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First News with Leslie Stratmoen

Submitted by Newsroom on August 24, 2012 – 7:19 amNo Comment

FIRST NEWS – Army honors slain servicemen … UW trustees seek faculty pay increases … Ballot error challenges commissioner win … UPDATE: Gas Plant Incident … Honor Farm hosts wild horse sale ….. CLICK HERE

TROOPS KILLED-MEMORIAL SERVICE

Army honors slain servicemen

Staff and Wire Reports

FORT CARSON, Colo. — An Army chaplain at Fort Carson in Colorado told a group gathered Thursday to honor three servicemen killed in Afghanistan to hold them dear. One of the fallen was Army Sgt. Maj. Kevin J. Griffin of Laramie whose brother Shawn lives in Riverton.

According to a local newspaper report, hundreds of people gathered at the Army post for the services, which along with Griffin, honored Air Force Maj. Walter D. Gray and Army Maj. Thomas E. Kennedy. They died on Aug. 8 when insurgents detonated suicide vests.

Griffin was 45, Gray of Conyers, Ga., was 38, and Kennedy was 35 of West Point, N.Y.

Griffin and Kennedy were assigned to the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division based at Fort Carson. Gray was an air liaison officer and flight commander for the Fort Carson-based 13th Air Support Operations Squadron, part of the 93rd Air Ground Operations Wing at Moody Air Force Base, Ga.

UW PAY RAISES

UW trustees seek pay faculty pay increases

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Back in Wyoming, the board of trustees for the University of Wyoming in Laramie are requesting $5.3 million in annual pay raises for the faculty. The supplemental budget request for a 3 percent raise was approved unanimously by the board on Thursday, stipulating that the pay raises would be awarded based on merit.

Money for the salary increase must be approved by Gov. Matt Mead and the Legislature, which meets early next year.

The request notes that without the increase, the university faculty will go four years without a pay raise, and noted that more faculty have been leaving for higher salaries elsewhere.

But the request comes at a time when the state has not granted across-the-board pay increases for the last several years and when state agencies are being asked to identify budget cuts because of state revenue concerns.

By The Associated Press

 

BALLOT ERROR

Ballot error challenges commissioner win

By KVOW/KTAK News Director Leslie Stratmoen

RIVERTON, Wyo. — Final election results released Thursday by the Fremont County Clerk’s Office show a ballot error in one of the county commission races that could change the outcome. Clerk Julie Freese said 30 voters received ballots that allowed them to vote in the wrong district.

She said it was only a portion of the Big Bend District 2 precinct, but could make a difference because Incumbent Commissioner Dennis Christensen won over challenger Larry Allen by only 20 votes.

The county clerk said she’ll recommend a course of action to the canvassing board for decision, but if one can’t be found the election for that race will be null and void. Election judges discovered the problem on the afternoon of voting day and rectified the situation immediately.

The unofficial results for that precinct had Christensen winning by 115 votes over Allen’s 81. The other two candidates Tim Salazar and Richard Denke received 66 and 21, respectively.

Commissioner Christensen suspects the confusion was created by the new Fremont County commission voting districts that were the result of federal litigation.

UPDATE: Gas Plant Incident

By KVOW/KTAK News Director Leslie Stratmoen

LYSITE, Wyo. – As reported yesterday, Rocky McWilliams of the Local Emergency Planning Committee said several agencies worked together Wednesday to get help for the four men injured in the flash fire at the Lost Cabin Gas Plant in Lysite. Jim Lowry of the Conoco-Phillips company that owns the plant said the men were outside contractors with Altair-Strickland of Texas. We’ll have a further follow-up on that story at the top of the hour. (See Posted Story)

WILD HORSE ADOPTION

Honor Farm hosts wild horse sale

By KVOW/KTAK News Director Leslie Stratmoen

RIVERTON, Wyo. — Wyoming’s next bi-annual sale of wild horses is this weekend in Riverton. It’ll be held at the Wyoming Honor Farm, which is the state’s minimum security prison on the north side of town, off Honor Farm Road.

The horses can be viewed this afternoon from 1-3 during a gentling clinic that’s open to the public. Gates open for the horse adoption sale at 7:30 tomorrow morning, with bidding starting at 10:30.

Joe Crofts of Riverton manages the prison’s horse program. He said they refer to the event as an adoption because the horses are purchased with stipulations that the owner must keep the animal for a year and follow the rules of proper treatment deemed by the Bureau of Land Management. That’s the agency that partners with the Honor Farm for the adoption. Most of the horses are from the Wyoming range.

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