, one of three teens convicted in the August 2009 killing of Sheridan businessman Robert Ernst.

Morgan asked state supreme court justices to expand on last year’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling banning juvenile life sentences in non-murder cases. Morgan emphasized Bear Cloud didn’t pull the trigger.

Lawyer Jeffrey Pope of the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office said the U.S. Supreme Court ruling didn’t apply to Bear Cloud’s case. He pointed out that Bear Cloud and the other teens had armed themselves before breaking into Ernst’s home.

The court will issue a written decision later.


Small plane goes off taxiway at Sheridan airport

SHERIDAN, Wyo. (AP) — Federal investigators are trying to determine what caused a small twin-engine life flight aircraft to go off a taxiway and into a ravine at Sheridan County Airport.

Airport manager John Stopka says the plane owned by Exec Air of Helena, Mont., had dropped a patient off and was preparing to take off when it went off the side of the taxiway and into a ravine at about 5 p.m. Wednesday.

The two people aboard were not injured.

Stopka says the plane “is in a pretty deep hole, and it will take some effort to get it out of there.”

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.


Wyoming students report bullying, being bullied

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — A statewide survey says more than half of Wyoming middle school students report being bullied on school grounds and more than one-fourth said they’ve been the bully.

The 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey asks students to self-report activity related to drugs and alcohol, suicide and other health-related behaviors.

About 54 percent of middle school students said they had been bullied at school and about 28 percent said they bullied another student in the past year.

28 percent of female high school students said they were bullied in the past year compared to 22 percent of male students.

The percent of female students in middle and high school who said they had been electronically bullied was double the percent of male students.


Survey shows economic strength of Midwest, Plains

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A survey of bankers in 10 Midwest and Great Plains states reflects continued economic growth in the region, which boasts strong agricultural performance and rising commodity prices.

The Rural Mainstreet Index rose to 59.7 in December, the highest survey figure since June 2007. The index hit 58.4 in November, 52.9 in October and 52.2 in September. Survey organizers say that whenever the index, which ranges from 1 to 100, is above 50, it suggests the economy will grow.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss, who oversees the survey, says growth in U.S. regions tied to agriculture and energy are outpacing urban areas.

The survey covers Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.


Arch Coal secures $300M Wyo. coal lease

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A subsidiary of St. Louis-based Arch Coal has submitted a successful bid of just over $300 million for the right to mine more than 200 million tons of coal in northeast Wyoming.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management announced the sale Wednesday, saying the bid by Ark Land Company met or exceeded fair market value for the coal.

The 222 million tons of coal sits beneath more than three square miles of land next to the lease boundary of the Black Thunder Mine in the Powder River Basin.

The bid value of the federally owned coal comes out to $1.35 per mineable ton. That’s a Wyoming record: The previous record, set in August, was $1.10 per ton.

The record bid total for Wyoming coal, set in 2004, is $611 million.


SC Gov. Haley got free TX trip to visit Pickens

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and her husband have taken a free trip to oil billionaire T. Boone Pickens’ spread in Texas courtesy of a wealthy Jackson Hole, Wyo., couple.

Haley spokesman Rob Godfrey confirmed the trip and arrangements on Thursday. He said it was the first time Haley had met Pickens.

Godfrey said Foster Freiss and his wife Lynn invited the Haleys and other couples to Pickens’ ranch and paid for the trip, which was last weekend.

Pickens has for years pushed offshore natural gas and wind energy production. Wind turbine gear is built and tested in South Carolina, and Haley has supported natural gas production off the state’s coast.

Freiss didn’t respond to an interview request from The Associated Press. Freiss gave $200,000 to Republican Susana Martinez’s successful bid for New Mexico governor last year.


Wyoming hosts DII Sioux Falls team

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) — The Wyoming men’s basketball team is home again Friday when it hosts Sioux Falls.

The game is scheduled for 7 p.m. in the Arena-Auditorium. Sioux Falls (306) is a Division II team.

The Cowboys (10-1) are off to their best start since the 1987-88 season and own the best record in the Mountain West Conference.

Wyoming has not lost any of its nine home games so far this season.

After Friday night’s game, the Cowboys hit the road for their next three games.


Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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