Lottery seen as boost for Wyoming businesses
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Some business owners in Wyoming are hoping the new statewide lottery is a winner for their bottom lines.
Some 390 business outlets in the state have signed up to sell Powerball and Mega Millions tickets beginning Aug. 24. It is Wyoming's first foray into the lottery frenzy that has become a fixture in most other states.
Kurt Garland owns the Etna Trading Company store in the small community of Etna, near the Wyoming-Idaho border.
Garland says selling lottery tickets is an opportunity for a store his size that employs six workers. He hopes to attract more customers, especially those who drive up to an hour to buy lottery tickets in Idaho.
Mark Larson of the Colorado Wyoming Petroleum Marketers Association says the lottery will help keep Wyoming money in Wyoming.
JACKSON AFFORDABLE HOUSING
Affordable housing fund advocated for Jackson
(Information in the following story is from: Jackson Hole (Wyo.) News And Guide, http://www.jhnewsandguide.com)
JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) - A housing official and a consultant say the Jackson area needs a steady source of funding to solve its shortage of affordable housing for workers.
The Jackson Hole News & Guide reported Wednesday statistics on the problem are scarce but some people are camping or living in their cars because they can't find traditional housing.
Housing consultant Melanie Rees says Aspen, Telluride, Boulder and other Colorado communities with housing shortages have a steady source of income, similar to water, sewer or road funds.
Outgoing Teton County Housing Authority Executive Director Christine Walker says that would allow an equitable and economic way to finance affordable housing.
She says it could help businesses, developers and government.
The Jackson/Teton Comprehensive Plan calls for such a funding source.
Bighorn Forest fire fully contained
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Firefighters have contained a wildfire burning in the Bighorn National Forest in northern Wyoming.
The Roane Creek fire had burned about 23 acres since it was started by lightning about 30 miles east of Lovell.
Cooler temperatures and higher humidity aided firefighters in gaining containment.
A smaller fire in the northern part of the Bighorn forest was also expected to be fully contained Wednesday.
Fires also are burning in the Shoshone National Forest. But those are only being monitored because they are in remote areas.
Man killed by police on Wind River Reservation
LANDER, Wyo. (AP) - A man has been fatally shot by police on the Wind River Indian Reservation.
Few details were released about the shooting Tuesday night near Ethete (EE'-thuh-tee). The FBI is investigating.
FBI spokesman Dave Joly says the investigation is in the early stages and additional information will be released later.
According to the Fremont County Sheriff's Office, it received a call shortly before 8 p.m. Tuesday that a man armed with a handgun had shot out the window of a vehicle.
A responding deputy stopped a vehicle missing a window. The release says one of the three occupants was uncooperative and the shooting occurred after reservation police arrived to help.
No information about the man shot to death was released.
Park County farmer dies in drowning accident
(Information in the following story is from: Powell (Wyo.) Tribune, http://www.powelltribune.com)
POWELL, Wyo. (AP) - A 75-year-old Park County farmer has died in an accidental drowning in an irrigation canal.
The Park County Sheriff's Office identified the victim as Clifford Blackwell.
Police theorize that Blackwell may have slipped and fell into the water at a canal head gate.
The current then dragged him over and up against another, nearby head gate.
The official cause of death was ruled accidental drowning by Park County Coroner Tim Power.
Invasive mudsnails found in central Wyoming lake
(Information in the following story is from: Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune, http://www.trib.com)
CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - Wildlife officials say they have found a new population of an invasive New Zealand mudsnail in central Wyoming's Lake Cameahwait.
The Casper Star-Tribune reports a single mudsnail can clone itself quickly and colonize a new location with densities as high as 300,000 per square meter, altering water chemistry.
The Wyoming Game and Fish Department says fish rely on native snails and insects for food, and mudsnails outcompete the native species and provide little nutritional value. Once a mudsnail is established, it's impossible to eradicate without damaging other parts of the ecosystem.
Outside of Lake Cameahwait, populations of the mudsnails are in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks and in the Bighorn, Shoshone and Snake rivers.
Trial set for former teacher accused of sex abuse
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - A former Cheyenne elementary school teacher accused of having sex with a boy is set to stand trial March 3.
The Wyoming Tribune Eagle reports 54-year-old Anna-Maria Andersen is facing five counts of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor and one count of first-degree sexual abuse of minor. She faces up to 165 years in prison if convicted on all of the charges.
Court documents allege Andersen had sex with the boy three times between October and March, when he was between the ages of 13 and 14. She also is accused of having sex with him in June 2012, when he was 12.
Andersen had been employed with Freedom Elementary for three years until her recent termination.
CODY CITY MANAGER
Cody hires new city administrator
CODY, Wyo. (AP) - Former Green River City Administrator Barry Cook has been hired as Cody's city administrator.
The Cody Enterprise reports Cook will start work on Aug. 25.
He replaces Jenni Rosencranse, who announced in April she was resigning to spend more time with her family. She had held the job since March 2011.
Cook was Green River's administrator for 18 years and has also served as general manager of the Green River Joint Powers Water Board.
Mayor Nancy Tia Brown says Cook will be paid $106,000 annually.
LARAMIE MOVIE THEATER
10-screen movie theater planned for Laramie
LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) - A developer plans to build a 10-screen movie theater, a sports bar and a retail building in eastern Laramie.
The Laramie Boomerang reported Tuesday construction on the theater and retail building will start in August and on the bar in September. All the projects are expected to be completed in a year.
University Plaza LLC is the developer. The company has a 50-year-lease from the University of Wyoming for the land east of the campus on Grand Avenue. The property already has two restaurants, a coffeehouse and a haircutter.
The retail building will encompass 7,500 square feet and will have four to seven units.
Yellowstone considers quarantine program for bison
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - Yellowstone National Park is seeking public comment on a proposal to capture and quarantine wild bison before relocating disease-free animals to create new herds.
Wednesday's announcement comes after the Department of Interior last month identified public lands in 10 states that could be suitable for relocated Yellowstone bison.
Public meetings on the quarantine proposal are scheduled for Aug. 18 in Gardiner and Aug. 19 in Bozeman.
Yellowstone's roughly 4,600 bison are prized for their pure genetics. But many carry the disease brucellosis, which can cause pregnant livestock to prematurely abort their young.
A pilot quarantine program that began in 2005 has had mixed success. Efforts to relocate about 200 bison that were declared disease-free have been opposed by Montana ranchers worried the animals could compete with cattle for grazing space.
VA wants to fire 2 accused of manipulating data
DENVER (AP) - The Veterans Affairs Department says it wants to fire two supervisors accused of manipulating health care data in Colorado and Wyoming.
The VA said Tuesday four other employees face suspension, demotion or admonishment.
The firings would be the strongest discipline handed out since May in a nationwide scandal over falsifying records on how long veterans wait to get care at VA hospitals and clinics.
Three executives of the Phoenix VA hospital were placed on leave May 1. Acting VA Secretary Sloan Gibson has said they will be fired.
The six Colorado and Wyoming employees facing discipline include Rocky Mountain Network Director Ralph Gigliotti (ji-LAH'-tee) and Cheyenne Medical Center Director Cynthia McCormack.
The VA didn't say if they were the ones facing dismissal. Neither immediately responded to phone messages Wednesday.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.