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Submitted by Newsroom on August 8, 2012 – 7:45 amNo Comment

AP-WY–Right Now/959
Latest Wyoming news, sports, business and entertainment

ENERGY SUMMIT-WYOMING

Final decisions expected in 2014 on Wyo. wind farm

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Federal agencies aim to have their permit and review decisions for a wind farm development in southern Wyoming complete by October 2014.

President Barack Obama included the Chokecherry and Sierra Madre wind farm complex among seven renewable energy projects in Arizona, California, Nevada and Wyoming that he said Tuesday are getting fast-tracked. The Bureau of Land Management last year included it among three Wyoming wind farm proposals that it planned to give an expedited review.

The project, proposed by Power Company of Wyoming LLC on about 230,000 acres south of Rawlins, could produce up to 3,000 megawatts, or enough to power about 1 million homes.

The White House says a land-use plan decision is targeted for October, and right-of-way applications for the project will be reviewed through 2014.

BOY DROWNS-WYOMING

Utah boy who drowned in Wyoming last month found

BYRON, Wyo. (AP) — The body of a 9-year-old Utah boy who fell in the South Fork of the Shoshone River after being thrown from a horse last month has been found.

Park County, Wyo. sheriff Scott Steward said the body of Tyler Hatch was found Sunday afternoon by two searchers in kayaks.

The boy from Eagle Mountain was camping with his family on July 2 near Powell and was thrown while trying to cross the river.

He was spotted submerged in the river hours later in an area with 450-foot high cliffs and a helicopter wasn’t able to land there. His body was recovered about three-quarters of a mile downstream from there.

The area has been searched several times but the water levels have dropped significantly since Tyler was swept away.

DISASTER AID

More aid for counties affected by Colorado fires

DENVER (AP) — The U.S. Small Business Administration has approved disaster loan assistance for farmers, ranchers, businesses, homeowners and nonprofit organizations affected by some Colorado wildfires, flooding and mudslides this summer.

The low-interest loans are available to people affected by fires and the subsequent flooding and mudslides in El Paso and Larimer counties. Neighboring Boulder, Crowley, Douglas, Elbert, Fremont, Grand, Jackson, Lincoln, Pueblo, Teller and Weld counties in Colorado, and Albany and Laramie counties in Wyoming also are eligible for help.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency also is making more aid available to help counties with hazard mitigation projects. However, the state’s request for expanded FEMA assistance for wildfire victims was denied.

Meanwhile Larimer County commissioners on Tuesday approved a $1,000 reduction in building-permit fees for qualifying, underinsured residents rebuilding wildfire-damaged structures.

EDUCATION ACCOUNTABILITY

Wyoming moves to eliminate PAWS test for juniors

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming is moving ahead with plans to eliminate a state proficiency exam for high school juniors next year even though federal education officials say the state should keep it.

The state board of education voted on Monday to amend a contract with its testing company to remove the Proficiency Assessments for Wyoming Students, or PAWS, for high school juniors.

Earlier this year, the state Legislature directed the education department to discontinue the PAWS test for juniors and replace it with the ACT.

Wyoming students have protested over the years that the PAWS test is too long. The 2010 test was plagued with software problems.

The U.S. Department of Education has asked the state to administer both PAWS and ACT for one more year to collect data.

BLM AUCTION

BLM oil, gas lease auction generates nearly $6.5M

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A quarterly federal auction of oil and gas leases in Wyoming has generated nearly $6.5 million.

Almost half the total raised at the Bureau of Land Management auction Tuesday will go to the state of Wyoming.

The highest bid per acre was $2,200. Overall, the auction offered 116 parcels totaling almost 60,000 acres.

The next BLM Wyoming oil and gas lease sale is scheduled for Nov. 6.

 

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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