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Lawsuit seeks protections for wolverine

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Another lawsuit has been filed challenging the government’s denial of federal protections for the wolverine. Thirteen advocacy groups and an ecologist were named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Montana. It claims the government relied on “contorted” data when it declined protections for the species in August. An estimated 250 to 300 wolverines survive in the Lower 48 states. The members of the weasel family give birth to their young in deep mountain snowfields that some scientists say could be at risk of disappearing as the climate changes. After proposing protections last year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in August said there was too much uncertainty in computer climate change models to justify protections. Two other lawsuits have been filed over the issue. … Read entire article »

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Report: School skit included sexual harassment

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — An outside investigator has determined that a “welcome back” skit performed by Natrona County High School administrators included language and actions that violated the school’s sexual harassment policy. The Associated Press reports the school released the findings of an investigation into the August 25th skit without staff names and the transcripts of staff interviews After watching the video recording of the skit and interviewing some staff members, the investigator said it was clear the skit was uncomfortable, offensive and unwelcome and constituted sexual harassment. The skit involved two administrators dressed up as cheerleaders who introduced the new staff members. The skit included comparing new staff to sex offenders, drunks and serial killers and making references to masturbation, homosexuality and virginity. Six student council members saw the skit. … Read entire article »

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Jackson Hole restaurants get new safety rule

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — Restaurants around Jackson will soon have to have staff certified in food safety. A new rule from the Teton County Board of Public Health requires eateries to have a manager take a test on food protection protocols. The board says the goal is to prevent food-borne illness. The rule goes into effect January 1st and requires at least one person at a dining establishment have food safety training. A special course can be taken online for $125 and the test costs $36. Public health staffers will supervise the exam. Safety officials believe people who have been in the industry for a while should be able to pass. Restaurant owners say they support the rules. … Read entire article »

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Hunter airlifted from the Shoshone Forest

MEETEETSE, Wyo. (AP) — An elderly hunter was airlifted from the Piney Pass area of the Shoshone National Forest after she fell from her horse and fractured her hip. The woman was identified as 71-year-old Karen Schutte of Midwest, Wyoming. The Park County Sheriff’s Office says Schutte was hunting with an outfitter from Casper when the accident occurred on Monday. The sheriff’s office said in a statement Schutte was airlifted to West Park Hospital in Cody where her condition was not available. … Read entire article »

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Wyoming Medicare costs expected to drop

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Federal officials say Wyoming residents on Medicare are expected to pay $1.5 million less than expected for health care in 2015 under the Affordable Care Act. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says the act has already helped slow the growth of health-care costs under Medicare, especially the cost for prescription drugs. The agency says that through June Medicare recipients in Wyoming saved nearly $17 million on prescription drugs as a result of the act. The premiums that Medicare recipients pay for prescription drugs are expected to stay low in 2015. … Read entire article »

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2012 fatal helicopter crash cause still unknown

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — Federal investigators haven’t found any obvious mechanical deficiencies or failures that may have caused a rescue helicopter to crash two years ago in Teton County. Teton County Search and Rescue volunteer Ray Shriver died in the February 2012 crash. The National Transportation Safety Board released its report on the crash earlier this month. Several possible causes of the crash were ruled out, including engine failure or damage. The helicopter crashed during a search for a fatally injured snowmobiler in the Togwotee Pass area. The pilot and another rescue volunteer were injured. A final report on the investigation will be released later. … Read entire article »

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After-school program to continue in Laramie

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) — The Laramie Community Recreation Center has reduced the number of caregivers to the School Age Child Care program after going over budget by about $25,000. The program has about 40 children. It was staffed by as many as seven part-time employees. Parks and Recreation director Paul Harrison says four caregivers will still be watching over the children. More caregivers could be hired if the program’s enrollment increases. … Read entire article »

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Casper psych hospital to take Cheyenne juveniles

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Laramie County juveniles in need of court-ordered inpatient mental health care can be transferred to the Wyoming Behavioral Institute in Casper. The county and Cheyenne Regional Medical Center reached an agreement with Natrona County and the Casper psychiatric hospital. Laramie County Attorney Mark Voss says federal guidelines require mental health facilities to have separate areas for juveniles and adults and the Casper psychiatric hospital is the only such facility in the state. Cheyenne Regional typically sees between three and six juveniles per week in need of psychiatric help. Voss says in the past, medical staff had to handcraft some solution for the patient, which has included sending them out of state or putting them in another wing of the hospital. The juveniles’ parents are also involved in the hospitalization decision. … Read entire article »

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Wyoming hired firms to market tourism

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The Wyoming Office of Tourism has hired an Ohio public relations agency to help promote the state’s tourism industry. Fahlgren Mortine is a marketing and communications agency with a strong specialty in tourism, travel and destination marketing. Fahlgren Mortine will help the Wyoming tourism office develop a comprehensive media and public relations strategy. The firm has more than 200 full-time associates and will have more than seven associates assigned to Wyoming. … Read entire article »

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Volunteers count 8 swans, 10 cygnets at elk refuge

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — Volunteers and officials with the National Elk Refuge say four adult breeding pairs of trumpeter swans raised 10 cygnets at the refuge this summer. Biologist Eric Cole and volunteers Betty and Chuck Mulcahy counted swans at six sites on the refuge each week from mid-May through the end of September. Refuge officials say four nesting pairs matches a record that has been set six other times since 1938. A dozen cygnets hatched, and 10 survived, which is above the average of seven cygnets, but below the record of 18 set in 2007. A trumpeter swan management plan seeks to maintaining 18 nesting pairs along the Snake River in Wyoming. The refuge says this year’s warm, dry spring helped the cygnet survival rate. … Read entire article »

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